Kobudō is a martial arts weaponry systems originating on the island of Okinawa in Japan. The primary Kobudō training at Okinawan Martial Arts concentrates on the handling and manipulation of takes 4 primary weapons (see diagram below):
- Rokushaku Bō – a long wooden staff
- Sai – a piercing weapon made from iron
- Tonfa – a side-handle baton (used as a model for police nightsticks)
- Nunchaku – two wooden sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope
Advanced students may also study and train with the Tanbo, Eku, Kama, Testuko/Tekko, Tinbe/Rochin, and other weapons.
Like brother and sister, Karate Do (traditional karate techniques) and Kobudō go hand in hand: without Karate Do, Kobudō cannot be taught and without Kobudō, Karate Do cannot be discussed in full. While it is common to think that with the birth of Karate Do came the birth of Kobudō, some historians and researchers believe that Kobudō has an older history than Karate Do. Whichever way, separating them would be telling a deformed and incomplete version of the Okinawan Martial Arts.