I get asked, quite often how to pick the correct Bo Staff for training. Let me go through a couple of quick tips:
Get a BO that is about your same height or a couple of inches shorter. If you are 5′ 8” – I would recommend a 5′ 6” (five and 1/2 foot) staff. This is just a couple of inches shorter than you.
Do NOT get a BO that is taller than you. This will make it difficult to perform sweeps, wrist rolls, spins, and low strikes that require bringing the tip of the Bo close to the ground. It will be a very frustrating training experience.
A Broomstick/Pole will also work for you. You do not have to have a specially created weapon just to practice some movements. The Bo is essentially just a long stick; generally hardened and heavy in the past when it was used for actual combat. A broomstick of lightweight pole that is around your height could work. But the WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION will generally not be as favorable as a crafted Bo.
Beginner’s Practice – I recommend a white wood lotus Bo – like found here: You can really buy this from most martial arts suppliers.
Competition Level – Graphite Bo. Graphite is a very lightweight, flashy, and durable staff. If you are doing competition/extreme/tricking bo staff techniques and forms, you should use graphite. Like found here.
For traditional and combat type training – Oak Bo. If you are learning traditional bojutsu and training realistic combat staff moves, I would recommend a hardwood, like oak. Ash is also good. This is a nice and affordable oak bo.
DO NOT get a Two-Piece Bo. These are uneven in weight due to the screw on apparatus. I do not recommend.
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