Kobudo - Ancient Art of Martial Art Weapons

Kobudo is an extension of karate and employs Okinawan tools for weapons. These implements were used by Okinawan farmers, fishermen, merchants & royalty for self-defense. In Shorin-Ryu Karate, unlike most karate schools, students learn empty hand techniques known as kara-te, but also kobu-do (martial arts weapons) in our dojo. Nearly all schools, if they teach kobudo at all, charge exorbitant fees to learn kobudo or may require students to reach a certain rank in karate before they learn kobudo. However, both karate and kobudo use similar movements & muscle memory thus it is traditional in Okinawan martial arts to train in both. And Soke Hausel (your instructor) is an expert in nearly all of the Okinawa kobudo weapons as well as in many samurai arts.


Imagine being in a library and being attacked by a thug with a knife! If you train in kobudo, you will realize you are surrounded by weapons (books, magazines, chairs, computers, car keys, belt, coins, etc) - so learn how to use them. What if you are in a garden shop - my goodness, there are weapons everywhere! Think of some of your favorite places to visit. Visualize the items and furniture around you - how can you use them for self-defense? This is what Okinawans did when they trained with tools of their trade so they would be prepared to defend against robbers, muggers or samurai armed with swords.


Traditional Okinawan weapons include chuks (nunchaku), side-handle batons (tonfa), sickles (kama), short staff (hanbo), two sticks (nitanbo), cane (tsue), long staff (bo), oar (eku), rake (ra-ke), hoe (kuwa), weighted rope (surichin), knife (tanto), short rakes (sai), rope (hojo), weighted chain (manrikigusari), three-sectional staff (san setsukon), horse shoes (tekko) & more. We also like to train with modern equivalents, such as car keys, kuboton (short stick), books, magazines, etc.


Kobudo probably began in 1480 AD, when King Shoshin of Okinawa outlawed bladed weapons due to his concern over possible rebellion; however, Okinawan peasants were concerned for safety & no longer trusted their government & developed the art of kobudo


Weapons taught at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate (Arizona Hombu) include:

  • Bo (6-foot staff).
  • Nunchuku (rice flails).
  • Tonfa, Tuifa (rice grinder handles/baton)
  • Kama (sickles).
  • Kusarigama (weighted sickles).
  • Manrikigusari (weighted chain, rope).
  • Hanbo (3-foot staff).
  • Surichin (weighted rope)
  • Nitanbo - two sticks
  • Keibo, Kioga (expandable telescopic baton)
  • Tsue, Jou (cane)
  • Kobuton, Tanbo (short stick)
  • Nireiki (two rakes)
  • Eku (oar, paddle)
  • Tanto (knife)
  • Hari (Fish Hook)
  • Katana (samurai sword)
  • Naginata (halberd, polearm)
  • Yari (spear)
  • Kuwa (hoe)
  • Kumade, Ra-ke (rake)
  • Tekko (Knuckle Duster, Okinawan brass knuckles)
  • Hojo (Rope)
  • Konobo, Konsaibo, Tetsubo (Club)

As pointed out by many visitors to the Arizona School of Traditional Okinawa martial arts, our students learn to use kobudo weapons and karate as if they mean business and do not twirl them like cheer leaders. Students (deshi) learn to use all of these with power and focus, through kata (forms) and bunkai (applications).