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Weapons / Kun
« Last post by Blade~ on March 26, 2017, 09:12:55 am »
The kun (Japanese: bo) is usually made with hard wood or a flexible wood, such as red or white oak, although bamboo and pine wood have been used, more common still is rattan wood for its flexibility. The kun may be tapered in that it can be thicker in the center (chukon-bu) than at the ends (kontei) and usually round or circular (maru-bo). Some kun are very light, with metallic sides, stripes and a grip which are used for XMA and competitions/demonstrations. Older kun were round (maru-bo), square (kaku-bo), hexagon (rokkaku-bo) or octagon (hakkaku-bo). The average size of a kun is 6 shaku (around 6 ft (1.8 m)) but they can be as long as 9 ft (2.7 m) (kyu-shaku-bō).

A 6 ft (1.8 m) bō is sometimes called a rokushakubō (六尺棒: ろくしゃくぼう). This name derives from the Japanese words roku (六: ろく), meaning "six"; shaku (尺: しゃく); and bō. The shaku is a Japanese measurement equivalent to 30.3 centimeters (0.994 ft). Thus, rokushakubō refers to a staff about 6-shaku (1.82 m; 5.96 feet) long. The bō is typically 3 cm (1.25 inch) thick, sometimes gradually tapering from the middle (chukon-bu) to 2 cm (0.75 inch)at the end (kontei). This thickness allows the user to make a tight fist around it in order to block and counter an attack.

In some cases for training purposes or for a different style, rattan was used. Some were inlaid or banded with strips of iron or other metals for extra strength. The kun range from heavy to light, from rigid to highly flexible, and from simple pieces of wood picked up from the side of the road to ornately decorated works of art.
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Weapons / History of traditional weapons
« Last post by Blade~ on March 26, 2017, 09:06:49 am »
It is a popular story and common belief that Okinawan farming tools evolved into weapons due to restrictions placed upon the peasants by the Satsuma samurai clan when the island was made a part of Japan, which forbade them from carrying arms. As a result, it is said, they were defenseless and developed a fighting system around their traditional farming implements. However, modern martial arts scholars have been unable to find historical backing for this story, and the evidence uncovered by various martial historians points to the Pechin Warrior caste in Okinawa as being those who practiced and studied various martial arts, rather than the Heimin, or commoner. It is true that Okinawans, under the rule of foreign powers, were prohibited from carrying weapons or practicing with them in public. But the weapons-based fighting that they secretly practiced (and the types of weapons they practiced with) had strong Chinese roots, and examples of similar weapons have been found in China, Malaysia and Indonesia pre-dating the Okinawan adaptations.

Okinawan kobudō systems were shaped by indigenous Okinawan techniques that arose within the Aji, or noble class, and by imported methods from China and Southeast Asia. The majority of Okinawan kobudō traditions that survived the difficult times during and following World War II were preserved and handed down by Taira Shinken (Ryūkyū Kobudō Hozon Shinkokai), Chogi Kishaba (Ryūkyū Bujustsu Kenkyu Doyukai), and Kenwa Mabuni (Shito-ryū). Practical systems were developed by Toshihiro Oshiro and Motokatsu Inoue in conjunction with these masters. Other noted masters who have Okinawan kobudō kata named after them include Chōtoku Kyan, Shigeru Nakamura, Kanga Sakukawa, and Shinko Matayoshi.

