Ultimate Bo, also known as American Bōjutsu, is the world’s first complete white to black belt officially recognized bo training style. Since its original launch in 2007, thousands of students have trained through the home study course, making it a global phenomenon. This is your chance to master this ancient, practical weapon, while getting into amazing shape and earning real rank.
Rooted in Okinawa, you will learn a wide range of realistic strikes, blocks, stances, katas, and fighting skills.
Bo training is for all ages. The workouts and classes will give you a great total body workout, while strengthening your upper body.
You will be able to earn real rank, up to black belt level and higher, through this complete course of study.
Internationally Accredited Martial Art Style
Earn Real Rank in Ultimate Bo
Ultimate Bo uses a unique ranking system - the chevron patch. Students will place the official Ultimate Bo patch on the left sleeve of their uniform, and then each patch that is earned is placed in a descending fashion down the arm. This allows students who hold a rank in a traditional martial arts (such as Karate) to also wear their belt at the same time. Ultimate Chuks students can display their rank in the same way, but on the right arm. A chevron patch holds the same weight/equivalency as a belt - it is simply a different way to visually display your standing in the style. You will also have an official certificate of rank mailed to you upon passing an exam.
Introduction to Bo
You will learn about the style, how to use the course, how to choose the right bo, basic grips, and your basic stances.
Stances, Strikes, Blocks, and Combinations using the staff. Traditional, Okinawan based techniques that are the cornerstone of Bōjutsu.
At each belt level, you will learn an entire traditional kata. These kata are formulated so that you can practice with realistic intent.
You will also learn combat bo, which is how to fight with your staff in a self defense or sparring situation. Footwork, movement, combat strikes, blocks, and combinations.
Each level includes full, 30 minute follow-along classes. This is just like attending a live Ultimate Bo class with Sensei Michael. These include a warm up, drills, and much more.
Many techniques conclude with a home practice drill, with which you can follow along and get extra repetitions along with Sensei Michael. Most are designed for solo practice.
Take Your First Class to Begin Your Ultimate Bo Journey
In this first class, you will get introduced to traditional basics (holding the staff), the front stance, overhead front strike, horse stance, overhead rib strike, long front stance, front thrust, a combination drill, and a cool down. Grab your staff, wooden dowel, or broom stick and you can train!
Learn At Your Pace
You're busy and life can get in the way. We made this program flexible so you can train at the pace that fits your life.
Earn Accredited Rank
You will take challenging tests submitted to a real instructor so you can earn and be proud of your rank.
Your teacher is Sensei Michael Hodge, the founder of Ultimate Bo and 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan.
Complete Comprehensive Training
You will have everything you need to go from white to black belt. There is no guesswork in the training plan.
Fresh Material Monthly
With a GMAU Ultimate Bo membership, you will get access to new techniques, classes, workouts, and training that are added on a monthly basis.
You will be joining the ranks of over 1000 students from around the world working toward similar goals and encouraging each other along the way.
Stream From Multiple Devices
Access your courses from any device so you can take your training with you on the go.
Instructor Support & Feedback
With a GMAU Ultimate Bo membership, you can message your instructor and get feedback anytime.
"My story, 50 years old French Canadian, arthritis in the neck, ex smoker, and gaining weight, time to get in shape! But work a lots and living out of town! Always wanted to learn Bojutsu, start to look around , lol! No way I could find a full Bojutsu training in Canada. I Start to look online, just curious, and I find GMAU Bojutsu with Sensei Hodge! I’m pretty skeptical about training online. I still give it a try. At my surprise, I was really amazed by the material of this online course, lessons, classes, assignment, testing, quality of teaching, exchanges with others student, discussion board. I was really surprise when I did my first video testing, and Sensei hodge reply to me by video! And you can tell, this course is not only about money, Sensei Hodge really care about his student , we are not just a number! I took a chance with this course, and I got no regret, I’m so happy and dedicated to the end! Black belt! I’m coming!"
Ken Atkinson - Parkland County, Alberta, CA
"My path of self improvement with GMAU started in October of 2017 by studying bojutsu. I did a lot of internet research to find a martial arts program in my area that would fit into my work and life schedule. I finally discovered that going to a dojo at their posted times was just not an option, but I wanted some kind of program that improved my physical well being, mental discipline and had an enjoyable martial element to it.
