The way of Bo


In the southern islands of the archipelago of Japan and especially in Okinawa, several military occupiers, sometimes Chinese, sometimes Japanese, have prohibited the possession and use of weapons (saber and others) to the occupied population, for the purpose of avoid rebellions. It was this prohibition that favored the further development of hand-to-hand fighting techniques, the Tō-de later became karate, as well as the use, as weapons, of utensils of everyday life, “Kobudō “.

The weapons studied in the kobudo Okinawa are very numerous there are about twenty. However, these are very rarely all studied in the West within the same school. One could even go so far as to say that only 5 weapons are mainly studied in the West. These are:

The Bō

Bo or long stick is the first weapon studied by the practitioner. In principle, it measures 1m82, has a round section, and requires a two-handed operation.


Nunchaku or scourge is well known to the European public thanks to Bruce Lee who popularized the weapon through his films. This weapon is composed of two logs of about thirty centimeters connected by a rope or chain at one of its ends.


Kama is a simple sickle used by farmers in Okinawa.


Sai is a kind of short metal trident with a longer central spike and two slightly curved side spikes forming a guard.


Tonfa is at the origin of that currently used by some members of the police force. However unlike the weapon used by our law enforcement, the traditional tonfa is made of wood and has a wider section at the handle if the rest of the section is round, or a square section.