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Austin Society of

Karate

Weapons Manual
Austin Society of Karate

OFFICIAL WEAPONS MANUAL

©1998 by Austin Society of Karate.

Official Manual of the Austin Society of Karate. All rights reserved.


No part of this manual may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise.

Greg Beaver
Director
Table of Contents

The Arnis ......................................................................................... 1-1

The Bo ............................................................................................. 2-1

The Nunchaku................................................................................. 3-1

The Sai............................................................................................. 4-1

The Tonfa......................................................................................... 5-1


The Arnis

Austin Society of Karate 1-1


Arnis History
Kali is the mother art of the modern Filipino Martial Arts. Records from the Malay Sri-Vishaya empire
dating to the 8th century A.D. refer to Kali as the art of the Philippines. According to historians, the Ten
Datus of Borneo brought their fighting methods to the island of Panay. Here, basic reading, writing and
Kali were taught in the schools. Due to the loss of written records, the exact techniques of Kali remain a
mystery today, although elements of Kali remain alive in the foundation of today's Filipino Martial Arts.

The Spanish began a 400 year occupation of the islands late in the 16th century. To suppress opposition to
their rule, the Spanish banned the teaching of Kali. Elements of the art were hidden in folk plays and native
dance. However, over time, Spanish fencing methods were blended into the indigenous fighting
framework. Under Spanish influence, the native art became known as eskrima, estocada, arnis de mano or
arnis.

The Filipino Martial Arts assume different names in different regions. In the Manila area, the art is known
as Arnis or Pananandata, in Pangasinan as Kalirongan, in the Ilocos region of Luzon as Kabaro-an, and in
the Visayas as Eskrima.

Arnis historians have cited as many as 200 systems or styles of Arnis-Eskrima-Kali. Names describing the
range of fighting include Largo (long-distance), Medio (medium-range), and Corto or Serrada (close, in-
fighting). Names based on movement include Abanyko (fanning), Palis-Palis (go with the force), Sungkiti
(flicking), Ocho-Ocho (figure eight), and Lastico (snapping). Systems can be called by the choice of
weapon, e.g., solo baston (single cane), double baston or sinawali (double cane), espada y daga (sword and
dagger), mano-mano or de kadina (empty hands).

Arnis is the basic art with single stick, double stick, 5 foot bo, and 10 to 14 inch short staff. Escrima is
arnis with a single knife, double knife, and stick and knife. Kali is arnis and escrima with a sword, double
sword, and grappling empty hands against weapons with kicking, tripping, and foot work.

Arnis Anatomy
The stick is called a BATON. The grip is one hand’s width up from the bottom. To grasp the arnis
properly, hold it firmly as if shaking hands and fold your thumb on top of your first finger. The bottom of
the baton is called the PUNO. You use the puno for locks, grabs, and jabs. The striking surface is the last
3 inches of the baton. In this manner you get maximum speed, range, and force. There are three different
ways of hitting: Stab, Strike, and Ratick.

Austin Society of Karate 1-2


Arnis Stances
Attention Stance Ready Stance

FEET TOGETHER. ARNIS CRADLED IN RIGHT ARM. RIGHT ELBOW BACK TO SIDE. LEFT HAND CENTER OF
BODY. FEET IN A 45 DEGREE ANGLE BACK STANCE.

Horse Stance Forward Stance

ARNIS AND KNIFE HAND FORM AN ‘X’ IN FRONT OF ARNIS AND KNIFE HAND FORM AN ‘X’ IN FRONT OF
BODY. STANDARD HORSE STANCE. BODY. STANDARD FORWARD STANCE.

Austin Society of Karate 1-3


Arnis Stances
Back Stance Rear Defense Stance

ARNIS AND KNIFE HAND FORM AN ‘X’ IN FRONT OF ARNIS OVER THE TOP OF THE HEAD DOWN CENTER LINE
BODY. STANDARD BACK STANCE. OF BODY WITH OTHER HAND IN KNIFE HAND AT CENTER
OF CHEST.

Crane Stance Cat Stance

ARNIS OVER THE TOP OF THE HEAD DOWN CENTER LINE ARNIS OVER THE TOP OF THE HEAD DOWN CENTER LINE
OF BODY WITH OTHER HAND IN KNIFE HAND AT CENTER OF BODY WITH OTHER HAND IN KNIFE HAND AT CENTER
OF CHEST. OF CHEST.

