Darth Maul Staff style

Discussion in 'Members in Motion' started by Ivan, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    Hey guys, I've owned a Bo for about a year or so now and have attempted teaching myself some basic Okinawan Kobudo and Shaolin Wushu with it. I always found Shaolin extremely uncomfortable (though I got used to Kobudo, eventually) as my father had taught me the use of a staff with a double overhand grip since I was quite young (~10 years old). Recently I saw that Darth Maul (my favourite sith from star wars) used the same grip and decided to start attempting to incorporate his style.

    I started off by learning a few spins when I began practicing again, then I moved on to his combat style. I still have no clue how to incorporate any of the spins I have learnt into it. I also attempted to learn his signature butterfly spin but I am still quite new to it. Here is a compilation of some of my training videos in an attempt to imitate the character:

    I was hoping to get some honest feedback and criticism, whether you think this style is applicable in a real situation, and also what martial art uses this grip style? Thanks
     
  2. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Where my son trains, the bo is all about power and strength.

    Strike like you are trying to break something.
     
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  3. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    should try alternating, i think the double overhand puts too much stress on your thumbs and pending blocking type and the like, somone might be able to force the staff out of your grip down to most of the force being on your thumbs.

    I honestly just treat a staff like a bayonet.
     
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  4. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Yeah my son uses a grip that is one palm up and one palm down.

    His bo form starts at 6:14 mark

     
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  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Darth Mail's 'alter ego ' is Ray Park, you can see where his fighting style originated. I've always wanted to hear Darth Maul say 'see you Jimmy' before he hit someone
     
  6. dunc

    dunc Blue Belt

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    This may or may not help as it's a perspective from a different tradition from the ones you're looking at

    The core principle of using a 6ft staff in the traditional Japanese styles is to utilise the length of the weapon to your advantage. Typically this is to deal with adversaries who are also armed
    It's quite different from the approach that you show where you keep your hands in one place on the weapon. Perhaps this would make sense against unarmed opponents

    Here's some solo training clips that show the core ideas and foundational movements



    And the method for spinning the staff (although the practical application of this requires some explaining)

    Hope this is useful in some way
     
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  7. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This has to be done as a result of him trying to mimick darth maul. You don't want to slide your hands around too much if going past a certain length with the handle results in your hand being sliced off. Some people who try to learn 'lightsaber' techniques, have to put tape where the end of the handle is to learn how far they can move it.
     
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  8. dunc

    dunc Blue Belt

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    Ahh, yes stupid of me not to realise that based on the thread title.....

    Hard to control your centre line if you have a Darth Maul thingy and no distance advantage - better to have a lightsaber I think
     
  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure you can really mix Japanese bo methods with Chinese staff methods. I would probably stick to one or the other.
     
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  10. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Japanese Staff vs Chinese staff = Looks similar.
    Japanese Bo vs Chinese Staff = Looks different
    Japanese Bo vs Japanese Staff = Looks different

    The mechanics that are behind them are different. The weapons are different, The balance of the weapons are different. 6ft staff of any system will have familiar movements even if a person trains staff from a different system.
     
  11. dunc

    dunc Blue Belt

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    What do you mean by the difference between a bo (Japanese word for stick) and a staff?
     
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  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    To what end?

    Look, if the aim is "look cool", or "have fun", then no problem at all. If it's anything at all to do with actual weapon usage, then two things should be covered... number one, get a teacher. Number two, movies are... well, movies. There's a different set of mechanics, tactics, and in cases (such as this) physics involved.

    You want to learn the weapon handing of Ray Park? Look for a wushu teacher. Or a stage combat group.

    Honest? As mentioned, unless your aim is purely "fun" or "look cool", then this is rather... pointless.
    Is it applicable to a real situation? Not in the slightest. Especially with absolutely no foundation.
    What martial art uses this grip? Okinawan Kobudo is going to be the primary one... you may note that Maul switches between a matched and unmatched grip (both hands facing in, and both hands facing the same direction), so there's no single grip... and realistically, the reason he uses those grips is due to the weapon he's using, with a burning plasma blade at either end, which is not what you're using.

    And you're basing that on......?

    Look, one of the biggest problems with threads like this is that anyone can answer... and all answers can be seen with the same weight, even though they really, really shouldn't be. From everything I've seen, you (Rat) are yet to embark on any actual study of anything, so your input is based in no actual knowledge or insight whatsoever... at the end of the day, I don't want to stifle anyone's ability to engage in any topic... but it might be better if some employed a degree of introspection as to whether they're in a position to actually offer any advice of value. More and more, I have issue with "we're all entitled to our opinion", as that's often rendered as "we're all entitled to having our opinions, uninformed and largely unintelligent as they may be, to be heard, and taken seriously"... no, you're not.

    For evidence? "I honestly just treat a staff like a bayonet." Then you don't understand either weapon.

