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An Oyata Te School
11001 S. Jackson Ave.
Kansas City , Missouri 64137-2040
Instructors: Tony Skeen, Lee Richards

Assistant Instructors: Bob Koenig, Becky Dreisewerd
Dai Senpai: Barry Keys



Taika trained in a lot of weapons and his philosophy differed vastly from other artists you see online. Search for any of these weapons on YouTube and you will find a myriad of people performing 'Click Clack' strike and block attacks. That is not what Taika taught us. We learned and teach in Oyata Te that all of the weapons deal with much more than ust striking stick to stick. Taika taught us how to attack vital areas of the opponent's body as well as lock up the joints of the arms and legs.



From Wikipedia with slight mods.


Okinawan kobudō (古武道; also known as Ryūkyū Kobujutsu, Koryū, or just as Kobudō) is a Japanese term that can be translated as "old martial way of Okinawa". It generally refers to the classical weapon traditions of Okinawan martial arts.

The bo is a roughly six-foot staff, sometimes tapered at either end. Most bo made my Taika were a little shorter than six-foot.  It was perhaps developed from a farming tool called a tenbin: a stick placed across the shoulders with baskets or sacks hanging from either end. The bo was also possibly used as the handle to a rake or a shovel. The bo, along with shorter variations such as the jo and hanbo could also have been developed from walking sticks used by travelers, especially monks. The bo is considered the 'king' of the Okinawa weapons, as all others exploit its weaknesses in fighting it, whereas when it is fighting them it is using its strengths against them. The bo is the earliest of all Okinawa weapons (and effectively one of the earliest of all weapons in the form of a basic staff), and is traditionally made from red or white oak.


The chizikunbo is a small wooden staff that fits in your hand and is approximately six inches long, depending on the size of the users hand.  Two holes are drilled near the center of each to hold a string or leather strap which fits over the middle finger.  Most are rounded out on a lathe, however Taika prefers the hexagonal ones.


The Okinawan style of oar is called an eku (this actually refers to the local wood most commonly used for oars), eiku, iyeku, or ieku. Noteworthy hallmarks are the slight point at the tip, curve to one side of the paddle and a roof-like ridge along the other. One of the hojoundo (basic moves) for this weapon utilizes the fact that a fisherman fighting on the beach would be able to fling sand at an opponent. While not having the length, and therefore reach, of the bo, the rather sharp edges can inflict more penetrating damage when wielded properly.


The jo is a wooden staff that should fit the user from the bottom of their sternum (xyphoid process) to the floor.  They are commonly sold in 48" variety, thickness varies.  The thickness should be enough that the hand can be closed completely around the jo with the index finger touching the hand.


The kama is the traditional farming sickle, and considered one of the hardest to learn due to the inherent danger in practicing with such a weapon. The point at which the blade and handle join in the "weapon" model normally has a nook with which a bo can be trapped, although this joint proved to be a weak point in the design, and modern day examples tend to have a shorter handle with a blade that begins following the line of the handle and then bends, though to a lesser degree; this form of the kama is known as the natagama. The edge of a traditional rice sickle, such as one would purchase from a Japanese hardware store, continues to the handle without a notch, as this is unneeded for its intended use.

Manji Sai

The manji sai is a metal weapon like the sai described below, however the two prongs face in opposite directions.  The handle is also commonly pointed, unlike the sai which usually has a blunt end on the handle.

Nunte bo

The nunte bo is comprised of a bo with a manji sai mounted on the end. A nunte bo can be seen in the movie Karate Kid 2 being wielded by Mr Miyagi's opponent.


A nunchaku is two sections of wood (or metal in modern incarnations) connected by a cord or chain. There is much controversy over its origins: some say it was originally a Chinese weapon, others say it evolved from a threshing flail, while one theory purports that it was developed from a horse's bit. Chinese nunchaku tend to be rounded, whereas Japanese are octagonal, and they were originally linked by horse hair. There are many variations on the nunchaku, ranging from the three sectional staff (san-setsu-kon nunchaku), to smaller multi-section nunchaku. The nunchaku was popularized by Bruce Lee in a number of films, made in both Hollywood and Hong Kong.


The sai is sometimes mistakenly believed to be a variation on a tool used to create furrows in the ground, however this is highly unlikely as metal on Okinawa was in short supply at this time and a stick would have served this purpose more satisfactorily for a poor commoner, or Heimin. The sai appears similar to a short sword, but is not bladed and the end is traditionally blunt. Records from China prove its original existence although in a much more elongated form where it was known as Tsai and was used purely as a weapon. The weapon is metal and of the truncheon class with its length dependent upon the forearm of the user. The two shorter prongs on either side of the main shaft are used for trapping other weapons such as a sword or bo. The sai originally reached Japan in the form of the jitte or jutte, which has only a single prong. Both are truncheon-like weapons, used for striking and bludgeoning. Sai were thought to be given to those in Okinawan society that the Japanese could trust to maintain order. Sai are traditionally carried in threes, two are used in combat and the third is used as either a precursor to the actual fight and is thrown at the enemy, or as a spare in the event that one is knocked from the hand. There are many other variations on the sai with varying prongs for trapping and blocking, and the monouchi, or shaft, can be round or octagonal. Sai were also used as handcuffs and were a symbol of authority in Okinawa. Two sai are called zai.


The tanbo is a short staff  made of hardwood or bamboo. Its length is determined by measuring from the tips of your fingers, to one fist past your elbow.  That are commonly sold in a 24" length, however these are far too long for shorter people.  Tambo are usually used in pairs.


The tonfa is more readily recognized by its modern development in the form of the police PR-24, although its usage differs. It supposedly originated as the handle of a millstone used for grinding grain. The tonfa is traditionally made from red oak, and can be gripped by the short perpendicular handle or by the longer main shaft. As with all Okinawan weapons, many of the forms are reflective of "empty hand" techniques.

Additionally there are other weapons we train with that are not so much traditional weapons such as the cane.

Weapons training makes you familiar with a weapons strengths and weaknesses which is important from a defense point of view. It also helps strengthen various muscles and placeds emphasis on certain actions that are difficult to convey or practice without something in your hand. This will enhance your learning of open hand techniques. Each student that stays long enough to attain the rank of black belt will be required to pick any of the weapons listed on the requirement sheet. They will learn up to five weapons kata. These are not required until later in the training and mastery isn't required of all. A mere understanding of the strengths and weaknesses as well as the open hand principle(s) we are tryinig to convey is required.

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