Martial Art Weapon Training
There are many benefits in training with martial arts weapons. Because most weapons have some weight to them, their use will help develop muscle tone and strength. Performing forms or katas with weapons will also develop coordination.
Martial artists can learn to use various martial arts weapons as part of their overall training. Many martial arts schools, especially those that teach Japanese karate and Chinese kung fu styles have weaponry as part of their overall curriculum. Popular weapons from karate systems include the bo staff, kama, sai, sword, nunchaku and tonfa.
Martial arts weapons can be divided into short and long range. An example of a short range weapon would be a pair of sai. The bo staff would be a long range weapon because of the longer reach.
Martial arts weapons are considered as extensions of a martial artistís own body. For example, strikes with a weapon are really extended hand strikes. Blocks with weapons are modeled after traditional martial art blocking techniques. Therefore, it is important for martial arts students to be relatively proficient with martial arts techniques using their own bodies first before learning to use any martial arts weapon. This will help the students understand the applications behind each weapons technique much better.
Weapons can also be divided into bladed and non-bladed. Kamas and swords of course would be bladed weapons where staffs and nunchakus would be non-bladed. In most training situations with bladed weapons, the blades are not live. That is, the blades of swords and kamas are blunt rather than sharp. This adds to the safety aspect of martial arts weapons training. Weapons can also come in different weights from heavy traditional models down to ultra light weight versions for forms competition.
Power and Presence Necessary for Traditional Weapon Forms Competitors
Your form starts when you're at the corner before you walk into the ring, and you want to keep that in mind. You want to present yourself to the judges as someone that's very strong, powerful, and ready to do their thing, ready to win. Bow at the corner of the ring. Bend at the hips all the way down to 45 or 90 degrees, making sure your back is straight and legs are straight. Make sure your bow is nice and powerful. Lock your angle in place and come back up and walk forward to the center back of the ring and turn. Make sure your chest is up and you are standing nice and straight, shoulders are square. When you are here, same thing, bow, making sure your eyes are down. You never look at judges when you're bowing. Walk forward confidently to the judges bow, eyes down, introduce yourself,
"Judges, my name is Tina Fuller. With your permission I shall begin."
When introducing yourself make sure you scan the judges. Don't just look at the center official, scan across the judges. Wait for the go-ahead, bow again, eyes down, walk back. On the walk back keep your eyes on the judges and start getting fired up again. When you are ready to begin, KI-AP, bow, and then you begin your form.
The nunchaku weapon competition form is more visually stunning, rather than combative. The handling of this weapon is one of the most difficult parts of practicing forms and requires hours of repetitive practice. It is recommended to start with one set of nunchaku and be able to use either hand.
The competitior should work toward advancing the handling of this weapon enough to progress to being able to use a double pair of nunchaku in the competition form.
Basic Nunchuka Techniques
One of the most popular martial arts weapons used in the martial arts is the bo. The bo is usually the first weapon taught at most martial art schools and is the most common weapon seen at tournaments.
Intermediate Competition Bo Staff Form
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