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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1723

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One reason why learning or teaching the use of kobudo weapons has been limited is that the weapons have not been relevant for a long time. Most of the martial artist training with traditional weapons do it purely for cultural interest because few of the weapons taught in kobudo are commonly applicable or even practical in the modern world.

What is more important than the weapons themselves is the principles and strategies. If one understands these thoroughly, it becomes possible to use them with whatever is at hand.
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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
One reason why learning or teaching the use of kobudo weapons has been limited is that the weapons have not been relevant for a long time. Most of the martial artist training with traditional weapons do it purely for cultural interest because few of the weapons taught in kobudo are commonly applicable or even practical in the modern world.

What is more important than the weapons themselves is the principles and strategies. If one understands these thoroughly, it becomes possible to use them with whatever is at hand.


I am the weapon. This long stick is merely a tool.
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"Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know." ~ Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching

"Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens." ~ Jigaro Kano
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2373
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I missed the discussion...

Maybe heresy, but I like karate and kobudo taught separately. My previous organization had weapons in the formal syllabus. To be honest, it seemed like an afterthought. There wasn't much continuity to it. Certain ranks had specific kobudo kata attached to them. And there didn't seem like much rhyme or reason to it beyond increasing in difficulty. You'd have a bo basics at 3rd kyu, a bo kata at 2nd kyu, then another bo kata at nidan. Then a sai kata at sandan, and an oar kata at yondan. No formal drills, kumite, etc. It was basically "we haven't done this in a while, so let's do it tonight" or "you're coming up on promotion, so let's work on this."

When my former sensei left that organization, he eliminated kobudo for a period while he studied up and found Shihan Nishiuchi's organization. After he was comfortable with it, he made it a separate entity. People could study kobudo exclusively, alongside karate, or not at all. Kobudo had its own curriculum, testing, ranking, etc. Kobudo class was during specific times.

When it was part of the karate syllabus, it wasn't nearly as in-depth as it was when it got separated out. After it was separated, we became far more proficient with them. It was night and day. And people who weren't interested in it didn't have to do it out of obligation. There's a huge difference when half the class is doing something out of obligation and when the entire class is into what's going on.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, the only weapons that would still be relevant are knife, short stick and cane. For the most part, you'll find yourself unable to carry or regularly find an object that's similar to sai, tonfa, nunchucku, etc. A cane is pretty much the only thing you can carry legally (but probably not without suspicion if you're young and fit.)

I was about to add a bit to this, but realized it should be in a different thread. Stay tuned! I'd love to know your opinions!
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gichin Funakoshi explains in his book, karate do kyohan, that there are several reasons why he settled on the 'empty hand way'. One reason is that it requires no equipment to either train or fight. The word 'requires' is important here. It requires no equipment. That's not the same as shunning equipment. In fact in the same book he describes how to construct makawari and other training tools. They're not required. You can train with empty hands. But you don't have to.

He also states that another reason for the word 'empty' is not literal. He is quite open that it means in the philosophical sense. He teaches that we train to have an empty mind, and our hand, is empty in the sense that anything in it is not being held by the practitioner but is part of them.

There is a section in the book dedicated to fighting with an assortment of different weapons types including long and short sword, and long and short staff.

This is all in a book written by Gichin Funakoshi himself. So I'd say it's a fair bet that Shotokan traditionally includes weapons training.
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G95champ
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 29 Mar 2002
Posts: 3116
Location: Gilbert WV, USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate (FSKA)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, no. By the time Funakoahi started teaching what became Shotokn in public the military controlled Japan and all weapons had been banned.

Both Goju Ryu and Shoin Ryu the root styles of Shotokan feature some weapon training so from that argument then yes you could say Shotokan has weapons. However, I'd dare say that Funakoshi never taught them for political reasons.

With that said many Shotokan kata have Movments that are often viewed as designed to use a weapon (Jittie and the Bo). So I'll not argue that the footprint was not installed.

When I teach kata I teach every move as a offensive, defensive, grapple, weapon and a nature application. You can put any weapon in your hand and preform the Shotokan kata pretty easily with said weapon without much adjustment. (Without knowing anything about the weapon).

I have won black belt tournament kata by doing this. Hangetsu, Jion or Empi with a bo, tofa, sai, scrima, all are very simple. Normally I just borrow a weapon and do it for fun with no practice, I just react. (Yes I have failed bad too)

Thus IMO I think Funakoshi understood this simple fact. If we were to find a stick or staff or any other weapon: he wanted us to be able to use it without getting caught up in technique. By the 20th century no one walked the streets with weapons, so weapon training was a waste. However if a weapon appeared in a fight he felt, the application of that weapon should be basic and very similar to the empty handed techniques we have practiced.
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(General George S. Patton Jr.) "It's the unconquerable soul of man, and not the nature of the weapon he uses, that ensures victory."
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