Friday, October 28, 2011

Bojutsu - Martial Arts of the Staff

Rich attacks Dr. Adam (6th dan) at the Seiyo Kai Hombu in Arizona;
and (top photo) Sensei Linton (3rd dan) attacks Hanshi Watson (9th dan) during
bo-kumite training at the University of Wyoming.

Bo (), kon, bojutsu, bodo or 6-foot staff, is a well-known fighting martial art (budo [(武道]or bujutsu [武術]) that has roots going back many centuries. Being that the bo was (and still is) a common tool used for transportation of goods in the orient, it was a natural weapon of farmers and fishermen in the Orient. We often picture oriental farmers carrying goods at each end of a bamboo stick balanced over the farmer's shoulders - this was the bo.

Our students at the Seiyo Kai Hombu (Arizona School of Traditional Karate) in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert learn this martial arts weapon along with other kobudo weapons. Like most Shorin-Ryu karate styles, we place considerable emphasis on 'bo' or the 6-foot staff. We have 11 bo kata and out students also learn applications (bunkai) of the techniques in each kata and also bo kumite (sparring).

Several years ago, while training at Scott Air Force base under my sensei (Dai-Soke Sacharnoski), we trained with samurai weapons and ended with mass kumite: about 50 martial artists in an hanger fighting anyone who came near us. Sometimes we fought one on one, and periodically, it was one vs 2 or 3 individuals. It was great training.

At the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, we train in kobudo on Thursday evenings. In recent months, our students have been training in bo, katana, tonfa, hanbo, and sai.

Sensei Scofield (2nd dan) attacks Dave
with bo during Thursday evening training
at the Seiyo Kai hombu