Weapons (the use of & Karate)
English law says that it is illegal to carry and use weapons in the street etc, but of course we all know that many people do, you know who they are and I don't have to go into detail, you know the kind of things I mean, knives & guns etc.
However, you will discover after learning karate for a while that you are carrying a whole armoury of weapons with you all the time and they can't even be detected in the metal detector at the airport. They're not even concealed weapons - have you guessed it yet?
Of course, I'm talking about your;-
Hands & Feet - Fingers, knuckles, Palms & Wrists
Knees & Elbows - best for close quarter fighting!
Head - front & back of
Shoulders & Hips
Pressure Points - I will discuss this later and only with more advanced levels and senior students.
Your Brain! - using your initiative, intuition and cunning to talk the situation down and then running away after distracting your aggressor etc. Remember, that the ultimate goal is to be victorious without fighting!
All of these weapons can be used to great effect and they are all used within Kata, you just have to seek them out and find them. Some will be explained during the natural course of your training when practicing Bunkai. If you want to know more, please ask me.
Since the original basic concept of Kara-te basically means empty-hand or "self defence without the use of external weapons", then there is no practical need for the use of such things as Sai, Bo, Tonfa, or Nunchaku. If you're style uses them, then it's not karate!
However...... if your style teaches their use for self defence purposes, i.e. against an opponent that is using such a weapon against you, or because you are being threatened with lethal force, and the only object you have to hand is an umbrella for example and you are being taught how to use everyday objects for self defence, then the use of weapons in training can not be condoned. The exception being if the training is targeted at young or junior ranking karate-ka.
Warning - some of these weapons, when used correctly and effectively, are lethal and at the very least will cause your attacker serious injury. However, if you are the one being attacked (or perceived to being attacked/threatened/severe provocation etc), don't forget that English Law is on your side.
Statistics show that 4 out of 5 people who "fight back" WIN!!, but as the legendary Bruce Lee once said, if you can "fight, without fighting", this would be the best self defence technique to choose.
Even if you're in a wheelchair or using crutches, you can still win the situation by using the equipment you are using.
For books relating to the use of weapons in karate click here.
Updated: Friday, 10 September 2010