What Is Okinawa Kobujutsu?
Okinawa kobujutsu is a form of armed budō that originated in what is now Okinawa-ken, formerly the Kingdom of Ryūkyū, and primarily from the main island of Okinawa itself. The word "kobujutsu" means "ancient peacemaking art," and from this it could be inferred that forms of Okinawa kobujutsu predate the development of karate-dō as a formalised system of defence in the ancient Kingdom of Ryūkyū.
The art uses a variety of objects as weapons, most of which were common tools that were readily available in every farming or fishing community—meaning everywhere on an island—or slightly modified versions of those tools. A prime example of this is the bō, which is a six-foot long staff about an inch in diameter that was found in every Okinawan household prior to World War II. These rods served as clotheslines, drying poles for fish, meat, and animal hides, carrying heavy loads, walking sticks, and many other uses. They were even used for centuries by low-ranking constables who were not permitted to possess bladed weapons. Other examples include common garden sickles, sculling oars, garden hoe, and fishing gaff. Okinawa kobujutsu is the art of using these implements in a precise and scientifically thought out manner to defend against attacks with the military weapons of that era: primarily swords and spears, but also the weapons of Okinawa kobujutsu itself.