Monday, September 19, 2022

Martial Arts Hanbo Training: 3-Foot Stick

In our martial arts practice, hanbojutsu refers to our training with the three foot stick.

Historically, the three foot stick comes from spear training- sojutsu, the art of the spear used by the Japanese samurai.

In using the spear, on the battlefield, in armor, mass-warfare, what happens when it breaks?

Sometimes the shaft of the spear would split, or be broken in the attack…

…leaving a three foot section of it.

Over time, the waza- martial arts techniques using the 3 foot stick codified and became a separate part of the training, as complex and in detail as any of the other disciplines practiced.

 Why practice hanbojutsu?

The first thing one notices, is how complex and thought out the stick art is- use of the 3 foot stick is not swinging or moving it like a baseball bat or sports tool.

The stick is used to strike using distance and timing, projected at weak structure points on the body- kyusho, while also involving ways of locking the body, throwing the body, and immobilizing the body.

The hanbo allows both ranged and close in methods.

On a practical self-defense level, the stick in one of the important training tools that that the new student learns as soon as possible- there are many sticks and stick like objects in the world, and having insights in how they work is invaluable.

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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: