Top 10 Ancient Chinese Weapons

The ancient China civilization has seen a variety of martial arts and battle techniques. The ancient Chinese army won many famous battles and was a very successful force in the Asian continent. And weapons of course played an important role in it. These ancient (medieval) weapons were masterpieces of engineering and helped Chinese army succeed much easier. Below is a list of top 10 ancient Chinese weapons. If you feel like any important weapon is excluded in the list, please let me know in the comment section.

#1. Gong 弓

The bow is called “Gong” in Chinese language and it has a long history in ancient China. According to archaeological materials, the use of bow by ancient Chinese went as early as 2800 years ago. The archers had always been an important branch of the imperial army until the late 19th century. In ancient China archery has always been an essential subject of the military exam for official selection.

#2. Qiang 枪

Qiang, a type of spear, was an important weapon in ancient China. The common Qiang could was a kind of spear with a long staff and a steel mounted tip. The Qiang was used in battles for long distance combat including throwing spears, even after fire weapons were introduced by the Qin Dynasty.

#3. Jian 剑

The Jian, a double-edged straight sword, was regarded as the king of all weapons in ancient China. The double bladed Jian was a harder weapon to control than a single-blade saber, so in ancient China Jian was usually owned  and used by the educated class or skilled warrior.

#4. Dun 盾

The Dun (made of metal or wood or bamboo) is Chinese name for shield. It is a big board held in the hand to protect against the attacking of other weapons such as arrow and spear. It was usually used along with a dagger-axe or saber.

#5. Yue 钺

Yue is an axe-shaped arms used in China about 3,000 years ago. It has a threatening expanded blade and is usually decorated with a magical animal in Chinese myth. Yue was created especially for against heavy-armor enemy.

#6. Nu 弩

The Nu was a semi-automatic crossbow invented by Chinese about 2,400 years ago. It comprises a feeder on top and a lever near the end for repeating action. Skilled crossbowman could launch 10 bolts in 15 seconds before  exhausting the magazine.

#7. Dao 刀

The Dao was one of the most commonly used arms in ancient China. Dao can be described as a single-edged Chinese sword with wood wrapped handle. In Ancient China the Dao was used mainly for hand to hand combat especially for the cavalry on horseback.

#8. Gun 棍

Though just a simple staff, the Gun was one of the Four Major Weapons in ancient China. It was usually made from bamboo and mainly used for self-defense. The Gun was rarely used by the Chinese army, and its most common usage is to train new recruits. The army favored bladed weapons as they were more durable.

#9. Fu 斧

The Fu, Chinese name for the axe, was usually held by imperial guards, rather than common soldiers. The Fu was characterized by large blade that was often carved with a image of a powerful animal. Fu is similar to another Chinese weapon Yue, but is much smaller and lighter and has more practical applications.

#10. Ji 戟

Ji is is a two-handed pole weapon used as a military weapon in China as early as the Shang dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC). It comprises a long handle with a curved blade attached to the top and a sharp metal tip. Ji is a very diverse and useful instrument, it can be used to slash with the side blade or stab with the tip.

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49 Responses

  1. alex says:

    the gun is not a gun

  2. TTVhelleperson says:

    I’m doing my school project and i did the Ji, Dao, Jian and Qiangand drew them i have to do 1400 words on war of ancient china and the clothing

    • fdrge says:

      in my school project my teacher has given me permission to make replicas of the weapons using ancient chinese tecniques and do a page of writing about the origin and history

  3. Jhuma Chakraborty says:

    I think the dao is the strongest ……….

  4. pinky says:

    the crossbow is a toy. a single strip bamboo bow could shoot a chopstick, at best.

  5. Peter Griffin says:

    This is a helpful site for use in school.

  6. Haha says:

    really? Flamethrower? haha

  7. Thawesomness says:

    What about the flame thrower? They created in Ancient times with the first recipe of gunpowder.

  8. isobella says:

    there is an invention called the whirl-wind catapult. this catapult was made with bamboo so it would be stronger yet flexible. they could hold heavy boulders to attack enemies or to destroy city walls.

  9. MADDI Cross says:

    Cool weapons but was the katana in ancient China or was it Japanese plz reply thanks and I believe the Dao is a pretty cool weapon and for this information it has really helped me in my history class with ancient china

    • Man man says:

      The katana is from Japan, bud.

    • Murong Fu says:

      The sword that inspired the katana was the Tangdao, which was around long before the Japanese Tachi evolved into the katana and it was actually very similar, key differences being that it was straight bladed and didn’t have the classic Japanese hilt wrapping. But all in all, the katana that is famous today is very much from Japan, just based heavily on the original Tangdao shape, just with a very intricate and gorgeous handle wrap.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was Japanese

  10. Nicki says:

    There are more weapons than these! These are just a few

  11. Lachy says:

    This website informed me a lot about ancient weapons

  12. Bob says:

    2. Qiang 枪 you might want to read over it but its a great web site.

  13. . Hanes says:

    I love Chinese weapons,I’m in Hanbidge Mandarin school to learn Chinese culture when they know a lot about China, I love Chinese, it’s all the West

  14. Internet says:

    this is what yandere sim needs ALTHOUGH yandere sim is japanese and this is chinese lol

  15. Emily Taylor says:

    I love chinese weapons, I watched a cool documentary about the normal crossbows and bows that were so strong they fire really far, and the rocket arrow. Gun is my favorite, i used to practice it because you can use and have anywhere even in strict country because its technically just a bamboo stick for walking haha

  16. Jai says:

    Can you list on what they are made from?? I need it for my school project!

  17. 马光 says:

    Thank you for your share of ancient Chinese weapons.

  18. Hamish says:

    There is a gold stamp bove the handle on the gun

  19. ben says:

    with the crossbows it sais before 2 times in a row

  20. Jason says:

    I like the Chu konu and Jian

  21. I’m missing the dagger-axe in this list, wich was imporant around the Spring and Autumn Períod.

    You only make a reference about it when you write about the shield, but nothing more.


  22. Axel says:

    Thanks i Copied and Pasted all Your information and Used it on my work you saved me

  23. Jonathan Youth says:

    What about all the guns and cannons? Before Qing dynasty, China’s guns were even better then the Europeans!

    • Bob Hays says:

      Ha! Bullsh*t! European guns and canons have always been better which is why we were able to whoop Chinese ass! Not to mention the Chinese “Great Wall” fell to Mongolians whom were nomadic (barbaric horse riding) people.

      • Jason says:

        European guns wasn’t better much.since Chinese didn’t upgrades their weapons,it’s obvious why Chinese was invaded easily by foreign country

      • David says:

        China’s cannons outmatched the Europeans for half a century and wasn’t surpassed until the Manchu officially ruined China.
        The Mongols were lucky, China was having it’s golden age and the Song hasn’t seen action in like 300 fucking years so no shit the mongols conquered China.
        The Europeans got lucky. If the Manchu never ruined China, we would see China as the super power of today.

        • ReverseUniverse says:

          Dude,Believe In China You Assholes why you hate Chinese?I’d Whoop A European Ass for proof Chinese Firearms Are better in any way

      • amazed says:

        dont swear

  24. yourmom says:

    ha! yellow emperor.

  25. sachin tichkule says:

    I want samurai talwar

  26. the poo says:

    hi this bage very nice ja!

  27. China Whisper says:

    You are very careful. It is a mismatched picture, I have changed it to another one.

  28. firedl says:

    The dagger “Dao” has Burmese word on it. According to what is written, it seems made for theatrical performance.

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