Classes in Okinawan Kobudo at the Allegheny County Budo-Kai, located in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, consist of instruction and training in a wide variety of weapons. New students are typically given instruction in the use of the bo, nunchaku, sai, and tonfa before moving on to the other weapons in the system.
Weapons training are practiced in one of three formats, each format having a different focus. The first format of training is Hojoundo (basics), where repetitive practice of the techniques without a partner is used to develop proper body mechanics and positioning. The second format of training is Kata, or Forms practice. Kata training consists of practicing sequences of techniques designed as an appropriate response to a particular attack. Kata practice serves as a method to practice the fighting techniques in the absence of a training partner. The third format of training is Bunkai (applications) and Yakusoku Kumite (pre-arranged fighting.) This type of training involves practicing applications of the techniques practiced in the forms and other pre-arranged fighting drills with a partner. Unlike many other schools, the Allegheny County Budo-Kai places a heavy emphasis on applications and partner drills.
Training in kobudo at the Allegheny County Martial Arts Center involves the use of real weapons. Plastic and foam padded "weapons" are not used except in freestyle fighting where use of real weapons could be lethal.
The kobudo classes are structured and fairly formal. Although the training atmosphere is friendly, the classes are serious and discipline is stressed due to the danger involved in training with real weapons.