Each Asian country had its own version of what defense weapon it relied on based often on the ruling political power which would frequently deprive its citizens' of the weapons used by its military so the common folk would rely on whatever implements they had on hand and convert them to weapons. This is the main reason the countrys' of Japan, Oakinawa, Korea and even China used mostly farm tools converted to defense weapon for the majority of the common people's protection.
The other aspect of martial arts weapons is the simple use of the hands and feet. Although empty of any physical weapon other than itself these appendages are consider by most countries to be a lethal weapon at the professional or black belt level. The term Karate actually means empty hand which is how martial arts is first studied. Only later do the practiced use of external weapons come into play.
However hand held weapons require a special skill set to effectively use them. The blunt wood weapons require speed and force along with large arcing movements to generate the power necessary to render a foe neutralized. The sharper metal weapons use skill and adroitness to puncture or cut one's opponent. Both require a significant amount of training to successfully defend oneself. It is a matter of constant repetition so that the movements become part of the person's reflexive action with no time for thought to enter in. Only then can one say they are proficient in the particular weapons use. Remembering at the same time that practice will only take one so far and that the real test lies in the actual combat itself as only then can one find out under the immediate threat of great bodily injure or death how one's performance will be.
No matter the martial art weapon whatever the type helps ensure the user of a better chance of surviving a conflict particularly if there are more than one attacker as there is far less effort and exposure to disable and attacker if you have a weapon at your disposable and are proficient in its use then if one is not available. If both combatants have weapons then it is the one with the greater skill and calmer demeanor who will come out the winner in a contest of skills.
So the importance of continued practice in all situations against all manor of attackers is the key to surviving any conflict with martial art weapons. Staying calm and having the ability to diffuse a explosive situation is the best guarantee that no harm will come to yourself or others however as with the martial art weapons it takes continued practice to remain calm in volatile situations.