The Bo Staff or Jahng Bong: Learning Martial Arts Weapons Online

Have you ever practiced martial arts and wanted to incorporate a weapon? As it turns out, combat sports, such as Aikido or Taekwondo, are not only limited to physical contact. You can also use the Bo staff when learning weapons online.

The empty hand techniques of other martial arts can be more effective when paired with a Bo staff. This weapon enables a fighter to inflict more damage against an opponent. Made out of hardwood such as oak, the Bo staff is also sometimes made from a more flexible material like bamboo or rattan. It started as a tool to carry heavy agricultural produce on the shoulder before the Japanese turned them into a weapon.

What Is the Difference Between a Jo Staff and a Bo Staff?

Both Jo Staff and Bo Staff could be interpreted as the same weapons. They both came from Okinawa, Japan, as an ancient weapon. However, there is a difference between them. Jo Staff is made out of wood, with the word Jo meaning “stick”. The Jo staff has a shorter size than the Bo Staff and is typically made from oak, with some sporting a distinguishing metallic side.

The Bo staff has a standard size of around 6 feet, sometimes even reaching a longer size of 9 feet. Meanwhile, the Jo staff is a weapon of around 4 feet in size. Police forces in Japan prefer to use the Jo staff as they are easier to carry than the Bo staff.

Japan uses the Bo staff in their bōjutsu martial arts. Bo staff incorporates hand techniques, often conceptualized as an extension of the limbs in a battle. Traditional koryū or old-school martial arts incorporates the use of the Bo staff mainly as a sword.

Is a Bo Staff a Good Weapon?

The use of a Bo staff in an actual fight combines key martial arts techniques and the masterful maneuver of the weapon using the arms. They are also good as an accessory in other martial arts practices like Taekwondo or Karate. However, the choice of the Bo staff material when learning weapons online is what makes it an excellent weapon depending on the intended purpose.

  1. Toothpick Bo

Choose the toothpick Bo staff if you want to practice freestyle techniques and forms. It’s a great option if you’re still starting with the training.

  1. Graphite Bo

This one is a lightweight Bo staff yet has a solid structure. Using a graphite Bo works well if you join competitions with their flashy visual appeal.

  1. Oak Bo

The traditional Bo staff is made out of oak, which is a good option if you want to train via the old-school style. It is heavier and is best suited for actual combat fights.

  1. Padded Bo

The safer option, especially in training, is a padded Bo staff. The padding is usually made of rubber placed in areas where it frequently hits an opponent. This sparring Bo staff allows you to train while avoiding heavy blows – a good choice for beginners about to practice Bo staff.

  1. Lightweight Metal

Using a Bo staff made of lightweight metal is typically for demonstration purposes. The lightweight metal makes it easy to do spinning movements, one of the distinguishing movements with a Bo staff.

What Is a Bo Staff Good For?

The Bo Staff is a flexible martial arts weapon. You can wield it for several reasons other than in an actual combat fight. Here are some of the possibilities when you start learning weapons online on how to wield a Bo staff:

Upper body strength

The use of a Bo staff helps you in strength training and conditioning your upper body through its variety of techniques. Bo staff relies on the upper body to execute the fighting activity. This makes it a suitable choice of training if you want to develop upper body strength.

With its concept of Bo staff as an extension of one’s arms, it’s easy to use the weapon to train the upper body. You can condition your upper limbs with the various weapon techniques of striking and spinning.

Combat fighting

If you’re looking for another weapon to add to your arsenal, a Bo staff works effectively in actual combat fighting. Ancient Japanese used the Bo staff as a battle weapon. Today, the fighting techniques brought in the modern times are effective in a combat fight.

The striking techniques you can learn in using a Bo staff are effective enough to hit an opponent. Best of all, you can combine your other martial arts skills into the mix for a more powerful Bo staff attack.

Martial arts

The Bōjutsu is mainly the form of martial arts that the Japanese practice when using a Bo staff. However, you can also develop more of your martial arts skills when you train using a Bo staff. Some of them include Aikido, Taekwondo, Karate, Ninjutsu, Budo, and many others.

Karate practitioners incorporate the Bo staff in some of its fighting applications to develop skills. No longer will you be limited to the empty hand techniques of Taekwondo, Karate, and similar martial arts. With a Bo staff in hand, you can amplify your skills with the weapon.

Joining competitions

Another good application for Bo staff training is when you want to join competitions. These competitions include the NASKA, where you can show off your Bo staff skills. Although mainly a Karate event, NASKA has competition categories for Bo staff.

There is even a type of competition Bo staff one can use dedicated to the demonstration of Bo staff fighting skills. In tournaments and demonstrations, a lightweight metal Bo staff is primarily used with its dashing color adding to the flair of displaying your Bo staff expertise.

How Do You Practice Bo Staff?


There are several striking positions you can implement in Bo staff. You can choose an overhead front strike or do one via the overhead rib. Other striking techniques include the cross strike, down strike, downward smash, and poke. Each one works according to the intended action in terms of hitting the opponent with the Bo staff.


Practicing Bo staff includes learning the various stances. These positions include the long front or front stance, the horse, and the cat stance. Using a specific stance helps prepare your body to transition to other Bo staff techniques or movements.


Doing blocks are also effective in defending the Bo staff holder against incoming attacks from an opponent. There are several variations to this. You could do an overhead block or a downward rowing block. Alternatively, the low and side blocks are effective as defense techniques.


The spinning technique looks great as a martial arts demonstration with its spinning movement overhead. Although they may not be as effective in an actual fight, spinning a Bo staff overhead is an impressive display of martial arts skills using the weapon. It’s a fixture in tournaments and demonstrations using the Bo staff.

Like any other martial arts weapon, the Bo staff needs proper training to become adept at using them. Whatever your goal is, whether to aid in a martial arts discipline or prefer demonstrations, learning weapons online is possible. One of the best learning methods when learning martial arts weapons online is by subscribing to instructional videos.

The advantage with instructional videos is they have a more comprehensive guide from skilled Bo staff experts who have honed years of experience wielding the weapon. You will understand how to strike, perform a stance, block, and do the spinning movement through well-executed videos. Whether you’re a beginner or have a background in other empty-hand combat sports, learning the Bo staff through instructional videos will add more to your skills and amp up your martial arts training.

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