Bo Staff Question

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by AndrewA, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. AndrewA

    AndrewA Valued Member

    My instructor has just advised me to cut 4 inches from the end of my bo staff.

    I dont want to sound daft in the class, anyone got any ideas why he might have suggested this?

  2. Rataca100

    Rataca100 Banned Banned

    As in make it come into a point, or just tos hortern it? Because the only two things i have, is that its too long or to make it more stabby.
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I'd just ask the instructor why tbh. Although if memory serves a Bo staff is supposed to be your eye height.
  4. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Usually the sticks are defined by their length
    Rokushaku bo typically called just a bo - 6ft
    Sanshaku bo typically called hanbo - 3 ft
    And so on

    Mostly to do the techniques you'll need the correct length as to key point is the relative distance between your weapon and your opponent's.
    e.g. Both of you using a 6ft stick or one using a sword, the other using a 6 ft stick

    So cutting down your stick will change the techniques- this is why we study different techniques for hanbo, jo &bo

    There are one or two things that are to some extent relative to your size (e.g. Furri or spinning the stick), but I don't think you should cut down your bo for that

    So not sure really.......
  5. skuggvarg

    skuggvarg Valued Member

    Like mentioned, the Bo is normally roku shaku (6 japanese feet). During the old times the height of an average man was approx 5 shaku. Maybe you had a "longer than normal" bo or your teacher thinks you are too short to have a 6 feet staff. Who knows?
  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac "BJJ Over 40" club member Moderator Supporter

    It's okay to ask questions. That's how we learn. You could ask him before/after class if you don't want to ask during class.

    But anyway, different schools favor different particulars, but they all put a limit on how long the bo should be. Eyebrow? Eyeballs? Top of head? Two inches above your head? Within 6 inches of your height either way? Your teacher has his own particular rule, and he wants you to cut your staff accordingly.

    Aikido is similar with respect to the "jo" -- the shorter staff. Some people want it exactly 4 feet long. Some people want it to fit just under the armpit. Some people want it at sternum height (which I suppose is the same thing as armpit height). What they're really looking for is a jo of the right length for spinning, because in the katas we spin them. Back to your bo -- I would assume that's what drives the length, too. You're doing something in your particular katas for which you need a particular length.
  7. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Many of the bo techniques in the buj are done against a sword
    This is to teach the very precise distancing needed - it's quite easy for a sword to attack your front hand/wrist in bojutsu so you have to be very accurate in your position, distance & timing to cope with this

    Cutting down the length of your bo will change this quite a lot.....

    Unless your partner has a shorter sword perhaps - are you training against a togakure ryu sword?

    Also in the buj we have techniques for spinning longer weapons so we have to learn how to spin weapons on the spectrum from 3ft (hanbo) to around 9ft (naginata etc)

    Of course we have to be able to adjust our techniques to "non-standard" weapons, people with longer arms, varying sword lengths etc etc, but this is after you've got the hang of the basics

    Still seems odd to me - ask your instructor - I'd be interested in the answer
  8. AndrewA

    AndrewA Valued Member

    Thanks for the replys guys, much appreciated.....
  9. skuggvarg

    skuggvarg Valued Member

    No problemo,

    There is a quite big overlap between the jojutsu and the roku shaku bojutsu. The sweet thing with a jo is that you can do kenjutsu with it, roku shaku bojutsu, even some hanbo jutsu. But like mentioned above it makes no sense ro have a too short bo as it is mainly used against a ken and with the sword you have a certain reach. If you have a too short staff you loose a lot of the advantages against a sword.
  10. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    If I am not wrong, I heard that the bo should indeed be approximately 6 ft long, but it isn't always exactly that. I think it should fit your height somewhat. For example my sensei, when he buys a more expensive bo, tries to pick the longest one available as he is quite tall. So there might be a relative lenght given. When I bought a nice bo in Shureido shop in Okinawa, the staffs, though well done, were of somewhat varying lenghts.
  11. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    My point is that the technique is greatly influenced by the relative lengths of the 2 weapons in play

    And not very much influenced by the length of your weapon vs your height

    So if you have a shorter weapon that's fine, but your technique needs to change

    Of course I only speak for xkan approach and it may be different in other styles
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  12. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    What you need is someone to choose the right stick for your size; get in contact with Craig David...

    ... He is a proper Bo selecta...

  13. AndrewA

    AndrewA Valued Member

    You have just won "the internet..................."

    Inserts smiley face.
  14. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    To different approaches to govern the length of any weapon.


    The weapon length is cut to match the body proportions of the person who wields it. (this is how it is done in the kung fu lineage to which i belong. e.g eyebrow height staff.) This is done so that the shape of the person does not interfere with manoeuvring the weapon. e.g the tip of the staff does not strike the ground during a spin, slashes and spins of the sword to not catch on wielders elbows or knees.


    It the weapon length is cut to match an external factor. e.g standardisation for mass production of weapons. engineering constraints on weapons manufacture, appropriate length for use attacking formations against certain defensive formations. appropriate length for countering specific weapons or specific styles of weapon fighting. and so on.
  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Are you 5 foot 8inches tall? (ish)
  16. garth

    garth Valued Member

    OK firstly I hope I do not get banned. Just had to set up a second account as I could not get back on as it asked for my e mail address from 10 years ago. I sent a message via facebook so heres hoping. Got banned before for a similar infraction years ago so do not wnat it happening again.

    Anyway a Roku Shaku Bo is Six (Roku) Shakus. A shaku is a measure of length 11.93 inches. If your staff is 6 x 11.93 inches its a Rokushaku Bo.
  17. kouryuu

    kouryuu Kouryuu

    Don't worry Gary , we all love you xxxxx

Share This Page