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Korean Weapons
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Weapons in Korean systems are a bit of a question mark. There are many styles and systems which do not practice weapons of any kind. Others have incorporated weapons from other styles, and still others have developed their own weapons forms.

The fact is that due to its location there is a rich weapons tradition in Korean karate systems. The northern Korean systems have a great deal of Chinese influence as evidenced by the use of Kung Fu weapons and flowing style forms. Southern Korean systems have a more Japanese - Okinawan influence and weapon type.


  • Bo
  • Sai
  • Nunchaku


Korean Karate Weapons

Lineage and History




Master Atlee Chittim is recognized as the first person to teach karate or Tae Kwon Do in the southwestern United States. After initially studying Tae Kwon Do in Korea, Master Chittim began teaching at various locations in San Antonio, Texas such as the YMCA, community centers and church gyms. He began teaching as a brown belt in 1955 at San Antonio College and formed the San Antonio Karate Association. According to Robert Trias of Phoenix, Arizona, who formed the United States Karate Association in 1948, Atlee Chittim was his first affiliate.  In 1957, Master Chittim  began training with Jhoon Rhee and became the first black belt promoted by Jhoon Rhee in the United States. Master Chittim continued to teach at numerous locations in San Antonio, Texas and sponsored 3-4 karate tournaments each year.

Master Chittim is also one of the first black belt instructors to incorporate weapons into the Korean karate system. There were no weapons taught in Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do during this period of time so Master Chittim incorporated traditional weapons techniques from Okinawa, Japan and other countries into the Korean karate system. When developing the weapons system, Master Chittim continued to exercise his philosophy of choosing from the various styles of karate the things that work most effectively. Many of these techniques were learned from black belts from foreign countries who were stationed at one of the air force or army bases in San Antonio, Texas and were training with the U.S. military. Robert Trias was the first to contribute to the standardization of the weapons training by giving Master Chittim a copy of traditional Bo I. In 1967, Dr. Jordan was given a copy of the original form when he began training in weapons. Dr. Jordan also still has the original Bo presented to him by Mr. Chittim the same year.

Several of Mr. Chittim’s black belts were proficient in the execution of techniques using the nunchaku. There were no nunchaku forms only basic movement patterns. These patterns were combined to establish nunchaku forms  in the Korean karate system. Dr. Jordan trained in the basic techniques and nunchaku forms and continued to practice and teach the nunchaku until moving to Longview, Texas in 1973. The next year the Longview police department informed him that the nunchaku were considered an illegal weapon and his students could not have the weapon in their possession. Dr. Jordan stopped teaching this weapon until moving to Ruston, Louisiana where he again taught the nunchaku in weapons training. Joshua Jordan is currently teaching weapons techniques and forms with the original nunchaku which Dr. Jordan used while training with Master Chittim. Dr. Jordan presented his other original set of nunchaku to Buster Cotten.

 Dr. Jordan began training with the sai while attending Sam Houston State University in 1969. During the same year, Mr. Chittim’s brother obtained three copies of the 1968 first edition of “Basic Karate Katas” written by Hirokasu Kanazawa while visiting in London, England  and brought them back to Mr. Chittim.  Master Chittim gave one of these books to Dr. Jordan in 1969. Later that year Dr. Jordan conducted a seminar and taught the sai form to Mr. Chittim’s black belt instructors for the first time. The sai form was incorporated into the weapons forms in the Chittim-Jordan Korean Karate weapons system.  Dr. Jordan  gave his son Daniel the sai he first used while training with Master Chittim when he won the black belt triple crown in the United States Karate Alliance national points competition.

From 1969 through the mid 1980’s, Dr. Jordan learned a number of weapons forms and techniques while traveling and competing in state, regional and world karate championships and teaching at the university level. During this period Dr. Jordan and his ranking black belts incorporated traditional patterns and power techniques into the forms which constitute the Korean karate weapons system. The weapons included in the Korean karate system include the bo, sai and nunchaku. In an attempt to continue the standardization of the weapons forms in the Chittim – Jordan system, Dr. Jordan appointed Buster Cotten as Korean Karate Weapons Chairman in January, 2009. It will continue to be his responsibility to refine and perfect the Korean karate weapons system and maintain the history and lineage of the Chittim –Jordan System.

Dr. Jordan has always placed a strong emphasis on tournament competition as a measure of one’s ability with a weapon. The measure of success would be if the judges thought the competitor would be the victor in actual battle. Although Dr. Jordan’s initial training was with the bo, sai and nunchaku, his favorite training and competition weapon became the sai, followed later with the bo. During his first years at Louisiana Tech University in 1980, 1981 and 1982, Dr. Jordan was ranked fourth through sixth place in the United States Karate Association national points competition in black belt weapons. Dr. Jordan’s black belts and students have won thousands of state, regional, national and world awards with the weapons forms which comprise the Chittim – Jordan system. A number of the high ranking black belts in the Chittim – Jordan lineage continue to be exceptional weapons practitioners including Joe Dupaquier, Rodney McPherson, Buster Cotten and Susan Watts. 

The Chittim – Jordan Weapons System is now comprised of twelve weapons forms, many which have been standardized for over forty years. In the initial weapons training, the weapons were taught for self defense and to improve ones Korean karate skills by improving movement patterns, balance, speed of movement and power. Later the Chittim – Jordan weapons forms for the Bo and Sai gained popularity as competition weapons and the Nunchaku as a weapon of self defense. The philosophy of the Chittim – Jordan Weapons System was best expressed by United States Karate Alliance National Black Belt Weapons Champion Rodney McPherson. When interviewing for the Alliance Hall of Fame, prior to his induction, he was asked what kata meant to him. His reply was “Preparing to do Battle”.

The current Chittim – Jordan weapons system consists of three weapons and thirteen forms. The weapons forms are listed below:

Chittim/Jordan Weapons Kata List



Kuk Mu Bo I   Bo
Pyong An Bo II   Bo
Advanced Bo III   Bo
Advanced Bo IV   Bo
Advanced Bo V   Bo




Kuk Mu Sai I   Sai
Pyong An Sai II   Sai




Basic Nunchaku I   Nunchaku
Basic Nunchaku II   Nunchaku
Basic Nunchaku III   Nunchaku
Basic Nunchaku IV   Nunchaku
Advanced Nunchaku I   Nunchaku
Advanced Nunchaku II   Nunchaku


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Last modified: 03/27/20