Austin Society of Karate 1-4


Arnis Blocks
Highriser Block Low Block

ARNIS BLOCKS HIGH, PARALLEL WITH FLOOR. OTHER BLOCK SWINGS ACROSS AND DOWN PAST THE LEG.
HAND IN TIGHT AT CENTER OF BODY. OTHER HAND IN TIGHT AT CENTER OF THE BODY.

Diagonal Block

BLOCKS ACROSS THE FACE WITH ARNIS AT AN ANGLE.


OTHER HAND IN TIGHT AT CENTER OF BODY.

Austin Society of Karate 1-5


Arnis Blocks
Double Highriser Block Double Low Block

ARNIS BLOCKS HIGH, PARALLEL WITH FLOOR. OTHER BLOCK SWINGS ACROSS AND DOWN PAST THE LEG.
HAND ON OPPOSITE END OF ARNIS. OTHER IN HAND ON OPPOSITE END OF ARNIS.

Double Diagonal Block

BLOCKS ACROSS THE FACE WITH ARNIS AT AN ANGLE.


OTHER HAND ON OPPOSITE END OF ARNIS.

Austin Society of Karate 1-6


Arnis Strikes
Vertical Strike Up Vertical Strike Down

FROM A READY STANCE ARNIS SWINGS UP FROM FROM READY STANCE ARNIS SWINGS DOWN FROM TOP.
GROUND. PIVOT OFF BACK FOOT. TURN BODY TO SIDE. ARNIS SWINGS TO FLOOR THEN BACK TO READY.

Horizontal Strike Ratick

FROM READY STANCE ARNIS SWINGS ACROSS TO ARNIS SWINGS BACK UP BEHIND YOU THEN JABS
OPPOSITE SIDE. PIVOT BACK FOOT AS THE ARNIS FORWARD WITH THE END OF THE ARNIS (PALM UP).
SWINGS ACROSS.

Austin Society of Karate 1-7


Arnis Strikes
Jab Vertical Slash

ARNIS SWINGS BACK BEHIND YOU ARNIS SWINGS DOWN FROM THE HEAD TO THE FOOT.
THEN OVER THE TOP AND JABS WITH
THE END OF THE ARNIS (PALM DOWN).

Diagonal Strike Hammer Fist Strike

FROM READY STANCE ARNIS SWINGS ACROSS TO DOWNWARD STRIKE WITH THE PUNO.
OPPOSITE SIDE. PIVOT BACK FOOT AS THE ARNIS
SWINGS ACROSS.

Austin Society of Karate 1-8


Arnis Kata
1. Diagonal Strike Down to left collar bone.
2. Diagonal Strike Down to right collar bone.
3. Horizontal Strike to left elbow.
4. Horizontal Strike to right elbow.
5. Vertical Strike Up to left knee.
6. Vertical Strike Up to right knee.
7. Ratick to stomach.
8. Jab to right side of chest.
9. Ratick to the face.
10. Vertical Slash from head down to foot.
11. Jab to the eye.
12. Double Hand Vertical Slash from top of head to groin.

Austin Society of Karate 1-9


Arnis Kata

DIAGONAL STRIKE DOWN TO LEFT DIAGONAL STRIKE DOWN TO RIGHT HORIZONTAL STRIKE TO LEFT
COLLAR BONE. COLLAR BONE. ELBOW.

HORIZONTAL STRIKE TO RIGHT VERTICAL STRIKE UP TO LEFT KNEE. VERTICAL STRIKE UP TO RIGHT
ELBOW. KNEE.

Austin Society of Karate 1-10


Arnis Kata

RATICK TO STOMACH. JAB TO RIGHT SIDE OF CHEST. RATICK TO THE FACE

VERTICAL SLASH FROM HEAD DOWN TO FOOT. JAB TO THE EYE.

Austin Society of Karate 1-11


Arnis Kata

DOUBLE HAND VERTICAL SLASH FROM TOP OF HEAD TO GROIN.

Austin Society of Karate 1-12


The Bo

Austin Society of Karate 2-1


Bo History
The exact origin of the bo (or kon) is not really known. The earliest form was a stick or branch from a tree.
One popular theory is that around 517 A.D., the Zen Buddhist priest Daruma Daishi, the leader of the
Shorin-ji Temple in China, brought into effect fluent use of the bo. Since government control was minimal
during this part of Chinese history, protection and safety were up to the individual. Daruma and his
disciples found proficiency in the martial arts and the use of weapons such as the bo provided the only
feasible means of protecting their temple.

