The art of kobudo focuses on the training of classical martial arts weapons from past centuries. To beginners and mere observers, the practice serves the sole purpose of learning skills with the weapon being trained. The conclusion is logical. Training on a long sword develops skill with that particular blade. Beneath the surface, those learning kobudo also have a pathway to learning basic joint locks and throws.
Attack and Counterattack While Drawing the Blade
When a sword is in its sheath, it must be drawn prior to being used offensively. With a classical kobudo sword, the long hilt requires two hands for a full draw. When someone puts both hands on the hilt to access the weapon, a common defensive tactic is for an opponent to put both of his/her hands on those hands drawing the sword. Upon immobilizing the weapon hands, the opponent can kick the weak points of the sword wielder.
Through using jujitsu and joint locking tactics, the attack can be counterattacked. Upon releasing one hand from the sword hilt, a fighter can:
- Grab and twist the wrist of an opponent and bring him/her to the ground.
- Cup the back of the head of the opponent, pull him/her forward, and sweep the foot out.
- Grasp the elbow, twist the joint to off-balance the opponent, and leg reap the knee into a throw.
These sword-retention defensive tactics can all be modified to work in modern, common self-defense situations.
Empty-Hand Applications Derived from Sword Retention
Removing the blade from the equation does not change human anatomy or the laws of physics. Human joints remain susceptible to manipulation and an off-balanced body can be easily tripped or thrown. The aforementioned sword-retention tactics could easily be used to deal with an aggressor who lays hands on another. The changes to the techniques are not even that drastic:
- A stalker grabs a wrist to prevent an acquaintance from walking away. The door is now opened for the wrist lock attack.
- An unruly individual decides to grab someone behind the neck. The victim chooses to counter-grab the person's neck and performs the pull-to-foot sweep technique.
- A boisterous drunk shoves a party goer on the chest. The exposed elbows on the shoves create an opportunity for the joint twisting/off-balancing leg reap technique.
Practicing these moves with both the sword and without helps refine and develop skill in technique. Through the enhancement of skill, the ability to protect oneself with confidence is possible. For more information, contact a company like Tanaka's Martial Arts Academy.