How you use a staff...

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by geezer, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Lately I've dug out my old rattan staffs and dusted of some old forms and drills, and have even been teaching a couple of students the basics. One of the students spent many years in his younger days back in the 70s and 80s doing hard, old school TKD, and had some training with a bo. Ironically, he really struggles with the Escrima staff work we do.

    My own background is mainly Escrima and Wing Chun, so my staff work, especially power generation is very different. And that seems to be the problem. For example when gripping the staff in the center (as compared to using one end) we tend to favor the double palm-down grip, stand and basically move a lot like a boxer.

    This tough old TKD guy keeps his body straight back and square to the front, snapping the staff with his arms and a bit of hip, but without engaging his whole body. He seems to miss out on mobility, angling and most of all power generation.

    So I took a tour on-line and have to say, most of what I found was either a lot of showy and useless twirling, or very rigid old style kobudo that looked a bit like the way my student moved. I found almost nobody doing what I was taught until I came across this, a fragment of an old video from the early 90s by Rene Latosa. It's basically what we were doing today. For a briefer look skip ahead to about the 7:00 mark and watch.



    So, my question is, Why is this (apparently) an unusual way to apply the staff and generate power. To me it's totally natural. And not even new. It's escrima, boxing, ...heck even a bit like Paulus Hector Mair.

    Any thoughts???
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Neat video. The thing that sorta stood out was the way he held the staff out. Near the end for more reach. I say it stood out because I'm used to holding it in the center to strike with both sides. Though to be fair it's pretty easy to adjust your hands so I think I may have contradicted myself. Again though, neat video.
     
  3. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I have no idea how to use it other than like a bayonet, which is simple enough, so thats how i use it.

    It might just be how the person is genetically disposed or has experience with(or a mix). Even if you have just watched boxing on TV or anything on TV or read about it, it effects how you do things after all, as you think back to the closest applicable memory to it.

    If i understood the point correctly.
     
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    11,979
    Likes Received:
    2,095
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    @geezer, you’ve seen my staff videos, so yeah, I agree with you.
     
  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,997
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    One of the most important stick against stick techniques is missing in this clip.

    When your stick contact on your opponent's stick, you can slide your stick along his stick and hit his hand.

    Also if you divide your stick in 3 parts and hold your hands at 1/3 and 2/3 spots, when you release one of your hands, you can hit 2/3 of your stick length on both sides. This way, your stick can cover a much wider range.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    He's using a fairly short staff ...maybe about 5 feet long. With a 4' to 5' stick/staff there's not really length to get full benefit from a center grip. With a 6' staff we use center grip or end grip depending on the situation. If you have a lot of room, the end grip works well. In tighter confines the center grip has advantages. I practice both ways.

    Now with a long pole, specifically the WC luk dim boon kwun which runs 8 1/2 to nine feet in length, we only use the end grip, basically like a long spear.

    And then of course, there are people who train with really long poles, like heavy renaissance era pikes running up to 20 feet in length. Can you imagine walking around with one of them? Or going into an elevator? Have to take the stairs I guess. :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,997
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    I had learned a 2 men staff form when I was 11. It contains only 3 combos:

    The 1st combo is:

    - Right side hit on opponent's face. Opponent blocks.
    - Left side hit on his groin, Opponent blocks.
    - Left side hit on his head. Opponent block.
    - Release right hand and swing staff to his head.

    If this combo is repeated on the opposite side, and also train on both offense and defense, this combo can be expanded into 4 parts.

    IMO, this is a good way to train the staff technique. Unfortunately, people just don't train the ancient cold weapon through the "partner drill" any more. The solo form training seem to be more popular today.

    In CMA, the staff is also called "2 heads snake". Of course you can also hold on one end and use it as a spear.

    Picture of "left side hit opponent's head".

    [​IMG]

    Here is one of my favor staff techniques.

     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  8. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well I checked that out online, and the first to use the really long, heavy pike in war were the Greek Macedonians under Philip the Great. Their 20 foot long "sarissas" were joined with a metal tube in the center so they could be disassembled and carried more conveniently. Those Greeks (even the rough Macedonians) were pretty dang sharp.
     
  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,269
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Trophy Points:
    263
    1st thought. I'm glad I have a decent understanding of how to use the staff prior to watching the video.

