Don't Miss

The First Steps of Becoming a Pro With a Bo

By on Last modified: November 5, 2018

Bo training can be extremely fun, but it requires a lot of diligence and hard work. It’s one of the most commonly practiced martial arts weapons in the world, and many movie stars need to learn it to perform certain fighting scenes. If Bo training has piqued your interest, all you need to do is get a Bo staff and start training in your local gym or with the help of YouTube videos. Picking the right Bo is extremely important for your training, and your choice will mainly depend on the type of training you’re doing with it.

If you’re looking to train freestyle techniques and dabble into competitions, then you’re going to need a lightweight Bo, known as toothpick Bo. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get into NASKA, you’ll need a lightweight, yet solid graphite Bo. For Bo sparring, you’ll need a padded Bo, and for traditional training, you need an oak Bo staff. The staff you use should be slightly shorter than you are unless you’re into traditional training and combat. The most common Bo sizes are 4, 5 and 6 feet.


You can find Bo staves online, or have one custom made if you know a decent woodworker. Bamboo, rattan, and oak are all good options, but you have to make sure the staff is properly sanded and smoothened so that splinters don’t become an issue. Alternatively, you can go to a local martial arts academy or supply store and get one there, although martial arts supply stores are rare.

Once you get your Bo, you need to learn how to hold it and use it. There are three types of holds – normal, narrow and wide holds. the normal hold is how you’ll be holding it most of the time, – you basically split the staff into three equal parts with both your hands. A narrow hold is great for spinning, while a wide hold is generally used for defining strikes and blocks. When holding the Bo in a narrow and wide stance, you should be doing so with one palm down and one palm up.

Besides learning how to hold it, you also need to learn the stances. There are four basic stances – long front stance, front stance, cat stance, and horse stance. The long front stance involves having one leg out front with the knee bent, while the other leg is back and straight. The front stance is the square stance and is the one seen in traditional martial arts. The horse stance is similar as if you were riding a horse, with the legs in line, slightly wider than shoulder width. And the cat stance has you put most of your weight on the back knee, with the front foot barely touching the ground.