The History of the Chakram

The Chakram or Chakra was used mostly by the Sikhs of north west India for hundreds of years. The chakram is a flat steel quoit (ring) with a razor-sharp outer edge. The Quoit is generally 6 to 8 inches in diameter.

The Sikhs became martial under Guru Govind Singh and used the Chackra effectively against the Moghul dynasty. The Chackrum has a history that is as old as Indian civilization itself. It's useage is embedded in Indian myth and legend. In the epics..the Mahabharata for asura trying to get heavenly nectar from the moon had his head chakra-ed off. Still he tries to swallow the moon and succeeds ever so often before the moon escapes through the cut eclipse myth. Sculptures and paintings of many gods and godesses show the chakra being twirled. Several quoits were worn around a tall, conical turban and were either whirled around the forefinger before throwing or held between the thumb and forefinger and thrown underarm much like a frisbee. The picture above shows a Sikh soldier spinning a chakram around his forefinger.
Some chakrams are mere rings of flattened steel. Others actually have aerodynamic configurations as part of their overall design. They will cut, fly and perform to a more refined degree than a flat one could. Some chakrams have eye catching engravings and inscriptions to adorn them and their beauty is surpassed only by their deadly purpose.

If it is thrown correctly the target never hears or sees it. However, some of the more elaborate rings had small holes bored into them to produce a whistling sound as they spun in the air. The deep thunk of a solid hit when the chakram sticks is reward enough for the hours of practice one spends mastering this weapon.

History of The Sai

Like all the traditional Okinawan weapons, the exact original of the sai is not known although a few theories exist. One theory is that the sai was derived from a type of hoe. This hoe was used to dig a furrow in the ground. At selected points within the furrow, deeper holes were made with the point of the hoe in which seeds were planted. Later, the hand guards were added. A second theory is that the sai was a direct import from China or Indonesia. This theory states that there was no Okinawan tool upon which it was based. The rational for this theory is that there is little iron on Okinawa which would be needed to make the sai. Thus, the case for the sai being an import.

Even though the sai are sometimes called "short swords", they were not used as a traditional sword word be. Sai were primarily a defensive weapon. They were used more as a club would be. Following are some techniques of sai use:

* With the blade retracted, the sai would cover the forearm to augment blocking techniques. Also the butt end could be used as an effective punching implement.
* Flipping the long end out, you effectively have a whipping, striking tool. The long end could also be used for poking and blocking techniques.
* The hand guards were effective to catch a strike from a weapon like a staff. These guards would protect the hand from damage.

The prongs of the sai are good for blocking, catching and trapping bo or sword strikes. Once the prongs complete the trap, the defender can use the sai to twist the attacker's weapon from their grasp or even breaking the opponent’s weapon. Because of the flipping techniques employed in use of the sai, strong and limber wrists need to be developed if one is going to master their use.

Anatomy of the Sai


History of the Bo Staff

The bo staff is probably one of mankind's oldest weapons. They belong to the same family as spears. The bo was commonly used to carry buckets of grain or water, one on each end of the staff for balance purposes. When attacked, the defender could easily slip the buckets off each end and have a very handy weapon. Or staffs would be used as a walking implement. When attacked, what seemed a harmless tool, became a deadly weapon. The staff is nothing more than long stick. Traditionally it measured six feet in length, but both shorter and longer versions were used depending on the situation and practitioner.

The bo staff, because of its length, was not a weapon for close in fighting. Rather it was used to defend one's self from a distance. The staff operates best from outside your opponent's attack zone. It is also most useful in relatively open spaces. The staff is best used when both hands manipulate its use.