[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_sun_ce_2042.jpg]]]]

The tonfa is basically a heavy stick with a handle attached near one of the ends, typically a little longer than the user's forearm. This weapon is BoringButPractical made manifest. However, [[RuleOfCool boring isn't good enough for fiction]], and naturally all sorts of variations (including the the bladed tonfa, the [[LaserBlade energybeam tonfa]], and the tonfa that doubles as a gun among others) have been envisioned by writers in order to spice up this humble handled club.

Wielded in pairs with one in each hand, a martial art based on the use of dual tonfas (Kobudo) exists in the Japanese islands of Okinawa. Archaeological evidence suggests the first tonfa were of Chinese or Indonesian origin, but they enjoyed much more widespread use in Okinawa and other Japanese islands. There it was claimed to have been developed from a a modified millstone handle as a result of the restriction of conventional weapons by the rulers of the land back in the day, forcing people to [[ImprovisedWeapon make their own weapons, often out of farm tools. ]]

They are a staple in weapon based fighters, where they are most commonly the main weapon for one of the female characters[[note]]why male tonfa-users are the minority in fiction is unknown, since nothing about this weapon is particularly feminine, and it's popular among male martial artists in RealLife[[/note]], and in any anime or manga where all kinds of weapons are already around they will often turn up somewhere down the line in the hands of a character, usually either a competent part of the hero's team or a major threat to the protagonists.

In real life, the common policeman's Nightstick is based upon this weapon, and in the end is just a modified version. It is preferred over regular batons because it is better for defense and looks less threatening. The main differences between them is that police use just one nightstick whereas with tonfas DualWielding is the norm, and that police forces usually don't train in the full use of the tonfa like martial artists do.

Might overlap with examples of bladed weapons that otherwise are tonfa shaped (along the arm). Such examples can potentially be found as type 3 of the trope [[BladebelowtheShoulder Blade below the Shoulder]].

Examples are users unless stated otherwise.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* Hibari of ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn''.
* Okina of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin''.
* Naizer, a Chrono Number of ''Manga/BlackCat''.
* Marie [[NorseMythology Mjollnir]] of ''Manga/SoulEater'' is one, despite also taking the form of a [[DropTheHammer hammer]].
** Kid wields Liz and Patty [[GangstaStyle upside-down]] so they can double as these in close-range combat.
* The Glasgow, Sutherland, and Vincent Ward in ''Anime/CodeGeass''.
* Gin, Don Krieg's first mate in ''Manga/OnePiece'' uses modified tonfas; his have weights on the striking ends.
* J.D. from ''VideoGame/NeoAngelique''.
* Elie of ''RaveMaster'' uses tonfas, using them to shoot bullets and, later, Etherion.
* Kuu Fei's pactio in the first ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' anime was a pair of these. In the manga, she got a SimpleStaff (that can grow and extend ala ''Journey to the West'').
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' introduced [[WarriorMonk Sister Schach]] and her Windenschaft, an [[EmpathicWeapon Armed Device]] that takes the form of bladed tonfas when active.
** ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid'' introduced Schach's student, Chantez, who fights with her own bladed tonfa-shaped Armed Device called Phantasma.
* Akane from ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}''. Her manga incarnation uses a standard set, while in the anime, her tonfas form a cross-shape pattern. Her MaiOtome incarnation also uses them with her Meister robe.
* The Gottorlatan, Kathejina's final mobile suit in ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'', wields beam tonfas.
** Shadow Gundam of ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' uses bladed tonfas.
* The title character of OtogiJuushiAkazukin wields a pair of bladed tonfas with small shields over the hand areas. Her fighting style is very swift as a result, often running up beside her opponents to slash at them from the sides.
* Resident {{Ninja}} Damemon from ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' uses these.
* Rock Lee briefly uses them in the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' anime, but Kisame breaks them with one swing of his {{BFS}}.
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' has the Shadowless Sword, a tonfa forged from light that nestles in the palm of a knifehand strike. [[spoiler:Its real purpose is to cancel out the {{Vibroweapon}}[=/=]{{Telefrag}} effect of the Dimension Sword, though Tsukune also seems to use them as proper tonfa while fighting Aqua.]]

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Mecha Sally used energy blade tonfas in [[ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic.]] When she was deroboticized by the CosmicRetcon she kept them.

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[[folder: Fan Fic ]]

* In FanFic/WinterWar, Takano Dan has dual tonfa as the shikai form of his zanpakutou.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Snake Eyes in ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* Karl Ruprecht Kroenen in ''Film/{{Hellboy}}'' uses bladed tonfas.
* [[JackieChan Ryo Saeba]] uses [[ImprovisedWeapon a pair of table legs as such]] in the LiveActionAdaptation of ''CityHunter''.
* He usually only uses the one, but at some point near the climax of ''Film/HotFuzz'', Nicholas Angel grabs a second baton and dual-wields them in this fashion.

