The Kapu Art
According to the oral traditions of the Polynesians and Hawaiians, Lua was developed as a health art of the “Kahuna nui” (high priests) during the 8th century. These priests were said to have molded their martial arts skills from various birds and sea like creatures. Later they incorporated the part of message or “lomilomi” which used the various parts of the body such as the tips of the fingers, knuckles, palms of the hand, forearm, elbows, knees and parts of the foot. Even some of the warrior’s weapons were used as instruments for healing.. To this was added the blending of the arts of “hākōkō” (wrestling) and “ku’i ku’i” (boxing) which would later create the foundation of the Hawaiian martial art of Lua.
During the mid-1600's many people of different tribes came from countries that had so many divisions and turmoil among themselves. Some small groups from several villages decided to get out and find some new land and find a new world for their families and to find peace among themselves! They built large Polynesian double-hulled canoes and packed enough plants, animals, equipment and people for the long voyage. These Koa (warriors) constructed large sails from animal skins, leaves from palm trees and coconut fibers. They mounted these massive sails to their double-hulled canoes so the wind from the four corners of the world would take them away from the turmoil!
They first felt freedom and peace as they headed out to sea! They brought with them educated people that understood the animals, the skies, and the seas. Some were Professors that knew about plants from the earth and the sea, some were wise men who mastered the universe, and others were the fishermen who understood time, weather, and wind. All of these educated people are known today as the Kahunas.
These Kahunas of Polynesian blood traveled by watching the stars, feeling the wind that moves the clouds and the birds that fly with the blowing winds. The Kahunas knew the types of birds that liked warm weather. They watched these special birds fly and followed them to see where they nested.
As the Polynesians searched for new land on the high seas, separation of these people began, resulting in what is known today as the Samoans, Fijians, Tongans, Maoris, Tahitians, Marquises, and the Hawaiians.
Finding eight islands in close proximity to each other, these first group of seafaring Hawaiians occupied these islands which are known today as Hawai’i.
However, prior to this discovery, the Hawaiian people never felt at peace. But now, for the very first time, they now had an abundance of food that the land and seas of their new home would provide for them. They began organizing different groups, selecting leaders, forming small council groups to create and amend rules for the people to follow. They formed security groups to ensure that their people obeyed the rules. Each Hawaiian Island had their own leaders, and security personnel that made sure the residents, as well as visitors, followed theses laws.
It was around the mid 1700’s when the Military-style training began and the martial art known as Lua was noticed. Much of the training was conducted in secrecy during the darkness of nighttime using only oil lamps for light. Lua was first introduced to the King, the Ali'i's (royalty) and their elite Honor Guards and commoners. This Lua Martial Art was taught only to these special people and their family's bloodline and to no one else. The Lua was Kapu (forbidden) and kept secret.
Originally, there were 12 Lua schools of Lua and each of these schools specialized in attacking different parts of the human anatomy. Since Lua was used for warfare, the Koa (warriors) were experts in hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. Once the Koa learned the more soft aspects of this combat martial art, they were schooled in the esoteric aspects of Lua, which included but was not limited to the study of the human anatomy, physiology, hypnotism, and the development of the internal energy, known as “mana”. Training also consisted of learning empty-handed skills of “mokomoko” (dirty fighting), “ku’i ku’i” (boxing), “kaala” (grappling), “peku” (kicking),“hākōkō” (wrestling) and “ka’ane” (strangulation by cord techniques).
Among these Hawaiian combat units, there were experts in several types of weapons that they brought with them into combat. These weapons included the Ma'a (Sling) and the Pohaku (stone). Lua weapons such as the Ma'a and Pohaku were used to throw rocks high into the air to rain down on top of the enemy and were quickly followed with the launching of Pololū (long spears, from 6 feet to 18 feet long) towards the enemy.
As the Lua weapons (Mea Kaua) descended like rainwater upon their enemies, the front of the Koa combat units started their advance forward to encircle their enemy. When the circle was completed the full division of 40 Koa closed the gap on the enemy. Now the Koa were ready to use the Ko'oko'o (bo - cane) and their smaller weapons, the Ka'ane (strangling cord), Lei o manō (shark tooth weapon), Pāhoa (single edge dagger), Maka Pāhoa (the eye, belly button, groin, double edge dagger), Newa (club), and Pālua O Newa (double clubs) to finish off and conquer the enemy.
