Sunday, October 22, 2017



The kama is a traditional farming sickle, and considered one of the hardest to learn due to the inherent danger in practicing with such a weapon.



The point at which the blade and handle join in the "weapon" model normally has a nook with which a bo can be trapped, although this joint proved to be a weak point in the design.



The edge of a traditional rice sickle, such as one would purchase from a Japanese hardware store, continues to the handle without a notch, as this is not needed for its intended use.





Eku (sometimes spelled eiku or ieku) is an ancient weapon of Okinawan kobudō that originated from an oar, approximately 160 cm in length.

According to myth, the oar was traditionally adapted for use as a weapon of self-defense by fishermen against foes armed with more conventional weapons. In fact the Japanese had already conquered Okinawa and put their old officers to work teaching the commons some weaponry in order to put them first in line against a possible Chinese invasion.

However, since quality weapons were expensive, the civilians had to use what equipment they had; the Ryukyu oar (in Okinawa "eku" or "eiku") came to represent the naginata.







The nunchaku (Japanese: ヌンチャク, Hepburn: nunchaku, is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. The two sections of the weapon are commonly made out of wood, while the link is a cord or a metal chain.

 The exact origin of nunchaku is unclear. Allegedly adapted by Okinawan farmers from a non-weapon item.
 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




The term Tinbe-Rochin refers to an arms and armor combination of a short spear (rochin) and a shield (tinbe). It is one of the least well-known Okinawan weapon systems. The tinbe can be made of various materials but is commonly found in vine, cane, metal, or turtle shell.


The length of the rochin is usually equivalent to the length of the forearm and can be found in many differing designs varying from spears to short swords and machete-style implements. In use, the techniques tend to be circular in order to avoid excessive contact with the shield. The short spear is predominantly used in an upward stabbing motion, piercing armor under the rib cage, armpits, and throat although dependent upon the type of Rochin used, slashing motions can also be employed.

Kobudo: Tools, Weapons and Customs Okinawa 1950s

Some old footage from the 1950s of Kobudo weapons in everyday use on Okinawa: Kama, Eku, Kuwa, Timbe

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Taira with Tekko

One of the more unusual and little known weapons employed in Ryukyu Kobudo are the tekko(also known as tikko Okinawa dialect.

The Tekko evolved after five stages of development. The first, called the "Yawara", consisted of nothing more than a stick or rod, held in the inside the hand. The "chize kun bo", a stick with a loop of rope, which the user could attach to the hand for control,] came second. Third, the "Teko" resembled the "chize kun bo" but, rather than a rope, had a sharpened wooden extension of the stick, which fit between the first or second finger. An Okinawan tool to help fisherman weave, or haul in their nets without cutting their hand on coral, or a long hairpin used by Okinawan Bushi called a "kanzashi", quite possibly served as the inspiration for this design. The Teko appeared in hardwood form, and as soft molded metal so as to greater increase the mass of the hand.


The fourth stage, or "Tek Chu", allowed for increased function over its predecessors in that it "extended beyond the clenched fist", "a distinct advancement in the evolution of fist-loaded weaponry". The design consisted either of a wooden stick carved with a wooden extension with a finger hole, or of a metal rod with and metal finger ring The bearer held the rod in hand, with the ring around a finger. The Tek Chu often included a carved point or a metal spike protruding from the ring.[1]


Use of the true "Tekko" per se started with the "Horseshoe Tekko". Because weapons were banned in Okinawa, the Okinawans sought to put otherwise agricultural implements to martial use. "The use of the horseshoe appears to have originated when Bushi in Okinawa used the shoes of their horses as make-shift weapons to defend themselves against surprise attack. "They simply put a horseshoe into the hand to punch with" (Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobjutsu Federation). Held as a "U" with the hand in the middle, the two ends extended outwards.


Practitioners also tied two horseshoes together directly facing and overlapping each other. This design provided greater hand mass, and defensive guard, but resulted in larger weapons, not easily concealed, and more difficult to learn. The improved horseshoe tekko featured the two horseshoes welded together. However, the popularity of the horseshoe tekko faded, as attention turned to the smaller, more concealable horse stirrup.


The horse stirrup ("abumi") version consists of a semicircle, with two ends connected by a bar. Some think of this as solely a fist-loaded weapon: primarily a form of knuckleduster (brass knuckles). However, stirrup of Okinawan lineage does not have dividers to separate the fingers. Furthermore, the traditional stirrup tekko consists of light metal and wood, whereas modern day manufacturers of the knucklebuster version tend to focus on heavy metals such as brass, although modern models made out of such diverse materials as aluminium, wood, steel, iron, and even plastic do exist.


Innoue School Tekko

Kensho Tokumura Tokushin-No-Tekko Kata.

Kobudo Matayoshi tekko,bo,tonkwa




Friday, October 20, 2017

Kuwa - the Okinawan Hoe

Another Okinawan kobudo practice is that of the Kuwa, of the Hoe.

A tool for gardening and farming, it would have been readily available in the Okinawan farmers life, It also can be used in a devastating manner for defensive purposes.

Using the Kuwa

When people first think about using the kuwa, they usually imagine a big gashing motion with the blade edge. It would seem at first glance that this is the most devastating move for the weapon. While that is indeed an option, there are actually more dynamic tactics you can utilize.


First of all, the egashira (top end) can be used for thrusting purposes. As opposed to relying purely on large swinging motions, the kuwa can be prepped almost like a bo and thrust forward at extremely quick velocity. Due to its relatively small size, the egashira can also be pulled back quickly and “reloaded” for another thrust.


The reverse end of the egashira (as in, the side opposite the cutting hoe blade), is also utilized. Swinging motions with this part of the kuwa result in blunt trauma. This may seem less effective than a full-on blade strike, but it also allows for quick follow-up techniques. If there are multiple opponents, or reasons to hit one opponent more than once, it is critical not to get the blade stuck or snagged in the opponent’s clothes, body, etc.


The ejiri (butt end) is an equally important aspect of kuwa technique. If you have a hoe with a thick metal blade plate, it can be fairly hefty at the top. This results in slower movements, especially when compared to a perfectly balanced weapon like a sword. In order to compensate for that disadvantage, one can use the ejiri as the initial blocking and striking aspect, and then follow up with a finishing technique with the solid front end.


The ejiri can be manipulated very quickly. When holding a kuwa with the ejiri facing your opponent and the heavy metal end to the rear, the metal actually serves as a fulcrum and helps increase the speed and dynamics of the ejiri. What results is a tool that can keep pace even with fast weapons, but can then follow up with punishing, heavy blows

 From the site


The following are some of the Okinawan kobudo studies that incorporate the Kuwa.



Shihan Nishiuchi




Matayoshi kobudo Kodokan Kata: Kuwa no te



Mushikan Kuwa Okinawa kobudo