TRADITIONAL OKINAWAN WEAPONS
Bo-jutsu (technique of the handling of the stick), is a martial art born around the 1400's in the region of Chikin, and was later developed by different parts of Okinawa.During this time, the commercial interchange was based on exchange (an activity filled with violence), the reason for which the water bearers and shippers began to use the wood sticks they carried on their shoulders with bulks hanging in both ends, as defensive and offensive weapons. Later, with the necessity to protect themselves from the attacks of the Samurai, the techniques of combat were perfected for this wooden stick, which receives the name of "BO", converging itself into a terrible and powerful weapon. Bo-jutsu consists of basic movements and katas (forms) resultant of the effort made by the old teachers to perfect this art of battle, it is also used in the combat known as kumibo. It consists of 50% of defense techniques and 50% of attack techniques.In our style, solid positions (stances), and strength in the arms and wrist are needed to obtain the correct handling of the bo's techniques.
Like all insular towns, the fishing was a fundamental part of the life and economy of the Island of Okinawa. It is not strange that many had access to the use of the oars (ekubo in Okinawan language). The fishermen used the oars from their boats as elements of attack and defence against the Samurais. Soon the fishermen dominated this art, to the point that its technique arrived at a high degree of specialization, demanding a great mastering in order to achieve its handling. The difference between Bo and ekubo are in the offensive power. 80% of the movements of ekubo correspond to the attack, in which the physical unfolding, the agility, the speed and the forcefulness in its blows play a fundamental role in combat.
Originally the Tunfa or handle was an element used by the flour dealers to operate small and rudimentary mills that crumbled cereals. The necessity to develop techniques for combat that eluded the prohibition of the use of traditional weapons, incentivized the imagination of the Okinawan farmers, to turn this element of work into a powerful defensive weapon. It's design allows a firm blockade when supported on the forearm, its protection with each one of its ends acts like a prolongation of the knuckles. Its circular grip makes possible the movements, with no need to grasp it with rigidity. This weapon has a deep root within the kobudo, although many do not know its techniques. There exist katas (forms) for tunfa, kiso (basic movements) that includes different displacements, and also is applied in combat " tunfa against bo". In its techniques the power of the hands, the wrists and the forearm are fundamental. In order to obtain its correct use the performer must be agile, fast and forceful in his or hers deployments for attack, defence and counterattacks.
During the feudal time, the usage of this weapon was restricted to police officials, not only as a weapon, but as a symbol of class. The sai was used to stop the attack of skilled swordsmen and budokas, due to its lateral elements that besides protecting the grip, allowed the hitching of the katanas or the bo. As an offensive weapon, the attacks are directed to the enemy's superior zone (eyes, throat) and to the low zone of the abdomen. There also exist techniques to throw the sai in a fast and effective way. In earlier times three sai were used for this purpose, one was thrown and with the remaining two the combat was continued. The three sai were usually carried contained in the girder, or sometimes within cases, one on each side of the body and the remaining hidden in the back. Its use requires great speed and much skill in the wrist and fingers. The sai is a steel rod in where the grip, the main rod and the lateral elements are forged in a single piece; is a weapon without edge, but sharp.
Kamanti ("sickle of hand", in Okinawan language), is a tool of farming used as a net offensive weapon. Its use requires a great amount of effectiveness, since it's movements happen or graze near the zone of the head, being able to cause serious accidents or wounds.
A traditional wooden weapon used by carpenters and engineers, whose name comes from an ancient measurement of longitude called "ishaku". It is a weapon of defense, offense and counterattacks. The Shaku Bo requires great skill, agility and vision for its use in the combat.