The basis of Bo technique is use of hand, techniques derived from Tang Soo do and other martial arts that reached Korea via trade and Chinese monks. Thrusting, swinging, and striking techniques often resemble empty-hand movements, following the philosophy that the Bo is merely an “extension of one’s limbs”. Attacks are often avoided by agile footwork and returning strikes made at the enemy’s weak points.
The Bo is typically gripped in thirds, and when held horizontally in front, the right palm is facing away from the body and the left hand is facing the body, enabling the Bo to rotate. The power is generated by the back hand pulling the Bo, while the front hand is used for guidance. When striking, the wrist is twisted, as if turning the hand over when punching. Bo technique includes a wide variety of blocks, strikes, sweeps, and entrapments. The Bo may even be used to sweep sand into an opponent’s eyes. Continue reading “Bo Staff” →
A bokken ( bok(u), “wood”, and ken, “sword”) (or a bokutō , as they are instead called in Japan) is a Japanese wooden sword used for training. It is usually the size and shape of a katana, but is sometimes shaped like other swords, such as the wakizashi and tantō. Some ornamental bokken are decorated with mother-of-pearl work and elaborate carvings. Sometimes it is spelled “boken” in English. Bokken should not be confused with shinai, practice swords made of flexible bamboo.
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Tai chi sword is known as the “king of the short range weapons” for Tai chi. At an overall length of about 3 feet, The double edged sword is a good tool to use to judge overall Tai chi proficiency of the player, as any mistakes in the tai chi movements are made visible in the tip of the blade.The sword is a natural amplifier, which consistently and impartially reflects the mistakes of its user. If the swordsman’s grip and cut are incorrect, his sword may wobble, or even ring. When the position of his wrist is wrong by one inch, the tip of the blade may be wrong by one foot. Continue reading “Taichi Sword” →
Kusarigama at Iwakuni Castle
The kusarigama (lit. “chain-sickle”) is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of a kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) on a kusari-fundo – a type of metal chain (kusari) with a heavy iron weight (fundo) at the end. The kusarigama is said to have developed during the Muromachi period.The art of handling the kusarigama is called kusarigamajutsu. Continue reading “Kusari-Gama” →
The three-sectional staff, triple staff, three-part staff, sansetsukon in Japanese, or originally sanjiegun ( is a Chinese flail weapon that consists of three wooden or metal staffs connected by metal rings or rope. The weapon is also known as panlong gun, “coiling dragon staff”. A more complicated version of the two section staff, the staves can be spun to gather momentum resulting in a powerful strike, or their articulation can be used to strike over or around a shield or other defensive block. Continue reading “Sectional Staff” →
A balisong, also known as a fan knife, butterfly knife or Batangas knife, is a folding pocketknife. Its distinct features are two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. A balisong with the latch on the “safe” handle, opposite the cutting edge, is called a Manila folder.
The balisong was commonly used by Filipinos, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. A common stereotype is that a Batangueño carries one everywhere he or she goes. Hollow-ground balisongs were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. Blunt versions of these knives, called “trainers”, are for sale to practice tricks without the risk of injury.
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Before its arrival in Okinawa, the sai was already being used in other Asian countries including India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It may have been brought to Okinawa from one or several of these places simultaneously. Silat practitioners typically refer to the sai either as chabang in Indonesian or tekpi in Malay. Based on the Indian trisula, early evidence in the form of Japanese art shows that the chabang predates the sai’s use in Okinawa and China. The word trisula itself can refer to both a long or short-handled trident. Because the trisula was created in South Asia, it is possible that the sai originated in India and spread along with Hinduism and Buddhism. This is supported by the fact that the trisula is important as a Hindu-Buddhist symbol.
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A Japanese war fan is a fan designed for use in warfare. Several types of war fans were used by the samurai class of feudal Japan and each had a different look and purpose.
War fans varied in size, materials, shape, and use. One of the most significant uses was as a signalling device.Signalling fans came in two varieties:
A real fan that has wood or metal ribs with lacquered paper attached to the ribs and a metal outer cover
A solid open fan made from metal and/or wood, very similar to the gunbai used today by sumo referees.
The commander would raise or lower his fan and point in different ways to issue commands to the soldiers, which would then be passed on by other forms of visible and audible signalling. Continue reading “Steel Fan” →
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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