Kobudo is training with weapons that compliments the techniques learned during Karate training.
History - The earliest form of the boōstaff has been used throughout Asia since the beginning of recorded history. The first bo were called ishibo, and were made of stone. These were hard to make and were often unreliable. These were also extremely heavy. The konsaibo was a very distant variant of the kanabo. They were made from wood studded with iron. These were still too cumbersome for actual combat, so they were later replaced by unmodified hardwood staffs. The bo used for self-defense by monks or commoners, the staff was an integral part of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū, one of the martial arts’ oldest surviving styles. The staff evolved into the bō with the foundation of kobudo, a martial art using weapons, which emerged in Okinawa in the early 17th century. Prior to the 15th century, Okinawa, a small island located south of Japan, was divided into three kingdoms: Chuzan, Hokuzan, and Nanzan. After much political turmoil, Okinawa was united under the Sho Dynasty in 1429. In 1477, Emperor Sho Shin of the second Sho dynasty came into power. Determined to enforce his philosophical and ethical ideas, while banning feudalism, the emperor instituted a ban on weapons. It became a crime to carry or own weapons such as swords, in an attempt to prevent further turmoil and prevent uprising. In 1609, the temporary peace established by Sho Shin was violently overthrown when the powerful Satsuma Clan invaded Okinawa. Composed of Japanese samurai, the Satsuma Clan took over the island, making Okinawan independence a thing of the past. The Satsuma placed a new weapons ban on the people of Okinawa, leaving them defenseless against the steel of the samurai’s swords. In an attempt to protect themselves from the devastating forces of the Satsuma, the people of Okinawa looked to simple farming implements, which the samurai would not be able to confiscate, as new methods of defense. This use of weapons developed into kobudo, or "ancient martial art," as we know it today. Although the bō is now used as a weapon, its use is believed by some to have evolved from the long stick (tenbin) which was used to balance buckets or baskets. Typically, one would carry baskets of harvested crops or buckets of water or milk or fish etc., one at each end of the tenbin, that is balanced across the middle of the back at the shoulder blades. In poorer agrarian economies, the tenbin remains a traditional farm work implement. In styles such as Yamanni-ryū or Kenshin-ryū, many of the strikes are the same as those used for yari ("spear") or naginata ("glaive").There are stick fighting techniques native to just about every country on every continent.
Before its arrival in Okinawa, the sai was already being used in other Asian countries including India, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.The Indonesian form of the sai is called a chabang or tjabang, which is used by practitioners of silat.Said to have been developed from the Indian trisula,early evidence in the form of Javanese art shows that the chabang predates the sai's use in Okinawa and China.The word trisula itself can refer to both a long or short-handled trident. Because the trisula was created in South Asia, another theory is that the sai originated in India and spread along with Hinduism and Buddhism. This is supported by the fact that the trisula is important as a Hindu-Buddhist symbol. In Okinawa the sai was used by domestic police (ufuchiku) to arrest criminals and for crowd control. The use of the sai was perfected in 1668 by Moto Chohei, an Okinawan prince.The sai eventually reached Japan in the form of the jitte, which usually has only a single prong although some jitte have two prongs like a sai. Both are truncheon-like weapons, used for striking and bludgeoning.
The origin of the nunchaku is unclear, although one popular belief is that nunchaku was originally a short South-east Asian flail used to thresh rice or soybeans. This gave rise to the theory that it was originally developed from an Okinawan horse bit (muge), or that it was adapted from a wooden clapper called hyoshiki carried by the village night watch, made of two blocks of wood joined by a cord. The night watch would hit the blocks of wood together to attract people's attention, then warn them about fires and other dangers. Some propose that the association of nunchaku and other Okinawan weapons with rebellious peasants is most likely a romantic exaggeration. Martial arts on Okinawa were practised exclusively by aristocracy (kazoku) and "serving nobles" (shizoku), but were prohibited among commoners (heimin). Others contend that it was this type of prohibition itself which supports the proposed evolution of unorthodox weapons out of everyday implements common to laborers, as well as the clandestine (therefore elusive) nature of their practice. Peasant-origin nunchaku proponents also suggest these innovators were not so much rebellious as attempting to be capable of a surprise defense against overzealous tax collectors' visits gone bad, or other perilous scenarios for which they were otherwise perpetually unarmed. Many martial arts institutions teach these suppositions as historical probabilities, and modified farm implement origins of other martial arts weapons are widely considered fact. Regardless of its origins, the nunchaku was not a popular weapon, since no known traditional kata (choreographed practice movements) for it exist, possibly as a result of its lack of efficacy against contemporary weapons such as the katana. According to Chinese folklore, nunchaku is a variation of the two section staff.
Before being improvised as a weapon, the kama was widely used throughout Asia to cut crops, mostly rice. It is found in many shapes and forms in Southeast Asia and is particularly common in martial arts from Indonesia and the Philippines. It is also used in Chinese martial arts but not often. From one or both of these areas, the kama was brought to Okinawa and incorporated into the martial art of te (hand) and later karate (empty hand).
As with most martial arts weapons the true origin of the Tonfa is debateable. The Tonfa is generally considered as an Okinawan martial arts weapon. However, exactly where the origin of the Tonfa comes from is not certain, but the experts believe it originated from somewhere within either China or possibly Indonesia. These Chinese and Southern Asian martial arts both used this form of weapon and it is thought that it was brought to the Japanese island of Okinawa through their initial influences. The Chinese, however, believe that the Tonfa was a development and also a adaptation of the crutch and were brought about by the restrictions placed on the use of weapons during the reign of the ruler ShoShin in order to to stabilise the country after a long and bitter period of civil wars. These restrictions brought about the development of some very unconventional weapons developed from various farming and agricultural tools. It is said the Tonfa was the development of a wooden handle from a millstone, which was a common tool at the time. This is the considered opinion as to the origin of the Tonfa and is probably quite true given the evidence we have today on this weapon.