Bo Staff Fitness
"To provide Empowering Enjoyable Transformational Exercise, for Everyone."
1. Why BoStaffFitness® is different
Let's start with Social Distancing. BoStaffFitness® is wonderful and effective fitness technique to learn especially in this time of social distancing. From the outset around fifteen hundred years ago, Bo staff methods were designed to be the ultimate in social distancing exercises.
Buddhist monks used Bo Staff methods to dissuade and discourage criminal gangs and wild animals from entering the monk's personal space. The same is true today.
Once you become proficient at these techniques your personal training space will always be respected. Simply because it's easy for anyone to see they are not safe to get within a couple of metres of someone practicing BoStaffFitness®.
These techniques are based on advanced martial arts moves but have been modified for fitness and rehabilitation not for fighting. Some of the moves we have adjusted to maximise the effect on your core, some are adjusted to help with wrist arm shoulder rehabilitation.
All of the moves are designed to keep you as safe as we can as you learn some of the movements of an advanced and ancient form of martial art.
2. WIFM. What's in it for Me?
Why should I take up learning BoStaffFitness®. Simple because it's really good for you, it works fast, and it takes less that ten minutes a day. If you work in an office all day you treat your body like an Olympic sharp-shooter as you click click click on your computer keyboard or mouse.
What you don't do is train for that and for that BoStaffFitness® can help.
Alla and I have acquired over fifty years of experience working in rehabilitation fitness and self-care.
Yes, we are going to help you learn a few basic martial art techniques and they will be combined with a whole lot of flexibility movements to strengthen your shoulders wrists and arms.
Yes, our BoStaffFitness® routines will help you to improve your posture, build core and aerobic function and yes it's going to happen in weeks, and with very short time inputs from you.
3. Are you going to teach me a martial art?
Well no, we are not going to try and teach you Martial arts, there are fabulous well-respected schools and Dojo's all around the world for that. Some of them possibly right near your home office or school or University. We are going to teach you several moves used in one form of martial art that we think are useful in modern life.
What we are focussed on is providing you some basic moves of an ancient martial fighting method, Bo Staff Technique so you will develop excellent wrist strength, improve your shoulders range of motion, enhance your core flexibility and strength.
Plus and this is a big plus, improve your mental focus abilities. As you move into higher speeds, you will find yourself aerobically and emotionally challenged as well.
Best of all, ten minutes is all you need to find because all of these wonderful outcomes can happen with only ten minutes of practice per day.
Ten minutes first thing will help you start your day empowered refreshed focussed and invigorated.
4. Where does the Bo Staff come from?
The use of the staff as a weapon goes back a long way, it is a global phenomenon and there are countless versions and methods. The name 'Bo' is credited to the people of Okinawa Japan. In the early 14th century when Emperor Sho Shin took control of the island he banned all weapons, however when a regional clan invaded in the 17th century, the islanders picked up their farming tools to defend themselves and the Bo staff method was a result.
Today staff of all kinds feature in many Asian martial arts such as bojutsu, jojutsu, and hanbojutsu, aikido, kung fu, silambam, kobudo, krabi-krabong.
However long before it was in Asia, itinerant monks in India wandered mountain paths between monasteries, where attacks from tigers and bandits were common. The staff then called the shakujo became useful for self-defence and the monks became known as fierce warriors.
There are many versions of how this martial art spread from India to China the most common is that a former prince the monk Bodhidharma is said to have travelled to Shaolin in the 5th century and shared this style of self-defence.
In New Zealand where Alla and I live Māori use a 'taiaha' a close-quarters staff weapon made from either wood or whalebone. In Ethiopia the Mursi tribes use Donga fighting sticks and the early Britons used the Quarterstaff.
The Irish had a Bataireacht (pronounced bata-ri-okt) known nostalgically as the shillelagh. In South-east Asia Silambam is the most widely practiced and like Bo Staff it was also originally sourced from India.
5. How safe is Bo Staff Fitness?
Alla and I will do everything possible to keep you safe. As we mentioned earlier between us, we have over 50 years of fitness training and rehabilitation experience, so we want to see you well, not injured and for over two decades one of my specialties has been working with large corporations treating Occupational Overuse Syndrome in hands arms shoulders and necks.
If you follow our instructions, concentrate, and stay focussed on task each and every time, plus do all your stretches. Then as long as you maintain social distancing when training, we believe BoStaffFitness® is inherently safe.
We do have one very strong warning!
