For the first time in Tensoku Ryu you will become proficient at the use of a weapon traditionally made of metal. It is possible that you have used a metal Tonfa in the past, but traditionally Tonfa were constructed of wood. The first weapon with which you will train that is traditionally made of metal is the Sai. It can be employed for a great variety of purposes and you will find it to be an extremely fast and effective weapon. You will also become proficient at the use of Nunchaku, which, like the Tonfa, may be constructed of wood, metal, plastic, or other materials.
Both the Sai and the Nunchaku are considered to be illegal weapons in some countries, provinces, states, or regions. You should be familiar with the laws in your location regarding use and transportation of these weapons. Your instructor or other officials at your Dojo should be able to provide you with the information you will need regarding possession and transport of these weapons. If one or both of these weapons are strictly banned in your location then you will not be required to learn or practice such weapons to achieve your next rank.
Most (but not all) locations that ban these weapons make exceptions for those who are legitimately undertaking martial arts instruction. Often there are regulations about how and where you can carry a weapon in a vehicle. You may also be limited to transporting the weapon only to and from your Dojo. A side trip to the gas station or grocery store may not qualify as legal transport of a weapon. These laws vary greatly from one community to another. You should understand the laws of your local jurisdiction regarding the possession, transportation, usage, and storage of these and any other weapons. In nearly every community in the world it is probably not wise to be pulled over by a police officer while one of these weapons is resting on your front passenger seat or within easy reach. And you are likely to spend some time in jail if you are found to be walking the streets with one of these weapons tucked into your waistband. It is imperative that you understand when, how, where, and under what circumstances you can have one of these weapons in your possession.
When transporting these weapons in locations where they are authorized it is advisable to have them in a zippered or locking case that makes immediate deployment of the weapon impossible. The case should then be transported in the trunk of your vehicle (or some other hard to reach location). If a police officer pulls you over and asks if you have any weapons you will want to ensure you disclose the nature of any weapons you are transporting, where they are located, and where you are going. Most officers will be reasonable if it appears you are conscientious and making appropriate decisions about how, where, and when you are transporting these weapons.
One additional bit of advice. It is not in your interest to nervously or spontaneously reach for one of these weapons in the presence of a peace officer. You may think you are only going to show an officer what weapon you are transporting. An officer may have an entirely different view of your actions. Let the officer inspect the weapon on his or her own terms – or simply and slowly follow any instructions you are given. Many officers will consider these to be deadly weapons. You must understand and respect an officer’s safety concerns.
Both the Sai and the Nunchaku can cause serious inadvertent injuries during practice. When you first begin practicing the use of these weapons you will strike yourself unexpectedly, some of these strikes will be quite painful and may cause significant injury. To protect yourself we recommend that you wear shin and forearm padding. You should also consider wearing a Kumite helmet and goggles or safety glasses when first learning. While you may think this looks foolish or somehow cowardly it is much better to have these trivial feelings of inadequacy than it is to have one less eye. These weapons can and will hurt you during solo practice exercises. Expect errant weapon movements and protected yourself from the potential injuries that may result. Do not take these warnings lightly; they are meant to save you the pain and suffering you will otherwise encounter.