The truth is that the Tonfa really is a terrifying weapon in the right hands. The beauty of this weapon is in its simplicity. Originally derived from an ancient Thai or Chinese tool used in the milling of rice, the Tonfa is essentially a wooden club with a handle. Now the Tonfa is used in Japanese Karate and Jujitsu, particularly in or of the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan. The Tonfa is also used by police forces across the world as the close combat weapon of choice for law enforcement.
1. Tonfa Kata
The Tonfa Kata video below starts off slowly so that you can see all the techniques used. If you want to skip ahead to the fast and furious Tonfa-wielding terror then I’d suggest you go to around the 3:00 mark.
2. Tonfa Blocks and Locks
Ok, so now we’re blocking punches and kicks with our Tonfa Kata basics… What’s next? Go out and swing it round some? Expect the same results from wild Tonfa-wielding as you would from untrained Nunchaku use (see an article on this here), a broken nose and injured pride. Watch this training clip where the blocks seamlessly flow into head, arm, neck and wrist locks.
3. Tonfa Blades
Not satisfied with your Tonfa so far? Perhaps you’d rather it was a bit… sharper? Great news, you can customize it or even pick up some Tonfa blades. Now you can go ahead and spin sharpened clubs of terror in front of you to your heart’s content. Or not… you should think of safety first when trying out a new martial arts weapon. You wouldn’t practise with bladed Nunchaku. Or at least I hope you wouldn’t!
4. Tonfa Sparring
Now that you’re satisfied with the basics of what to do and what not to do with Tonfa (hint, it involves things which are sharp), you can move on to a Tonfa demonstration. Here’s a video of a martial artist using one to fight off an opponent with a baseball bat. That’s not enough? Then how about he fights off a knife attack with a Tonfa too?
5. Tonfa in Film
We all know that martial arts films are different from other action movies because the actors in martial arts films can actually do all of the martial arts you’re seeing! This is just as true of martial arts films involving Tonfa. These clips are terrifying because you know that out there somewhere there is a martial artist who can seriously mess you up. Watch this video, if you haven’t already run away to live in the hills!
Tell us in the comment section below what your favourite technique or type of Tonfa is 😀