Kobudo is a word originating in the 12th century. It can be translated literally as “the old martial way”, and is a generic term describing the weapon systems of Okinawa.
Kobudo weaponry is unusual when compared to western weaponry of the same age. There are many theories as to this, with the most popular legend being related to the Satsuma Samurai clan. The clan created laws that forbade the Japanese from carrying weapons. To allow the Japanese to train and protect themselves, farming instruments were adapted; crop diggers became the sai, corn whackers became nunchaku, walking sticks became the bo-staff or jo-staff and so forth. This legend may be true, but historians believe it is equally likely to have predated this era, with similar Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian weapons being developed for almost identical reasons on the mainland.
These adaptable, yet strange weapons are effective and deadly. Over the hundreds of years that followed, these techniques were refined and Kobudo became part of the Samurai’s core training.
At Seven Hills JuJitsu we teach 16 weapons, including Sword (Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto), Sai, Nunchuku, Bo Staff, Jo Staff, Naginata and the Tessen (Hand, or War Fan).
Their study is part of the Dan grade syllabi, but many students also study them independently.