The Sai

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The Sai Used mainly in the Okinawan martial arts, the sai is a traditional weapon shaped like a tapered metal baton with two prongs on either side. The sai are better known to be used in pairs. There are mainly different variations of the sai, and many uses, such as trapping and blocking. Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and many other Asian countries had already put the sai to use before it reached Okinawa. Practitioners of silat use the Indonesian form of the sai, which is known as a chibang or tjabang. The sai is said to be developed from the Indian trisula, meaning long or short-handled trident. The trisula was created in Southern Asia, giving life to another rumor that the sai came to be in India and spread along with the religions throughout the country. The trisula is a symbol of importance in both Hinduim and Buddhism. In 17th century Okinawa, police used the sais to halt criminals and control large crowds. Moto Chohei, an Okinawan prince, perfected the use of the sai in 1668. After an extensive period of time, the sai reached Japan in the form of a jitte, a weapon similar to the sai but occasionally having only one prong, as opposed to the sai, which traditionally has two. Both the sai and the jitte are known as truncheon-like weapons, used for quick striking and clubbing. The parts of the sai are as follows: the monouchi, the yoku, the tsume, the moto, the tsuka, the tsukagashira, and the saki. The monouchi is the shaft of the sai, and can be rounded or faceted. The yoku are the two prongs that form side guards for the fingers gripping the weapon. Usually, the yoku are symmetrical, but the manji design created by Taira Shinken offers yoku that faces opposite directions of each other, forming the reverse swastika, often depicted as a Buddhist symbol. The tsume is the tip of the yoku. The moto is the piece of the sai where the yoku meet, and where the longest prong of the weapon protrudes. The tsuka is the handle of the sai, and is known to be

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