The bo-jitsu techniques Daruma ordered his disciples to master were of great influence to the development
of the Okinawan art of Ryukyu Kobu-Do, the use of karate weapons such as the bo, the sai, the kama and the
nunchaku for self defense. This was a result of the Japanese government barring the use of lethal weapons
for the people of Okinawa. The people were forced to use farm implements as weapons. The bo originated
with the tenbin, a stick held across the shoulders, usually with buckets hanging from each end, that was
used to convey food, water or other things.

Bo Anatomy
The standard bo or kon is the straight six-foot-long roku shaku-bo. Measuring 1-1/4 inch thick at its
center, it tapers out to a 3/4 inch thickness at each end. The ends are called Kontei and the center is called
Chukon-bu.

Note: A number of Bo blocks can also double as Bo strikes. For example, the Reverse Strike and the Reverse Block are the same
movement.

Note: All descriptions of blocks and strikes will include an abbreviation of the grip being used. For example, a reverse grip will
be denoted RG and a basic grip will be denoted as BG.

Austin Society of Karate 2-2


Bo Grips
Basic Grip Reverse Grip

HANDS APPROXIMATELY SHOULDER WIDTH APART IN SAME AS BASIC GRIP BUT BOTH HANDS ARE FACING
THE CENTER OF THE BO, RIGHT HAND FACING DOWN, DOWN. RG
LEFT HAND FACING UP. BG

Double End Grip Underarm Grip

HANDS IN THE BASIC GRIP POSITION BUT ON THE END OF HANDS IN THE BASIC GRIP POSITION WITH THE BO ON
THE BO. DEG THE RIGHT SIDE UNDER THE RIGHT ARM. UG

Austin Society of Karate 2-3


Bo Stances
Attention Stance Ready Stance

FEET TOGETHER, BO AT RIGHT SIDE. FEET APART, BO HORIZONTAL WITH A BASIC GRIP. BG

On Guard Stance Horse Stance

BACK ON RIGHT FOOT IN A FIGHTING STANCE, BO ON 50/50 - BO AT RIGHT SIDE WITH A DIAGONAL STRIKE. UG
RIGHT BICEP. BG

Austin Society of Karate 2-4


Bo Stances
Forward Stance Back Stance

60/40 - BO AT RIGHT SIDE WITH DIAGONAL STRIKE. UG 70/30 - BO AT RIGHT SIDE WITH DIAGONAL STRIKE. UG

Rear Defense Stance Crane Stance

FEET OFFSET APPROXIMATELY ONE FOOT, BO DOWN ON ONE LEG, BO DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY. RG
CENTER LINE OF BODY. 80/20. RG

Austin Society of Karate 2-5


Bo Stances
Cat Stance

90/10 - BO DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY. ONE HAND


HIGH AND ONE HAND LOW. RG

Austin Society of Karate 2-6


Bo Blocks
High Block Low Block

BO SHOULD BE AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE FROM HEAD. RG LEAN FOWARD AND BEND LEAD LEG. RG

Side Block Diagonal Block

BO HELD VERTICALLY DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY TO BO HELD AT 45 DEGREE ANGLE. RG


THE SIDE. RG

Austin Society of Karate 2-7


Bo Blocks
Inside Block Outside Block

PALMS FACING IN, BO MAKES A QUICK SEMICIRCLE TO PALMS FACING OUT, BO MAKES A QUICK SEMICIRCLE TO
THE INSIDE. UG THE OUTSIDE. RG

Reverse Down Block Pressing Block

FROM A FORWARD STANCE, LEFT HAND SWINGS BACK DESIGNED TO BE A PUSHING TECHNIQUE INSTEAD OF
OVER TOP OF HEAD AND SWINGS OUT TO THE FRONT JUST A BLOCK. RG
AND DOWN. BG

Austin Society of Karate 2-8


Bo Blocks
Parry Block

THIS BLOCK IS DESIGNED TO PARRY A JAB TO THE


STOMACH. BO SWINGS FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER.
BG

Austin Society of Karate 2-9


Bo Strikes
Vertical Up Strike Vertical Down Strike

FROM A READY POSITION, BO SWINGS UP FROM GROUND, FROM A VERTICAL UP STRIKE, BO SWINGS FROM THE TOP
STOPS AT GROIN. BG STRAIGHT DOWN, STOPPING AT THE HEAD. BG

