Training with a bo staff is great conditioning for the upper body, and there are an almost infinite number of bo techniques and tricks that beginning and skilled practitioners can learn.
Choosing a Bo Staff
There are four big factors that you should consider when picking a bo staff. That sounds more daunting than it is – as you’ll see, they all tie in pretty closely to each other. They are: Length, Weight/Material, Appearance and your Intended Use.
Length: The correct length for your bo staff depends on your height. As a general rule of thumb, when stood upright on the ground, your bo should be about the same height as you. For creative competitions, you may want it a little bit shorter.
Weight/Material: Heavier bo staffs are great for traditional or strength training. These tend to be made of hardwood, like oak, and were originally designed for use in combat. Only use bo staffs like these with the supervision of your martial arts instructor. Then there are lightweight bo, made of materials like lotus white wood, bamboo, or even graphite.
Appearance: Most people who train with bo staffs use them in competitions. Therefore, in addition to the length, you might also want to consider the look of the staff. Many competition bo staffs have eye-catching designs that draw attention to the performance.
Use: Use is determined by a combination of the other factors. If you want a bo for sport competition, you will want a light, shorter bo that is easy to manipulate for tricks. For traditional competition and training a longer bo with heavier material is recommended.