Kobudo, the ancient Okinawan martial art of farming and fishing tools for self-defense has been so effective, that many law enforcement agencies around the globe adopted many of these tools for their line of work. One notable tool was the tonfa, a side handle baton that replaced the common ‘Billy club’ for a few decades until the expandable baton was introduced. But even the expandable baton, known as a kibo and referred to as ASP, has a Japanese martial arts association. For instance, the hanbo, a 3-foot baton, is used in many styles of traditional jujutsu and ninjutsu and is even used in some styles of Shorin-Ryu Karate. Other similar tools include nitanbo and kobuton.
Other kobudo tools, or weapons, include an unusual fork-like weapon known as sai. The sai is a classical kobudo martial art weapon and one of the hardest to learn. Even so, members of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai at the Arizona Hombu in Mesa tested for certification with this weapon. To certify, the group was required to demonstrate four separate advanced kata (forms), bunkai (self-defense applications) and ippon kumite (sparing). Six martial artists from the martial arts school successfully passed exams and were awarded certification in this complicated weapon. The six included Adam Bialek, Sensei Bill Borea, Amanda Nemec, Ryan Nemec, Alexis Pillow and Sempai Patrick Scofield.