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A pair of tonfa

The tonfa (Okinawan: トンファー tonfā, Malay: topang, Korean: charu, Chinese: ; pinyin: guǎi) also known as tong fa or tuifa, is a melee weapon best known for its role in the armed component of Okinawan martial arts. 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 is used in krabi krabong and tomoi. 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.[3][4][5] Okinawan tradition derives the tonfa from a millstone handle.[6][7] The Chinese and Malay words for the weapon (guai and topang respectively) literally mean crutch, which may suggest the weapon originating from the crutch. In Cambodia and Thailand a similar weapon is used consisting of a pair of short clubs tied onto the forearms, known in Thai as mae sawk and in Khmer as bokgatau. In Thailand and Malaysia the mae sawk often has a similar design to the tonfa, with a perpendicular handle rather than being tied on. This weapon might be the original version of the tonfa.[8]


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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1451 news items

Fox News

Fox News
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 14:46:45 -0700

"I've also been working with the tonfa, which is basically the nightstick that Black Canary uses — which has been really fun." (In other words, criminals in Starling City wouldn't want to run into Black Canary or Katie Cassidy in a dark alleyway ...
Crossville Chronicle
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:09:45 -0700

Eric, having demonstrated expertise in empty hand combat and self defense, as well as being proficient with the traditional Okinawa weapons of Bo, Sai and Tonfa, was recently promoted to Go Dan or 5th degree black belt in Isshinryu Karate. His ...

Paris Normandie

Paris Normandie
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 14:50:55 -0700

Le tonfa, une arme en bois ou en polymère, selon qu'elle est utilisée en art martial ou par les forces de l'ordre, se compose d'une matraque, à laquelle une poignée latérale perpendiculaire a été ajoutée à son quart. En France, le tonfa est une arme ...

Den of Geek!

Den of Geek!
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 06:52:26 -0700

There's also the spear-like Pike lightsaber (above left) and the crooked-handled Tonfa lightsaber (above right) from The Force Unleashed. We only briefly referenced the Lightwhip, and we didn't even get near the Lightclub (a massive version of the ...
Mon, 19 May 2014 14:08:52 -0700

Monster Hunter games aren't exactly known for their stories, but that doesn't stop Capcom from adding new events with their own stories to their MMO title, Monster Hunter Fronter G. 4Gamer gives us a look at the latest additions to the game.


Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:24:38 -0800

While it looks like a tonfa at first glance, the cool factor shoots up when the weapon begins to actively switch lengths and forms while players are utilizing it in a fight. When in action, its changing lengths seem to add extra strength to your ...

Soundsblog.it (Blog)

Soundsblog.it (Blog)
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 08:11:15 -0700

Per il resto, altre novità: sesto Thomas Rhett con Tangled Up, ottavi i CHVRCHES con Every Open Eye e noni i Disclosure con Caracal. Chiudono la classifica i Dead Weather con il nuovo album Dodge And Burn, mentre Lana Del Rey tonfa clamorosamente ...


Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:42:13 -0700

En plus de leur équipement constitué de l'uniforme, gilet pare-balles, arme à feu et tonfa, les forces de l'ordre sont désormais équipées, depuis cet été, de caméras type Go-Pro. Au nombre de trois actuellement, les petites boîtes noires sont ...

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