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The practice of the ancient martial weapons of Okinawa



Kobudo is the study and practice of the ancient martial weapons of Okinawa (Ryukyu Kingdom).  In 1609, Okinawa was invaded by the Satsuma Samurai clan, resulting in a 270 year period of foreign control.  The existing king of Ryukyu was allowed to remain in power, but his government policy was largely restricted and controlled by Satsuma.  As part of this period, ordinary citizens of Okinawa were  prohibited from owning weapons.  The pechin (warrior caste of Okinawa) resorted to training with weapons that could be passed off as ordinary objects common in everyday life in Okinawa. 


In ancient times peasants were not allowed to carry any weapons so they relied on their open hand techniques and what they knew to protect themselves. To increase their chances of survival they looked around for something they could use to protect themselves. Usually, these objects were farm implements they had readily at hand. To be successful with these objects they had to practice and this practice led to a system that allowed others to begin the journey of successfully protecting their families with the use of weapons derived from farm tools. The influence of trade with China not only influenced the empty hand (karate) techniques but also the Kobudo techniques and kata.

Sato Ha Kobudo allows anyone who has not taken any martial art to begin the journey, learning slowly and methodically. It also allows for experienced martial artists to advance to belts once the basics are learned. At each belt level, a new weapon is introduced and the previous weapon is expanded on.

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