Diagonal Strike Reverse Strike

FROM THE ON GUARD POSITION, BO SWINGS UP AND FROM A FORWARD STANCE LEFT HAND SWINGS BACK
OVER AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE. BO STOPS AT HEAD. BG OVER TOP OF HEAD AND SWINGS OUT TO THE FRONT. BG

Austin Society of Karate 2-10


Bo Strikes
Outside/Backfist Strike Jab

FROM A READY STANCE, SLIDE OUT INTO A HORSE JAB FORWARD WITH THE END OF THE BO. BG
STANCE, SWING BO OUT TO SIDE HOLDING BO WITH ONE
HAND.

Reverse Jab Sliding Jab

JAB BACKWARD WITH THE END OF THE BO. BG FROM A BACK STANCE, SLIDE BACK HAND DOWN THE BO
JABBING OUT TO THE FRONT WHILE LETTING THE BO
SLIDE IN THE FRONT HAND. DEG

Austin Society of Karate 2-11


Bo Strikes
Overhead Strike

HANDS MOVE INTO A DOUBLE END GRIP. BO SWINGS OVER THE TOP OF THE HEAD AND DOWN WITH A STRIKE FROM
THE HEAD TO THE FOOT.

Austin Society of Karate 2-12


Bo Grabs
Back Grab

THE BO SWINGS FROM A FORWARD STANCE AROUND THE BACK AND IS GRABBED WITH BOTH HANDS. RG

Austin Society of Karate 2-13


Bo Grabs
Full & Half Circle Back Grab

RELEASE BO WITH LEFT HAND. BO SWINGS DOWN AND AROUND THE BACK. GRAB BO WITH THE OTHER HAND AND
SWING BACK AROUND IN FRONT. FOR THE HALF CIRCLE, GRAB THE BO WITH BOTH HANDS AND RETURN TO THE ON
GUARD POSITION. FOR THE FULL CIRCLE, SPIN THE BO IN FRONT LIKE A BATON, MAKING A FULL CIRCLE, THEN GRAB
THE BO WITH THE RIGHT HAND AND REPEAT THE PROCEDURE.

Austin Society of Karate 2-14


Bo Sweeps
Leg Sweep

BO SLIDES FROM BASIC GRIP TO DOUBLE END GRIP. BO SWINGS UP AND OVER THE HEAD THEN OVER AND DOWN
TOWARD THE FLOOR IN FRONT, SWEEPING THE OPPONENT’S LEGS. THE BO THEN SWINGS BACK UP AND RETURNS TO
THE ON GUARD POSITION.

Austin Society of Karate 2-15


Bo Movements
Single Handed Figure Eight

HOLDING BO WITH ONE HAND, SWING BO AROUND IN A FIGURE EIGHT. BO SWINGS ON EACH SIDE OF THE BODY.

Austin Society of Karate 2-16


Bo Movements
Double Handed Figure Eight

SAME AS SINGLE HANDED FIGURE EIGHT BUT HOLD BO WITH BOTH HANDS IN THE CENTER OF THE BO IN THE
STANDARD GRIP POSITION.

Austin Society of Karate 2-17


The Nunchaku

Austin Society of Karate 3-1


Nunchaku History
The original usage for the nunchaku was by mounted soldiers as a horse bridle in ancient China. These
early nunchakus were two pieces of wood tied together with horse hair or straw. However, the nunchakus
came into historical prominence in the 1600s in Okinawa (part of the Ryukyu Islands). The nunchaku was
a simple farm implement used to beat rice or separate beans from their shells.

When Japan outlawed all weapons in Okinawa, including those used in martial arts, the Okinawans began
practicing the art of Okinawa-te or kara-te (the martial art of the empty hand). The farmers discovered that
by using certain farm implements as extensions of their empty hands, their techniques were more powerful.
The farm tools used included the nunchaku, the bo and the sai. By using these innocent tools as deadly
weapons, Okinawan people could carry them in the open without fear of discovery.

Nunchaku Anatomy
The approximate size and weight of the nunchaku has changed little since the 1600’s. Today the two 13 to
14 inch hard wood sticks are 1-1/4 inches in diameter and held together by rope or chain instead of horse
hair. The original sticks were made from the core of the palm tree and soaked three to five years in mud
water to harden them. The wood became so hard from the soaking that it could not be cut by a samurai
sword.

