Toraguchi takes training to the next level!
Although there are eight different weapons in Okinawan Kobudo, the most commonly used and generally viewed as the core of the art are the bo, jo, tong fa, and the sai. Each weapon has its own set of kata and techniques of use in combat. Today’s existing kata go back two or three hundred years or so; we can safely say that they were forged by masters experienced in combat.
The weapons that we teach at our school are the bo (6’staff), sai (forked prongs), jo (4’staff), the tong fa (tool for grinding rice into flower), kama (sickle), eku (oar), ulesi (a Filipino weapon), knife procedures, Iaido (the way of drawing the sword), and Kenjutsu, (the use of the sword in battle). The major purpose of training with weapons is to teach the difference between life and death. This comes about when a person realizes just how lethal weapons are. There is a drastic difference between fighting with an empty hand and fighting with a weapon. For example, a punch to the chest stuns, while the same technique done with a sword kills. Therefore training with weapons requires greater mental focus than empty hand training, and it helps students gain a greater appreciation for life.
In Kobudo the weapon is simply used as an extension of the body. Nearly all basic Karate-Do moves can be duplicated with a weapon in your hand, therefore, the perfection of basic moves is a necessity for weapons training. The most useful weapons for present day training are either the bo or the jo, usually made from oak. The same moves learned with these weapons can be applied to a broom, walking stick, umbrella or a rolled up newspaper.