White Tiger | HighRiver White Tiger Martial Arts - HighRiver Alberta


Weapons Class

Karate means "empty hand," so karate weapons may seem like a contradiction in terms. But though weapons are not obligatory in this martial art, their use can double your strength, enhance your coordination, and make you a superior empty-handed fighter.

At White Tiger Martial Arts we specialize in Bo, Kama, Sai, Baston, Tonfa Kata and movements. From time to time we will introduce other training weapons such as knife and gun for self defense training. Senior students can also choose to specialize in a particular weapon as they progress through their belts and build their expertise.

For Adults classes weapons training will happen at lower belts concentrating on Bo, while higher ranking adults will be exposed to more weapons and weapons kata as time progresses.

For Childrens classes, belts Orange and above will be trained

Yes; Grading is done for weapons separately from your karate belts, weapons onto themselves can be trained for a life time and we believe at White Tiger Martial Arts that separate ranking reflects that.

Not at all! Truth is, many people use martial arts as a way to get in good shape. It beats going to the gym because of the fun and camaraderie in our classes. People come to us out of shape, and get in amazing shape in just weeks.

No however taking weapons class does count towards your allowed classes per week, students / adults may be invited before green belt to attend classes

Bo Staff (棒: ぼう)

The Bo staff is an Okinawan (Japan) martial arts weapon. This staff is basically a long wooden weapon traditionally made of Oak and is roughly 6 feet in length. In contrast, a Jo staff is approximately 4 feet in length.

Many martial arts train with staffs (i.e. Bo and Jo) including Aikido, Bojutsu, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu and some Budo/ Bujutsu schools. Moreover, the Bo staff is used in many weapon katas and forms. The Bo is used to block, thrust, and strike an opponent and is effective against most other forms of weapon (excluding firearms of course). A typical Bojutsu technique will be to block an opponents attack with the top part of the staff and then in a fluid motion to counter strike with the lower end, in the hands of a master there will only be a split second between block and strike which is one of the reasons why the Bo is one of the most difficult of martial arts weapons to defend against. There are many variations on Bo techniques in many different countries as the weapon (basically a big stick) is one of the oldest known to man and was developed in one form or another by most indigenous peoples on all of the planets continents.

Kama (鎌 or かま)

The Kama is a martial arts weapon based on a farming instrument, the small scythe used for cutting rice. This weapon is used in a variety of Japanese, Filipino, Indonesian and Chinese martial arts styles.

In Okinawan/Japanese Kobudo, Kama are traditionally used in pairs. In basic forms, the Kama are held towards the bottom of the handle and are used to defend against opponents armed with swords or other long reach weapons such as Bo or Jo. A typical Kama technique will involve blocking an oncoming strike with one Kama then using the other to counterattack. Also both Kama can be used simultaneously to block or trap an opponents weapon or to deliver a double strike.

Advanced Kama forms utilize a short strap attached to the bottom of the Kama which are used to swing or spin the Kama at great speed in order to deliver an attack. This Kama jutsu technique is often referred to as the "Flying Kama" and takes a great deal of skill and coordination to master. As with all martial arts weapons, it is advised to seek professional instruction and beginners should start with wood or foam practice Kama.

Sai (釵)

The Sai is a three pronged martial arts weapon useful for trapping and blocking enemy attacks. As well as the blade/truncheon part of the Sai the hilt is also used in order to strike the opponent. The Sai was developed in Asia but is associated mainly with Japanese martial arts particularly Okinawan Kobudo.In ancient Japan, a variation of the Sai (called a jutte)was often used by the feudal police in order to disarm and control criminals. Unlike Sai the Jutte was used as a single weapon and is often referred to as the sword breaker as like with Sai the jutte is very effective for the trapping swords and other weapons between its prongs and in the hands of an adept can be used to actualy snap a sword blade.

Baston (Eskrima, Arnis)

Eskrima (or Escrima) is a Filipino martial arts style from the Philippines that focuses on the use of sticks, bladed and impact/blunt weapons, improvised weapons, and hand-to-hand (empty hand) techniques. Eskrima is also known as Kali and Arnis.

This Philippine martial arts uses weapons such as a Yantok or Baston (used interchangeably) (fighting stick), Baraw (knife), Bolo (machete), Bankaw (staff), etc. Eskrima belongs in the same category as other stick-based martial arts styles such as Bataireacht, Canne de Combat, Tahtib, etc.

Tonfa (トンファー)

The Tonfa is a wooden baton-like weapon used in martial arts and was developed in Okinawa, Japan. The Tonfa's "extra" handle is the basis for modern police batons (versus the old stick-like batons). Tonfa are traditionally used in pairs and the basic principle of the weapon is to use them as an augmentation for the blocks and strikes used in Karate (and any other martial arts that utilizes Tonfa). In the majority of Tonfa techniques, the Tonfa is gripped by the side handle in the fist with the main section of the weapon across the underside of the forearm. The short protruding end is used to deliver strikes to vulnerable target areas (i.e. solar plexus, throat, ribs and arm pits). Using the handle as a centrifuge, the Tonfa can also be swung in a right or leftward directed arc in order to deliver an attack. Also the weapon can be held at the bottom and used as a basic club (crude but effective) or to utilise the side handle as a hook to catch and trap weapons (as in kama techniques). Primarily due to the defensive capabilities of this weapon, similar Tonfa-like batons have been adapted as the main non-firearm weapon for various police and special force units.

Other Classes

Ages 2-5

Little Tigers

Ages 2-5

Our Little Tigers program is designed to develop respect, focus, and physically fit children. We welcome children of all abilities and focus to attend.

Ages 5-7

Kids Class

Ages 5-7

We believe in whole body wellness. Our goal is to provide self-defense training and physical conditioning in a focused and disciplined environment.

Ages 8-14

Pre Teen/Teen Class

Ages 8-14

Our 8-14 class is structued to be more phsically demanding then our 5-7 class while still providing the appropriate amount of physical conditioning, focus and discipline.


Adult Class

Ages 14+

The program that we offer is a traditional Japanese Goju Ryu Karate-do curriculum which will cover topics such as kihon (basic movements), kata (forms), bunkai (application of forms), goshin kumite (self defense), and kumite (sparring).




At White Tiger Martial Arts we specialize in Bo, Kama, Sai, Baston, Tonfa Kata and movements. From time to time we will introduce other training weapons such as knife and gun for self defense training. Senior students can also choose to specialize in a particular weapon as they progress through their belts and build their expertise.



Art of the Sword

Iaidō (居合道), abbreviated with iai (居合),is a Japanese martial art that emphasizes being aware and capable of quickly drawing the sword and responding to a sudden attack.