Every part of the nunchaku is potentially useful. The bottom (Kontei) and top (Kontoh) are used to jab or
spear. The upper handle area (Jokon-Bu), nearest to the rope or chain, and the lower handle area (Kikon-
Bu) are used in swinging strikes. The middle area (Chukon-Bu) is for blocking and striking. The rope
(Himo) or chain (Kusari) serves to pinch or choke.

Note: All techniques with the nunchakus are done in the standard grip (SG) except for the knife defense, which is done in the
reverse grip (RG).

Austin Society of Karate 3-2


Nunchaku Grips
Standard Grip Reverse Grip

CHUCK IS HELD ABOUT MIDWAY BETWEEN THE ENDS CHUCK IS HELD ABOUT MIDWAY BETWEEN THE ENDS
WITH THE THUMB CLOSER TO THE CHAIN. WITH THE THUMB FARTHER FROM THE CHAIN.

Ready Position Return Position

RIGHT CHUCK HIGH, LEFT CHUCK LOW. CAN ALSO BE CHUCK UNDER RIGHT ARM WITH THE LEFT HAND IN A
DONE IN A 45 DEGREE FIGHTING STANCE. KNIFE HAND POSITION.

Austin Society of Karate 3-3


Nunchaku Stances
Attention Stance Forward Stance

FEET TOGETHER WITH CHUCKS AT SIDE. CHUCK IN READY POSITION OR RETURN POSITION . 60/40.

Back Stance Horse Stance

CHUCK IN LEAD HAND. 70/30. CHUCK IN RETURN POSITION. 50/50.

Austin Society of Karate 3-4


Nunchaku Stances
Cat Stance Rear Defense Stance

CHUCKS HELD DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY. 90/10 CHUCKS HELD DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY. 80/20.

Crane Stance

CHUCKS HELD DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY.

Austin Society of Karate 3-5


Nunchaku Blocks
X Block High

CHUCKS MAKE AN ‘X’, THEN ROTATE INWARD AND SWING BACK OUT BLOCKING WITH THE CORD.

X Block Low

CHUCKS MAKE AN ‘X’, THEN ROTATE INWARD AND SWING BACK OUT BLOCKING WITH THE CORD.

Austin Society of Karate 3-6


Nunchaku Blocks
Double Block

FROM A READY POSITION PIVOT BODY AND SWING ARM


AROUND WITH A HIGH BLOCK.

Austin Society of Karate 3-7


Nunchaku Strikes
Vertical Strike Up Vertical Strike Down

FROM DOWN POSITION SWING CHUCK UP TO READY FROM READY POSITION SWING CHUCK DOWN.
POSITION.

Jab

HOLDING ON TO BOTH STICKS WITH ONE HAND. THROW THE TOP CHUCK OUT WHILE HOLDING ON TO
THE BOTTOM CHUCK, HITTING WITH THE END OF THE
CHUCK.

Austin Society of Karate 3-8


Nunchaku Slashes
Horizontal Slash

CHUCK SWINGS BACK AND FORTH ACROSS BODY. THE CHUCK WRAPS AROUND THE BACK OF THE BODY AT EACH END
OF THE SWING.

Austin Society of Karate 3-9


Nunchaku Movements
Large & Small Figure Eight

FOR A LARGE FIGURE EIGHT, THE ARM SWINGS AWAY FROM THE BODY AND THE CHUCK SWINGS ON EACH SIDE OF
THE BODY. FOR A SMALL FIGURE EIGHT, THE ARM STAYS STILL AND JUST THE WRIST TWISTS. THE CHUCK STAYS
OUT IN FRONT OF THE BODY.

Austin Society of Karate 3-10


Nunchaku Movements
Changing Ready (Front)

RELEASE HIGH HAND. EXECUTE A VERTICAL UP STRIKE AND CATCH THE CHUCK UNDER THE OPPOSITE ARM PIT.

Changing Ready (Back)

RELEASE HIGH HAND. EXECUTE A VERTICAL UP STRIKE AND CATCH THE CHUCK BEHIND THE BACK WITH THE OTHER
HAND ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE.

Austin Society of Karate 3-11


Nunchaku Movements
Knife Defense

HOLDING CHUCK IN REVERSE GRIP (RG), CHUCK SWINGS FROM SIDE TO SIDE CLOSE TO STOMACH. ONE HAND IN KNIFE
HAND POSITION AT CHEST.

