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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 is used in krabi krabong and 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]

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37 news items

Puls Biznesu
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:30:00 -0700

Przedmiotem zamówienia jest dostawa : - pałek szturmowych typu PS w ilości 350 szt., - pałek wielofunkcyjnych typu Tonfa w ilości 3350 szt., uchwytu do pałki Tonfa w ilości 3150 szt., - pałek teleskopowych BONOWI EKA 21 lub równoważnych w ilości 50 szt.
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:20:43 -0700

Particularly outstanding is the groundbreaking fight scene inside a house involving an old man (Min Tanaka) who battles with tonfa, stick-like weapons used in ancient martial arts, and a man using two swords (Iseya). Past Japanese period films, such as ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 03:35:44 -0700

Se l'agente si fosse presentata al giovane marocchino con il tonfa il mano forse avrebbe limitato i danni, ma qualche solerte cittadino avrebbe denunciato il fatto cominciando a parlare di discriminazione, repressione, mancanza di dialogo e altre ...

Spiegel Online

Spiegel Online
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 07:56:57 -0700

Panzerwagen, Sturmgewehre, Kampfmesser: Schwer bewaffnet traten Polizisten in der US-Stadt Ferguson auf. Sind sie schuld an der Eskalation? Im Interview erklärt der Einsatzlehre-Experte Marcel Kuhlmey, warum so ein Fall in Deutschland nicht denkbar ...


Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:48:44 -0700

Die "Kronen" sind ein Paar klingenbesetzte Tonfa, die während der Gamescom-Präsentation vorgestellt wurden. Einen Trailer zum Patch findet ihr unter dem Artikel; in der Bildegalerie gibt es einen Screenshot zum angepassten Mod-UI. Noch mehr Warframe ...

ADN (Argentina)

ADN (Argentina)
Sat, 09 Aug 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Explicaron que el Bastón Tonfa Policial es la defensa reglamentaria más polivalente que los miembros de los cuerpos de seguridad y prevencionales tienen a su alcance. La misma forma parte como dotación para los componentes de unidades de patrulla ...


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:03:45 -0700

La saison 2014-2015, à l'espace Mermoz, va bientôt reprendre. La répartition des cours est la suivante : canne protect, tonfa et bâton, mardi et jeudi, de 18 h 30 à 19 h 30. «Une simple canne peut être utilisée pour repousser un agresseur, parer ...
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:39:14 -0700

Po uprzedzeniu agresora policjanci użyli pałki służbowej (tonfa). Mężczyzna został obezwładniony. Policjanci założyli mu kajdanki na ręce trzymane z tyłu – informuje st. asp. Sylwester Marczak, rzecznik prasowy Komendy Miejskiej Policji w Ostrołęce.

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