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Sai
Time Period: 14th century to present
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Common Construction: Steel

The sai has a central steel rod coming to a sharp point and an prong on either side. Its primary offensive use is for stabbing, but it more often serves as a bludgeon or club with the prongs facing away from the attacker. It can also be used as a type of parrying dagger because it can catch blades and break them or disarm the opponent. It is usually wielded in pairs, and sometimes a third is carried and used as a throwing weapon.

The sai is made by pouring molten steel into a mold, so the entire weapon is forged out of a single piece. It is traditionally attributed to the island of Okinawa but there is evidence that it migrated all through southeast Asia including China, India, and Malaysia and may be Indian in origin. There is also debate as to whether it was always a weapon or whether at one point it was used as a farm implement to plant seeds into the ground among other uses.

The sai is used in some modern day martial arts disciplines, but mostly as a training tool to help with blocks and counters.

CE 14th Century, CE 15th Century, CE 16th Century, CE 17th Century, CE 18th Century, CE 19th Century, CE 20th Century, History, Japan, Weapon


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