Traditional Okinawan Weaponry (Kobudo) is an integral part of training to become a well-rounded martial artist. Responsible use of the weapons is taught and safety is a top priority, as it is in all we do.
Weapons training starts roughly around green belt, with Instructors approval. Beginners start with the bo, or long staff and foam nunchaku.
Intermediate students start to learn weapons katas and the use of the sai. When they are advanced, students train with wooden nunchaku and tonfa. We also focus on a different weapon each month to keep it versatile.
Periodically, students will have the opportunity to train with other traditional weapons such as kamas, jo (short staff), chizi con bo, te no euchi, katana, tan bo, and eiku.
Here are the weapons we train with:
The bo is a wooden staff 5 to 6 Feet long. The
width of the bo tapers from about 1 inch In
diameter at the center to about 3/4 inches at each end. The length of the bo is usually made to fit the user; however, the average length is 6 Feet.
The bo is manipulated with both hands and is used to smash, slash, poke and entrap. The length of the bo makes it one of the most effective weapons.
The nunte bo is simply a bo with a manji
sai attached to one end. It is manipulated In much the same manner as the bo, except that only the manji sai end is used. The manji sai allows stabbing and hooking with the point and prongs.
The kama is a steel bladed weapon that is used In pairs. The blade is 6 to 8 inches long and the oval shaped handle is 12 to 18 inches long. The handle is used for blocking and poking and the blade to cut. The kama is normally held with the blade away from the user, but can be flipped so that the handles are forward.
The manji sai is a metal weapon much like the sai, except that prongs Face In opposite directions and the handle is also pointed. The manji sai is used In much the same way as the sai.
The nunchaku are two sticks, usually hexagon In shape, tied together with rope at one end. The nunchaku is used as a flail or the two sticks, one In each hand, can be used to entrap and entangle limbs and weapons. The nunchaku is usually 12 to 14 inches long.
The tonfa, used In pairs, are wooden weapons 18 to 24 inches long. Handles mounted about 4 inches from the end allow the tonfa to spin, extending the length and adding momentum to the strike. The shape of the tonfa varies from round, half-round, square or a combination. The tonfa can be reversed so that the handles can be used to strike or hook.
The jo is wooden staff 48 to 50 inches In length and tapering like a bo. Sometimes a jo has a reverse taper, being larger at both ends.
The jo is normally manipulated with both hands; however, it is sometimes used with one with one hand. The jo is a close quarters combat weapon, where a bo may be too long.
The eku is simply a boat oar. The length of the eku is about 5 Feet and about 1/2 of its length is flattened to form the paddle surface. The eku is manipulated similar to the bo that the flat surface can be used to slash much like a bladed weapon.
Chizi Kun Bo
The chizi kun bo are two small sticks about 6 inches long and 1/2 inch In diameter. They are held In each hand with a string that is attached to the middle finger. Being a small weapon, it is used to enhance striking techniques and tuite techniques.
The sai is a metal weapon 18 to 24 inches long. Protruding above the handle are prongs used trap the hands or weapon of the attacker. The sai is manipulated by flipping from the handle to the point. It is used to poke, Punch, strike and trap.
The tan bo are 2 sticks about 24 inches long and 1 to 1 1/4 inches In diameter. Normally used In pairs, but useful as a single weapon, the tan bo has many applications today, especially In Police work. The single tan bo is similar to the police baton. The tan bo can be used to strike, poke, and entrap.