Bo Staff

Water Element

Pivoting Weapon


The Bo Staff is a water element weapon. It is a water element weapon because of the Bo Staff s utility and its thrusting strikes that imitate a drilling characteristic. During the time when the Japanese occupied the island of Okinawa the people were not permitted to carry any kind of weapon. As a result, they took the everyday tools and implements used in everyday life.

Although the is now used as a weapon, its use is believed by some to have evolved from the long stick (tenbin) which was used to balance buckets or baskets. Typically, one would carry baskets of harvested crops or buckets of water or fish etc., one at each end of the Bo that is balanced across the middle of the back at the shoulder blades. In poorer agrarian economies, the Bo Staff remains a traditional farm work implement. There are stick fighting techniques native to just about every country on every continent.

The Bo Staff is the first of the Pivoting weapons. The importance of this principal is hard to overstate. A Pivoting weapon’s advantage is that   it has more speed at the impact point and therefore delivers a stronger strike. The grip is a split-handed grip and it is this grip which generates the greater speed needed to amplify the power of the strike.


            Bo Staffs come in a variety of diameters and lengths.  The best length is to the top of the eyebrow from the floor.  Diameter should match the grip of the user and be of impact resistant material.  Novice users should always divide their Bo into thirds indicated by taping each section.  Tape should be placed around Bo Staff at shoulder width of the practitioner.


(practitioner’s shoulder width)


This Module contains the following curriculum:

Basic warm up and proper Bo Staff technique

20 count striking drill

22 count blocking drill

Tiger tail basic Bo Staff form

Dragon Fire advanced Bo Staff form