The staff figures prominently in a number of Asian martial arts. Japanese arts such as bojutsu, jojutsu, and hanbojutsu focus on various types of staff combat. Staffs also appear in arts such as aikido, kung fu, silambam, kobudo, krabi-krabong, and tae kwon do. The bo is one of the main types of staff in martial arts. AWMA carries several different staffs that you can pair with the martial art of your choice, from the ProForce® Competition Bo Staff to the Foam Padded Staff.
The Japanese Bo Staff
The bo staff originated in Okinawa, where it was used as an alternative weapon. When Emperor Sho Shin took control of the island in 1477, he banned weapons in an aim to keep the peace. However, this ban proved impractical when the Shimanzu clan invaded in the 17th century. Since they lacked other weapons, residents picked up their farming tools and began to use these to defend themselves. The bo was born as a result. Traditional bo staffs are made of oak wood. Modern versions, such as the ProForce® Dragon Competition Bo Staff, can be made from a number of different hardwoods. Bo were traditionally around 6 feet long, but length sometimes varied.
Other Staff Varieties
The bo staff is not the only weapon of its kind; warriors have been fighting with sticks and poles for millennia, and many cultures incorporate staff combat into their martial arts. Even within Japanese martial arts, there are other varieties of this weapon.
Bo and Staff Materials
Staffs are made with a wide variety of materials. The right choice for you depends on a number of factors, including what you want to use it for and your skill level. Choosing the right type of staff can help you avoid injury.
Bo Staff Size
Your height should determine the size of bo staff you choose. Ideally, it should be slightly shorter than you. So, if you are tall, a full-sized 6-foot bo staff may be a good fit for you. If you are on the shorter side, you may find that a smaller staff is a better fit.
Quality Staff Construction
A high-quality staff makes a huge difference to your training and competition activities. Wood is a strong material, but it can break upon harsher impacts. This is also a safety issue as broken wood can splinter and injure you or your opponent. A good quality staff such as the AWMA ProForce® Octagon Demo Bo Staff withstands greater impact, so you can focus on your skills and performance, not whether your weapon will break or splinter.