Tonfa – Martial Arts Weapon
The Tonfa (or Tuifa) is a wooden baton-like weapon used in martial arts. It was developed in Okinawa, Japan. The Tonfa’s “extra” handle is the basis for modern police batons (versus the old stick-like batons).
Tonfa are traditionally used in pairs and the basic principle of the weapon is to use them as an augmentation for the blocks and strikes used in Karate (and any other martial arts that utilizes Tonfa). In the majority of Tonfa techniques, the Tonfa is gripped by the side handle in the fist with the main section of the weapon across the underside of the forearm. The short protruding end is used to deliver strikes to vulnerable target areas (i.e. solar plexus, throat, ribs and arm pits). Using the handle as a centrifuge, the Tonfa can also be swung in a right or leftward directed arc in order to deliver an attack. Also the weapon can be held at the bottom and used as a basic club (crude but effective) or to utilise the side handle as a hook to catch and trap weapons (as in kama techniques). Primarily due to the defensive capabilities of this weapon, similar Tonfa-like batons have been adapted as the main non-firearm weapon for various police and special force units.