Prohibited Weapons

A “prohibited weapon” is any weapon or article that a person may not possess without a permit issued by the Commissioner for Police for the relevant state or territory. Common examples from the NSW list relevant to martial arts practitioners are Nunchaku and side-handled batons (tonfa). Whilst listings of prohibited weapons vary from state to state, Police Ministers, in June 2001, put forward proposals calling for uniform National Prohibited Weapons Legislations. The KWA supports this move.

For martial arts practitioners who desire to instruct in the use of an article that may be prohibited in NSW, Victoria and ACT, there already exists a “Prohibited Weapons Permit” system that will only allow a permit to be issued to bona fide accredited martial arts instructors. For the purposes of this policy implementation, an “accredited instructor” is defined as a martial arts instructor who:

  • is an accredited instructor with the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (administered by the Australian Sports Commission) or
  • is an accredited instructor with the National Martial Arts Instructors Accreditation Scheme administered by the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA) or
  • is an accredited instructor with the Australian National Training Authority and is so qualified as a trainer under the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Act 1990.

For information on Accreditation, click on Instructor Accreditation in the menu bar.

It is important to note that the Martial Arts Industry Association does not issue Prohibited Weapons Permits. Permits are issued solely by the Police Service for the relevant state or territory. The Martial Arts Industry Association’s role is to confirm for the Police Service the bona fides of an applicant’s instructor accreditation.


The class or general exemption applies to KWA members in that all, KWA members are covered by the Class or General exemption to the prohibition of swords in Victoria.

(A sword is a thrusting, striking or cutting weapon with a long blade having 1 or 2 cutting edges and a hilt, The definition applies inter alia to a Tai Chi or Wushu straight sword or broadsword (sabre) only and it will be in that context it will be used here)

SWORDS ARE PROHIBITED WEAPONS IN VICTORIA and an instructor requires an individual permit or needs to be a member of an organisation that has been gazetted as having been granted an exemption. The KWA has been granted such an exemption and it is recommended that a copy of your membership certificate is carried with you if you are transporting, teaching or training with swords.