Brown Belt in Okinawan Kobujitsu!

Brown Belt in Weapons!

Kyoshi awarding my certificate.

Last night I earned my 3rd brown belt in Okinawan Kobujitsu (Weapons). Yea!

I did OK but I didn’t do great. I have lots to work on before I test for black! I could use some time in front of a mirror so I can see where my weapons are when I manipulate them, so I’ll be spending some time at the hombu for that. We don’t have mirrors where we train. Or mats, but that’s a different story.  ;)

A couple of weeks ago Kyoshi asked me if I thought I was ready to test. I wasn’t sure and said so, then asked what he thought. Kyoshi said he needed to see me run through my weapons again before deciding.

In my opinion my tonfa kata was fine and my sai kata was fine – up to a point close to the end which confused me for some dumb reason. I was having trouble keeping the bo katas straight, though, and couldn’t remember the name of any of the katas for the life of me!

After my talk with Kyoshi I spent the weekend studying. I worked the bo katas in my basement using my broken bo. I stabbed myself a couple of times and scraped up my arms with the broken end, so I might have to sand that down if I’m going to do that more often!

I worked one kata repeatedly until I thought I had it, then I moved on to the next one. I attached the names of the kata to the actual katas. I even made a cheat sheet of a few moves in two of the katas where I was mixing up the moves. Amazing how much that cheat sheet helped!

While I was studying that weekend I discovered that for the most part, I knew the katas. I’d done them many, many times in class. I just needed to focus on them one at a time, with no distractions, and do them again and again. The names just needed to be refreshed in my brain and that didn’t take long.

And on Monday I went to class and showed Kyoshi my kata. I surprised him by knowing the names of all of them! And then I waited for his decision on whether I was going to test or not. I was very excited to hear my practice paid off! I would test!

So last night was my test. I remembered my kata, I remembered the names, and I passed! Whee!!! OK, celebration over. Time to get back to work!

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2 thoughts on “Brown Belt in Okinawan Kobujitsu!

  1. I have absolutely no idea what any of the non-English nouns you use refer to, but the enthusiasm with which you write about whatever it is — is so contagious that I have to “like” it! :)

  2. Hi Nina! Thanks for reading my posts! The weapons in the Okinawan system were originally farm implements the farmers learned how to wield after their “real” weapons were taken away from them.

    Quick primer on some of the Japanese terms:
    Kata / Form: a series of movements that look similar to a dance (for lack of a better term). It’s one way we practice our basics, the strikes, blocks and movements of our system. When done well, they look pretty, powerful, and awesome! :)
    Bo / Bo Staff: A long, wooden stick that looks similar to a pool cue or the staff used to herd animals. Good to learn if you hang out in pool rooms.
    Tonfa: A wooden stick about the length of a forearm, with a perpendicular handle near the end. These were the handles used to turn the grinding stones for wheat / grains.
    Sai: Mini pitchfork-type weapon. I have no idea what the farmers did with these, but i sure like playing with them!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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