How To Determine the Correct Size for a Bo Staff

A Bo staff is a long weapon used for martial arts. It is usually made of hard wood, but it may differ in the kind of wood depending on the style and purpose. The most common shape is a round staff.

In martial arts, the Bo staff is considered as an extension of one’s self. That is why you need to make sure the staff you use is of the correct size for you and your needs.

An experienced Bo staff teacher can help you find your very own Bo staff. Below is some information about the different Bo staffs, their use and their sizes to help you choose the style for you.

What do you need the Bo staff for? Identify your need for a Bo staff. Different Bo staffs have different purposes. For example, a demonstration staff may be lighter compared to one that will be used for speed and strength training. If you are training for speed, ask your Bo staff instructor to choose the correct staff for you.

How long should your Bo staff be? Usually, people choose staffs that are either a few inches longer or shorter than their height. Depending on usage, you may prefer a shorter staff as this is more convenient to use when doing demonstrations. But for combat, you may want to consider a longer staff for longer reach.

How thick should your staff be?
Hold the middle part of the Bo staff. This is usually the thickest spot. Grip this area and get a feel of how your fist handles it. You need to be able to get a firm grip. If this is the case, then the thickness of the Bo staff is just right for you.

Choose your style and material. As mentioned above, there are different types of Bo staff depending on your needs. And with this, different types of materials are also used to create them. For instance, a Bo staff can be made of hard wood, soft wood, or rubber. It can also have metal plating at times.

If you are going to use the Bo staff for demo purposes, you would like it to look a bit fancier than a regular one. Also consider choosing a lightweight Bo staff for this purpose as well so it is more manageable and it will move faster.

If you are training to develop speed and strength, consider a hard wood, as this is heavier.

For practice, you may use a Bo staff made of rubber or even foam. Using hard materials may cause serious injury, so unless you are used to stick fighting, it is better to utilize these types of Bo staff first.

If you still can’t find an available Bo staff to address your needs or if you can’t find the length that is appropriate for you, you can have a Bo staff custom-made. This is a common option for people who are still training. Again, you may ask you Bo staff trainer to recommend an expert maker to create one for you.


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