Studying Kobudo

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In my post on karate, I alluded to the idea that I’m walking other martial paths, too.

I’m going to draw your attention to kobudo which, many sources seem to want to tell me, means “old martial way”. More descriptively, traditional Okinawan weapons. In the case of the system I’m studying, there are four primary weapons.

The Bo:

The Sai:

The Tonfa:

And the Nunchaku:

Note I said primary weapons. Depending on the path you’re taking, there may be fifteen or sixteen you’ll encounter along the way, but these are “the big four”.

There are some out there who are probably already asking why? Kobudo isn’t like empty-handed self defense. You can’t carry around a set of nunchaku in your back pocket, or a pair of sai or tonfa tucked into your belt, so what’s the point?

Well, I could talk about how it expands your experience, teaches you to use your brain and body in new ways, puts you in touch with a tradition and a culture that you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience, develops reflexes, strength, and coordination, and a whole bunch of other mental and physical benefits.

Or I could tell you how it’s just plain fun. Because that’s really what it comes down to. Not just the rush from moving quickly and feeling the impact of wood on wood (or metal) or the swoosh the end of the staff makes through the air when you swing it just right, but the joy you get from the practice and the participation with other people who feel the same way.

I’m studying kobudo because it’s fun. Yes, all of those other things add up to it being fun, but my journey isn’t the same as anyone else’s. If you’re doing something for a hobby and don’t get any joy out of it, why do it?

I’m not very far down this particular path yet, but that means there’s a whole lot more fun ahead.

Be well, everyone.

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