This is kinda a tangent of my benefits of training to fight multiple attackers question.
Although I have some opinions of my own, my experience with weapons training is currently very limited, so I wanted to get a wider set of opinions.
A lot of traditional martial art weapons are rather dated since the invention of the rifle/gunpowder-based weapons/warfare.
- What benefits exist from learning to use (or what does one learn from training with) weapons that generally have no practical/realistic use in modern times - such as staff, spear, longsword, chain whip, etc. I recognize 'practical' is perhaps debatable, but for the purpose of this question, I assume most people don't regularly carry a staff/sword/spear along with them for self defense (or attack, I suppose...), and that these weapons are generally not used on a regular basis for anything other than training. I am trying to distinguish these weapons from other weapons such as knives that might actually be used in modern times, but this notion is certainly debatable, and I would be interested in hearing opinions on this. I ask this question primarily with respect to martial arts that cover open hand techniques, as well as weapons techniques/forms, and not just one or the other.
- What does weapons training contribute to one's overall martial arts growth? Is there any carryover to sparring (no weapons), striking/blocking techniques (no weapons), etc? Should it be part of a martial arts curriculum (high level, school styles and individual goals/preferences aside) - why or why not?