Various distinct styles emerged during the heyday of the Ryukyuan kingdom: Shuri-ti forms were centred in the Ryukuan capital of Shuri, Naha-ti in the commercial centre of Naha, and Tomari-ti in the Tomari district located between the first two. Each style had its distinguished masters who established the traditions preserved to our present day. The techniques of Karate and Kobudo were, by their nature, to be kept from the uninitiated.
While weapons make up only a small part of the contemporary teaching of martial arts, they actually pre-date the open hand systems. Swords, sticks, spears, the bow & arrow, and others have been used in battle for hundreds of years. Historically, weapon training would be the dominant training style with open hand styles and unarmed combat making up only a small portion.
Modern media has popularized the notion that south east Asia was populated by samurai, quiet villages filled with reluctant warriors, and of course the marauders that those villagers invariably have to fight off! However, the reality is that the area had an economy based in farming and the fisheries. This had a direct bearing on the weapons that developed.