WEAPONS IN MARTIAL ARTS
IN THE UNIVERSE OF MARTIAL ARTS ,WEAPONS PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE, AS THEY ARE SOMETIMES CONSIDERED TO BE THE SOUL OF THE WARRIORS WHO HAVE THEM , HERE WE WILL FEATURE SOME OF THEM.
In the 1970’s, Bruce Lee’s film Enter the Dragon gave the western world its first glimpse of the ancient martial arts weapon the nunchaku. The strange twirling weapon was comprised of two sticks held together by a small chain. It had the ability to strike an opponent from long range or choke him while in close quarters.This weapon, however, was not a construct of the film. Its origins date back many years to previous centuries.
While most think of classical Chinese,
Okinawan, and Japanese martial arts along the lines of empty hand systems such
as Jujitsu, weapons were a significant part of all combat styles. Most of these
weapons derived from farming implements as many martial artists were also
Some sketchy historical records note the nunchaku originated from modifying a staff into sections linked with a chain for use as a weapon. However, most research into the subject points to the nunchaku as being used primarily as a farming tool for threshing rice and soy.
Where did the Nunchaku Originate?
Contrary to popular belief, the nunchaku did not originate in Okinawa as many assume. The nunchaku originated in the Song Dynasty in China and later made its way to Okinawa in the 17th century. (The Japanese term nunchaku derives from the southern Chinese term no-chiat kun) But, how did the nunchaku develop into a martial arts device? Because weapons were illegal in Okinawa, the nunchaku “farm implement” was incorporated into karate and jujitsu weaponry systems. Since it was primarily used for farming, the nunchaku would not be confiscated by the authorities.
Do to its exotic nature and cinema exposure the nunchaku is still studied in modern dojos, although sometimes know as the westernised nunchucks. Arguably due to popular movie culture, it’s one of the most popular martial arts weapon ever devised.
The Bo staff on the surface is one of the most simplistic of all Japanese weapons. Used in many different art forms from karate to jujitsu, the Bo staff is one of the most destructive and adaptive weapons available to the martial artist.The Bo Staff is used extensively in Jujitsu kobudo (weapon training) as it offers a range of opportunities for disciplining kata, footwork, distancing and control.
Unlike many other martial weapons, the has a very long range an enable the
attacker to have superior reach on his opponent. Most Bo staffs are about 1.8m
long, although the concept of a wooden stave as a weapon can be found easily in
most cultures – the Quarter Staff in medieval English for example that rose to
popular culture fame through the duel of Robin Hood and Little John.
An expert armed with a Bo can keep a much heavily armored and
armed opponent at bay frustrating and neutralising their effectiveness. While
this weapon can not be easily concealed, it is so common that most armed opponents
will not even think twice about it. For example, in these times it could easily
be disguised by carrying buckets or baskets. These buckets would be carried on
either end and the would be draped across the back.
Simply set the buckets down, slide the staff out and you are instantly armed.
The key is that you are trained in the proper technique to make the weapon as
effective as possible.
staffs have a history of being used throughout mankind, the Asian martial
artist has taken this weapon and turned it into an art form. The staff is
traditionally about two meters long and three centimeters thick.While
the weapon has been used informally since the earliest recorded history, a
martial art called kobudo emerged from Okinawa in the early 1600s that featured
this weapon. The reason for this was one of necessity as all the commoners of
Okinawa were banned from having weapons. This ban forced the people to find
other ways to defend themselves and using a simple staff proved to be the best.
The is known as one of the deadliest edged weapons originating from Oriental cultures, perhaps through western movies and culture, but rightfully also through the hundreds of thousands who have died by its edge.