Okinawan kobudō arts are thought by some to be the forerunner of the bare hand martial art of karate, and several styles of that art include some degree of Okinawan kobudō training as part of their curriculum. Similarly, it is not uncommon to see an occasional kick or other empty-hand technique in an Okinawan kobudō kata. The techniques of the two arts are closely related in some styles, evidenced by the empty-hand and weapon variants of certain kata: for example, Kankū-dai and Kankū-sai, and Gojūshiho and Gojūshiho-no-sai, although these are examples of Okinawan kobudō kata which have been developed from karate kata and are not traditional Okinawan kobudō forms. Other more authentic Okinawan kobudō kata demonstrate elements of empty hand techniques as is shown in older forms such as Soeishi No Dai, a bo form which is one of the few authentic Okinawan kobudō kata to make use of a kick as the penultimate technique. Some Okinawan kobudō kata have undergone less "modern development" than karate and still retain much more of the original elements, reflections of which can be seen in even more modern karate kata. The connection between empty hand and weapon methods can be directly related in systems such as that formulated in order to preserve both arts such as Inoue/Taira's Ryūkyū Kobujutsu Hozon Shinko Kai and Motokatsu Inoue's Yuishinkai Karate Jutsu. M. Inoue draws direct comparisons between the use of certain weapons and various elements of empty hand technique such as sai mirroring haito/shuto waza, tonfa reflecting that of uraken and hijiate, and kama of kurite and kakete, as examples. The footwork in both methods is interchangeable.
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Thailand / MOVED: Traditional Thai Weapons
« Last post by Blade~ on March 26, 2017, 08:58:10 am »
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Korea / MOVED: Traditional weapons
« Last post by Blade~ on March 26, 2017, 08:57:43 am »
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India / MOVED: Traditional Indian weapons
« Last post by Blade~ on March 26, 2017, 08:55:38 am »
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Weapons / Three section staff (sanjiegun 三節棍)
« Last post by Blade~ on March 25, 2017, 06:32:26 pm »
The three-sectional staff, triple staff, three-part staff, sansetsukon in Japanese, or originally sanjiegun (三節棍), is a Chinese flail weapon that consists of three wooden or metal staffs connected by metal rings or rope. The weapon is also known as a "coiling dragon staff," or in Chinese as a "panlong gun" (蟠龍棍). A more complicated version of the two section staff, the staves can be spun to gather momentum resulting in a powerful strike, or their articulation can be used to strike over or around a shield or other defensive block.

Although there is no historical evidence to support it, a popular modern-day legend states it was made famous by Zhao Kuangyin, the first Emperor of the Song Dynasty (960 AD).

Historically made of white oak, waxwood or Chinese red maple, modern staves are constructed from rattan, bamboo, various hardwoods or aluminum. For optimum fit, each of the three sticks should be about the length of the combatant’s arm (usually 60 centimetres (24 in) - 70 centimetres (28 in)) and have a combined diameter that easily fits in the hand. (usually about 1.25 inches (32 mm)). These are connected by chains of rings (usually of five inches (127 mm)) ; modern versions use ball-and-socket joints.

The total length of the weapon is about the same as the Chinese staff, the gùn and greater than that of the single staff (known in Japanese as a bō); Its larger size allows for an increased reach compared to the staff. Some of the techniques are similar to that of the staff, so spinning moves over the head and behind the back, such as helicopter spins and neck rolls, can be practised with a regular staff. Other weapon techniques the three section staff makes use of are similar to that of a pair of sticks used escrima, a simple short chain, a whip and the two section staff. It is therefore advantageous for the user to have some familiarity with these weapons. The three-section staff has the advantage of being used as a long-range (whip), intermediate range (flail or two section staff) or a short-range (pair of escrima) weapon. Acting as an extension of the users arms, the three sectional staff can strike, flail, block, choke, trap, disarm and whip, often with different sections of the staff acting at the same time. The chains or binding ropes of the staff are used to entangle an opponent and their weapons. While it has three ranges, the three section staff is best used as a short range weapon against long ranged weapons. In this configuration, a skilled practitioner can nearly simultaneously block an opponent's strike, trap his or her weapon and disarm them while executing their own strike with the free side of the staff.

While some martial artists have held that the three section staff was used on the battlefield to entangle horses' legs or to strike around shields, the complexity of the weapon and the length, difficulty of use, lack of sharp tips or edges and other advantages of such traditional battlefield weapons as spears, polearms (such as the yan yue dao), swords and so forth meant that the triple staff was more likely restricted to personal self-defense.
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Weapons / Straight sword (Jian 剑)
« Last post by Blade~ on March 25, 2017, 06:24:05 pm »
The jian (剑) is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China. The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BCE during the Spring and Autumn period; one of the earliest specimens being the Sword of Goujian. Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters (18 to 31 inches) in length. The weight of an average sword of 70-centimetre (28-inch) blade-length would be in a range of approximately 700 to 900 grams (1.5 to 2 pounds). There are also larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts. Professional jian practitioners are referred to as jianke.

