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TONFA

History: The tonfa (side-handle baton) was developed as a weapon by the Okinawans, specifically for use in conjunction with karate. Two tonfa were often used simultaneously, and were very efficient against armed asailants.

Traditional use: Originally a bean or rice grinder, the tonfa's circular movements as a farm implement evolved into its rotating strikes as a weapon. The side of the tonfa was used for blocking, and the ends for direct punches.

Current use: Now an advanced karate training aid, the tonfa aids development of block-and-strike strategies and upper-body strength.