SAI - Ryukyu Kobudo program- Full Tutorial

  • Demonstrate Warm up Routine
  • Demonstrate How to Hold the Sai

    Demonstrate How to Bow with Sai

    Demonstrate Yoi With Sai

    Demonstrate Kamai with Sai

    Uke: Blocks

    Low Block

    Middle Outside Block

    Open Middle Block

    High Block

    Double Middle Block Open

    Double High Cross Block Open

    Double Low Block


    Open Head Strike

    Open Downward Strike

    Tsuki - Punch

    Double Punch High

    Around Head Strike

    Double High Open Strike


    Chikenshitahaku no Sai







    History of the Sai

    The Sai is a three pronged iron forged weapon used in traditional Okinawan Kobudo to this very day. It originates back to the early 1400s of feudal Okinawa. The hunting and gathering Minatogawa peoples of native Okinawa began to trade with incoming merchants from China and thus shift into a farming/agricultural community. Many farming tools were brought and the Sai was among the most popular, with multiple uses the most common was trench digging for sowing seeds and irrigation trenches.

    China invented row crop farming around 6th century BC, 2200 years prior to the western world and had taught this to the Okinawan peoples. Row crop farming produced superior crop performance and less waste/loss. Many innovations were scorned upon by the Chinese Ming Dynasty and hand tools remained widely popular, increasing the demand for a large workforce to tend crops.

    The Ming dynasty created agricultural plantations focused on Cash Crops like Tea, Beans, Melons, Jute, Ramie, Rice, and Millet. The Ryukyu Islands, Now Okinawa, had a great capacity to grow Rice, Sweet Potato, Sugar Cane and Fruits. When visiting Okinawa, we like to take our Karate students to Ryukyu Mura where one can enjoy the rich cultural history and even sample Benimo (purple sweet potato) and Sugar Cane, as well as Habu (a Viper Sake). Okinawa is also very famous for amazing pineapples.

    The Sai, likely was used in Okinawa to dig the furrows for sugar cane planting by hand. Similarly, many people believe the Sai originated from the Tiger Fork/hunting spear or pole arm originating from China as a pitchfork like weapon.

    China saw the Ryukyu islands as a wonderful opportunity to generate income through shady dealings and trade in avoidance of current maritime laws. Current day Naha was able to port ships of any size due to lack of coral and China began to impose lavish gifts to the Okinawan Kings in exchange for good favor and cooperation. You can see evidence of this gift giving today by visiting the park across from Shureido shop called Fukushuen. Local kings in the 1400s sought to seize control over trade profits and many local wars were waged.

    The Sai was used by farmers in local uprisings as well as defense against attacks and brutality of incoming governing officials. The iron was strong enough to disarm and even break the Katana, spear or polearm weapons, and cause non lethal damage to attackers. It later evolved to be used as a long range attack by throwing a third sai, and RyuKyu kobudo is still preserved in original kata to this day.