KobuJitsu Weapons

BO / KON

Hans Kon 2 The ”Bō / Kon” is a six-foot long staff, sometimes tapered at either end. It was perhaps developed from a farming tool called a ”tenbin”: a stick placed across the shoulders with baskets or sacks hanging from either end. The bo was also possibly used as the handle to a rake or a shovel. The bo, along with shorter variations such as the ”[[Jo (weapon)|jo]]” and ”[[hanbo]]” could also have been developed from walking sticks used by travelers, especially monks. The bo is considered the ‘king’ of the Okinawa weapons, as all others exploit its weaknesses in fighting it, whereas when it is fighting them it is using its strengths against them. The bo is the earliest of all Okinawa weapons (and effectively one of the earliest of all weapons in the form of a basic staff), and is traditionally made from red or white oak.
Besides the Katana, the Bo reigns supreme as the master weapon used by the monks for Self defence.

TONFA

The Tonfa (Okinawan: トンファー tonfā, Malay: topang, Chinese: 柺; pinyin: guǎi), also known as tong fa or tuifa, is a melee weapon best known for its role in the armed component of Okinawan martial arts. It consists of a stick with a perpendicular handle attached a third of the way down the length of the stick, and is about 15-20 inches long. It was traditionally made from red or white oak and wielded in pairs.[2] The tonfa is believed to have originated in either China or Southeast Asia where it is used in the respective fighting styles. A similar weapon called the mae sun sawk, used in krabi krabong and tomoi, might be the original version of the weapon. This article will reference tonfa from this point forward.The tonfa measures about three centimeters past the elbow when gripped. There are three grips, honte-mochi (natural), gyakute-mochi (reverse) and tokushu-mochi (special). The starting grip, honte-mochi, places the handle in the hand with the long arm resting along the bottom of the forearm. This grip provides protection or brace along one’s forearms, and also provides reinforcement for uraken (back fist), hiji waza (elbow techniques) and punches. In use, the tonfa can swing out to the gyakute grip for a strike or thrust. Martial artists may also flip the tonfa and grab it by the shaft, called tokushu-mochi. This allows use of the handle as a hook in combat, similar to the kama(sickle).TONFA

This grip is uncommon but is used in the kata Yaraguwa.

 

NUNCHAKU

The Nunchaku is two sections of wood connected by a cord or chain. There is much controversy over its origins: some say it was originally a Chinese weapon, others say it evolved from a threshing flail, while one theory purports that it was developed from a horse’s bit. Chinese nunchaku tend to be rounded, whereas Okinawan ones are octagonal, and they were originally linked by horse hair. There are many variations on the nunchaku, ranging from the three sectional staff (san-setsu-kon) to smaller multi-section nunchaku

 


TEKKO

The Tekko is a form of Knuckleduster, and primarily takes its main form of usage from that of empty-hand technique, whilst also introducing slashing movements. The tekko is usually made to the width of the hand with anything between one and three protruding points on the knuckle front with protruding points at the top and the bottom of the knuckle. They can be made of any hard material but are predominantly found in aluminium, iron, steel, or wood.

 

SAI

The Sai is a three-pronged truncheon sometimes mistakenly believed to be a variation on a tool used to create furrows in the ground. This is highly unlikely as metal on Okinawa was in short supply at this time and a stick would have served this purpose more satisfactorily for a poor commoner, or Heimin. The sai appears similar to a short sword, but is not bladed and the end is traditionally blunt. The weapon is metal and of the truncheon class with its length dependent upon the forearm of the user. The two shorter prongs on either side of the main shaft are used for trapping (and sometimes breaking) other weapons such as a sword or bo. A form known as nunti sai, sometimes called manji sai (due to its appearance resembling the swastika kanji) has the two shorter prongs pointed in opposite directions, with another monouchiinstead of a grip.

 


TINBE-ROCHIN

The tinbe-rochin consists of a shield and spear. It is one of the least known Okinawan weapons. The tinbe (shield) can be made of various materials but is commonly found in vine or cane, metal, or archetypically, from a turtle shell (historically, the Ryūkyū Islands’ primary source of food, fishing, provided a reliable supply of turtle shells). The shield size is generally about 45 cm long and 38 cm wide. The rochin (short spear) is cut with the length of the shaft being the same distance as the forearm to the elbow if it is being held in the hand. The spearhead then protrudes from the shaft and can be found in many differing designs varying from spears to short swords and machete-style implements.


SURUJIN
 – MANRIKI GUSARI

The Surujin consists of a weighted chain or leather cord and can be found in two kinds: ‘tan surujin’ (short) and ‘naga surujin’ (long). The lengths are about 150–152 cm and 230–240 cm respectively. It is a weapon which can be easily hidden prior to use, and due to this fact can be devastatingly effective. In the modern era, found with a bladed instrument at one end and a weight at the other, the surujin techniques are very similar to those of the nunchaku. Leather cords are used for practice or kumite, whereas chains are favored for demonstration, but rope (most commonly of hemp) was the original material used.

 

EKU

The Okinawan style of oar is called an eku (this actually refers to the local wood most commonly used for oars), eiku, iyeku, or ieku. Noteworthy hallmarks are the slight point at the tip, curve to one side of the paddle and a roof-like ridge along the other. One of the basic moves for this weapon utilizes the fact that a fisherman fighting on the beach would be able to fling sand at an opponent. While not having the length, and therefore reach, of the bō, the rather sharp edges can inflict more penetrating damage when wielded properly.


KUWA

The hoe is common in all agrarian societies; in Okinawa, the kuwa has been also used as a weapon for as long as there have been farmers. Compared to garden-variety hoes, the handle tends to be thicker and usually shorter, both due to Okinawan stature, and the fact that much of the agriculture takes place on hillsides where long handles would be a hindrance. A classic shape of blade is a simple rectangle of steel with a sharp leading edge, but may also be forked with tines.

 

 

KATANA

Hans Sword 4