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Why have weapons taken a back seat to empty hand?

A recent posting about karate and kobudo got me to thinking about that relationship. It comes to mind that chiefly and predominantly weaponry, as to historical, was the primary much like it is today in professional circles to include military. 

When we hear or read about how karate came to be we often think of the edict taking weapons out of the hands of the non-military folks. That makes me think that before such edicts weapons dominated. It was not necessary to use empty handed systems unless you were caught without a weapon or a person was disarmed leaving only their empty hands to save their butts.

Think about this, mankind began with nothing but their minds and bodies to survive and the development of groups supplemented that survival method. As mankind progressed and developed the mind they conceived of a variety of weapons to supplement the body and achieve greater survival of the tribe along with hunting for food, etc.

Then as progress continued we developed greater weaponry taking the empty hand and putting it in the back of the truck just in case. All our development continued in this fashion relegating the human body as a chief weapon for survival as a tool used only when weaponry were not available or lost or disarmed, etc. then and only then were the empty hands, feet, elbows, and other strategies and tactics necessary for survival. 

Even in the many militaries through out history were empty hand or hand-to-hand combative systems taught and trained. It was only, as to the Asian connections, in recent history did this progressive practice get turned on its ear.

The disarmament edicts left some humans in a precarious situation regarding survival. This meant empty hand type systems became necessary against other empty hand and sometimes weaponry as to defense or survival. 

Now, push ahead to modern times and we have weaponry only as military defense along with civil police protections, etc. Weapons may be in the hands of the non-professionals simply because of antiquated rights but in a lot of cases how that weaponry is used is often determined excessive force or is perceived as something very bad. This takes a normal defense situation and puts it on rocky ground that can result in both criminal and civil repercussions.

Today's empty hand has become even more important to survival or in most cases of modern times, defense and protection. Now even empty hand is becoming questionable as to how it is applied and to what degree of force is used for protection. The line is very find indeed and crossing it can happen in an instance.

Weapons have taken a back seat because of our needs of security balanced out with psychological, criminal and civil repercussions that act somewhat like a weapon and empty hand disarmament or at least restrictions when applied in civil and even military applications. 

Today's martial system that has weapons now has been relegated to a distant historically based practice for more an academic perspective vs. combative application. The use of such weaponry today even in a perceived self-defense situation may be perceived as excessive and unnecessary making it illegal, etc. 

It brings to mind when you train in kobudo do you give thought to "is this weapon a good one for self-defense as to self-defense law along with force law, etc.?" Do you ask yourself questions such as this as you train in kobudo?

Lastly, karate and kobudo are two separate distinct systems that are often mislabeled as karate. One is not required for the other. Both can hold their own as separate martial systems. That they can benefit one another in a holistic manner does not lessen their uniqueness and separateness but rather allow for greater understanding overall when combined. 

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