    In some of the strikes, I thought about the bending motion of a staff in Chinese martial arts. In Chinese staffs the goal is often to get the end of the staff to bend. If you have a good solid staff then this is really difficult to do. It's easier when you have a staff this size. Instead of hitting the person on the right side of the face my strike would be on the left side of the face. The benefit of this is that the first strike pulls the person in the same direction that my 2nd strike will come from.

    In the Op's video you'll notice that the guy flinches to the right. My staff would hit him just as quickly has he flinched. In addition my staff is in a good position to prevent my opponent from using his staff. While I can still use mine and attack at will.


    But back to the point. In the drills that I did we would use that same whipping motion to strike at a weapon or person (concept of striking a person). Instead of moving in a circular motion we would just whip the staff along a linear path to strike again. For example, I would knock a staff away and then whip it back towards my enemy's face. No need to add circular movements.

    Other than just different approaches, it's always good to see a functional staff video.
     
  10. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I like both solo and partner training. For solo work I work with various staffs ranging from about five feet to seven feet long. The seven footer is 1 3/4 inch diameter rattan and is fairly heavy. Moving it really helps my engage my whole body. You won't find anybody doing lame twirls with that piece of lumber. The smaller staffs allow me to try different grips and move faster.

    As for partner drilling, I like having my partner feed hard blows so I can test my defensive structure, and then se if I can rebound into the attack before he can set up his next strike.

    What I haven't been doing is free sparring. And that's really necessary. I just have to get a training partner ready and get cracking. Literally! :)
     
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,269
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Jow Ga Sifu teaching student how to use a long staff. Not as long as WCs Long Pole.


    Same Jow Ga Sifu using a Long Pole. Bend that he gets out of this staff is unreal, it's not one of those performance flimsy thin staffs


    The long staff is one of the heavy weapons I want to learn.
     
  12. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Great video. Now if you are going to twirl a staff ...Dang! Thats the way to do it!

    Regarding the springy Chinese staff. Some staffs are slender and springy, others are not. If you have the whippy stuff, of course you are going to use it. I can't even imagine how much getting snapped with that kinda staff would hurt!!!

    Interestingly, in Latosa's Escrima, a lot of the weapons training trasfers very closely to the empty hands usage. And his Cadena de Mano is very akin to boxing ...and not so close to the Wing Chun, which is my foundation. Yet working both arts has helped me understand a lot more about different kinetic linkages, ways to develop and deliver power, and so forth. And I've actually found similarities that are not outwardly apparent.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,269
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I was experimenting with my staff form one day and I wondered what it would look like if I converted it to an empty hands form.

    It was a unique experience but very difficult to do on the fly trying to translate hand positions into a functional empty hand position. One thing that I discovered is that their were a quite a few chambered fists my translation of the staff form into empty hand
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,997
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    I like to use cooper pole as my staff for 2 reasons.

    1. The weight make me to feel good.
    2. Since my hands can't hold it over it completely, when my opponent's staff tries to slide on my fingers, I can let his staff to slide off my pole.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    1,997
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    I have tried to do that too.

    There is a move in my "hand striking pole" form that I use vertical block on my opponent's staff (or spear) stabbing. I then release my top holding hand and hit his head with one end. When he blocks my head strike, I then jump in and hit his head with the other end.

    This is the same as to use an outside in block followed by a back fist strike. When my opponent uses outside in block on my right back fist, I then use my left hay-make to hit his head.

    My next strike depends on how my opponent may block my previous strike. this principle is the same for both open hand and weapon.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3,320
    Likes Received:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    213
    I can't even imagine using a 20 ft staff. Turning it the way you would a 6 ft staff would probably be either difficult or impossible. Also I guess you could take the escalator?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,269
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Probably a little bit of both. Those 2 things and impractical

    holy crap.. I just found an old Jow Ga movie tell-tale jow ga opening. He does some of the same moves that are done with a double head staff, you can see the difficulty of it. If I had to guess, It's a transition from long range to short range.


    Man that's a long form.. Guess who is learning parts of a new form this year lol.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    29,893
    Likes Received:
    4,420
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    This is not me, this is Di Gouyong, but this is th last staff form that I did and sing the entire body is the only way it works



    More recently all I have used the staff for was shaking for internal and full body training some of which is in this video (also not me)

     
  19. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    7,269
    Likes Received:
    2,139
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Makes me want to train.. I have to remind myself I'm still doing rehab for my back
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    29,893
    Likes Received:
    4,420
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    Once the knee starts working right again I am thinking of returning to pole shaking. I do miss the 5 elements staff, but I doubt I will return to it anytime soon.
     

Share This Page