Martial Arts Sticks

Many disciplines of martial arts use weapons. As martial arts often serves the purpose of self-defense, improvised weapons based on whatever objects might be at hand can be used. Over time, this has resulted in several varieties of martial art that use sticks and staffs. Sometimes these serve as training weapons and other times they are the central focus point of the art. Sometimes they double as walking sticks or police instruments.

Types of Martial Art Stick

Many different types of stick and staff are used in martial arts. Some of the simplest are the bo, jo and hanbo staffs. These staffs are usually made of tough but flexible wood, and their use is often based around speed and precision rather than brute strength. The bo is the longest at 1.8 meters (6 feet) long. The jo is shorter, being 1.2 meters (4 feet). The hanbo, or half-bo is 0.9 meters (3 feet) long. Another type of martial art stick is the iconic nunchuck, popularised by Bruce Lee. Two short lengths of hardwood are linked by a chain and movements focus on rapid strikes and swings, using the maneuverability of the chain to quickly lash out with the wooden sticks. Escrima or kali sticks are another design and consist of two sticks, usually about 30 centimetres (1 foot) long. The two stick design allows for flexibility of use, with skilled practitioners both striking and defending at once, and from two different angles.

Martial Art Stick Material

Almost all martial arts sticks are made of wood. Rubber or plastic might be used in training weapons to soften the strikes, but almost all traditional staffs and sticks are made of wood. Different types of wood are used for different staffs and sticks, and have different properties. Bamboo is used to make lightweight and flexible staffs and sticks, while various types of oak make studier and heavier weapons. Rattan is also used, as its lightweight yet sturdy construction makes it an ideal training weapon. Some staffs and sticks are inlaid with metal bands or strips to increase weight, hardness and durability. This is less common in modern constructions.

Martial Art Stick Accessories

Carry sleeves and cases can be purchased for martial arts sticks to keep them safe and in good condition. Made of fabric or other padding, these also help prevent accidents when transporting the staffs and allow them to be carried in public.