If a Koa lost his weapon, he began hand-to-hand combat, or a free for all against the enemy. This was called Ku'i Ku'i (boxing) and followed up with Mokomoko (dirty fighting, free for all, or go for broke).
It was around the late 1800’s that Hawaiian authority suppressed a school of Lua in Waialua, Honolulu due to renegade students attacking helpless travelers by using disjointing techniques on their victims and then gouge out their eyes.
It was during the late 19th Century that the revival of the repressed Hawaiian culture was sought by King David Kalakaua. Through his efforts, the hula was reinstated along with a less violent form of Lua. Only selected members of his royal family were offered instruction in the more lethal aspects of Lua.
The secret of this ancient Hawaiian martial art of Lua was finally broken in the early 1920's in the city of Hilo, Hawai'i by Professor Henry Okazaki who had learned Lua from a Hawaiian man from the Puna area of the Hilo district on the big Island. With the permission of his Hawaiian Kumu (Lua instructor), Professor Okazaki converted and transformed these ancient Hawaiian Lua techniques that he had learned into his own system of martial art, which he would call Danzan Ryu. It is said that Professor Okazaki promised and told to his Lua instructor, “I will hide, I will camouflage, I will translate your Lua into my Japanese language, and only you and those that know the art of Lua, will see and understand your ‘Ai’s (techniques) when my students perform them”.
The oar was used as a traveling tool. The flat part of the paddle was used to protect and shield the Koas' (warriors') face and body, from objects thrown at the Koas.The flat edge side of the Hoe was used to chop down and cut their opponents. The handle was used to fight with as a staff or as a long Bo. The Hawaiian Oars were built, prepared and used 4 different ways during times of war.Hoe Lei-o-mano - Oar, Shark tooth weapon
The flat side of this weapon is used to block objects thrown at your face, as well as oncoming weapons. The entire length of this weapon is used as the Bo or Ko'oko'o (staff) in defensive fighting. The handle is designed to spear your attacker and the teeth of the shark are used for cutting.
Ihe - Short spear with barbed edges or straight point(up to 9 feet)
Ka'ane - Strangling cord
This Lua weapon was used 4 different ways in combat: blocking, grabbing or catching, flipping or whipping, and chocking or strangling.
Ko'oko'o - Staffs (Long and Short)
This six foot Ko'oko'o (staff) is used to perform leg sweeps, poke, pound, and block your attacker.
This short (48") Ko'oko'o (Bo) (cane) is used for blocking, leg sweeps, spear poking, and striking.
Ku'eku'e Lima Lei-o-mano - Knuckle duster weapon
The knuckle duster weapon is used for close range fighting. Some warriors will carry this weapon to clean up when a wounded attacker goes down. Most older warriors will carry this weapon because of its light weight.
Lei-o-man� - Shark tooth weapons
This elephant ear wrap-around shark tooth weapon cuts with a downward stroke and an upward stroke in a single cutting motion. It can be used as a club. The handle is designed to be used as a knife.
This weapon is designed to cut and spear your attacker. This is a light weight weapon and normally is carried by an older warrior or chief. Most elderly warriors carry this light weapon to clean up and take care of all those fallen opponents (warriors) that went down due to being wounded. The elderly warrior's job is to keep moving, taking the wounded to safety. The light weight of this weapon kept the elderly warrior from becoming overly fatigued.
Ma'a - Slingshot weapon
The first, and one of the oldest slingshot weapons in the world, the Ma'a is designed to fling different types and sizes of rocks. A warrior will fling a bigger stone high into the air onto the top of his enemy, while other warriors will fling smaller stones directly into the face or forehead of the attackers.
Maka P�hoa - Double-edge (eye) dagger
This double edged (eye) dagger can be used for offense and defense and can be used 3 different ways to defend one's self: clubbing, trapping of the hands, and poking.
