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A pair of tonfa

The tonfa (Okinawan: トンファー tonfā, Malay: topang, Chinese: ; pinyin: guǎi), also known as tong fa or tuifa, is an Okinawan weapon. It consists of a stick with a perpendicular handle attached a third of the way down the length of the stick, and is about 15-20 inches long.[1] It was traditionally made from red or white oak and wielded in pairs.[2] The tonfa is believed to have originated in either China or Southeast Asia where it is used in the respective fighting styles. A similar weapon called the mae sun sawk, used in krabi krabong and tomoi, might be the original version of the weapon.[3] This article will reference tonfa from this point forward.

A pair of tonfa.


Although the tonfa is most commonly associated with the Okinawan martial arts, its origin is heavily debated. One of the most commonly cited origins is China, although origins from Indonesia to Thailand are also possible.[4][5][6] Okinawan tradition derives the tonfa from a millstone handle.[7][8] Other countries ascribe the tonfa's origin to the crutch; both the Chinese and Malay words for the weapon (guai and topang respectively) literally mean crutch.


The tonfa measures about three centimeters past the elbow when gripped.[9] There are three grips, honte-mochi (natural), gyakute-mochi (reverse) and tokushu-mochi (special). The starting grip, honte-mochi, places the handle in the hand with the long arm resting along the bottom of the forearm. This grip provides protection or brace along one's forearms, and also provides reinforcement for uraken (back fist), hiji waza (elbow techniques) and punches. In use, the tonfa can swing out to the gyakute grip for a strike or thrust. Martial artists may also flip the tonfa and grab it by the shaft, called tokushu-mochi. This allows use of the handle as a hook in combat, similar to the kama (sickle).[10][11] This grip is uncommon but is used in the kata Yaraguwa.[12]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonfa — Please support Wikipedia.
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No material used in this video is mine. All rights go to their respective owners.

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In this phase, we teach all the ancient weapons of Okinawa, such as the bo, tonfa, sai, kama, sword and many others. The name of our style is Koryu Okinawa Te (ancient large island hand).” This system was developed about 400 years ago on an island ...

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Tonfun attacks with two tonfa and fast-paced martial arts. Oolong has to time his attacks and hope that Tonfun makes a mistake to survive. Blues: Blues is almost a mirror image of Oolong without a shirt on and can match him move for move. Oolong has to ...


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Je me retourne et face à moi, deux flics, l'un muni d'un tonfa et l'autre d'une matraque télescopique. Je crie : « On n'a rien fait, vous faites quoi ? » Almamy coups « Ils m'ont frappé sans arrêt, tout en m'insultant. » / Crédits : NnoMan / Collectif ...

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La Guardia Civil de Soria ha detenido a cuatro personas en Calatayud en una operación que continúa abierta y que pretende esclarecer un robo con violencia en el domicilio de tres ancianas vecinas de una localidad soriana de la Ribera del Jalón, que ...

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