What Is Kobudo?

Taira Shinken: Father of Ryukyu Kobudo

What is Kobudo?



Strictly translated, the Japanese word kobudo covers all ancient martial traditions, armed or unarmed, of Okinawa or Japan. Today, when specifically referring to Okinawan traditions, the term kobudo is most often used to describe the weapons and traditions of the Ryukyu Islands.

These weapons include:

  • sai (iron truncheon)
  • nunchaku (horse bridle)
  • kama (sickle)
  • tekko (metal knuckles)
  • tsuifa (millstone handle)
  • eiku (oar)
  • suruchin (weighted rope)
  • timbi (shield and short spear)

Founded by Taira Shinken (right), Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai is translated as “the organization for the preservation and promotion of the ancient martial traditions of the Ryukyu Islands”.