Weapons of Ryukyu Kobujutsu

The Tekko is the smallest of the Ryukyu Kobujutsu weapons and in the eyes of modern society the most controversial due to the legal ramifications of owning and using this weapon.

The term ‘knuckle duster’ creates images of darker methods of fighting and gangster armaments but it does have a unique approach in its usage, which compliments open hand perfectly. Tekko is taught at Nidan level and brings the practice back into open hand compatibility with ease along with the close distance to see your opponent’s eyes and feel his breath on your face.

They are used as a pair and made to the width of the hand with anything between one and three protruding points on the knuckle front with protruding points at the top and the bottom of the knuckle. These spikes are designed to hit specific vulnerable points on the body along with attacking the bony joints. The target areas are clearly defined points vulnerable to the special techniques of Tekko. They can be made of any hard material but are predominately found in aluminium, iron, steel, or wood. Aluminium is preferred by most practitioners but wood is by far a more practical and readily available resource.

When using the Tekko you should ensure they fit your hands and are not held too loosely or too tightly. This is important otherwise incorrect positioning in the hands hinders your speed.

The kumite focus on attacking the bony areas of the body such as the wrist, elbow, collar bone, ribs, and ankle. On impact this slows done the opponent drastically and allows for the quick changes of angle and height so apparent when studying Tekko.

Gripping techniques prior to and at the time of ‘Zanshin’ teach the exponent the emphasis on pressure points, which the Tekko takes great advantage of due to its structure. Good control is paramount, as the attack points are very specific and very vulnerable. Muscle and bone have to succumb to its efficient design and usage. This weapon is undoubtedly not a farming implement and was clearly design for the purposes of combat.

The bunkai start with single attackers but progress to multiple attackers enforcing the need for body movement and positioning with speed prior to using the Tekko. This emphasis on pressure and control is paramount as you progress in your training.

Tekko was much liked by Sensei Taira and despite his failing health he enjoyed much the study and practice of this weapon. Many say his family passed down the kata but this is not proven.

The Ryukyu Kobujutsu syllabus has one kata which is a combination of the ‘Naha’, ‘Shuri and Tomari’ feeling combined. It is much liked by “Karateka” who find the doing the kata without the Tekko very attractive presenting a good link between many approaches