Karate Weapons

Karate weapons are an advanced part of karate training. While many students want to get started with them right away, the best way is to wait. This is not to say that you will never get to swing a bo or katana. Rather, a a good sensei will require his or her students to wait a while before starting thier weapons training.

There are many reasons for this.

The first and most basic reason being safety for all people involved.

Remember how hard it was at first when you started karate? The fact is that many people lack the discipline to excel in this sport. Turning them lose with a sword is simply not a wise idea.

Another interesting fact about karate weapons is that it actually seems like a bit of a contradiction. After all, karate is empty-handed openhanded form of martial arts. That is literally what its Japanese name means. But when you take into account the history of karate, you will see that the original practitioners used any means necessary to defend themselves.

Another interesting bit is that many of the modern karate weapons are modern reinventions of ancient peasant or farming tools. For example let’s take the Kama. This was originally used for cutting thick grass in Japan. But when attached, long chain, it became a very effective weapon.

This is very similar as well to the bo staff. While the original bo was used as a simple tool to carry water, it could quickly be used to incapacitate an enemy. Because it is 6 foot long it gives you a nice distance of safety. Plus there are many benefits to using the staff in training. It is difficult to wield such a large weapon, and will help you build muscle.

And who can forget the sai. It is best to think of this weapon is a miniature pitchfork. Obviously the pitchfork has a great utility value performer, especially when he has to defend his homestead. So when stored in its current smaller form as t it’s obvious this is a great weapon to train with.

Similar to the sai (in that it is an edged weapon) we have the naginata or katana. While originally only reserved for the samurai class of warriors, it quickly gained popularity elsewhere. This is the most common karate weapon that new practitioners want to try. Without the proper discipline, muscular strength, and knowledge, swinging these karate swords can be dangerous.

And of course who can forget the nunchucks. With the obvious farming value of being a flail deep down wheat or grass, these quickly became popular weapon with the Japanese peasants. It is very flashy and very fun for demonstration. But when it comes to self-defense in close quarters, there’s nothing better than the nunchucks.

If these weapons sound interesting to you, you should probably start learning them in your karate class. Of course no good instructor will set you out with them on the first day. But if you prove yourself, and show a healthy interest in respect for these ancient Japanese weapons, I am certain you will be allowed to use them.

At the dojo that I attend, it is not until you become a purple belt that weapons are even introduced. And even then it is only small amounts, and never a sharp sword. Later on in the black and brown belt levels are we allowed to specialize in some of the more intense weaponry. And to be honest, some people choose not to. This is especially popular for people who want to keep the openhanded aspect of karate in their practice.

But for those of us who appreciate all that karate has to offer, learning to use the nunchucks or katana can be exact were looking for.

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