Kobudo is the study of traditional Okinawan/Japanese weapons. We encourage students to spend a little time each lesson practising traditional weapons kata. Although not compulsory for lower kyu grades, the practice of weapons improves balance, coordination, concentration, and muscle control, all of which helps the student in their general ju-jitsu practice.
Before taking their first Dan grade (Black Belt) students are expected to perform 5 basic weapons kata (sets of moves). These are:
Students at all levels are encouraged to spend a few minutes during each lesson learning the weapons kata. Before taking their first Dan students must attend at least 3 Ko Budos (weapons training courses) and take their level 5 assessment, demonstrating the first kata in each of the 5 weapons listed above.
After passing at level 5, further weapons kata are studied, including:
Junior students are also allowed to practice weapons kata, although usually not until they are at least 8 years old and have achieved the grade of yellow belt. Juniors have their own syllabus for weapons, with 4 levels, each broken down into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced sections:
Both junior and senior students are encouraged to enter the kata classes in competition. At most classes a short time is allowed at the beginning of each lesson for weapons practice, which is also a good way to start warming up for the class. Some junior classes have an additional weapons practice lesson, and there are various Ko Budo dates available for both junior and senior practice and assessment.