Jul 4, 2018 | in Weapons

2 martial artists fighting with sai and staffStrictly translated, the Japanese word kobudo covers all ancient martial traditions, armed or unarmed, of Okinawa or Japan. Today, when specifically referring to Okinawan traditions, the term kobudo is most often used to describe the weapons of the Ryukyu Islands.

These weapons include:

 

  • sai (iron truncheon)
  • Bō (Six foot staff)
  • nunchaku (horse bridle)
  • kama (sickle)
  • tekko (metal knuckles)
  • tsuifa (millstone handle)
  • eiku (oar)
  • suruchin (weighted rope)
  • timbi (shield and short spear)

 

Kobudo is an Okinawan term that refers to Kobujutsu or, ancient weapon art. In 1477, during the Second Sho

Dynasty, swords and other weapons were banned from Okinawa and the Ryukyu islands by Emperor Shoshin. All weapons on the island were collected and garrisoned in his royal castle in Shuri on Okinawa. It was as a direct result of Shoshin's edict that Okinawans turned to the development of karate (open hand) fighting. Although kobudo weapons are not really a part of karate, their development has shadowed the development and evolution of karate to the degree that they are almost inseparable. In 1600 the Japanese invaded and occupied Okinawa. As a conquering army they used the continued prohibition of weapons as a method of controlling the population.

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