|Posted by Shihan Tatro on June 15, 2011 at 8:33 AM|
As I prepare for a series of seminars on tonfa, sai, bo and bunkai, I've broken out the weapons to prepare. I train fairly regularly w/ bo (like everytime I pick up a broom, shovel or pool stick) as I instruct students. I've recently returned to competing w/ the tonfa, so I train fairly regularly w/ it. Back in Dec., Master Holman asked me to teach a couple of his students the Sai, but I've done little w/ it since. So, I'll have to include time for Sai practice.
My strength is Tonfa. I became nationally rated (#9) competing mainly w/ tonfa. I won a couple tournaments w/ Bo, but most w/ tonfa. Few competitors used this Okinawan weapon that inpired the P-24 police baton, which I think gave me an edge.
Of course, considerable emphasis on traditional applications of such weapons requires some history. Basic weapon application mimics martial arts techniques allowing a reference point for weapons use. Which is why I recommend seminar participants have at least 6 months previous martial arts experience. The tonfa can be very dangerous to users who don't understand some basic martial arts principles. The extreme power of the tonfa is generated by centrifical force, much like nunchaku, only tonfa requires more technique, whereas anyone can whip a nunchaku. No offense to nunchaku practitioners. The sai requires similar finesse in it's proper application. As always, the most basic applications are stressed while teaching more advanced bunkai.