Kobujutsu was developed as an art of self-defense when Okinawa was under subjugation and
weapons were not permitted. Okinawans learned to defend themselves without traditional
weapons (Katana “Japanese Sword”) or with whatever came to hand during a conflict. Minus the
Sai, objects that were readily at hand day-to-day during the feudal times were: Bo;
nunchaku; tuifa and kama. These weapons have been incorporated in Okinawan karate and the
arts associated with their use as supplementary kata training for more advanced students.
The typical Bo is a 6-foot staff of hard wood with an approximate one inch diameter that
is usually tapered at the ends. The use of the Bo is currently used in a folk dance
presented at festivals in addition to a genuine martial art. Over ten varieties of
Bojutsu exist in Okinawa and are considered very popular
The nunchaku is made of two sticks approximately 12 inches long and one inch in diameter connected by a nylon cord at the end. The centrifugal force produced when swing them makes it a very effective weapon. To use the nunchaku effectively requires considerable practice as to make the weapon one with the user.
Two pieces of rectangular wood, each about 16 inches long, with a grip handle attached to each one. The weapon can be used for defensive and offensive purposes by swinging, striking and or thrusting of the weapon.
Original use of the sai was to defend against attacks from swords, bo, nunchaku and tuifa. Sai are a pair of iron sticks approximately 16 inches long with u-shaped handles and are the heaviest of this group of weapons. When practiced, this is a very effective weapon for self-defense and also demonstrations.
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