Sharp Weapons in Martial Arts: Legal Famework in Spain

6th December 2019
Using sharp weapons in martial arts are a way of linking with traditional culture. Are these weapons for martial arts allowed or prohibited in Spain?

In Spain, more and more people are becoming interested in using sharp weapons in martial arts. This type of discipline is successful and not only as physical activity. Martial arts are a great way to learn self-defense and improve self-confidence. Nevertheless, when carrying sharp weapons around, it’s important to be well-informed about the current laws.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most important legal aspects of carrying sharp weapons to perform martial arts in Spain.

The possession of weapons for martial arts in Spain

Sometimes, the practice of some martial arts can ‘collide’ with some legal aspects. This is especially true when it comes to possessing sharp weapons.

Although not included in all martial arts, studying and training with weapons is a key aspect of many disciplines such as Kobudo, ninjutsu, some forms of karate or kung fu. Therefore, having doubts about the legal aspects of having weapons is a common situation.

In the first place, it’s essential to differentiate possession with carrying weapons. To speak in practical terms, it’s not the same to have a permit to possess weapons in a gymnasium as being able to carry these weapons on the streets or use them for self-defense.

More specifically, Title XXII of Chapter V of the Spanish Civil Code speaks specifically about the possession, trafficking, and deposit of weapons in the national territory. One of the first and clearest determinations says:

“The possession of prohibited weapons or illegally modified regulated weapons is considered a crime that can lead to a prison sentence of one to three years.”

However, the Civil Code ends up focusing too much on firearms. Therefore, we need to go to the Weapons Regulation, from the 137/1993 Royal Decree. There we can find an exact definition of “sharp weapons” and what the conditions for their legal possession in Spain are, specifically for the practice of martial arts.

Sharp weapons in martial arts are used to fight

Conditions and limitations for carrying “sharp weapons”

It’s important to understand what exactly “sharp weapons” are. These are all weapons that have a metallic sheet with a sharp or pulsating action.

Most of the weapons used in martial arts would fall into the fifth category of the law.

A little later, in its fourth chapter, the Arms Regulation talks about banned sharp weapons in Spain. According to the definitions of points F and H, practically all weapons used in martial arts are illegal. We’re citing those fragments below so that you can read for yourself:

    Point F: “Daggers, swords and knives of any kind. Blades with a blade smaller than 11 centimeters, with two sharp and pointed edges. ”

Point H: “Any other instruments that are especially dangerous for the physical integrity of people. ”

Special permits and sale

Likewise, according to the law, specific institutions can have special permits. Because of this, collectors, museums, cultural centers, and some organizations can purchase sharp weapons. Duly registered martial arts schools fall into this category. This isn’t the case with people who aren’t specifically allowed to buy, display or use sharp weapons.

On the other hand, the Civil Guard states that selling and possessing machetes, knives and some sharp weapons for collecting or decorating at the home isn’t illegal.

Martial arts practice with weapons.

Can you own weapons for martial arts practice?

So, given it’s not specifically addressed in the law, can you have weapons for martial arts practice?

Let’s recap all of this information. The determinations of the Ministry of Interior name the weapons that are prohibited in Spain. According to the Weapons Regulations, most sharp weapons in martial arts are prohibited in Spain. This is especially true for those that can cut, cause damage or death.

However, you can have them inside a private home as an object of adornment or for collecting. On the other hand, you can’t carry, display or use sharp weapons. This includes those used in martial arts. You shouldn’t carry or display them outside the home, school, museum, cultural or sports center.

This means that you could purchase sharp weapons, have them at home and practice with them. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t carry those weapons outside of your home, as objects for self-defense.

If you’re interested in self-defense, try other martial arts tools. Many of these instruments aren’t considered to be sharp weapons.

  • Real Decreto 137/1993, de 29 de enero, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de Armas. Extraído de: https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-1993-6202
  • Policía canaria. Régimen jurídico aplicable a las armas blancas. Extraído de: http://www.policiacanaria.com/sites/default/files/navajas_de_menos_de_11_ctms.pdf