[UK] Any laws against practice of Okinawan weapons in public?

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Jayla, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    ...No, I'm not thinking of whipping out the nunchuks in Wetherspoons on a Friday night.. ;)

    Theres plenty of open spaces / parks around, are there any laws in the UK that restrict you from going out and getting a little bit of extra practice? The summer is coming and my house/garden is too small, would like to get some kata practice in

    Are the kobudo weapons legally only allowed to be used in licensed dojos?

  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    That's a good question. I attended a summer camp a few years ago where we trained with Sai on a public beach and we had no bother...but we were training at like 6:30am.

    It feels like the kind of thing you'd get away with in a group, but not on your own. A dozen people lined up with Nunchaku is clearly a martial arts class, but a single person swinging them around is not such a clear cut thing.

    I wouldn't risk it. It feels like the kind of thing that wont be written into any law and that police officers wouldn't have had to deal with often. They might take you in just to be sure, particularly if you are training with anything that they feel might pose a danger to members of the public.
  3. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    ...and some snippets from Prevention of Crime Act 1953:

    "Subsection 1 - Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie on him, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence"

    " “offensive weapon” means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him"
  4. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    Hmmm, so what constitutes a reasonable excuse?

    Having all your kit (gi of some sort, valid MA license) and having all other kit like water / towels etc clearly would show that your there to train and not to go around stabbing people

    "what sai"? Its clearly a farming tool..
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I don't like placing myself in a position where a police officer may or may not decide you're committing an offence. Those greyish areas are to be avoided and this one is more grey than most.
  6. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    One of my students is the son of a copper ill ask him the morra
  7. Jayla

    Jayla Valued Member

    Cheers guys.

    Admitedly, its a bit of a pain for people who want to get in extra practice (even non-weapon related, i.e., regular kata/form training) but don't have any room to do so.

    If public places are off limits, an alternative may be to find a farmer/land owner that has a grass field they don't mind you using, then I imagine you're pretty much free to do whatever you want.
  8. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    What's a valid "license"?

    There's plenty of eejits out there swinging swords around who belong to Mickey Mouse orgs and your average Copper won't know the difference.

    IMO it's best to be responsible and not expose yourself or your club/teacher to any potential trouble with the law.

    The UK has a history of knee jerk reactions to such things and we don't really need things to be anymore tricky than they are.

    Edit: I suppose you could always give your local nick a call and ask.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  9. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    It's also worth considering the negative attention you may get from local idiots , which in turn , may attract the local law anyway.
  10. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    There is no licence for MA weapons. As a UK bod and a martial artist, you should be fully aware of UK Common Law. If you ain't, you should be.

    If you go to your local playing fields and start practicing, I wouldn't be surprised if the armed police have a word. No, I ain't joking. This happened to someone in our org last year - and he was in his back garden.

    My advice - don't. If you ignore said advice, go practice somewhere off the beaten track - where no-one can see you and you can't be a showoff - particularly in the eyes of the law.
  11. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    And yet if he'd been chopping wood in his back yard with a big flippin axe nothing would of been said!


    Really shocked at that Scott.
  12. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

  13. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Depends on what you're doing, where you're doing it and why.

    For years I've been doing stick and staff in parks during the summer. The only time we ever had any bother was when the Police drove passed and decided to come see what we were doing. Because there was clearly teaching going on (and we had club T's, flyers etc) they didn't have a problem with it.
  14. Alansmurf

    Alansmurf Aspire to Inspire before you Expire Supporter

    Freeform you should have asked them to join in ,

    OP the law is there to protect people ...

    the onus is on the person with the weapon to prove to the court (not the Police) that they havea lawful excuse ..

    Some martial arts weapons are on a proscribed list and you could really struggle to show your intent if you are training with these in a public place..

    Most police officers would be switched on enough to ask you some pertinent questions as to your intent and purpose of your training and then give you sound advice as to either the legallities or the common sense of training in a public place.

    I do think that if you attend the police station first asking for advice I think hat you would be encouraged to train somewhere out of the public domain for some of the reasons mentioned above.

    Hope this helps a bit


  15. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    One of them did leave with a handful of flyers ;)
  16. Alansmurf

    Alansmurf Aspire to Inspire before you Expire Supporter

    Good for you ... I would have joined in there and then !!!

    Always fun to see peoples faces when I do that !!

    Large person in uniform being flung across the room by instructor at a Jujitsu class ...the students faces were just a treat to see..

    I had spoken to the instructor earlier and agreed the scenario .... I walked in telling him his dojo was rubbish and he threw me !!

    When I got up laughing and hugged the Sensei the look of releif on the students faces was great

  17. Martial novice

    Martial novice Valued Member

    I've practised Escrima forms with rattan sticks in the park in summer with no bother. (unless you count an expectant dog who was very disappointed that I never let go of them!)

    As with going to training, keep all weapons wrapped up so it's not something you'd quickly pull out if a fight started. I took my proper stick bag and some notes that had forms listed - so if anyone did ask questions I could clearly outline what I was doing.

    However, I had NO intention of taking metal weapons (I used wooden swords), because at a distance they're the ones that would get the phone call. Nunchaku? judgement call I'd say - as someone else said, out of the way is best.

    I've always gone on the premise that I could explain my behaviour quite reasonably and if a policeman or park warden or anyone said I shouldn't be doing it I could apologise and leave.

    If you decide against, ask at your club if anyone has a space you could borrow - joint training in a private garden or garage on Sundays type thing?
  18. Martial novice

    Martial novice Valued Member


    (Though in a sitcom this is the sort of thing that would go horribly wrong - one of the other students finishes the copper off to protect his sensei)
  19. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Its all about public perception.

    What we know as Eskrima sticks, looks like drumsticks to non MA people. A bladed article is still a bladed article.

    A person chopping down a tree with an axe is normal cos thats what an axe is primarily used for.
    A person randomly looking, swinging an axe......well you get the idea.

    Regardless of how harmless youre doing it does not look harmless to others. People call up and say
    and thats about the depth of the conversation call to the Police..it wont be.
    Following link has an explanation etc

  20. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Unfortunately, even if youre within eyesight of members of public. They still might call in. I've never trained martial arts in the public field by myself only with a partner or as a class. That way its stupidly obvious its a class and also keep it as hands only.

    I've been lucky and only have had a couple of idiots coming in and doing 'Daniel-sans' and the like. Then we get some real life applications in :D

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