Besides rocks, one of the most basic all tools throughout mankind’s history across most cultures has recently been the long wooden keep. This makes sense since sticks were always easily available in the woodlands or could be easily made. The Asian martial arts took the long wooden staff into a creative art form as many martial skill styles range from the long personnel in their systems. Several styles have even traditional weaponry forms or katas presenting the long staff. A lot of systems of martial martial arts train with weapons including the staff through practical techniques only without the use of set forms.
Contrary to many martial art weaponry such as swords, blades, kamas and sais which are short range, teams are long-range weapons with superior reach. This permits the user to harm and defend from a distance that can be frustrating from the point of view of an opponent who has a short range weapon. Long range weaponry are also useful in keeping multiple opponents away of reach too. Of course, long weapons including the staff can not be easily hidden like short range tools so they can be cumbersome to carry around.
Probably the most popular martial disciplines weapons from the Western karate styles is the bo. Even today, the bo is usually the first weapon taught at karate schools and is the most frequent weapon seen at tournaments. The bo personnel comes in several variations. Right now there are heavy bo teams which resemble thick poles which are considered more traditional and there are lighter versions which are tapered at both ends. There are also multi-sided bo staffs such as octagonal but these are much less common than the usual round, round versions.
Although there are one handed swings, most bo techniques involve both hands holding the tool. Various strikes and obstructions can be performed with the back of the bo as well as the sides and middle section. Bo users take good thing about the complete weapon as techniques can be executed with any portion of the bo. Intended for the majority of techniques involving the bo, the user holds the personnel nearby the middle with ends protruding out equally. Customarily, the lead hand (furthest away from the body) is the right hands.
Contemporary weapons forms contests have caused the bo to evolve where opponents now use extremely light-weight bo’s and some have reflective finishes giving a more flashy visual appearance when the user is performing a bo form. Unlike traditional bo varieties, modern-day creative open varieties with the bo require more complex spins and even tosses. Some martial artists do not consider some of the modern bo forms observed in the competition circuits to be true weapons varieties as some opponents stress too much baton-like twirling action rather than genuine combative techniques. It could perfectly be a subject of personal taste. That is why in almost all of the large open martial arts competitions, weapons divisions are break up into traditional and creative.
Chinese kung fu styles also utilize the long staff although there are some dissimilarities in techniques when compared to Western karate styles. Instead of holding the weapon in the middle almost all of the time like a bo is held, Chinese employees are usually held around one end which has the effect of lengthening the weapon even more. Taditionally, the lead side is the left with the right holding the bottom end of the staff. However, there are techniques which involve moving over sides as well as using the bottom end to strike too. Furthermore to strikes executed while holding the weapon with hands, there are more single handed techniques with Chinese staffs than with Japanese bo staffs. Just like their empty hand kung fu forms, Chinese personnel forms convey more circular, moving techniques as compared to Japanese martial arts styles.
Contemporary wushu varieties use a far brighter weapon than in traditional kung fu staff varieties. Wushu stylists also use staffs or cudgels that are made associated with an unique white wax wood from trees that are produced only in China. Teams made of this type of wood are not made with precision like Japanese bo’s. The wushu staffs are naturally pointed with a thicker lower side and thinner top. The white wax wood is extremely resilient as users of this type of Chinese staff perform techniques which involve smashing the complete weapon on to the floor at full force.
Korean kuk sul won also offers the long staff in their system and the techniques used are like various Oriental and Japanese moves. Though all martial arts styles that utilize weaponry have an overabundance complex and possibly more impressive looking weapons, the long staff has continued to be to be a favorite for many martial music artists.
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