The Kobudo System

O-Sensei Fumio Demura Karate & Kobudo
Contemplation before and after training O-Sensei Fumio Demura Karate & Kobudo

The Kobudo System we use in Jiu-Jitsu IBF is based upon the Weapon system training developed and promoted by the great Karate and Kobudo expert sensei Fumio Demura.

Sensei Tom Starling with O-Sensei Fumio Demura
Sensei Tom Starling 8th Dan Jiu-Jitsu IBF pictured [left] with O-Sensei Fumio Demura Karate & Kobudo [right]

Dr. Jigaro Kano was first and foremost a master of Jiu-Jitsu and if you by chance read The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu by H Irving Hancock & Katsukuma Higashi first published in 1905, I believe in my own personal opinion you will grasp the concept of pure Jiu-Jitsu.

Sensei Tom Starling with O-Sensei Fumio Demura
Sensei Fumio Demura Karate & Kobudo Expert [right] with Sensei Tom Starling 8th Dan President IBF representative for UK Great Britain [left]

More information on grades and weapons below...


Art of the sword
Shodan - 1st Degree Black Belt

All warriors regardless of rank were trained in Swordsmanship, those of higher ranks had more time to develop their expertise, which is why a retainer of lower rank was no match for the Bushi.

These Bushi normally carried two swords, the long sword (Katana) and the short (wakiashi) and these two weapons symbolized the Bushi position in Japanese society.

The art of sword fighting (Ken-Jutsu) became highly specialised and many schools (Ryu) were established, where the devotees of the skill trained for long hours, practising the initial preparation for combat, the unsheathing of a sword, strategies of attack, counter attack and defence.


Short stick
1st Kyu - Brown Belt

The Jo or Short Stick approximately 4' in length, was used it is said by Muso Gonnosuke a famous swordsman, who after a bout with wooden swords, which was won by the equally famous Miyamoto Musashi, whose style of two sword fighting was adopted by the Nito Ryu.

Gonnosuke retired to a shinto shrine, where after a period of meditation, he assiduously practiced the art of the Jo, by marrying the techniques of spear fighting with other forms of combat.

He then challenged Musashi to a second encounter, this time Gonnosuke's method enabled him to mount an effective defence, whilst penetrating Musashi's own two sword defence.


2nd Kyu - Purple Belt

The Kama is a simple handle with a blade set at right angles to its length. The blade could be folded up inside the handle and a metal ring which slid along the handle was used to lock the blade into an open or shut position.

The farmers in Japan extensively employed the Sickle (Kama) as a weapon of combat and these were in a variety of forms. The variations generally being in the length of the handle.


3rd Kyu - Blue Belt

The Bo or staff approximately 6' in length has been used as a form of defence and combat from the earliest of times and all over the world.

The Bushi of medieval Japan knew it well and were adept in its use.

The staff and other similar wooden instruments, were used predominantly to train the Bushi in techniques which in actual combat would involve a steel blade, they developed a wooden substitute for almost every weapon, like a spear (Yari) or halberd (Naginata)


4th Kyu - Green Belt

The Tonfa consists of a rectangular shaped piece of wood, with a handle protruding from the side near the end.

Swung around at speed, this apparently harmless tool could be efficiently used to deflect a blow and then strike an opponent after deflection.

The PR24 or Side Arm Baton is used by Police Forces all over the World.

The actor William Shatner made the weapon famous in the American TV Police series "T J Hooker"


5th Kyu - Orange Belt

This weapon appears in many variations, sometimes being implemented with a guard or scabbard and was even known to be mounted as a sword.

It could be carried hanging from the belt or from the wearers wrist. The original concept of the sai was used solely as a parrying weapon.


Rice flail
6th Kyu - Yellow Belt

The Nunchaku consists of two pieces of wood connected by a leather strap or piece of chain.

The wooden parts were used to strike and the connection could be employed to bring a man off balance, the chain or strap was also used for locks and chokes.

The Nunchaku was made famous by the late great Bruce Lee in the movie "Enter the Dragon"