    That's a fairly standard grip for Okinawan (Ryukyu) Kobudo methodologies.... I like the precision and focus your son has in his performance, although obviously this is not a traditional system he's demonstrating, it is clearly based in such approaches.

    Hey Dunc,

    It may be important to note that what you're showing there is really only applicable to the Bujinkan approach to bo... it's not even consistent across Japanese methodologies, although it is not atypical either. That said, I appreciate the desire to help, but feel that the actual help is limited.

    This is where a teacher comes into it (Ivan)... as a teacher, in very simple terms, teaches you a system. And a system is a consistent approach, not something cobbled together from a variety of sources, based on "what looks cool", or anything else... they have a particular approach to grip, distancing, application (different contexts and opponents), power, posture, preference on usage of the weapon, other weapons in the system, and more. The only time "looks cool", mixing and matching a variety of unconnected methods works is in movie choreography and stage fighting, where there is no need for anything to be genuinely based in any form of reality... outside of that, get a teacher. And be prepared for your ideas of how a weapon works to be contradicted by the school and teacher you end up with.

    Yep.

    What?!? Please define your distinction between "staff" and "bo" (which, you know, is Japanese for "staff")....

    While waiting for that, a (very!) brief and general look at the three dominant forms of six-foot staff in Asian martial arts.... Chinese, Japanese, and Okinawan.

    Broadly speaking, Chinese arts tend to use light, almost whippy lengths of wood, in some cases tapered down to a point at one end, with the weapon often held at the other end almost exclusively. This gives a maximum distance to be applied, with the thinner, lighter end whipped around to strike and thrust. The basis for this is in Chinese spear work, where there is a defined usage for each end of the weapon. Grip-wise, the prevalent approach is a matched grip, with both hands facing towards the end of the staff.

    Okinawan (Ryukyu Kobudo) methods are much closer, with the staff most frequently held in the middle third of the weapon. The "standard" grip is also matched, with both hands pointed towards the lead end of the staff, although an unmatched (both hands facing inward towards each other) grip is also used. The middle grip gives the ability to use both ends equally, with an emphasis on thrusting actions, as well as using the middle portion as a blocking section. This is, from a practical level, the basis of the Darth Maul approach, due to the limitations in grip options afforded by the weapon used.

    Lastly, Japanese arts tend to flow between the Chinese and Okinawan approaches... as shown in Dunc's videos above (which illustrate the Bujinkan's bojutsu method, based in Kukishin Ryu concepts, albeit somewhat altered... but that's a whole other story), most Japanese usage of bo employ a "divided into thirds" approach to the weapon, holding it in the last third, and employing the far third for striking. This is employed with some form of sliding of the hands from one end of the weapon to the other in some fashion (the above clips being one, Katori Shinto Ryu's method of shigoi-te, pulling the entire staff back to move your grip from one end to the other being another approach). This enables both the free usage of both ends, as well as employing the full range of striking distance available. The exact way it's done varies from school to school, obviously, as mentioned.

    So, if the aim (for Ivan) is to move like Darth Maul.... Okinawan methods are the closer match. But if he wants it to be powerful, effective, applicable, or anything similar.... then the first step is always the same. Get a teacher.
     
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  13. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Based on (in the criteria i gave above) your thumbs will take most of the force in some blocks. I dont know how apt it is for thin staffs or softwood, but i dont deem them combat staffs anyway. If you want one for hurting you get a good hard wood staff thats a certain thickness. As far as for not blocking, as far as i can tell in the video, it looks like he has limited movement, both hands either upwards or down seem to limit your movement as opposed to alternating. and your hands and positions should be dyanmic for what you do with a staff anyway.

    Feel free to get two quater staffs and have somone hit you with full strength in all the blocks and see where the pressure goes. (not too sure about disarmment but if you hurt your hands to a intolerable degree you loose function of your weapon even if it doesnt directly remove it from your grip)


    Dont care, keep conjecture of my personal situations to yourself and you are entitled to your own opinions and that is as far as i will go into that here. (as you have literally just expressed your opinion about my personal situation) I have never endorsed not testing anything.


    No evidence was posted there, the statement of using it like a bayonet was how i personally use staffs for two hands to engange in some form of conversation. And i am pretty sure i understand a bayonet, you stick it in somone until they stop moving. Granted a staff without a pointy bit on the end is less effective than one with a pointy bit but its still not plesant and you can injure people thrusing the point of a staff in them. If anything, my statement means i predominately use it as a thrusting weapon and parry etc as opposed to proper block. It is really easy to use a spear or a staff like a spear. And i am honestly not getting a bayonet trainer when a stick works the same. (and is cheaper)

    And it goes without saying, i do mean a bayonet ON a rifle, not one not attached, that is just a knife (/sword/spike).
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good post as usual Chris. Haven’t seen you around in a while, hope you are well.

    I wanted to comment on this portion. You are correct in this, but it is not the only approach found in Chinese methods. I won’t try to claim that every system includes what I am about to describe, only that in addition to what you describe above, the method that I train includes additional material.

