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Yamane-ryu Kobodo Weapons training


Yamane-ryu Kobudo

Weapons Tr

Koryu Uchinadi Newcastle's Kobudo classes are held after our normal training on Saturday morning.

Due to the nature of the training students wishing to attend will need to meet the following requirements.


  • Senior KU students - all belt ranks
  • Youth KU students - Orange belt and above, and minimum of 10 years old

Class fees

Students who pay for 2 or more classes per week can attend the weapons class at no additional cost. Students who pay for 1 class per week can upgrade to 2 or more classes to attend the weapons class or elect to pay a casual fee when attending the weapons class.


Casual weapons class - Senior - $20.00 or Youth - $15.00 per class.

The weapons class is not available for Junior students or youth students who do not meet the age/belt rank requirements. 

Yamane-ryu Kobodo Weapons training kanji

Shihan Bob King is a direct student of Hanshi Patrick McCarthy and teaches Hanshi Patrick McCarthys school of Yamane-ryu which is a martial arts system using traditional Okinawan weapons.

Given the name Yamane-ryu by Chinen Masami (1898-1976), the grandson of Chinen Sanda, the term brings together three separate Chinese ideograms:

  1. Yama meaning 'mountain'
  2. Ne meaning 'foundation or root'
  3. Ryu meaning 'stream'

The term was simply intended to describe the locale in Shuri's Samukawa village from whence Chinen's tradition came. This translates to the 'Style from the base of the mountain'.

Chinen Sanda's most prominent student was Oshiro (Ogusuku) Chojo. Hanshi McCarthy's teacher, O'Sensei Kinjo Hiroshi, was a direct student under Master Oshiro Chojo.

Training consists of various exercises to teach the fundamental techniques of each weapon as well as kata (solo exercises) and 2 person/partner exercises. As well as the training improving ones physical fitness and mental well being, the principles learnt through Kodudo training are applicable to 'empty hand' (karate) training as well.

Read more about the history and lineage

Weapons taught in Hanshi McCarthy's school of Yamane-ryu are:

Yamane Ryu - Bo

Bo - 6 foot staff

The Bo is the earliest of all Okinawan weapons and was one of two weapons used by Okinawan law enforcement officials, the other is the Sai. The Bo is the major weapon of the Yamane Ryu system with seven katas and many exercises. It is also one of the most effective weapons with its reach and ability to strike and thrust from both ends.

Yamane-ryu - Sai

Sai - iron cudgel

The sai is a three-pronged cudgel and appears similar to a short sword, but is not bladed and the end is traditionally blunt. The weapon is metal with its length dependent upon the forearm of the user. It was was one of two weapons used by Okinawan law enforcement officials, the other is the Bo. The two shorter prongs on either side of the main shaft are used for trapping (and sometimes breaking) other weapons such as a sword or Bo. 

Yamane-ryu - Kama

Kama - short handled sickle

The Kama is based on a traditional farming sickle, and are normally used in pairs. You can slice and hook with the blade, hammer with the rear of the handle, stab with the point of the blade and thrust with the butt of the handle. The Kama is difficult to learn due to the inherent danger in practicing with an edged weapon. Most techniques are designed to be used against a Bo.

Tinbe Rochin - shield & short spear

The Tinbe-Rochin consists of a shield and spear. It is one of the least known Okinawan weapons. The Tinbe (shield) can be made of various materials but is commonly found in vine or cane, metal, or classically, from a turtle shell (historically, the Ryukyu Islands primary source of food, fishing, provided a reliable supply of turtle shells). The shield size is generally about 45 cm long and 38 cm wide. The Rochin (short spear) is cut with the length of the shaft being the same distance as the forearm to the elbow. The spearhead then protrudes from the shaft and can be found in many differing designs varying from spears to short swords and machete-style implements.

Tanbo - short staff

The Tanbo is a short staff (compared to a Bo) made of hardwood or bamboo. Its length is determined by measuring from the tip of the elbow to the wrist. Tanbo can be used in pairs.

Yamane-ryu - Eku boat oar

Eku - boat oar

The Okinawan style of oar is called an Eku (this actually refers to the local wood most commonly used for oars), eiku, iyeku, or ieku. One of the basic moves for this weapon utilises the fact that a fisherman fighting on the beach would be able to fling sand at an opponent. While not having the length, and therefore reach, of the Bo, the rather sharp edges can inflict more penetrating damage when wielded properly.

Yamane-ryu - Tinbe Rochin
Yamane-ryu - Tanbo short staff
Yamane Ryu Bo training at the 2023 Gasshuku hosted by KU Newcastle
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