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Okinawan Weapons

Sai

Sai

Sai

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.

Advanced Sai uses 3, with one held in the belt behind ready for, and used for throwing. The tang is of the Korean classification and the pommel is variant to round, square or multi angled types much dependant on the emphasis of the makers usage.

The efficient use of the weapon is much reliant on the dexterity of the practitioner with his thumbs, which the tang is balanced and rotated on along with the loosening and tightening of the grip from the small finger for striking and consolidating power. The early use of the weapon makes the user appear stiff and robotic but as the training advances the flow and unity with body movement becomes ever more apparent. Sai is the practice of 'Shuto' in empty hand and emphasizes the need for 'Koshi no Chikara' (Hip power) and 'Suri Ashi' (sliding movement). The importance of body movement and good footwork is ever more apparent as the weapon is of a smaller classification than Bo. Advanced practitioners must learn to throw the Sai, a difficult requirement in view of the weight.

 

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