The following weapons are the most common utilized by students of Matsubayashi-Ryu Kobudo. Students will usually practice with several weapons but select a single weapon in which to specialize. Shinei Kyan was a leading figure in the development of Matsubayashi-Ryu Kobudo.

The bo is a long wooden staff about 6 feet in length. Four of the bo kata often practiced in Matsubayashi-Ryu are "Shiromatsu No Kon", "Shirataro No Kon," "Sakugawa No Kon" and "Shusi No Kon."


The iron weapon, sai, which in olden days was used by officials to arrest criminals and to hold back crowds, was actually created to defend against attacks from swords, bo, nunchaku or tuifa. One of the sai kata practiced in Matsubayashi-Ryu is called "Chomo Hanagusku No Sai." "Hanagusku" is the Okinawan pronunciation of "Hanashiro." Chomo Hanashiro taught sai kata to Shinei Kyan, one of the founding members of the Nagamine dojo. The kata is also called "Kyan No Sai." Kyan Sensei developed the basic Sai Dai Ichi Kata, which was often performed by small groups in demonstrations.


The nunchaku is a pair of hard wooden sticks with a cord attached at the end. The centrifugal force produced by swinging the nunchaku makes it an effective weapon. It is often said that nunchaku were originally used in the rice thrashing process. However, it is more likely that they were derived from horse bridles or pull carts.

Tonfa or Tuifa

Tonfa or Tuifa refers to two pieces of rectangular hard wood, each about 16 inches long, with a grip attached. It is often said that tonfa were used in connection with milling stones.


Kama are hand sickles which were originally used for agricultural purposes.