Newa - Short (small) club
There are many different types and looks of clubs around the world. These clubs are from the roots of trees and were designed to look like the hip and leg bones of a human. This type of weapon is used to hammer, pound, cut and club a warrior's opponent.Pahi - Knife
The old Hawaiian wood Pahi (knife) is designed to do as much damage as possible. Most old Hawaiian wood knives are made to spear, poke, cut, and club with a single motion all at the same time.
P�hoa - Single-edge dagger
This single edge dagger has 4 weapons in one. The P�hoa can be used for blocking, spearing, clubbing, and strangling.
P�hoa Ko'oko'o - Cane double-edge dagger
This weapon is designed as a 48" Bo/Staff with a weapon that is used to trap an attacker's bicep area, wrist, shin bone, or ankle. The warrior can take his enemy down, poke him in the eyes, or spear him with the double-edged dagger end. Weapons Of Kempo
The Katana - Not just a weapon, but the soul of bushi.It is the most sophisticated form of the beauty of killing.The more beautiful it is, the more deadly sharpness it has. Katana are distinguished from broadswords for the extremely sharp edge and the slightly curved blade.The beauty of a katana appears on its blade and edge.Its grace form and grim beauty has been fascinating many warriors.
The Wakizashi - Shorter than the Katana (about 68 cm), this sword was worn indoors by the Samurai, because the Katana was too long to fight in small rooms.
The Tanto - This is a small japanese knife from the same steel as the Katana and the Wakizashi. This knife was sometimes worn instead of the Wakizashi.
The Kama - Originaly a farming tool to weed plants. Because the farmers were not allowed to carry weapons they used their tools to defend themselves. This weapon is most know for its use by ninjas.
The BO - A large staff (about 2 M) used as a self defense weapon by the common people, who were not allowed to carry weapons.
The Jo - A shorter staff (about 1.35 M) also used as a selfdefense weapon by the common people.
The Keibo - A small stick (about 35 cm) used for fighting in small area's.
The Ebo - A very small stick (about 15 cm) perfect as a defense weapon and easy to cary around.
The Tonfa - A nightstick with a handle attached to the side of it. many police forces have adopted it to replace the old police baton (nightstick).
The Nunchaku - Two sticks connected by either a small cord or chain. Originally it was used as a farming tool to thresh grain. and the farmers started using them as weapons to defend themselves.
The Shuriken - The word shuriken means ``a dagger hidden in a palm,'' so all daggers small enough to hide in a palm were called by this name. They have many variety in their shape and usage. Some are starlike shaped, and thrown with spin. Some other are needlelike shaped, and thrown just like a throwing dagger. Though a shuriken can hardly penetrate armor protection, it was enough because ninja threw it at unarmed target mainly. Venom was used with shuriken normally.
The Yari - The Japanese spear didn't differ largely from that of other countries. During the Civil War Era, spear was the most standard weapon of bushi.
The Naginata - A pole arm with a single, curved blade on one end, is employed with sweeping, circular motions and, as an extension of the wielder, channels energy in a harmonious display of beauty and precision. The Naginata is a weapon with a rich history, utilized and refined from the Nara Period (710-784 A.D.) to today. Employed initially by the Bushi, it later found itself the specific weapon of the Sohei or Buddhist monks. It is the school of the spear and, as such, is a shafted weapon. The length of its oval shaft varied, from 5' to 8', depending on battle conditions and personal requests. The most striking feature, however, was the blade; it could be anywhere from 10 inches to more than 2 feet, and was sharpened on a single side, fashioned in the manner of either Sakizori or Uchizori. As with most shafted weapons, it was most devastating when utilizing sweeping, circular motions. However, thrusts with the blade and also the heavy Ishizuki on the butt end were acceptable tactical alternatives.
The Jutte - Jutte are implements that were used by the samurai as well as the feudal era police. They were used for trapping the blades edged weapons as well as jabbing, striking and trapping fingers.
Sai () is the Ryukyu name for a traditional Okinawan weapon.
The basic form of the weapon is that of a pointed, dagger-shaped truncheon, with two curved prongs (called yoku) projecting from the handle. The ball of the handle is called the knuckle. Contrary to popular belief, the shaft of a traditional sai is not a blade.