In Chinese folklore, it is known as "The Gentleman of Weapons" and is considered one of the four major weapons, along with the Gun (staff), Qiang (spear), and the Dao (sabre). These swords are also sometimes referred to as taijijian or "t'ai chi swords", reflecting their current use as training weapons for taijiquan practitioners, though there were no historical jian types created specifically for taijiquan.
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Weapons / Polearm (Ji 戟)
« Last post by Blade~ on March 25, 2017, 06:09:29 pm »
The ji (戟) was a Chinese polearm used in one form or another for over 3000 years, from at least as early as the Shang dynasty until the end of the Qing dynasty. They are still used for training purposes in many Chinese martial arts.

The ji was initially a hybrid between a spear and a dagger-axe. It was a relatively common infantry weapon in Ancient China, and was also used by cavalry and charioteers.
A qinglong ji (cerulean dragon ji) from the Qing dynasty encyclopedia Gujin Tushu Jicheng.

In the Song dynasty, several weapons were referred to as ji, but they were developed from spears, not from ancient ji. One variety was called the qinglong ji, and had a spear tip with a crescent blade on one side. Another type was the fangtian ji, which had a spear tip with crescent blades on both sides. They had multiple means of attack: the side blade or blades, the spear tip, plus often a rear counterweight that could be used to strike the opponent. The way the side blades were fixed to the shaft differs, but usually there were empty spaces between the pole and the side blade. The wielder could strike with the shaft, with the option of then pulling the weapon back to hook with a side blade; or, he could slap his opponent with the flat side of the blade to knock him off his horse.
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Weapons / Spear (Qiang 枪)
« Last post by Blade~ on March 25, 2017, 06:05:08 pm »
Qiang (枪) is the Chinese term for spear. Due to its relative ease of manufacture, the spear in many variations was ubiquitous on the pre-modern Chinese battlefield. It is known as one of the four major weapons, along with the Gun (staff), Dao (sabre), and the Jian (sword), called in this group "The King of Weapons".

Common features of the Chinese spear are the leaf shaped blade and red horse-hair tassel lashed just below. The tassel shows elite troop status. It also serves a tactical purpose. When the spear is moving quickly, the addition of the tassel aids in blurring the vision of the opponent so that it is more difficult for them to grab the shaft of spear behind the head or tip. The tassel also served another purpose, to stop the flow of blood from the blade getting to the wooden shaft (the blood would make it slippery, or sticky when dried). Nine kinds of spears popular in the Song dynasty.

The length varied from around 9 feet long, increasing up to 21 feet. According to general Qi Jiguang, the Ming military categorized spears above 9 feet as short spears, 14 feet as long spears, and spears below 9 feet as spiked staffs, which were used more for hitting than stabbing. Spears used in war are typically made of hard wood. Martial arts (wushu) spears are typically made of wax wood, a lighter and more flexible wood better suited for performance; these are called flower spears. Six kinds of spears popular in the Ming dynasty.

Many Chinese martial arts feature spear training in their curriculum. The conditioning provided by spear technique is seen as invaluable and in many styles it is the first weapons training introduced to students. Moreover, some schools of empty handed fighting in China credit spear technique as their foundation, notably Xingyiquan and Bajiquan.
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Weapons / Butterfly Swords (蝴蝶双刀)
« Last post by Blade~ on March 25, 2017, 05:54:53 pm »
The butterfly sword (蝴蝶双刀) is a short dao, or single-edged sword, originally from southern China, though it has also seen use in the north. The blade of a butterfly sword is roughly as long as a human forearm, which allows easy concealment inside loose sleeves or boots, and allows greater maneuverability when spinning and rotating during close-quarters fighting. Butterfly swords are usually wielded in pairs. A pair of swords will often be carried side by side within the same scabbard, so as to give the appearance of a single weapon.

The butterfly sword has a small crossguard to protect the hands of the wielder, similar to that of a sai, which can also be used to block or hook an opponent's weapon. In some versions the crossguard is enlarged offering a second handhold, held in this position the swords can be manipulated in a manner akin to a pair of tonfa. They may also be used as brass knuckles when non-lethal application of the weapon is desired.

Traditionally, the blade of a butterfly sword is only sharpened along half of its edge - from the middle of the blade to the tip; this can be seen in all vintage specimens from the Qing dynasty. The blade from the midpoint down is left blunt so that it can be used to deliver non-lethal strikes and to block without damaging the sharpened edge. Butterflies were generally commissioned for individual martial artists, not mass-produced, so every set of swords is different, however an average blade today is about 11½" long with a 6" handle.
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