The Bo Staff

Learn More About The Origins Of The Bo Staff

Martial artists use a wide variety of weapons. Some of them are weapons of choice which are unaligned with a particular style of fighting. Others have direct lines to the techniques being used. The nunchaku, sometimes referred to as a nunchuk, is a popular device. Escrima sticks and kamas, with their scythe like blades, are other much well known fighting tools. The Origins of the Bo, a stick like apparatus, go back almost as far as history itself.

One of the main martial arts forms is is the Art of the Empty Hand. This style emphasizes techniques which do not rely on weapons. The limbs themselves are considered sufficient to fend off and or reply to any attack. Bojutsu incorporates this philosophy with a staff known as the Bo. This instrument is considered part of the body of the person who holds it. Thus, it is seen as added length to the arm of its user, rather than as simply a stick for fighting.


Masters of Bojutsu disagree about where the weapon which is symbolic of their sport originated. Some insist it was first used in mainland China. Other practitioners assert that the island of Okinawa was the birthplace of the staff. The precise specifications of the stick also fluctuate.


In fact, few things about The Origins of the Bo can be pinned down with certainty. Most likely it derived from the primitive weapons which were used as defense throughout Asia. The staff is generally around six feet long, although it has no rigid dimensions. At one time it may have been thicker and rounder than most current renditions. The modern appliance usually measures a little less than two inches in width with a comparable circumference.


The exact make up of a fighting stick is determined by the martial artist who carries it. Some prefer a staff that does not have any give to it when it strikes an opponent. Others want a weapon that has more flexibility. In order to achieve the desired bend, various woods are used in production. Many are constructed of hard woods, although bamboo appliances suit a number of individuals.


The innocuous appearance of the weapon stems from its original use. It served a dual purpose. Peasants placed the stick across their shoulders and counter balanced heavy loads on each end. Thus, its true function was hidden from the overseers and soldiers who might take the staff away from them.


Techniques developed for the use of the staff based on both the philosophy of Bojutsu and the ways it was used by peasants. Following the precepts of the Art of the Empty Hand, the stick was employed as an extended portion of the arm. Movements were fluid and reminiscent of the limbs themselves. Likewise, the grip used embodied the quick transfer of purpose from labor saving devise to deadly weapon.


Over the centuries, numerous weapons have evolved for use in the martial arts. Many advertise their combative purposes. The Origins of the Bo disguise its menace until the staff is placed in the hands of a skilled Bojutsu practitioner.


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