Kobudo, Okinawan Weapon training
Okinawan Kobudo is the natural extenstion of Karate with the use of weapons.
In the early days both Karate and Kobudo where practiced, they were not seperated. Even though Karate and Kobudo can stand alone as two seperate arts, the Karateka is better off studying both as complimentary systems. Kobudo utilizes the same basic fundamentals that are found and practiced in Karate ( Open Hand "without weapons" ). Adding a weapon, regardless of the weapon goes well beyond simply extending the reach and ability of the Karateka. It enforces correct alignment, timing and control that all can be applied to Karate.
For instance, in Open Hand, Karate the Karateka has to only worry about where is feet are, alignment of his body and position of his hands. Add to the mix a weapon, now the Karateka must worry about the position of his feet, his body, his hands and where the weapon is too.
Not only does spactial awarness become even more important, the added weapon adds weight that the Karateka must now move in a smoothly and with control.
It becomes very clear to a Karateka that the feet must be in position before the weapon completes its strike or block particularly when
practicing bunkai. This lesson is very common among students, and is quickly applied to open hand.
Think of Karate and Kobudo as two different disciplines that make up an entire art. Both are learned by Kata and one-one drills including Kumite and Bunkai. This is why we say that Okinawan Martial Arts consists of Karate, Kobudo and Kumite.
In Shorink-ryu Shorinkan Kobudo there are 6 weapons with a total of 12 Kata.