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How to Choose A Bo Staff

Are you new to learning the Bo Staff and want to find one that’s perfect for you? This Martial Arts weapon is incredibly fun to learn and it teaches you different things like control, focus, perseverance, and more! Below, I go through different things you should consider when deciding on what bo staff you should use and links to my top recommendations.

1. Purpose- What do you want to use it for? 

In order to select a good size, weight, and material, you should first know what purpose you want for your bo staff. Did you get inspired to learn after watching sport karate competitors do the high speed strikes, spins and throws? Or do you like more of a traditional style? There’s also combat bo staffs if you want to work on self-defense and fighting with them!

Since there’s lots of different routes you can take, there’s bo staffs that are specially made for each purpose. My favorite way of training with the bo staff is for performances, so I’ll give my recommendations below!

2. Size- How tall should your bo staff be?

Generally, you want to make sure your bo in shorter than you are. This allows for faster and easier manipulations and tricks. When a student orders a bo at my school, I recommend about 3 inches shorter than their actual height. For kids that are still growing, we usually order a bo that is 2 inches taller than their height since kids grow so quickly! By the time they master their tricks down, their bo staff is a perfect height!

3. Material- What should your bo be made of?

What should your bo be made of? This matters because they can be made of heavier wood that is great for strength, or lighter wood that is made for easily adding more speed.

Traditional bos are made of wood. The ones I recommend for beginners are Tapered Hardwood Bo Staffs. These are still pretty light- about a pound- but also strong enough where you don’t have to worry about the learning curve and dropping or scratching it during your early training.

For students that are more experienced or that want a competition bo, I would recommend a lighter and tapered bo.

4. Appearance- How should your bo look?

This is a fun part about weapons! If you want a light competition bo, you have so many options to choose from! I recommend ordering from Cochran’s Ultimate Weapons- they are able to customize your bo with specific stripes, bands, base colors, and grips. I usually recommend colors that will stand out and look flashy when you’re moving quickly. My favorites include fluorescent green, mirror chrome, or silver prism.

PS- You’ll want to make sure you get a tapered bo rather than a straight one if you’re going for speed. This means that the ends of the bo gradually get thinner.

5. Grip vs No Grip

This one is completely up to your personal preference! I recommend beginners have some kind of way of knowing where the center of the bo staff is. A grip generally helps you designate where you’re at while holding your bo. However, some people like the difference in texture, and some people hate it! 

I personally prefer bos without a grip, but with a color difference in the center to help me with catches and tricks. 

My recommendations:

Beginner Basic Bo from Century: CLICK HERE

(Use code “SAMERY10” for 10% off anything on their store.

Custom Competition Bos from Buki Yuushuu: CLICK HERE

Use code “Samery” for 10% Off discount!

Want to learn more Bo Staff? Check out my Bo Staff for Beginners E-Course where you can learn everything about Bo Staff Basics from beginning to the end. We cover strikes, spins, rolls, and an entire combination you can use as a form!

Use the discount code “BOSTAFF20” for $20 off for being a blog reader!

Check it out HERE!