Created in Okinawa, Japan somewhere around the year 1400, Kobudo is a term used to describe the use of weaponry as first devised by the Okinawan farmers centuries ago. These farmers needed a way to defend themselves from invaders, thieves and for a period the Japanese soldiers who occupied Okinawa. In addition King Sho Hashi banned traditional weapons. So it was the farm tools that they used everyday that became their weapons. Such things as the nunchakus, sickles, tonfas, sai’s, bo staff, eku (oar) were simultaneously tools to grow crops, fish and harvest as well as instruments of defense. Over time the farmers grew in proficiency with these weapons and began to systematize techniques and katas for use and training. For many years these were all practiced in secrecy. Kobudo is often thought to originally have empty hand techniques and be the forerunner to Okinawan Karate.
In Nikidokai when we speak of Kobudo we are referring to all weapons that we teach. Including the Katana (Samurai Sword,) Jo (Short Staff,) Escrima/Arnis (Filipino knife and stick,) Balisong (Butterfly knife.)
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