Originally, sai was an agricultural tool: with its help, the peasants removed hay (like forks) and ground rice. Actually sai itself, as it is easy to see, is such a smaller version of the trident. Its roots can be found in China, India, Malaysia and even Indonesia. However, it is from China, it is believed, that the sai came to Japan (as well as many other Okinawan weapons). In China, this small analogue of the trident appeared in the period from the middle of the XIV century to the middle of the XVII century (the Ming dynasty), it was distributed mainly in the southeast and in Taiwan, where sen was called.
However, today sai is one of the most famous weapons that people love to use in Hollywood shooters. The history of the transformation of another tool into a murder weapon that is popular in every sense is told by the author of diletant.media Yuri Kukin.
It became popular in Japan in Okinawa as a sai weapon in the 17th century, to be more exact, in 1668. Then sai-jutsu is born - the art of possession of sai. As is known, it was in the 17th century that the law on weapons, especially metal, was in force in the Kingdom of the Ryukyu, according to which only a narrow circle of people had the right to carry swords and spears.
The law gave impetus to the development of numerous types of weapons, some of which were included in the list of traditional Okinawan Kobudo - the military art of owning various weapons. Actually, like other types of Kobudo weapons, the sai was primarily adapted to battle against a person who has a sword or even a spear in his hands. It is believed that the law was so strict that learning the art of sai-jutsu took place at night, and the rule still remains that when demonstrating the art of handling these weapons, no noise should be allowed. This is again due to the fact that the sai was one of the few weapons in Okinawa, which had a metal blade.
Subsequently, he was also used by policemen to arrest criminals and restrain the masses, because, as it turned out, the range of its use was very large: they could block strikes, hook and grab weapons, strike back (prick), and throw. Thus, the sai could be used at almost any distance and against an enemy armed not only with a sword, but with completely different weapons.
Moreover, any surface of sai in the hands of a skilled master could become a shock. The weapon consists of a handle (Japanese - tsuka), an “apple” at the end of the handle (tsuka-gashira), teeth (yoku) with a pointed end (tsume) and the blade itself or the middle tooth (monouch). The blade is, as a rule, not double-edged: only the tip (saki), which is directly injected, is sharpened. For the rest, sai can be used for strikes (almost like with a bludgeon) in the throat, in general on the face, on the legs - in general, the weakest and most poorly protected parts of the opponent's body. Sharpened teeth, that is, tzume, for example, you can hit the neck.
Grip number 1
A variety of shock surfaces assumed an extensive system of grip of weapons: the sai could be held not only by the handle. Often he is held by the cross itself, rotating in his hand and changing those same percussion parts. Therefore, classically sai should have been made for a specific hand. So, with the grip on the cross, the index finger should reach the knob at the end of the handle, and the middle tooth slightly go out by the elbow. But on average, the length of the weapon was 600 mm and weight from 500 to 1200 g.
Grip number 2
Basically, sais were used in pairs, but in the era of feudalism a third blade was worn under the belt: as a so-called “reserve”, and also for throwing (if, for example, the enemy was with a spear). In the battle against the sword, the Sai tried to block the blow, catch it in the teeth with one, and the second either strike, or, seizing the blade of the sword in the most vulnerable position, try to break the enemy's weapon. In addition, having caught a blow with a sword on the teeth, it was possible to snatch it and, as all films about martial arts will be bequeathed, literally "use the enemy's weapon against him."
Ninja Turtles: Raphael with Sayami
By the way, speaking of films, sai is one of the most frequently used weapons in Hollywood action movies and action games. So, one of the ninja turtles, namely Raphael (the one with the red blindfold), owns the sea. Raphael is the second oldest (after Leonardo, who had two swords), perhaps that is why he also has bladed cold weapons, unlike the other two "turtles" (Michelangelo has a nun-tyaki, Donatello has a pole). And in the Mortal Kombat universe, the princess Kitana’s half-sister (the one with combat fans) Milena fought, which can also be presented as a kind of opposition of two heroines, since the combat fan is a symbol of a samurai and sai is a noble weapon, but -So lower status.