What size Bō to get

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by DrewTheTKDStudent1992, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. DrewTheTKDStudent1992

    DrewTheTKDStudent1992 Yellow Belt

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    Hey guys, What size Bo staff should I get.

    I’m around 5ft7
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    What does your teacher suggest?

    Different methods may prescribe a different size staff. It may or may not depend on your height. So there is no simple and obvious answer.
     
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  3. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    i thought the general rule of thumb was a couple of CM over your head. Or forehead, i forget which one just now. So its just slightly taller than you are.

    But above comment, if you are using it as a spear generally longer is used and can be used as opposed to if you are using it like a club and spear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    About an inch or two higher than your head is the general guideline most kobudo instructors I know use. It is a starting point. At 5' 7'', the OP might find the standard 6' staff to be difficult to manipulate unless it is one of the ultralight modern ones. A few of my shorter adult students that stuck with kobudo eventually had custom staves made for them appropriately sized for their height.

    Depends on the style. As always ask your teacher.
     
  5. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Brown Belt

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    Yeah, there is no simple answer. What style? Twirling-swinging Chinese, or harder hitting Okinawan? This may influence the weight, thickness and flexibility of the wood. The most most common length for a bo is 6 ft (originally roku-shaku which is about the same) so in most cases, a little taller/close to same, as Western male average. However, the Okinawans were sometimes just over 5 ft tall, so their bo's were much longer relative to their height. So you should be fine with something at 6 ft.

    But, ask your teacher (if you even have one) what is best. If you are just going to teach yourself, bo size won't matter as you will not be doing it right, anyway.
     
  6. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    My son is 5’6” and he uses a 6' bo.
     
  7. Graywalker

    Graywalker Blue Belt

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    I agree with the others, ask your instructor, what will it be used for and most importantly, how does it feel to you.
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    custom made? thats a bit extravagant, couldnt they just saw 4 inches of the one they had?
     
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  9. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    That's what we always did as Jacob grew.

    We always bought the regular hardwood bos and cut them to 6 inches longer than he was tall. Once he got the same height...we ordered a new one.

    He was given a purple heartwood bo that just now got tall enough to start using......we aren't cutting it....lol.
     
  10. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Extravagant? Well, it is surely more costly. I have custom made kobudo items. A few bo. Some tunfa. Some sai. An eku. Some are made from exotic woods which are more expensive. I even own a custom-forged katana. That was the cheaper route than buying an antique, and the quality is top notch. I enjoy using my toys.

    We spend resources on what is important to us. Some people like to travel. Some like cars. Some improve their homes or send their kids to good schools. <shrugs> Money is just a tool ultimately. Use it wisely.
     
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  11. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well i agree with your sentaments, but im not sure spend loads on a custom made broom handle is sensible
     
  12. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    One of my students is a woodworker. He's made a number of fighting cudgels from Hickory. They are not outrageously priced.

    I could get you a price on a Bo, Jo, Hanbo, or whatever if you'd like.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you hold your stick about 1 ft from one end, when you swing your stick vertically, the other end of your stick won't hit on the ground, that will be the proper stick length.

    The proper stick length has to do with what kind of stick technique that you intend to train. You don't want your stick length to prevent you from training certain stick technique.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That answer is based on nothing. Some styles are quite specific on their recommended/specified staff characteristics, and those specs may or may not be based on the size of the individual. Some styles don't much care.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Some folks really like their weapons. They spend a good bit on one, but then it's a one-time expenditure. I've never spent much on mine, but I've spent plenty on other hobbies, so I can see the motivation.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Nor, really, is spending loads on a really nice hand saw when a cheaper model will do the work. But there's a satisfaction in a really nice tool, even when it doesn't do a better job. And there is a different feel to things like purpleheart wood. Even a dowel of that stuff (not a "staff") runs upward of $70.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Kirk, I'd be interested in his price for a bo. Anything in the vicinity of 6'.
     
  18. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    I'll touch base with him.

    Do you have a wood preference? Diameter? Are you wanting uniform thickness or tapered?

    Here's his FB page:
    Medlin's Good Wood

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  19. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    We had told Jacob that once he stopped growing we would look into buying a purple heart wood bo......luckily Jacob's sensei gave one to Jacob that belonged to his sensei....so it has some sentimental value....plus it saved me some money, lol.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Uniform thickness. I've been contemplating a hickory bo for a while.123
     

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