Kobudo translates literally as “The Old Way”, but generally refers to Okinawan weapons training. The main weapons you find are the Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Nunchaku, and Kama. There are other lesser-known weapons such as the Eku, Nunte, Rochin & Timbe, Tekko and even others.
In Okinawan Kenpo, we began our weapons training after earning purple belt. The first weapon we learned was the Bo staff. There are a total of 13 bo kata contained in Okinawan Kenpo. Here are a few of my favorite.
Shima Igiribo Ichiban
This is the first bo kata I learned. It is definitely not an easy one to learn as it requires a lot of dexterity to perform.
Choun No Kun
This is the second bo kata I learned and my personal favorite. Its beauty lies in its simplicity with power.
Bo Comparison – 1990 & 2012
As we continue our training throughout our lives, hopefully our technique and skill will evolve. In karate, the emphasis is often on “more power”, when in reality, “more relaxation” is a better direction. Here’s a comparison of me as a new black belt in Hawaii and more current performance of the same kata.
Odo No Sai
This sai kata was named after Sensei Odo, who made a few changes from Matayoshi No Sai, creating his own version. This kata has been re-named Odo No Sai Ichi, and the Matayoshi form Ni. I really like the front kicks in this form.
Matayoshi No Tonfa Ichi
There are two tonfa kata in Okinawan Kenpo. This is the first one. The kata names have been changed from Matayoshi to Odo, as Odo Sensei modified the original kata, and so as to not confuse from the original Matayoshi versions which are quite different.