Bo Staff is a weapon skill, and in performing these BoStaffFitness® moves you are learning to use components of an advanced and ancient martial weapon and self-defence technique.
Remember to stay present, stay in the moment, take your time and practice and we feel sure you can master the BoStaffFitness® training program, we have designed for you.
If you begin contact work and start using strike moves without one on one professional instruction from a local sifu, sensei, or teacher, you will almost certainly get hurt.
Our advice is don't get brave or stupid!
Practice take your time enjoy the benefits, then if you want to move on, find a local martial arts teacher so you can become proficient in the use of the Bo Staff as a weapon.
6. What is a Bo Staff made of?
Bo Staffs are made from a wide variety of materials. The right choice for you depends on many things. First is what you want to use it for, and how far you want to take your skill level? If you like this method then you may have your staff for a lifetime, so choosing the right type of staff is important and can help you to avoid injury or have it breaking.
Personally, Alla and I both prefer staffs made of Rattan. They are much lighter in weight than hardwood and are the most common choice for novice martial arts practitioners because they are flexible and inexpensive. They are easy to cut down to your personal length, and their low weight makes them easier to train with.
Traditional staffs such as the Bo were originally constructed from woods like Oak and Oak is still the material of choice for many traditional practitioners of Japanese martial arts. As you move forward moving up to the weight of hardwoods like Oak add in additional strength training, as it is heavier than many other materials.
7. What size Bo staff is right for me?
An ideal Bo staff length is determined by your own height. Ideally, a Bo should be around your head height or just slightly shorter than you. If you are tall, a full-sized 1.8 metre or 6-foot Bo staff should be a good fit. If you are on the shorter side, you will find that a smaller staff is a better fit. We'd suggest you buy your staff a bit longer as they are easy to cut down to length.
8. Should I buy a quality staff straight away?
Short answer is no. To get started almost anything will do. A length of bamboo, a broom handle, a curtain rail, almost anything long and straight but once you get started a using a high-quality balanced staff makes a huge difference to how you train. It makes it much easier to get into the swing of things and they are not expensive. Click this link to order your own Bo Staff: Buy your Bo Staff
9. How to get started?
A simple click on the any of the video links and you can challenge yourself to a variety of workouts.
It's easy to adjust a BoStaffFitness® workout to suit you and your fitness level. There are loads of options for you to work at your own pace as well. We suggest you start with the basic lazy eight / figure eight move you will soon see this training can be fairly easy to do. Speed this move up and you will quickly find it to be a total challenge and once you up to high speed highly aerobic.
Because BoStaffFitness® incorporates a number of aspects of martial arts its worth mentioning there have been numerous studies investigating both the short and long term benefits of martial arts training for improving cardiorespiratory function, flexibility, balance, muscle strength, muscle endurance. There a links here on the website if you want to get into the scientifically verified benefits of these styles of training.
10. How challenging is BoStaffFitness®
A BoStaffFitness® session can be a calming meditation session or build to be a very hard physical workout / mental focus challenge. It is totally up to you how far you want to take it.
Remember its only for ten minutes a day, but it is ten fully committed minutes. It is vital you remain present in the moment and focussed, or your Bo staff will remind you by giving you little love taps. And as you push and progress yourself to higher speeds those love taps can sting. We have both given our elbows head shoulders knees all quick reminders why you need to stay focussed and present. Being present like this even for ten minutes a day is helpful to boost your mental clarity.
As you flow through the moves you can instantly feel your arms and shoulders glide through their range of motion as the rhythmic sweeping motions quickly workout your upper body, shoulder, and core. Done correctly every BoStaffFitness® routine is full of physical, even high intensity challenges but it also brings calming restorative mental focus as well.
There are some moves that might seem difficult to master but Alla and I will guide you slowly to make sure you get real benefit. You will need to stay present so if watching the news or a digital road as you mindlessly plod along on a treadmill, or frantically pedal a stationary bike is for you. BoStaffFitness® might not be your thing.
If spending ten minutes setting yourself up for a day of mental clarity, improving your aerobic function and breathing control, toning your upper torso shape and core, plus battle hardening your arms for the day ahead is what you want, then you've found it, and BoStaffFitness® is for you.
With BoStaffFitness® balance is achieved with timing, not with intensity. Get each move right and the speed will come.
Try it for a month or two we know you will be so delighted with what you can achieve as Alla and I challenge you to up your intensity and motivate yourself to make the most of each and every session.