Finding GMAU and the programs they offer was exactly what I was looking for. I read that once I purchased the bojustu class, I could easily train on my own schedule and train almost anywhere I chose. GMAU is an amazing traveling dojo. A month after I started trading with the bo, I signed up for the Shotokan Karate course.
Since I began training almost a year ago, I have noticed an increase in muscle mass (my wife has noticed too), an increase in my body awareness, a stronger core and greater flexibility. In years past, when I had ‘down time’ my job, I felt I had wasted it by not including a physical activity component to my day. Now, I have no ‘down time’ at work, I have a training regimen that is serving me very well.
Sensei Michael and Sensei Jon’s approach to teaching fits my visual learning style. Their lessons are concise, detailed and patient. I feel like I have my own personal Sensei when I watch the training videos. I am able to pause, rewind, and rewatch all lessons until I know I have achieve proficiency. The few times I have reached out to either of them for advice or clarification on a training matter, they have been prompt, personal and courteous in their replies. I do not feel I can give a high enough praise for what they have put together with the GMAU.
Sensei Michael and Sensei Jon are very encouraging in not only their lessons but also in their feedback. The feedback they have provided from my chevron and belt testing efforts have always been helpful and relevant. I believe GMAU holds their students to a high degree of skill and proficiency in attaining rank."
Sean Robinson - Jamestown, North Carolina, USA
"Hi, my name is Gavin, I am from Germany, 44 and I practice Wing Tjun over 2 years together with my wife Anja.
Martial Arts is a good way for us to improve mental, fitness and self-defense. But also i loved watching people using traditional weapons with the awesome movements like
shaolin monks do.
My wish to learn to handle such a traditional weapon was first awakened in the summer of
2017. In Wing Tjun we will not get teached in the traditional weapon bo, just the long bo with just
one boring form without any sense of self defence character. It is just a lesson to improve the
upper body condition and strength. This idea behind was not my goal. So I researched in my
neighborhood where there is a school that teaches Kobudo. Unfortunately I had to find out
disappointed that there is really no single school I could visit without having to do half a world
trip. So first I was content to buy a rattan bo and check some cool tricks here and there from the
videos found on Youtube and practice them on our home loft. The space was big enough to
whirl around with the stick.
The imitation of forms of the Shaolin fighters has led me sometime to the point that I had
reached my limits of deeper understanding and had not really progressed here. On the one hand I was motivated and at the same time completely overwhelmed by the mix of different styles, techniques and simple tricks of the well known toothpick-specialists.
I can still remember when between all these videos on youtube I happened to notice a class
video from Ultimate Bo and immediately hooked up the way this lesson was built. The video had
immediately animated to participate. Logically and structured like a real training lesson with
warm-up technical part and cooldown. I had really absorbed this video.
The way Michael Hodge works here and conveyed his knowledge convinced me immediately to
have a look at the homepage of Global Martial Arts University to inform about how the course is
working. Of course, I also had initial doubts whether I can actively pursue this course over a
longer period of time without losing interest in it after a short time.
After I finally decided to enroll in Ultimate Bo in September 2017, I was completely convinced
that I had made the right decision during my first visit to my personal training area. Each training
video was motivation to continue here. Achieving this attitude through an online course and the
distance and keeping students in the mood requires great effort and thoughtful approach.
I remember exactly when I first saw Bo Kata 1 in the training videos section. I have to admit that
for the first time I had a short-term feeling, "Oh dear, there you have something planned!" Today I am heading for the graduation of the Blue Chevron Level and smilingly look back to the first
beginnings with many heights and deep ones. Days on which everything had run smoothly and
those on which you would have thrown the Bo out of the window. But Michael Hodge and the
community does not leave a student in the lurch and is always backwind to keep up the motivation.
And it will continue and never end the supposed successes that have been achieved with the
graduations at Ultimate Bo to elaborate in more detail until these are finally in flesh and blood.
I'm proud to be a student under Sensei Michael Hodge of Global Martial Arts University. All that
is missing is the greatest honor: to train with Sensei Michael and my colleagues together having
fun and make a great party with barbecue or something typical american cool things after we
have finished the lesson. Maybe this will never be possible due to the distance and the costs for
the flight. For this reason, a photo of Him is hanging in my training room so that I can express
my honor and respect in my own way as I do this also to my Master in Wing Tjun.
