The best way to hold a staff

Midnight-shadow

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There appears to be 2 main ways to hold a staff. The most common way is in the middle, splitting the staff into equal thirds. The other less common way is with the hands closer to one end. I've always been taught the latter style but given how popular it is to hold the staff in the middle, I'm wondering why it appears tp be the preferred method.

What is the advantage of holding the staff in the middle as opposed to closer to one end?
 

Flying Crane

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It really depends on the overall methodology, which includes methods of power generation, specific techniques, and tactics in combat and application. It is a complete picture, or should be at any rate.

It's not really possible to answer in a big general sort of way, other than to say that holding at one end gives you greater reach, while holding in the middle let's you switch ends more quickly. But that is not absolute, there are methods that cross over.
 

jks9199

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Like Flying Crane said -- it's not a "right" or "wrong" question. It's how are you going to use the staff. If you want to keep your opponent farther away, you'll use grips that keep loosely 2/3 of the stick in front of you, but that forces you to use different methods if you want to use both ends of the stick. A middle grip lets you employ both ends more easily, but you lose range. There are even tactics and techniques using 1/3 the stick in front... Very broadly, spear based techniques will tend to use longer holds, and focus on using the spear end rather than the butt end -- but I can think of exceptions...
 

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The real fun begins when you learn to move the staff between grips... :D
 
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Midnight-shadow

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The real fun begins when you learn to move the staff between grips... :D

Yes. In fact I've just picked up "the art and science of staff fighting" by Joe Varady who says you should start learning with the middle grip, then learn a sliding grip afterwards.
 

Flying Crane

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Yes. In fact I've just picked up "the art and science of staff fighting" by Joe Varady who says you should start learning with the middle grip, then learn a sliding grip afterwards.
That just really depends on what it is you are learning. Once again, context matters. The grip and how and whether or not you change grip will depend on the overall methodology you are learning. Piecemealing it isn't a good way to go about it because everything will be out of context. That's part of why I would recommend a real teacher over a book or video.
 

Andrew Green

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It's not really a simple question, staff covers a wide range of things.

A staff your height? Taller then you? shorter? hard wood? rattan? tapered? straight? against what sort of weapon?

If it's just forms, do what the forms dictate. If you are sparring, you'll figure out what works best for you through experimentation in that context.
 

oaktree

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Depends also on the school. Different schools or styles have different ways to hold it and different postures so like a sword there really is no answer
 

JR 137

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And then there's under the armpit vs outside the bicep.

Every school has there ways of doing things. The only wrong way is not doing what your teacher teaches.
 

CB Jones

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Why not both?

Depending on the what technique is needed during a fight.

Both hands. No throwing and catching. No toothpicks. No lights. No music.

Never understood the interpretation or reasoning for throwing your bo in the air or any other big tricks some do.
 
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Midnight-shadow

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Why not both?

Depending on the what technique is needed during a fight.

Yes. Actually the main reason why I started looking at other styles is because I find it incredibly difficult to block low strikes on my left hand side. If I used a middle grip it would be a lot easier to block those kinds of strikes.
 

Xue Sheng

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I can think of at least 3 different grips in a Shaolin Long Fist form I once learned.
I can think of at least 2 in a Xingyi Wuxing form
Also I believe there are at least 2 in the taiiji staff form I was learning
And there were at least 3 or 4 in a Chinese Opera form I once knew

As for where to start.... depends on the style and form
 
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Midnight-shadow

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I can think of at least 3 different grips in a Shaolin Long Fist form I once learned.
I can think of at least 2 in a Xingyi Wuxing form
Also I believe there are at least 2 in the taiiji staff form I was learning
And there were at least 3 or 4 in a Chinese Opera form I once knew

As for where to start.... depends on the style and form

Just out of curiosity, which grip was most comfortable for you to use?
 
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