The practitioners of tessenjutsu could acquire a high level of skill. Some became so skilled, in fact, that they were able to defend themselves against an attacker wielding a sword, and even kill an opponent with a single blow. Like so many other Japanese arts of combat during this era, tessenjutsu reached a high level of sophistication. For example, a famous swordsman in the late 16th century, Ganryu, was able to defeat several enemies with an iron fan.
Apart from using it in duels against enemies armed with swords and spears, the skilled wielder could also use it to fence and fend off knives and poisoned darts thrown at him.
Tessenjutsu is still practiced by a few experts in Japan to this day.