The origins of the Katana are somewhat unclear; however, it is commonly
attributed to a mixture of both Chinese and Japanese craftsmanship. Some people
will tell you one thing, other will insist on the opposite. There is a lot of
evidence the Katana was introduced to Japan from China, although in a early
form.The term Samurai, commonly used to describe the members of the
Japanese warrior class during the 15th-19th centuries, is often associated with
the Katana sword, as in feudal Japan anyone else was prohibited from using
them. This deadly sword is a natural evolution of craftsmanship: starting as a
hefty “greatsword”, and changing with time into a more agile, lighter blade
which was required in faster battles. The Katana is often distinguished from
many other swords by the fact that it sits blade edge (Ha in Japanese) up in
its sheath, allowing the warrior to draw the Katana and slice his opponent with
a single motion. In fact the art of drawing and cutting the Katana is known as
History of the Katana
The familiar version of the first began to appear in the Muromachi period of Japanese history, 1392-1573 AD. The Japanese history of edged weapon craftsmanship stretches back over 2,000 years. This relatively small island nation is a historically renowned home to some of the finest weapon-smiths since its rise to political and military power.The use of a Katana is commonly used in Jujitsu training, to complement the unarmed nature of the martial art – in fact there are many Jujitsu sensei who will tell you Jujitsu was used as a ‘backup’ for armed soldiers when their blade was lost
A true Katana measures in length greater than 60 cm and is a
thin, curved and ultra sharp blade.This
style of weaponry was officially born during feudal Japanese times. During this
historic period, the Jujitsu-trained Samurai class even began carrying their
swords differently. The length of the blades were increased and the warriors,
although traditionally carried blade down, began to carry them blade up. The
reasoning of this was to increase their kill time. With the blade already
facing up, a samurai sword could be thrust through an opponent much faster and
with deadlier accuracy.A range
of samurai swords are commonly trained with in Jujitsu – Katana and Wakizashi
mainly, although lower belts will more often than not start training with
wooden bokken to avoid losing ears!
What Defines a Samurai Sword
The samurai sword itself is forged out of a treated Japanese steel. The must pass the steel through a special forging process and the heating and cooling temperatures must be accurate in order to ensure the metal does not break. The blade begins straight but becomes curved during a special process called quenching. This is a specialized process of cooling the metal.
A Samurai’s sword requires special care even after it has been forged. Due to the delicate nature of the metal compound, it is prone to rust, therefore must be cleaned and polished regularly even if it is placed in storage. The sweat from the samurai hands alone will cause the metal to rust. As the warriors primary weapon, the sword takes care of the Samurai in turn the Samurai must care for his blade.broken in combat. At its inception, Jujitsu was a strictly “no weapons” method of combat, concentrating on domination of the opponent. However, modern day practitioners often attempt to gain proficiency with both fighting styles.While the Katana is no longer used for military purposes (it was however well into the first world war!), it carries heavy ceremonial and historical importance in Japanese culture, much like the Japanese Jujitsu fighting style
The martial arts weapon, the , is one of the more popular devices in the Okinawan and Japanese karate and Jujitsu. The tonfa is essentially a club with a handle that protrudes at a 90 degree angle. This allows a practitioner to hold the handle in a solid grip while the club protects the forearm.
origin of the tonfa can be traced to ancient China and Thailand where it was
originally used to as an accessory to a millstone. After being inserted into
the millstone, the tonfa would be used to grind rice. Eventually, the tonfa
made its way to Okinawa for the same purpose of grinding rice.Since
Okinawa had a strong martial culture, it is no surprise that the tonfa was
added to the many other farm implements based weapons of Japanese and Okinawan
karate. This is because it can easily be incorporated into traditional punching
and blocking. In time, the handle of the tonfa was modified so that the club
would rotate when twirled. This made its ability to strike and block both
circular and unpredictable.
The Tonfa: Attack & Defense Combined
made the tonfa an important inclusion into Karate and Jujitsu was its ability
to deal with bladed weaponry. Specifically, the long handles covered the
forearms and could provide decent protection against sword swings. The
offensive capabilities of the tonfa were also expansive and included thrusting,
twirling, and Jujitsu style grappling techniques.So effective is the tonfa is has been integrated into the
equipment of modern police officers around the world, often reincarnated as the
The purpose of the weapon was debated about for a long time. Some people thought the weapon was intended for just that purpose, to be a weapon.But other people theorised that the Sai was made as an agricultural too to measure crops, to bale hay, to hold rolling carts in place or to plant rice.The Sai is a dagger shaped fork with two prongs that are usually curved and project out from the hilt of the weapon.The Sai is sometimes used as a training weapon in the martial art Jujitsu. In Jujitsu the practitioners focus on the forms of certain movements and sometimes add in a weapon for aesthetic flair. The Sai is often used in kata and form. The tip of the weapon is often dulled or blunt as to not hurt the opposition.
The unique shape of the Sai, with the two pronged hilt, has the advantage during combat as it can trap the opponents weapon in these prongs and disarm them. Even weapons as large as a long sword can be disarmed. The Sai is also a very good weapon for defensive moves. The Sai is a very versatile weapon and is probably best used by those In popular culture, the Sai has been featured in many movies. The comic book, super hero character Elektra used a pair of Sai as her weapon of choice, and Jennifer Garner certainly looks the part, so long as she doesn’t act, speak or move. Other notable Sai advocates include Gabrielle, the character from Xena, Raphael the Turtle and the Neo in The Matrix Reloaded
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