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Kobudo literally means "old martial art" and was developed in the 15th century in Okinawa (Japan). It is a way of fighting with what used to be tools of the simple people, such as peasants, fishermen and craftsmen. Kobudo originates in the Ryu islands, the biggest one of which is Okinawa.

Kobudo weapons were mentioned for the first time in the year 1243 in an soldier's military report. During the Japanese occupation, the inhabitants of the Ryu islands had to pay high taxes and were not allowed to wear conventional weapons.This was the beginning of Kobujutsu ("old weapon art", precursor of Kobudo), since objects and tools of everyday's life could not be considered as weapons and therefore could not be forbidden. In the 19th century when Japan underwent social upheaval, the martial background of Kobudo slowly became forgotten. Jutsu (art) was replaced by Do (way).

It generally refers to the classical weapon traditions of Okinawan martial arts, most notably the rokushakubo (six foot staff, known as the "bō"), sai (short unsharpened dagger), tonfa (handled club), kama (sickle), and nunchaku (nunchucks), but also the tekko (knuckledusters), tinbe-rochin (shield and spear), and surujin (weighted chain). Less common Okinawan weapons include the tambo (short staff) and the eku (boat oar of traditional Okinawan design).

The kata of kobudo reached their peak between 1600 and 1800 and although the art went into decline martial-art traditionalist are credited as being responsible for keeping the art alive through the 20th century



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