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Okinawan Weapons
(Kobudo)
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The Bo is one of the oldest martial weapons, and to many the most versatile. The Bo is the main stay of RyuKyu Kobudo having more kata than any other weapon. The Bo or Roku Shaku Bo as it is more precisely known (a shaku is a unit of measurement almost a foot long), is the predominant kind of Bo used and attracts the most interest by practitioners. [moreĽ]


Jo [moreĽ]

The royal palace guards specialized in the Jo, or four foot staff, and three foot hanbo ("half Bo"), within the confined spaces of the sleeping (and other private) quarters of Shuri Castle and similar places. [moreĽ]


Sai [moreĽ]

The Sai has become, to many, the virtual symbol of Okinawan Kobudo. The weapon is metal and of the truncheon class with its length dependent upon the forearm of the user. When held it should be about 3cm longer than the forearm and generally Sai are used in pairs. [moreĽ]


Tuifa [moreĽ]

There is in principal only one kind of Tuifa although the shaft varies in shape from round to rectangular. History has also shown the butt ends to be pointed but this is extremely rare. There are only a few so called traditional kata for the tuifa, although many more basic, or training, kata have been developed in more recent times. [moreĽ]


Kama [moreĽ]

The bladed weapon, the kama was a genuine farmer's tool. It was used as a weapon in many villages for centuries. This weapon brings to the practitioner the feel of steel and the hint of fear a live blade gives. The techniques for the kama include any number of multiple slashing, hooking, thrusting and blocking maneuvers, executed with two kama, or Nichokama. [moreĽ]


Nuchaku [moreĽ]

The nunchaku is the most controversial of the weapons of the Ryukyu but in essence the least properly explored. Made preferably of red or white oak, or a heavy wood, the sections are tapered from the chord end (2.5cm) to the predominant strike end (3.3cm). The shafts vary from octagonal to round in shape and the weight is dependent on the strength of the user. Again too light and there is no power, and too heavy and the movement is slow and ponderous. [moreĽ]


Eku [moreĽ]

The Eku was, and is, a genuine tool of Okinawan fisherman. Its popularity was obviously greatest in fishing areas, like Tomari and some of the outlying islands.
The Okinawan oar is only slightly shorter in length than a Bo, and has a long narrow paddle. One side of the paddle is flat, or gently convex, while the other side is peaked. The tip is rounded or slightly pointed.
[moreĽ]


Nitanbo [moreĽ]

A most practical technique is the use of Nitanbo, or two short sticks. It is a method similar to the well known Philippine Escrima, or Arnis, and may even have come to Okinawa via the Philippines. Nitanbo are not considered common weapons in China, but they can be found in Southern White Crane systems, such as "Two Short Rods". [moreĽ]


Tekko [moreĽ]

Legally the most controversial of the Ryukyu weapons the Tekko is the smallest weapon, bringing the exponent closest to open hand techniques. The term 'knuckle duster' creates images of darker methods of fighting but in actuality attacks clearly defined points vulnerable to the taste of metal. [moreĽ]


Tembe Rochin [moreĽ]

This weapon is the most glamorous of the Ryukyu system and exudes a feeling of history long gone. The usage however is more akin to a combination of Zulu fighting and European sword and small shield fighting.
The Tembe (Shield) can be made of various material but is commonly found in vine or cane, metal, or for presentation, in turtle shell. The shield size is generally about 45 cm long and 38 cm wide.
[moreĽ]


Nuntebo [moreĽ]

An interesting weapon that is not often seen in Japan proper, the Nunti, or Nunte, is also known formally as a Nuntesu or Nuntebo. It is a type of Sai with points, or tips, on both ends, rather than a handle. In addition, one of the tines is reversed, so that there is a sort of "double sai" effect. [moreĽ]

*from United States Kobudo Kai International Website

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