Austin Society of Karate 3-12


The Sai

Austin Society of Karate 4-1


Sai History
When the Japanese prohibited the use of ordinary weapons such as the sword or spear in Okinawa some 350
years ago, the Okinawans turned to karate and kobu-do (the use of karate weapons such as the bo, the
nunchaku, the tonfa, and the sai) for protection. Some kobu-do weapons were farm implements which the
farmers converted to weapons. The sai (short sword) was dragged through the soil by one peasant while
another would plant seed in the resulting furrow. If attacked by a marauding samurai, the peasant could
counter the sword attack with the sai. Usually a sai was carried in each hand and a third one was concealed
inside the peasant’s obi. The third sai was actually used to throw at the attacker.

The original sais had only a single prong. They were sharp and capable of killing or maiming an enemy
with a blow to the back of the neck or a thrust to the throat. Originally, the sai was formed from two
components, the curved prong section and the main stem. These separate parts were then pounded into a
unit in a process similar to the one used to make a samurai sword. About 100 years ago this process was
changed to pouring molten lead into a sand cast. When the sai cooled and hardened the rough edges were
smoothed and the finished weapon was polished.

Sai Anatomy
The sai is made of chrome-plated steel and weighs between one and two pounds. A wrap is wound around
the handle to give a better grip. The sai should be approximately one inch past the length of your elbow.
The butt of the handle should be one inch beyond the tip of your index
finger. The point of the sai is sometimes sharp but more often
rounded. The blade is either rounded or faceted into a hexagon or
octagon. The blade can also be flattened like that of a sword. The
prongs or guards are usually curved like a trident and useful for halting
the stroke of a sword or bo. The guard center is the hub where the
prongs meet the handle. The center of balance is just above the guard
center. The handle is generally wrapped with cotton tape or thick
string for a firm grip. The butt is designed in various shapes and can
be used in the same manner as a karate punch.

Note: All descriptions of blocks and strikes will include an abbreviation of the grip being used. For example, a reverse grip will
be denoted RG and a standard grip will be denoted as SG.

Austin Society of Karate 4-2


Sai Grips
Standard Grip Reverse Grip

SAI IS ALONG FOREARM, INDEX FINGER ALONG GRIP, SAI IS POINTED OUT WITH INDEX FINGER ALONG BLADE,
THUMB INSIDE PRONG AND FINGERS OVER OTHER MIDDLE AND RING FINGER ARE INSIDE PRONG, THUMB
PRONG. AND LITTLE FINGER OUTSIDE OF PRONGS.

Full Grip

HAND IS WRAPPED AROUND GRIP.

Austin Society of Karate 4-3


Sai Stances
Attention Stance Ready Stance

SAIS HELD AT BELT. SG BODY TURNED SIDEWAYS IN FIGHTING STANCE, BOTH


HANDS UP. SG

Horse Stance Forward Stance

50/50 STANCE. HANDS IN FIGHTING POSITION. SG HANDS IN FIGHTING POSITION. 60/40 STANCE. SG

Austin Society of Karate 4-4


Sai Stances
Back Stance Rear Defense Stance

HANDS IN FIGHTING POSITION. 70/30 STANCE. SG SAIS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY WITH A HIGH BLOCK
AND A LOW BLOCK. 80/20 STANCE. SG

Crane Stance Cat Stance

SAIS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY WITH A HIGH BLOCK SAIS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY WITH A HIGH BLOCK
AND A LOW BLOCK. ONE FOOT RAISED BEHIND THE AND A LOW BLOCK. 90/10 STANCE. SG
OTHER KNEE. SG

Austin Society of Karate 4-5


Sai Blocks
High Block Down Block

SAI BLOCKS HIGH IN STANDARD HIGH BLOCK POSITION SAI IS ALONG FOREARM WITH BLADE TURNED TO THE
WITH SAI DOWN THE FOREARM, BLOCKING WITH THE OUTSIDE, BLOCKING WITH THE BLADE OF SAI. SG
BLADE OF THE SAI. SG

Inside Forearm Block Outside Forearm Block

SAI IS ALONG FOREARM, BLOCKING WITH THE BLADE OF SAI IS ALONG FOREARM, BLOCKING WITH THE BLADE OF
THE SAI TO THE INSIDE ACROSS THE BODY. SG THE SAI TO THE OUTSIDE ACROSS THE BODY. SG

Austin Society of Karate 4-6


Sai Blocks
Knife Hand Block Flipping Block

SAI DOWN FOREARM, BLOCKING TO THE OUTSIDE WITH SAI FLIPS FROM STANDARD GRIP TO REVERSE GRIP,
THE BLADE OF THE SAI. SG BLOCKING WITH THE BLADE OF THE SAI. THIS CAN BE
DONE HIGH OR LOW.

