Bo Staff for a Beginner

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by User_Name, May 24, 2015.

  1. User_Name

    User_Name New Member

    Hi, i hope this is in the right place.

    I'll be frank. My friend is graduating soon and i was thinking of getting him a bo staff as a gift. Unfortunately, I am completely clueless as to where I should get a staff, or how big, or what type, or anything really. He isn't very advanced with it either, so I can't just ask him what he prefers (he currently practices with a broom stick).

    Anyone willing to point me in the right direction? I know he wants one probably for some sort of strength or combat training. He's also 6'1". Id ideally spend a max of fifty dollars, but im willing to go a bit more expensive if i have to. I just want to make sure i get him one thats pretty durable.

    Thanks :3
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter


    First off- just a tip- don't call it a Bo Staff. Just Bo. (I think because Bo actually means staff? So you are saying Staff Staff when you say Bo staff? A Japanese MAist can correct me if I am wrong.)

    Second- contact his school and ask them what type of Bo they use and how they determine the right size. Getting the wrong staff for what he is being taught would be a waste of money and a very nice gift idea. Tell the person at the school it is a gift so not to mention it to your friend that you called.

    I am assuming he is actually training from a qualified instructor. If he isn't, it is best to not encourage that and you should find another gift idea.

    Hope this helps. :)
  3. Heraclius

    Heraclius BASILEVS Supporter

    The word "bo" (or bō, if you want to be pedantic) signifies a long, cylindrical object: a rod, pole or stick, etc. It's pretty generic. Otherwise I would agree; the preferred length of staffs varies quite a bit between different MAs.
  4. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Bo staff just sounds right, man. :p
  5. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    My sensei tells me that "bo staff" is redundant. The grammatically correct term is "bo". Some people call it a "6 foot staff". (fun trivia-A stick half the size of a bo but otherwise the same dimensions is a weapon called a jo. I've never used one, but there was a seminar at my dojo about it last year...which I wasn't able to attend. :( )
  6. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Perhaps, but that will earn you the ire of a kobudoka or other JMA fellow who uses a bo. :evil:
  7. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Is there a way you could ask your friend's sensei? That's the ideal route. Senseis know what tools are necessary and can often get student discounts and such. :cool:
  8. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    My friend gave me a pair of "pole" made off brass pipe that both sides can be opened and closed. I like it very much because

    - I can add sand into the pipe to make it heavy and use it as weight training equipment.
    - It's strong enough to deal with any sharp weapon, or fight against zombies.
    - It will last for the rest of your life
    - Since the copper price will go up, it could be a good investment.
    - ...
  9. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Jo is about 4 foot isn't it?

    Hanbo is 3 foot.
  10. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Ideally Weapons should actually be sized and measured relative to the person using them - e.g eyebrow height stick. This is Particularly important with longer weapons when ground clearance can be an issue in certain moves.
  11. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Sounds about right. I've only seen them used in my dojo, so I'm guesstimating.
  12. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    IIRC a jo is to the armpit crease
  13. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    The name for the staff in Ryukyu Kobudo literally means 6 foot staff.
    I think tailored length is actually more of an issue for swords. For polearms the longer the better is probably the case, as length is the big advantage you get from polearms. If you're a bit short you're better off just learning to manipulate it in such a way that you don't hit the ground.
  14. Hannibal

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

    Hanbo literally is "half staff" so is 3ft (as a Bo is 6ft). Jo I belive has a bit more latitude.....i just call them big and medium whack sticks myself
  15. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    All of the Ryukyu and Japanese martial arts I've worked with have been very rigid in length - all Bo were 6 ft, all Jo were the same, Hanbo all the same, etc.
  16. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member


    Nice links for Bo Staff :)

    So does DC Comics, Argent Silver, VIN Number
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  17. Juddy

    Juddy New Member

    Just as everyone else has pointed out, the first port of call would be to your friends martial arts teacher what they use.

    Secondly if that doesn't work try a martial arts supplier. Explain his height and what he uses it for and they should point you in the right direction.

    Poles can range from competition types, which can be expensive but range in in length from children's sizes (3 metres to 6 metres in length) they are made of graphite and other light woods, ideal for spinning. Then there are the combat poles which are heavier and made out of oak, they can be between 5 to 6 metres in length.

    There is also available 6 metre retan practice poles, these are my personal favourite, they are long durable and light.

    A good supplier is Century Martial Arts.

    Hope this helps :)
  18. HachiKuma

    HachiKuma Valued Member

    Do you mean feet?

    6 metres seems a bit long for a staff.
  19. Juddy

    Juddy New Member

    Oh I'm sorry, I just realized what I had written, you're absolutely right I meant feet not metres.

    Hope this helps
  20. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Well, I for one have a new goal in life: to use a 6 meter staff.

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