Welcome to the American Martial Arts Institute’s weaponry program! This program was developed by Master Kevin Mathis as a means to further one’s knowledge of the various weapons used in the AMAI, and to be able to utilize and flow with the weapon as an extension of oneself. Enrolling in this program indicates your strong desire to improve yourself as a martial artist by gaining a diverse and well-rounded martial background. In this program, an in-depth look at the formalities and techniques of each AMAI approved weapon will be given, allowing for the mastery of the weapon, rather than the simple use of one. This weaponry program will cover the nun chuck(s), eskrima(s), tonfas, bo, and Chinese broadsword in great detail, along with the Japanese bokken and Chinese spear at the high rank levels. As you ascend the ranks in weaponry, you will take on the added responsibility of not only demonstrating the correct usage of weapons in your school, but of teaching others the beauty of each weapon and the respect they deserve. Congratulations on taking this step towards bettering yourself as a martial artist; enjoy the journey toward your black sash!
Eskrima: The eskrima stick originates from the Philippine’s, where ‘eskrima’ is actually a specific style of martial arts involving the use of short weapons, such as sticks and knives. This style of weaponry was developed in tribal times as a means for common citizens to defend themselves with what materials they had. To this day, the Philippine’s are a knife and stick oriented region; more people defend themselves with these short weapons than they do guns there.
Nun Chuck: The nun chuck hails from Okinawa, where it is considered a traditional weapon. There is not a significant record or history of the nun chuck, so its origins remain unknown. The most plausible theories suggest that the nun chuck’s first use was as a flail to thresh rice; another possibility is that the nun chuck was made specifically as a un-bladed weapon when edged weapons were banned by death in Okinawa.
Tonfa: There are two theories as to the origins and history of the tonfa. One suggests that it comes from China, where it was modified from a crutch to create a weapon. The other theory states that the weapon comes from Okinawa and, like the nun chuck, was initially a farm tool that became a popular means of self-defense after the ban of edged weapons.
Bo Staff: Staffs have been used in Asia for as long as written history can determine; however, its first use as the weapon we recognize today appears to be from Okinawa. Much like the nun chuck and the tonfa, the bo staff was used for simple farming tasks such as balancing buckets on either end of the bo and draping it across the shoulders. It became a weapon when the banning of edged weapons took place in their country.
Chinese Broadsword: The broadsword is considered to be the most important weapon of Chinese lore; it was the standard weapon given to both the infantry and cavalry of China’s early armies. Its design allowed for superior cutting and slashing rather than the stabbing design of previous swords. It was thought that by making the sword into a cutting weapon, more enemies would fall, as its striking surface was much larger than that of a stabbing sword.