Bo -The “Rokushaku” six foot staff is considered the most important of the Ryukyu Kobudo weapons and the most difficult to master. Versatile as an everyday  farming implement as well as a weapon, either end may be used. Today, there are thirteen accepted Bo kata but there many more village forms still practiced. Okinawan Bo’s are generally made from red oak and are heavy, slightly flexible and tapered toward both ends.

Sai, a short, three pronged metal trident, is generally used in pairs and has spearing, hooking, blocking and striking capabilities. Said to have come to Okinawa from China, it was originally designed as a fighting instrument.

Eku (Kai in Japanese) is an oar or paddle used by the local Okinawan fisherman. These oar were usually hand carved and size and shapes varied from one village to another. The technique which identifies the Okinawan Kata is digging the tip of the oar in the beach sand and flicking it in the face of the opponent before attacking.

Kama, a common sickle with a sharp curved steel blade and wooden handle used by Okinawan people daily for a variety of farming functions was usually used in pairs when used as a weapon. Taira Shinken Sensei was taught this kata by Kanegawa Gibu Sensei and bears his name.

Tinbe (Sheild) and Rochin (Short spear) were the tools of the local fishermen. Tinbe was generally a turtle shell and the rochin was used to kill the intruder fish when the net was pulled in. This kata was also taught to Taira Shinken by Kanegawa Gubu Sensei and is recognized by a forward roll, followed by a kneeling block with the tinbe and an upward spear with the rochin.

Tekko - Originally the tekko were metal horseshoes carried inside the kimono sleeve to be used to block in case of self defense. Two were oppositely tied together to form a handle. The modern Kata resembles a Funakoshi Gichin kata with tekko in each hand and employs vertical punches. Named after Taira, it is called Maezato no Tekko

Nunchaku were originally a wooden horse bridle and could be easily concealed in the sleeve of the kimono. When swung in a figure eight motion, it develops a tremendous amount of centrifugal force. Two of the most frequently practiced kata are Maezato (Taira) no nunchaku, and Akamine Sensei’s personal form bearing his name. 

Tunfa  (Tuifa, Tonfa, Teefa, Cheifa or Tunkwa)  was originally the detachable handle of a primitive grindstone used to grind rice, corn,  beans, etc. Used in pairs and swung in a figure eight pattern, this  tool also  develops incredible centrifugal force.  

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