The kama is a traditional Japanese farming implement similar to a sickle used for reaping crops and also employed as a weapon. It is often included in weapon training segments of martial arts. Sometimes referred to as kai or “double kai”, kama made with intentionally dull blades for kata demonstration purposes are referred to as kata kai. Before being improvised as a weapon, the kama was widely used throughout Asia to cut crops, mostly rice. It is found in many shapes and forms in Southeast Asia and is particularly common in martial arts from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is also used in Chinese martial arts but not often. From one or both of these areas, the kama was brought to Okinawa and incorporated into the martial art of te (hand) and later karate (empty hand). Continue reading “Kama”
The tonfa 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 (380–510 mm) long. It was traditionally made from red or white oak and wielded in pairs. 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 Mai sok san is used in Krabi-krabong and tomoi.
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An original kubotan keychain with keys attached
Kubotan (sometimes erroneously spelled as kubaton or kobutan) is a genericized trademark for a self-defense keychain weapon developed by Sōke Takayuki Kubota in the late 1960s. It is typically no more than 5.5 inches (14 centimetres) long and about half an inch (1.25 centimetres) in diameter, slightly thicker or the same size as a marker pen. The material is usually of a hard high-impact plastic (e.g. Lexan). The body of the Kubotan is lined with six round grooves with a screw eye or swivel and split ring attachment at one end for keys. In addition, it is widely used as a self defense weapon. Continue reading “Kubaton”
Nunchaku also known as nunchucks, chucks or chain sticks is a traditional weapon and consists of two sticks connected at their ends with a short chain or rope.
The popular belief is that the nunchaku was originally a short Southeast Asian flail used to thresh rice or soybeans (that is, separate the grain from the husk). It is possible that it was developed in response to the moratorium on edged weaponry under the 17th century, and that the weapon was most likely conceived and used exclusively for that end, as the configuration of actual flails and bits are unwieldy for use as a weapon. Also, peasant farmers were forbidden conventional weaponry such as arrows or blades so they improvised using only what they had available, farm tools such as the sickle.
However, it seems that mythology surrounding the origins of the nunchaku has little historical accuracy. Unlike rice flail, original nunchaku had curved arms, resembling an horse bit, which gave rise to the theory that nunchaku was originally a horse bridle. Yet another theory asserts that it was adapted from an instrument carried by the village night watch, made of two blocks of wood joined by cord. The night watch would hit the blocks of wood together to attract people’s attention and then warn them about fires and other dangers. According to Chinese folklore, the nunchaku is a variation of the two section staff. Continue reading “Nunchaku”
The hook sword, twin hooks, fu tao, hu tou gou (tiger head hook) or shuang gou is a Chinese weapon traditionally associated with northern styles of Chinese martial arts and Wushu weapons routines, but now often practiced by southern styles as well.Reliable information on hook swords is difficult to come by. While sometimes called an ancient weapon and described as dating from the Song dynasty to Warring States or even earlier, most antique examples and artistic depictions are from the late Qing era or later, suggesting that they are actually a comparatively recent design. They were also an exclusively civilian weapon, appearing in none of the official listings of Chinese armaments. Surviving sharpened examples point to actual use as weapons, but their rarity, and the training necessary to use them, strongly suggest that they were only rarely used as such.
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A shuriken literally: “hidden hand blade”) is a Japanese concealed weapon that was used as a hidden dagger or metsubushi to distract or misdirect.
Shuriken came in a variety of forms; some were manufactured, while others were improvised from tools. The edges of shuriken were often sharpened, so they could be used to penetrate skin or open arteries.
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