Bo Staff

Bo (Staff) – Martial Arts Weapon

The Bo (staff) is an Okinawan (Japan) martial arts weapon. This staff is a long wooden weapon traditionally made of oak and roughly 6 feet in length. In contrast, a Jo staff is approximately 4 feet in length. Many martial arts train with staffs (i.e. Bo and Jo) including AikidoBojutsuKung FuNinjutsu and some BudoBujutsu schools. Moreover, the Bo is used in many weapon katas and forms.

The Bo is used to block, thrust, and strike an opponent and is effective against most other forms of martial arts weapons. A typical Bojutsu technique will be to block an opponents attack with the top part of the staff and then in a fluid motion to counter strike with the lower end. In the hands of a master, there will only be a split second between block and strike. This is one of the reasons why the Bo is one of the most difficult of martial arts weapons to defend against.

To practice sparring with a Bo, martial artists often use a foam Bo in addition to head gear, gloves and other protective gear. The foam Bo is used to reduce potential injuries to the sparring partner.

AmazonBo & Staff Fighting Books

Examples of Bo Techniques

For information about other traditional martial arts weapons (i.e. Nunchaku and Jo), please visit the main Martial Arts Weapons section.

Instructional Video for the Bo Staff

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