The Bo staff on the surface is one of the most simplistic of all Japanese weapons. Used in many different art forms from karate to jujitsu, the Bo staff is one of the most destructive and adaptive weapons available to the martial artist.
The Bo Staff is used extensively in Jujitsu kobudo (weapon training) as it offers a range of opportunities for disciplining kata, footwork, distancing and control.
Unlike many other martial weapons, the bo staff has a very long range an enable the attacker to have superior reach on his opponent. Most Bo staffs are about 1.8m long, although the concept of a wooden stave as a weapon can be found easily in most cultures – the Quarter Staff in medieval English for example that rose to popular culture fame through the duel of Robin Hood and Little John.
An expert armed with a Bo can keep a much heavily armored and armed opponent at bay frustrating and neutralising their effectiveness. While this weapon can not be easily concealed, it is so common that most armed opponents will not even think twice about it. For example, in these times it could easily be disguised by carrying buckets or baskets. These buckets would be carried on either end and the Bo staff would be draped across the back. Simply set the buckets down, slide the staff out and you are instantly armed. The key is that you are trained in the proper technique to make the weapon as effective as possible.
The Bo Staff – Simple Tool to Deadly Weapon
While staffs have a history of being used throughout mankind, the Asian martial artist has taken this weapon and turned it into an art form. The staff is traditionally about two meters long and three centimeters thick.
While the weapon has been used informally since the earliest recorded history, a martial art called kobudo emerged from Okinawa in the early 1600s that featured this weapon. The reason for this was one of necessity as all the commoners of Okinawa were banned from having weapons. This ban forced the people to find other ways to defend themselves and using a simple staff proved to be the best.