Once you have reached the orange belt level in Karate you will begin training in Kobudo (Weaponry). The weapons that you will be taught are: the Ton Bo, Bo, Tong Fa, Jo, Sai, Kama, and even the Katana.
One of the aims of training with weapons, is to teach the difference between life and death. Realization of a weapons power, in relation to that of an empty hand, teaches one to respect its potential. The same thrust of a punch to the abdomen, will bring about an entirely different result if the hand were clutching a knife. While one will hurt or stun, the other will likely kill. With an understanding or respect, for any weapon, one can begin to learn how to properly defend oneself against an armed attacker.
Kobudo training is designed to teach how a weapon can be used as an extension of the body. Most basic Karate moves can be duplicated with a weapon in hand. Only by first learning these basic movements, however, can weapons training begin.
One of the most useful weapons, for present day defense taught in Kobudo is the either the Bo, or the Tonbo. The Bo, a six foot oak staff, can be fashioned from a broom handle or a pool cue, and the Ulesi, a short cane or bamboo stick, can be modified out of an umbrella or any loose stick.