On GMAU i have found the best way to practice with structured lessons helping me to learn this
interesting martial arts style from the really beginning teached by a shining example like Sensei
He opened up my horizon to apply what i have learned by now to my own martial arts style and
also my personal mindset in the area of life. If you also like to go this way enrolling this course
is highly personal recommended!
-Gavin Huhoff - Rodgau, Germany
"Global Martial Arts University is a cutting-edge martial arts training program. I cannot speak highly enough of them.
I started with GMAU’s Ultimate Bo program in February of 2018, and I absolutely love this program. To start, any time I have a question or comment, I can email Sensei Michael (the Ultimate Bo instructor) and he responds within a couple of days, if not the same day. Many see the lack of direct instructor oversight as a negative side of home training, but I prefer it, as I have learned not only to ask the right questions, but to find ways to answer them. By the time I finish composing the email with my questions to Sensei Michael, I have already answered them myself!
Another awesome part of my home training with GMAU is that I get to interact with other Ultimate Bo students. In the Discussion Board, we can share ideas, critique each other, and even lead our own classes. It feels like I am actually training with other students because of all the great videos and insights posted. Another thing I like is the training itself. For each rank level, there are certain requirements you must meet to test, and if your pass, advance to the next rank. There is no question what I need to be working on, because the requirements, such as techniques, training hours, and assignments are all clearly outlined on the GMAU sight. Again, if I have any questions, I can just email Sensei Michael and he will respond promptly.
Probably my favorite part of the Ultimate Bo course is the curriculum itself. I think any traditional martial art should have an even balance of traditional techniques, such as kata (pattern) in karate, and practical application, like kumite (sparring), also in karate. In Ultimate Bo, we have our traditionally based techniques, that we practice in the form of combinations and patterns, and we also have combat bo, the section of our course where we focus on the practical (combat/self-defense) application of our bo. Like I said, I enjoy practicing the traditional stuff, but without the combat bo it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.
Right now, I am a Green Chevron in the Ultimate Bo program, and I am training frequently to achieve my Blue Chevron. An awesome aspect of my GMAU home training is that I can train any day, any time. This is something that no brick and mortar martial arts school can boast. This allows me to get way more training than I normally would in, because I train on my schedule, when I feel like it. If I am taking an online class (watching a video), I can pause or skip ahead any time. If I need to stretch out a certain muscle group after the warmup, I can pause the video and stretch it out. If I recognize a problem in my pattern, I can pause the class and work on it a little bit before I move on. If I am crunched for time and am already proficient at a section of a class, I can skip to what I need to work on. Even private lessons at a physical dojo don’t have these advantages.
So far I have only listed good things, but I would say there is only one real negative part, and I don’t think that is really a true negative aspect, but rather a good point to train yourself on. That is:
Having the freedom to train anytime means you have the freedom to not train at all, so you have to condition yourself to stick to a schedule, maybe have a training buddy to be accountable to, and log your progress. I think of myself as a self-motivated person, so this aspect of training usually isn’t a problem for me. However, sometimes I just don’t feel like training, and that is when I have to fall back on my training buddy, and tell myself “In 15 minutes, I’m going to get my bo and train for 30 minutes, practicing x, y, and z.” Like I said, this isn’t really a negative point as much as it is a good area in which to train yourself.
I know this is a lengthy review, but there are just so many good things to say about GMAU and their Ultimate Bo program."
-Levi Potter - Glendive, Montana
Digital Edition: $149
Immediately after purchasing, you can watch all videos in a browser on any device. Or, you can download the videos for offline viewing.
After purchasing one of the training courses, visit the Choose Your Student Membership page to get enrolled.
A large majority of the training can be practiced solo. It is clearly beneficial to have a dedicated training partner when available, for working on the combat and sparring bo techniques. We still find students who train solo are able to reach a high level of efficacy.
The training course we offer on this page (Ultimate Bo Home Study Course) is a buy-once-and-own-for-life, whether it be the DVD edition or streaming/downloadable edition. These are great for training purposes. If you want to be an official student, and get access to the entire training course + more material, choose a GMAU Full Student membership. If you just buy the DVDs or one-time purchase course, you could always add on a Basic or Full Student membership at any point in the future.
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