For many practicing martial arts and enthusiasts, the Japanese weapon called “bo” is an effective staff weapon. It doesn’t have any blades but the damage it inflicts is overpowering. This staff is usually used in the martial arts of Bojutsu. The traditional bo staff is usually made with bamboo (which is abundant in the Asian regions) or white oak. If you are interested in learning to use the bo staff, you can enlist for some lessons and practice at home using your own staff. Now if you’re a little short on cash and can’t buy an authentic bo staff, there’s no reason to be discouraged. You can make you own bo staff that can cost you from little to nothing at all.
- What you need to make your bo staff:
- Wood (oak or birch dowel rod) or you can use the handle of a wooden broom
- Hockey grip tape
- Saw (manual or machine)
- Clear lacquer (if you’re using raw wood)
- Use the correct length of wood. Using the correct length of wood would help you practice accurate moves with the bo staff. Using too short or too long can affect your swings or your hits so it’s important to be precise. A bo staff should be at least 60 to 70 inches long and an inch diameter width’s nominal size.
The easiest wood you can use that doesn’t require lacquer or sanding is the handle of a wooden broom. The broom is about 5 feet, which makes it perfect for a bo staff.
- Prepare your wood. If you were using raw wood, you would need to cut the wood to 60 to 70 inches and sand it until it goes down to an inch diameter. The ends should not be sharp. Cut the ends of the wood with a saw and sand it until it’s smooth. Apply clear lacquer and let it dry completely.
If you are using the wooden handle of a broom, you don’t need to sand the length or paint it. Cut the ends with a saw and sand it as well.
- Create the grip. After preparing the wood, create the grip on the staff using hockey grip tape. Find the center of the staff by balancing the staff until it stays horizontally balanced on your hand. Mark the center with a piece of tape. Next, measure at least a half a foot distance from the center to both opposite directions and mark the spots.
Take at least 2-1/2 feet of hockey tape (don’t cut it yet!) and hold the end of the tape with the rest of it dangling. Spin the tape around so that the tape would twist. This would be the ridge on your grip. It will help you control your grips.
Stick the twisted tape around the grip area and tape the ends securely. Next, take the hockey grip tape and stick it around the grip area until it covers completely. Press the grip firmly. You will notice the ridges appearing around the grip area.
Remember to weigh your wood carefully, if you need to strengthen your muscles, get a heavier wood. However, be careful in handling this weapon. Even if this is just wood, it can be potentially dangerous if you don’t know how to handle it. Be sure you have the guidance of your instructor while learning how to use your bo staff.