    We also take a grip with both palms down, at the end of the staff. With this grip we use one end at a time, but slide the grip from one end to the other, in effect switching back and forth from one end to the other, and striking freely with either end. So it is still “single end stick”, but we can engage either end as needed. It is not a grip in the middle that then strikes back and forth with both ends.

    A staff used in this way tends to not be tapered like the other method might use. It’s level of whippiness would, in my opinion, be subject to personal preference. While I’ve learned both methods using whippy sticks, my own preference is to use a more rigid staff. A Waxwood staff can be thicker which makes it rather not whippy and less obviously tapered. I believe that historically, people used what material was available to them. China is a big area, and I doubt Waxwood would be available everywhere, so people might use other things. I suspect that the fact that many suppliers are selling staffs and spears in waxwood may be misleading, and is a modern phenomenon. I believe Waxwood is a fast-growing wood that lends itself to harvest, and has therefore become prominent in the industry, but may not be historically accurate in all cases.

    At any rate, being that I live in North America, I have switched in my own practice to using hickory for all of my staff and spear work. I like the weightyness of it and the more rigid quality of the wood. It’s a real bone-cruncher if you get hit with it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
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  15. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Dear lord.....

    I mean based on anything in regards to actual knowledge, experience, training, or anything that would give your words any weight at all. Your description here simply shows that you don't even have the basic understanding of a safe and strong grip, let alone anything else, and, as such, your opinion is absolutely without merit.

    It's not conjecture, you have no idea what you're talking about, and have no training or experience to back up your incredibly off-base ideas.

    But, hey, go ahead and keep arguing with the guy who's trained in a wide array of staff arts for the past 30 years plus, dude... that'll work for you.

    You saying "I treat a staff like a bayonet" was the evidence that you have no clue what you're talking about... and no, I don't think you really have any idea of the usage of a bayonet either...

    Look, this is all just a lot of bluster from someone completely out of their depth and deeply ignorant of anything being discussed... but, by virtue of having an account here, you can appear as if your words have weight, at least to other people who don't know what they're talking about (not uncommon for those asking the question, in this case, Ivan). And that's the problem... your words are literally without merit, and completely without basis. And it's important that that gets pointed out... before anyone thinks you know something, and tries taking your advice.

    Hey Mike, I'm always around... I might not post as much these days, but there's a few reasons for that... hope you and yours are safe and well as well!

    Ha, yeah, hence my disclaimer of "broadly speaking.... tend to... " etc...

    Interestingly, the way you describe that is very much like the way we use a staff in Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu (but not the same as Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, or Kukishin Ryu, or Kijin Chosui Ryu, or Hontai Yoshin Ryu, or Shindo Muso Ryu.... just to list some of my staff practice for Rat above...).

    Yep, the weapon needs to be matched to the practice, obviously... one thing I forgot to include last time is the Ryukyu (Okinawan) staffs tend to be tapered at both ends, due to the method of use... and Japanese tend towards hardwoods (ideally Japanese oaks) and consistency in the thickness. Of course, these are generalisations, and a variety of dimensions, lengths, thicknesses, and more are found across the gamut of cultures and combative approaches.

    Hickory is increasingly being used by American (and other Western) practitioners of Japanese arts, as it's the closest match to Japanese White Oak in terms of properties (weight, grain, hardness, "crushability" rather than splintering, and so on), as well as the increasing scarcity of quality and properly aged genuine article in Japan... on top of that, the last two years have seen a number of the better workshops close their doors, unable to continue in the modern market (that was pre-Covid, by the way... not that the pandemic has helped matters!).[/QUOTE]
     
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  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Pretty much.




    Within that concept is of course nuance that will make a personwho knows what he is doing better than someone who doesn't. But for all practical purposes hold one end. Poke them with the other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  17. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    there is a reason why the spear was the go to weapon for a very long peroid fo time for fighting. It works even better if you have one and they dont. :p
     
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  18. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    @Chris Parker

    I was going to give that a fancy reply, but given all three of your points contain logical fallacies i will just list them off.

    First reply: Strawman, Adhominen and appeal to authorty. Your reply is not related to the points i made, you try to discredit my point based on authorty.

    Second: Ad hominen, and despite conjecture not being a fallacy, you engage in it clear as day. What you wrote IS conejetre through a through.

    Third: Adhominen and appealing to authorty. And further conjecture.

    Given the a bove three, you care not to argue my points and i want no further dealings with it, you know how to reply if you want a argument on my main point without just logical fallacing me to death. Until that point i am done here and i will not facilitate further discusson on this matter.
     
  19. oftheherd11

    oftheherd11 Yellow Belt

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    @Chris Parker I have been somewhat inactive for a while myself, but seems you have been for longer. All the more reason to be glad to see you back..

    Hope all is well with you.
     
  20. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Just chiming in, good to see you oftheherd11 :). Only just noticed the additional '1' after your name haha, welcome back, hoping you're well123
     
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