Tambo (weapon)

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The tambo (also romanized as tanbo) is a martial arts weapon. It is a light, evenly balanced stick measuring two to three feet and made of bamboo or wood. A martial artist cuts a tambo to fit his or her size. The length is determined by measuring from the hip socket to the top of the ankle. This length ensures that the tambo can be swung freely without hitting the floor.

The tambo is used in several martial arts including Cuong Nhu.

Tambos are swung using the elbow and shoulder, not manipulated with the wrist. Many of the motions are similar to sword strokes. The tambo can be deadly in skilled hands. The main use is to attack the outer edges of the human body with speed and accuracy. Applying this concept, virtually every part of the target can be hit with this weapon.

In order to use this weapon effectively, the opponent may be imagined as a 2-dimensional object standing in front of you, and your objective is to simply rain down strikes on the outer regions (i.e. the top and back of the head, the ears, hands, arms, neck, waist, thighs, kneecaps, and calves). Of course, if your opponent is standing sideways, you can then aim at the abdomen, nose, eyes, and groin.

The tambo can also be used for thrusting, pummelling the enemy (with the ends), blocking strikes (while holding both ends), and parrying various sorts of attacks . Speed, accuracy, timing and control of the “centre” are key components in the successful use of this weapon.