X Block Scissor Block

BLOCK OVER HEAD. INSURE THAT SAIS CROSS. THIS BLOCK OVER HEAD. INSURE THAT SAIS CROSS. THIS
BLOCK CAN BE DONE HIGH OR LOW. SG BLOCK CAN BE DONE HIGH OR LOW. RG

Austin Society of Karate 4-7


Sai Strikes
Punch Backfist Strike

HITTING WITH BUTT OF GRIP. SG FLIPPING SAI FROM STANDARD GRIP TO REVERSE GRIP,
HITTING WITH BLADE OF SAI.

Jab Elbow Strike

HITTING WITH THE POINT OF THE SAI. RG STRIKING WITH THE POINT OF THE SAI TO THE BACK. SG

Austin Society of Karate 4-8


Sai Strikes
Ridge Hand Strike Knife Hand Strike

STANDARD RIDGE HAND STRIKE, STRIKING WITH THE STANDARD KNIFE HAND STRIKE, STRIKING WITH THE
INSIDE PRONG OF SAI. SG OUTSIDE PRONG OF SAI. SG

Austin Society of Karate 4-9


Sai Strikes
Outside Flipping Strike (Half & Full)

SWING SAI FROM OUTSIDE TO INSIDE, HITTING WITH BLADE OF SAI. HALF FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH SAI POINTING
OUT IN A REVERSE GRIP POSITION. FULL FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH SAI COMPLETING A FULL CIRCLE AND ENDING
UP IN THE STARTING POSITION.

Inside Flipping Strike (Half & Full)

SWING SAI FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE, HITTING WITH BLADE OF SAI. HALF FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH SAI POINTING
OUT IN A REVERSE GRIP POSITION. FULL FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH SAI COMPLETING A FULL CIRCLE AND ENDING
UP IN THE STARTING POSITION.

Austin Society of Karate 4-10


The Tonfa

Austin Society of Karate 5-1


Tonfa History
When the Japanese prohibited the use of ordinary weapons such as the sword or spear in Okinawa some 350
years ago, the Okinawans turned to karate and kobu-do (the use of karate weapons such as the bo, the
nunchaku, the tonfa, and the sai) for protection. Some kobu-do weapons were farm implements which the
farmers converted to weapons. The tonfa, or toifa (handle), was originally a wooden handle fitted into a
hole on the side of a millstone used by the Okinawans for milling grain. This handle was easily removed
from the millstone and became a very effective weapon of defense.

Tonfa Anatomy
The main part of the tonfa consists of a large hardwood body about 15 to 20 inches in length and a smaller
cylindrical grip secured at a right angle to the main body about six inches from one end. The short end of
the body is the front head. The end of the tonfa on the long end of the body is the back end. The top of
the grip is called the grip head. The edge of the tonfa to which the grip is attached is the top. The
opposite side from the grip is the bottom.

Note: All descriptions of blocks and strikes will include an abbreviation of the grip being used. For example, a reverse grip will
be denoted RG and a standard grip will be denoted as SG.

Austin Society of Karate 5-2


Tonfa Grips
Standard Grip Reverse Grip

THE TONFA IS HELD BY THE GRIP WITH THE BACK HEAD THE TONFA IS HELD BY THE GRIP WITH THE BACK HEAD
ALONG THE FOREARM. SG EXTENDED IN FRONT. RG

Full Grip

TONFA HELD BY THE BACK END. THE GRIP CAN BE


FACING IN EITHER DIRECTION. FG

Austin Society of Karate 5-3


Tonfa Stances
Attention Stance Ready Stance

FEET SHOULDER WIDTH APART. TONFA DOWN THE FEET BACK IN A FIGHTING STANCE WITH HANDS UP IN A
OUTSIDE OF RIGHT ARM. SG FIGHTING POSITION. SG

