Training with the bo- the six foot stick is an important part of the martial arts and taijutsu body movement. When one joins our training group, soon after you are handed a stick and start training in the mechanics.
Perhaps this is a bit odd when compared to other martial arts schools/groups?
Aren't "weapons" studied at a black belt level?
For us the bo staff and the use of it (bojutsu) is both training in the tool and learning about the fundamentals of the martial arts.
At its base, the stick is six feet long. We are going to do our best to keep our training partner at the end of it- six feet away, while we move, strike, and thrust with it.
Likewise, our training partner is going to be doing their best to close the distance of six feet and get in close to us.
The distance for the stick is "fixed" as six feet.
Being so long, the distance is easier to see, and understand.
In this way we use the stick to begin to understand how important distance is in the martial arts- something that is critical to understand as soon as possible as a new student.
Another training point is to use the stick as a tool to teach full body movement- unified body movement to generate power- by spinning the stick and keeping it in timing with both your upper and lower body, this is another skill one learns that transfers over to unarmed taijutsu movement.
In this way the six foot stick is a tool of self discovery.
Of course we still train in it from the perspective of bojutsu, learning:
Kamae- ways of holding tho stick.
Kihon- striking with the stick, receiving an attack, specialized movement like spinning it, bofurigata, etc.
Kata- formal lessons to transmit strategy with the bo.
See you on the mat!