The above video shows an outdoor practice session of a kobudo kata named Onami. Onami means Great Wave. This was the first Tonfa (Tuifa) kata that I learned and is a simpler form than the Tonfa no Ichi kata, which I had previously posted, since I performed that kata in a recent promotion.
Onami primarily incorporates basic tonfa blocks and blunt strikes using the short butt end of the Tonfa, with a few kicks and flipping strikes using the long end. Tonfa no Ichi in contrast, focuses more on flipping strikes at various angles and is more difficult to learn/perform. Onami is a good basic tonfa (tuifa) kata to start with. Onami is the tonfa form in the kobudo program I run at The Academy of Traditional Karate.
Periodically video taping practice sessions like this is a great way to review and analyze your own performance. On video you can see what you are doing well and where you can continue to improve. Practicing Karate/Kobudo is always a constant process of learning, evaluating and improving.
Onami Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown
Onami is a kobudo Tonfa kata which focuses on repeating sets of basic blocks and strikes with the Tonfa along with a few kicks. This repetition helps drill the proper handling and manipulation of the Tonfa which takes more practice than the Bo.[Note: These images are freeze-frame stills from the practice video, so they are not as perfect as specifically posed photos would be.]
Side to Side Sequences (West to East)
Forward Jodan-uke Sequence (North)
Backward Yoko-geri Sequences (South)
Side/Side & Back/Front Mae-geri Sequences (East/West, South/North)
Diagonal Open Strike Sequences (NW – NE)
Double Diagonal Striking Sequences (N)
Side to Side Sequences (East – West)
Second Set of Backward Yoko-geri Sequences (South)
Side to Side Mae-geri Sequences (W-E)
Closing Sequence (N)
Onami PDF Reference Sheet
The following PDF reference sheet is a distillation of all the moves in the kata to use as reference while learning and practicing the Tonfa/Tuifa kata. It is useful to help you remember what all the moves are until they are committed to muscle memory or for review to remember them after returning to the kata if it hasn’t been practiced in a while. I had created this reference sheet when I was first learning the kata myself. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.Onami-01-20-24
Additional Version of Onami Tonfa (Tuifa) Form
The above video shows a similar Onami kata from another Matsubayashi-ryu dojo, AuroraKarate in OH. The basic embusen (pattern) is the same, as are many of the moves. There are some significant differences however. When learning any kata, I often try to find additional videos with similar versions as close to ours as possible. Analyzing the similarities and differences in such videos can sometimes help give further insights into a kata.
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