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[[folder: LARP ]]

* Tonfas had to be banned in ''Swordcraft'', because several members of the group were police in their day jobs, and were too good with them.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the short-lived live-action show ''Series/NinjaTurtlesTheNextMutation'', Michaelangelo uses dual tonfas as his signature weapon, due to the MoralGuardians outlawing nunchucks on children's television in some areas.
* Series/KamenRiderFaiz has Kamen Rider [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish Psyga]].
* One of the rarer [[WeaponOfChoice personal weapon]] choices in ''Franchise/SuperSentai''/''Franchise/PowerRangers''. For some reason, all the examples here are Blue Rangers.
** [[Series/HikariSentaiMaskman Akira]]
** [[Series/ChourikiSentaiOhRanger Yuuji Mita]]/[[Series/PowerRangersZeo Rocky]]
** [[Series/HyakujuuSentaiGaoranger Kai]]/[[Series/PowerRangersWildForce Max]]
** [[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Retsu]]/[[Series/PowerRangersJungleFury Theo]]

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[[folder: Toys ]]

* Gresh's [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Jungle Shield]] from ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' [[BifurcatedWeapon splits]] into two tonfa-like blades.
* The Ford GT mold (used as both [[BlueBlood Mirage]] and [[RookieRedRanger Rodimus Prime]]) has two pistols, which in canon can be held upside down and used as tonfa.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Talim of the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' uses bladed tonfas, however you can equip her with the regular wooden sort as well.
* Orchid of ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' traded her {{Laser Blade}}s in the first game for a pair of these in the second.
* Rachel and Tracy of ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden''.
* Levin of ''WildArmsXF''.
* Melee Wanzers in ''VideoGame/FrontMission'' can rushdown other wanzers with tonfas, they can also stun, depending on the pilot's abilities.
* Used by [[HeroicMime Riou]], the main character of ''VideoGame/SuikodenII''. And his imposter, Hoi.
* Shows up as a findable weapon in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'', although it's misnamed as "nunchaku". It hits twice.
** The combination of the Mars and Cockatrice cards in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' allows protagonist Nathan Graves to attack with these. [[TakenForGranite They can turn enemies to stone]].
* Selectable weapon in ''[[VideoGame/NinjaGaiden Ninja Gaiden II]]''.
* Selectable weapon in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''.
* Can be found and used in ''[[LeftForDead Left For Dead II]]''.
* [[VideoGame/{{Strider}} Strider Hiryu]] uses a bladed tonfa.
* Yoko Kono and Red-Eye of ''LastBronx''.
* The signature weapon of the Apharmd class of Mecha in the ''VideoGame/VirtualOn'' series.
* Maris Brood of ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'' uses tonfa-{{l|aserBlade}}ightsabers.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'''s Lt. Col. Kilgore is a pair of [=RPG=]s wielded like tonfas, because [[RuleOfCool why not]]?
* The R-Blade in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series uses bladed tonfas.
* The Fighter class in ''DungeonFighterOnline'' has dual tonfas as one of her weapon sets. They're quite fast, second only to gloves in combo speed.
* Maki from ''FinalFight 2'' and ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha 3'' uses one.
* Makoto Nanaya from ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift''.
* Raven uses them in ''EveOfExtinction'', where they are the most advanced Legacy prototype and give him access to energy blasts. Josh gets his hands on them for the last level, where they lose that power but can make him ImmuneToBullets for their [[LimitBreak Legacy Drive]].
* Stryker from ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' fights with nightsticks in ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon Armageddon]]'', being a policeman.
** Jax, a military man, had these has his melee weapon of choice from ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance Deadly Alliance]]'' to ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon Armageddon]]''.
* Vyse's cutlasses in ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' have extra grips on the hilts to allow one to be wielded as a tonfa in his off-hand.
* The Recoil Rod of ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 3''. In concept art, it's wielded in two, but in-game Zero can only be seen using one at a time.
* Mao from ''VideoGame/TalesOfRebirth'' wields these, though being a mage, he doesn't actually hit anything with them much.
* Sun Ce from the ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' series provides the page image. He wields a pair of tonfas as his WeaponOfChoice in every entry but ''6'', as well as the [[VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi crossovers]].
** Guo Huai receives a MixAndMatchWeapon which can only be described as a large, studded tonfa with an ''autocannon'' in it, with the muzzle opening towards the grip-end and a [[BayonetYa blade below the barrel]]. He bashes, stabs, and shoots in about equal measure.
* Gallade from Franchise/{{Pokemon}} has natural tonfas that extend from the elbows when it is ready to fight.
* [[LoveFreak Xavi]] of ''Videogame/SengokuBasara'' wields handheld cannons that he uses like tonfas when he's not firing them. He can also use them as a RocketPoweredWeapon of sorts.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' introduced the Kronen, a massive bladed pair of tonfas, as the first example of these weapons available to the Tenno in Update 14.5.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In MutantNinjaTurtlesGaiden, [[spoiler: Renoir]] receives a pair of tonfas as a gift from his master.
* Noah of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' dual-wields what appear to be [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2011-04-27 flaming tonfas.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'': Park, Marilyn's BattleButler, established himself as a BadassNormal when he scored a couple good hits with dual tonfas on Colonel Glass, ''a level triple-A supervillain''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' Episode "Good Times With Weapons", Stan buys a pair of Tonfas.
* The title character in ''WesternAnimation/RandyCunninghamNinthGradeNinja'' sometimes uses these.

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