Horse Stance Forward Stance

HANDS UP IN A FIGHTING POSITION. 50/50 STANCE. SG 60/40 STANCE. HANDS UP IN A FIGHTING POSITION OR IN
A DOWN BLOCK POSITION. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-4


Tonfa Stances
Back Stance Rear Defense Stance

HANDS UP IN A FIGHTING POSITION. 70/30 STANCE. SG TONFAS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY (HIGH BLOCK AND
LOW BLOCK). 80/20 STANCE. SG

Crane Stance Cat Stance

TONFAS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY (HIGH BLOCK AND TONFAS DOWN CENTER LINE OF BODY (HIGH BLOCK AND
LOW BLOCK). ONE FOOT RAISED BEHIND THE OTHER LOW BLOCK). 90/10 STANCE. SG
KNEE. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-5


Tonfa Stances
Immovable Stance

FORWARD STANCE BUT WITH BOTH LEGS BENT WHILE


PERFORMING A PRESSING BLOCK. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-6


Tonfa Blocks
High Block Down Block

TONFA BLOCKS OVER HEAD IN STANDARD HIGH BLOCK BLOCKING WITH OUTSIDE OF TONFA STOPPING OUTSIDE
POSITION WITH TONFA DOWN FOREARM. SG OF THE LEG. SG

Inside Block Outside Block

TONFA DOWN FOREARM BLOCKING TO THE INSIDE TONFA DOWN FOREARM BLOCKING TO THE OUTSIDE
ACROSS BODY. SG ACROSS BODY. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-7


Tonfa Blocks
Knife Hand Block Flipping Block

TONFA DOWN FOREARM BLOCKING TO THE OUTSIDE. SG FROM A READY STANCE, THE TONFA SWINGS OUT IN A
REVERSE GRIP POSITION, BLOCKING WITH THE BOTTOM
OF THE TONFA. THIS BLOCK CAN BE DONE HIGH OR LOW.

X Block Pressing Block

BLOCK OVER HEAD. ENSURE WOOD CROSSES. SG THIS TECHNIQUE CAN BE DONE WITH TWO TONFAS AS
SHOWN OR BY USING THE OTHER HAND FOR SUPPORT.
SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-8


Tonfa Blocks
Scissors Block Double Forearm Block

TONFAS BLOCK OVER HEAD. INSURE THAT WOOD TONFAS DOWN FOREARM TO THE SIDE, BLOCKING TO
CROSSES. THIS BLOCK CAN BE DONE HIGH OR LOW. RG FRONT OF BODY. BODY ROTATES 90 DEGREES FROM A
FORWARD STANCE. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-9


Tonfa Strikes
Punch Hammer Fist

HITTING WITH FRONT HEAD OF TONFA , PALM DOWN. SG HITTING WITH A DOWNWARD STRIKE, USING THE
BOTTOM OF THE TONFA. SG

Elbow Strike Chicken Hand

STRIKING HIGH WITH BACK HEAD OF TONFA. SG STRIKING UP WITH GRIP HEAD OF TONFA. FG

Austin Society of Karate 5-10


Tonfa Strikes
Ridge Hand Strike Knife Hand Strike

STRIKING WITH A STANDARD RIDGE HAND STRIKE, STRIKING WITH A STANDARD KNIFE HAND STRIKE,
HITTING WITH THE GRIP HEAD OF TONFA. SG HITTING WITH THE BOTTOM OF TONFA. SG

Jab Uppercut

STRIKING WITH FRONT HEAD OF TONFA. RG STRIKING UP WITH FRONT HEAD OF TONFA. SG

Austin Society of Karate 5-11


Tonfa Strikes
Outside Flipping Strike (Half & Full)

SWING TONFA FROM OUTSIDE TO INSIDE, HITTING WITH SIDE OF TONFA. HALF FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH TONFA
POINTING OUT IN A REVERSE GRIP POSITION. FULL FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH TONFA COMPLETING A FULL CIRCLE
AND ENDING UP IN THE STARTING POSITION.

Inside Flipping Strike (Half & Full)

SWING TONFA FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE, HITTING WITH SIDE OF TONFA. HALF FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH TONFA
POINTING OUT IN A REVERSE GRIP POSITION. FULL FLIPPING STRIKE ENDS WITH TONFA COMPLETING A FULL CIRCLE
AND ENDING UP IN THE STARTING POSITION.

Austin Society of Karate 5-12

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