Bo staff or ''a can of worms''

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Late for dinner, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    [ame=""]Jennifer Espina XMA Bo Kata 2012 Diamond Nationals Karate Tournament - YouTube[/ame]
  2. Grass hopper

    Grass hopper Valued Member

  3. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

  4. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    I think that Tom makes a few good points but I have to say that I think that there is a place for heavy weapons training in the club just as there can be controlled contact without needing to break someone's head open.

    We tend to use heavy steel weapons - eg butterfly or bull's ear knives against a staff. We wrap the staff (heavier wood) with tap to limit/prevent splintering. This gives a chance to feel a good thud against the knives and see what it's like to get contact from something heavy.

    This is NOT Dog Brother's type intensity but rather an agreed upon pace with usually one person defensive and the other offensive to avoid actually damaging someone. Yes you can move on to less realistic weapons or pad up and go for it ala Dog Brother's.

    I like to feel what it's like to have to deflect/move around a heavy weapon even if we have slowed things down. This is only done with/by students who have enough control/patience not totry to take each other's heads off...

    Just sayin'

  5. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    An ''Ash'' man....

    Right... shades of Rodney Dangerfield raise their heads... ;' )

  6. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

  7. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Just a note on the length of a staff. I once trained with a Viet sifu who was handed a long staff and asked what he would do if someone moved within the radius of the staff. Unexpectedly he just shortened the staff by pulling it back so that he was holding 3/4 in front of him and a short 'tail' end was out of the way reducing the arc length (and making it easier to defend as his opponent moved closer...)

    I do agree about there are some lengths that are comfortable but you can make lots of things work if you have to :' D

  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I've been trying to find some good quarterstaff vids from historical recreationist types, with no joy yet.

    Did find this pretty cool spear sparring HEMA vid though:

    [ame=""]Spear vs Sword and Buckler Nick vs Mike Sparring - YouTube[/ame]

    A bit of a different approach. I, for one, definitely appreciate the lack of spinning and flowery embellishments.

    Spear is deadly.
  9. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio


    Though, my main reason for preferring shorter sticks is because once they get as tall as me, I find them not so useful in grappling range.
  10. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Oops, you did say "Ash" :evil:

    Anyway, I never could find a "bo staff" :rolleyes:
  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Ugh. Lemme preface this by saying that she was doing things I could never hope to pull off.

    That said: That was like a master course on self-disarming. First time you hit anything more solid than a soggy paper towel and you'd be fumbling around on the ground for your weapon. I get that it's performance art. Or something. But as application, that was dreadful.
  12. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    I'm not surprised. I used to train (briefly) with a HEMA group, and we wouldn't spar with the staff because it was too easy to really hurt someone, and too hard to pull your shots. We did have short staffs with the length based on George Silvers recommended measurements (8-9ft), and thick enough that you couldn't quite completely encircle them with your hand. When you swing a heavy staff it tends to build up substantial momentum.

    There is quite an interesting excerpt from George Silvers "Paradoxes of Defence" where Silver claims that the Short Staff is superior to basically any other weapon in a one-on-one combat situation:
  13. yorukage

    yorukage Valued Member

    When discussing types of wood (at least in traditional Japanese martial arts) Rattan is good for partner work because it is light and flexible and doesn't splinter, so it's great for working with partner. Oak is what would have been used for combat use. I like both. I also have a six foot iron pipe I use for solo practice. Then, when I pick up an oak or hickory bo, it feels like I'm holding a toothpick by comparison.
  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    He even gives multiple opponent tactics! According to him, it's only formation fighting where they fall short (pun intended), which makes sense.

    Thanks for the link, interesting stuff.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  15. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    In total agreement. In my club we have a range of techniques and fight forms for stick against stick, broadsword against stick, broadsword against spear, shield and broadsword against spear and so on. We do these with heavy (but not sharp) weapons. In a pre arranged fight form you can go at considerable speed actually aiming at the opponent with a greatly reduced risk of injury. But pre arranged fights and techniques are not the same as sparing. Its useful to get in some practice in free sparing.

    When free sparing with padded weapons it is easy for things to break down into a flailing match. I use the "right of attack" rule from fencing to get around this tendency. Once an attack has been launched it must be countered before a counter attack can be launched. This helps to focus the student on defence as well as attack.
  16. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    Could you post examples of these padded sparring stucks, I am curious about the surface you are talking about. Thank you.
  17. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Great historical piece. Interesting in a way considering the story that Musashi won against a monk using a jo (who later came back to best him) and spared his life. It makes you onder whether the western short staff user had some sort of perspective the initial monk might have been missing ;' )


  18. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    I also had a question as to the construction of the staff's people are using. Are the staffs all cylindrical and symmetrical or something else? Octagonal? Tapered like a pool cue?

    Some use the staff more like a spear (poking) whilst others seem to use it more like a baton (spinning, double ended focus). Of course there are no absolutes and things may switch around both with the weapon used and the practitioners particular bias. I saw one guy performing a form for years as though it was a staff when in fact it was a spear form that no one had told him was for the spear 0_o

  19. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I attach a link to a site that looks as though it is selling the right thing. The problem is that until you actually get hold of one and have a go it is impossible to tell how heavy and how rigid it is. For sparing you want something that is lighter and more flexible as this will reduce the risk of injury. This is why you want the sort with the plastic pipe. They flex when they hit so that much less force is transferd to the target.

    If you order a stick over the internet try test it out without removing the wrapping that way you can send it back if it is the wrong thing. Somehow I never seam to be able to do this. Ripping the wrapping off your present is one of the joys of buying stuff of the internet.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    The eyebrow hight staff is a symmetrical and cylindrical. It is always held with two hands. It is either held in a symmetrical grip with the hands approximately 1/3 rd in from the ends of the stick or with the butt of the stick pulled back to the hip, one hand at the hip and the other 1 third up the stick leaving 2/3rds of the stick extended.

    Other forms such as the Blind Monk stick grip the staff with just one hand near the butt and whirl it around the head at full arm extension.

    When fighting it is mostly used for striking with the ends, but it can also be used for poking and it is sometimes held horizontally and thrust sideways into the kneecap, throat, jaw or nose.

    The eight foot stick is tapered at the fighting end and is used more like a spear. It is used to poke and to drop onto limbs to break them. It is held two handed. It is usably held with just a short butt extending past the rear hand but it is sometimes griped nearer the middle of the stick to shorten the range.

    Given the weight and length of the eight foot stick a tremendous amount of force can be generated through whirling it around the back of the head and then slashing down with the tip.

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