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Kobudo

The Okinawa International Hokama Kobudo Organization is an organization with branches in several countries and which goal is to teach and promote traditional Okinawan Kobudo (Okinawan Weapon Arts) as taught by Hokama Tetsuhiro Hanshi (10th Dan).  Hokama Tetsuhiro is known mainly for being the curator of the Okinawan Karate and Kobu-jutsu Museum and as an internationally recognized expert of “Old Style” Okinawa Goju Ryu from the Higa Seiko lineage.  But it is less known that he is also one of Okinawa’s leading Kobudo masters

Ryukyu kobudo is a hand-weapon art that finds its origins in the ancient Ryukyu Islands (present-day Okinawa). It makes use of a variety of long and short weapons, typically including the bo (staff, also known as kon), sai (iron fork), tonfa (millstone handle), nunchaku (horse bridle), and nicho kama (two sickles). Each has unique features, making them unlike other weapons found around the world.

     Like karatedo, which is a more commonly known martial art from the Ryukyus, the origins and development of Ryukyu kobudo are unclear in terms of era and lineage. However, kobudo kata (forms) remain to this day. Ancient masters of budo (martial arts) developed kata as a convenient way to remember techniques that they had learned in combat and through their own training.

     The weapon art of Ryukyu kobudo and the weaponless art of karatedo were originally two sides of the same coin. While karatedo became remarkably popular, however, Ryukyu kobudo remained relatively unknown. Master Yabiku Moden (1878-1841) and Master Mabuni Kenwa (1889-1952) were concerned about this and worked to promote Ryukyu kobudo and preserve its kata.

     Master Taira Shinken (1897-1970), who was a student of Yabiku Moden and is celebrated for his role in revitalizing Ryukyu kobudo, established the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Kenkyukai (Society for the Preservation and Research of Ryukyuan Kobudo) in 1940. He brought together eight types of Ryukyu kobudo as one discipline and devoted the rest of his life to promoting it.

Bo (Wooden Staff)
Sai (Trucheon)
Tonfa (Millstone Handle)
Nunchaku, (Rice Flail, or Horse Bit and Bridle)
Kama (Farming Sickle)
Tekko (Metal Knuckles)
Tinbe-rochin (Small Turtle Back Shield and Short Spear)
Surujin (Common Chain)
Eku (Boat Oar)
Tanbo (Short Staff or Stick)
Kuwa (Farming Hoe)
Nunti (A Staff with a Sai placed on the end)
Sansetkun (Three Sectional staff)