Kobudo: The Old Martial Way Of Okinawa That Keeps Cops Safe

sport combat

The world of martial arts is vast. Almost every culture from every corner of the globe has a martial art linked to their history and we are going to showcase them all to the world over time.

In this article, we will be looking at Kobudo the weapon art of Okinawa and as we will see one of its weapons has been keeping cops safe for a long time!

What Is Kobudo?

Kobudo is the name given to cover the martial arts weapons system of Okinawa.

It is believed that the phrase is a Japanese term meaning: “Old Martial Way Of Okinawa

Although there are some doubts about the history of Kobudo and what happened. A popular story is that the Island of Okinawa was occupied by Japan and as such its inhabitants were not allowed to use weapons.

The result was they learned to fight using their farming tools.

What Weapons Are Used In Kobudo?

The range of weapons in Kobudo is quite vast however here are the common ones:


realistic 3d render of kama

The Kama was a used for cutting grass or sugar cane but became very effective for trapping an opponent’s weapon as well as the obvious cutting power.



A Pair of Sai

The Sai might be better known to many as the weapon of choice for one of the Ninja Turtles. However, the weapon itself is believed to have originated from a version of the Pitchfork


The Nunchaku has been something of a cult weapon, used by Bruce Lee and numerous other martial artists it was actually banned from TV and film releases for a time in Britain because of the public fascination with the weapon.

Referred to as a rice flail it was used for threshing grain


Fourth degree black belt man

The Bo was originally used to carry  buckets either side which was filled with vegetables or other items. However, it made for  an effective fighting tool



The tonfa we know is now carried by an abundance of police officers across the world however it started life as the handle of a rice grinder.

It is an amazingly effective weapon.

Having actually handled a Tonfa in real life I personally always thought it was a far better tool that the standard straight baton used by many police forces, however, the downside is that the police tonfa/ side handled baton requires a lot of training, and that equates to more money.

So Why Don’t We See Kobudo Now?

In many ways, Kobudo is seen in an abundance of films however in a great article by Karate By Jesse he raises the point that karate makes more money than Kobudo and as such this is why we never saw it grow to the extent of its sister art.

The average karate class allows the students to get a great workout and learn self-defence, however by training in Kobudo you would spend a lot of any lesson just learning skills, and that would have never been popular.

So there you have it, Kobudo may not be widely seen or studied. However, it’s elements have allowed for police officers to stay safe for years, and many a criminal who has attacked a cop has felt the history of Kobudo impacting on their bodies!