Kobudo (Weapons)

Kobudo literally means “ancient martial way,” and refers to the weapons art of the Okinawan people. During the time when Kobudo was first developed, the Japanese Satsuma Samurai had occupied Okinawa and established a ban on weapons and all martial arts practice. The Okinawan people trained in secret and learned to use everyday tools as weapons. They learned to adapt almost anything they could into a weapon, including farm tools and household items. Many of the weapons and practices of the ancient Okinawan Warriors have been forgotten. We strive to keep this part of the art and its customs alive to this day.

The Kobudo portion of our program teaches students how to use the traditional Okinawan Karate weapons. Students enjoy learning history, kata, and techniques for various weapons such as the bo, nunchaku, sai, kama, tonfa, and eiku.


The staff has been viewed as a weapon by almost all cultures worldwide and the Okinawan people were no different. This six foot staff could easily pass as a simple tool like a walking stick, however in a fight its reach and versatility can be unmatched.


The nunchaku were originally used as horse bridles, however people quickly discovered that they could be used as a flail to fend off attackers. This weapon was made popular by the Chinese movie star Bruce Lee.


Sai were believed to always be a weapon however its origins are unclear. Many countries have used a similar weapon including China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Okinawan people were able to pass it off as a simple tool to dig with or even hold a horse cart to its hitch, like a bolt or cotter pin. This weapon is used for defending attacks, hooking weapons or opponents, striking and stabbing.


Kama were simply a sickle used for everyday life on the farm, but with a razor sharp curved blade it’s not hard to see how this could be used as a weapon. In the hands of a martial arts the kama can be a lethal weapon.


Originally the tonfa were handles on a grinding stone. The tonfa became a weapon that was practical for offense and defense. It was so useful, that the police even adopted it as their baton.


The eiku was an Okinawan style boat ore. It was a common weapon for fisherman to use. Not only would they strike with this weapon but they also used the flat part of the ore to throw sand into an attacker’s eyes, leaving him blind and helpless.


The nuntibo is a six foot bo with a curved manji sai at the end of it. Originally it was a tool used to help control and bring in fishing nets on the boat, however it is a very practical weapon. It can be used to stab like a spear or hook and control an enemy or his weapon.