Long Staff

Long Staff – The father of all Weapons

Shaolin Long Staff Form - Yin Shou GunThe Long staff (pinyin “gun”, pronounced “kun”, also known as “bo” in Japanese Karate) is the first weapon a student should learn. It is the strongest because of its length, but also one of the first weapons man learned to use from the beginning of hunting. There are so many reasons why this weapon is one the best in the Martial Arts panorama:

  1. it’s simple: you can build it by yourself.
  2. it’s cheap: pick up a stick and start training!
  3. it’s extremely efficient: because of its length, it can handle several opponents if properly used.
  4. it’s noble: it can kill, but it can also keep the opponent away.
  5. it won’t hurt you (much) if you “stuff up”: compared to a sword, it’s certainly worthy the risk.
  6. it’s still useful if it breaks: two shor sticks, in fact, are still a powerful set of weapon.
  7. it’s pure fun: acrobatics movements are particularly enjoyable to learn.

Because of the above reasons, every traditional Martial Arts school has it in its training program. Another important reason to learn the Long Staff is the ability to switch to more advanced weapons such as the three section staff and the spear, by virtue of the fact that basic movements are just the same.

Long Staff – Frequently Asked Questions

The length of your staff should be no more than 4-5 centimeters above your head.
If you are using it for performing a dao-lu/kata, then your staff should be a bit flexible in order for it not to be broken during impacts that may occur in some sections of the pattern. Note that some styles like Karate don’t involve extremely stressful movements on the staff, therefore a heavier and more rigid structure is recommended.
While officially we say that, to defense purposes, any stick is good, really, the choice of the right staff is up to you. Conical staffs resemble more common sticks that you may find in the bush, since their shape follows the natural growth of the tree they come from, however, bi-conical staffs are purposely made for dramatically dropping the overall weight of the weapon, making them the best choice for acrobatic and fast-action movements.
Still, this is up to you. For application purposes, whatever is the material you choose, remember that if it’s too weak you may end up hurting yourself, as the opponent staff may break through your weak staff and impact on the first close surface.

Ready to start training? Why don’t you make your own training stick? Check this out!

Discover more DIY Projects here

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About the author : Fabio Zambelli

Fabio Zambelli
Fabio has dedicated his life to Martial Arts for more than 20 years and has been teaching since 2005. Extremely committed and passionate to the way of the warrior lifestyle, he lives his days following Martial Arts’ principles: hard work and self-sacrifice. The diplomas he is most proud of are his failures as overcoming these demonstrated that Martial Arts values, along with their code of conduct, have worked on him. His extraordinary determination, concretized in Heart of The Orient, the world's first designed and hand-crafted Dojo for Shaolin Kungfu, is proof that human willpower has no limits.

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