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"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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Why Study Kobudo? (Okinawan Traditional Weaponry)

Click for larger View!
Note: I am not positive yet I believe the three sectional staff and nunchaku depicted here are of Japanese origin but then again I am not a expert in traditional Okinawan Weaponry except those in my system, the sai, the tuif, the kama, and the bo.

The most touted explanation I have ever heard is that weapons give you insight into and additional understanding of hand techniques. What I have heard the most when I ask why someone practices a particular weapon of focuses mainly on weapons. Another is the, my view now, misleading perception that it will help you in a self defense situation as you will scope out weapons as you walk through life just in case your attacked so you can snatch up that make shift weapon and trash the attacker. Think about that one!

People love weapons and weapons training or kobudo. It flashy, its cool and everyone asks when starting up karate, "When do I get to learn the bo or sai or tuifa or nunchaku (thanks Bruce)?" Yes? No? Maybe?

When I think of kobudo practice/study I no longer think of it as applying weapons in self defense. I don't believe that resorting to weapons, make shift as found laying about, is legal or promotes the defense that one is apply self defense against an attacker. I also do not believe anyone outside of those who actually work in dangerous occupations need to consider weapons and then they tend to have them supplied, i.e. police with batons and guns and taxers, etc.

So, if this is so why would anyone want to practice and train in kobudo? In a fundamental sense I agree with the book, "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist," as I quote, " ... we do encourage the study of weapons. ... because of the discipline, concentration, physical skill, and lessons in tradition, ceremony, and ritual."

My view and opinion here, in self defense you don't usually have time to seek out a weapon. You have to remember regardless of what you are told as to the use and practice of kobudo it does not enhance your use of hands but actually commits both hands to the weapon limiting or disrupting your hand movements. Let me add that seeking out a weapon, picking it up, and then making use of it COULD BE INTERPRETED as aggression which is fighting which is attacking and (Fighting is ILLEGAL!) passes the self defense maxim. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD for IT, seek out expertise advice from an attorney or law enforcement type and ask. Then sign up for and attend a course provided by, if available from, police or schools of law, etc. Its complex.

Again, I quote, " ... the bottom line is that without the courage or determination to use the weapon, a high degree of skill is useless." I use the martial systems/arts to achieve a morally directed spirit and develop my mind and body. In order to do that it means we learn about our systems history, culture, and in this case combative's which includes study of its historically based weaponry. I did that and now I don't and focus on empty hand; that's me tho!

Think about your goals in the study of kobudo. Mine was originally misguided because I was told it enhanced my abilities with empty hands. Later I decided it was a good way to understand Asian/Okinawan traditional weapons. I also kept it up for the love of the art. Self Defense, never and no way dude!

I want to do one more quote, "The decision to use a weapon will be yours. The decision if that use was justified ore misdeeds belongs to others. Your decision to use a weapon must be in accordance to that reality."

Think seriously about the reasons and goals for practicing and training in traditional Okinawan Weaponry?

Sutrisno, Tristan, MacYoung, Marc and Gordon, Dianna. "Becoming a Complete Martial Artist: Error Detection in Self Defense and the Martial Arts." Lyons Press. Connecticut. 2005.

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