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Old December 23, 2002, 12:08 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: Exiled, Fetid Swamp, DC
Posts: 7,548
in earlier daze, i used to study kukishin ryu, Bojitsu:

its quite amazing what afixing a lever to an opponents apendages can do for a throw

here is a book:
Kukishin Ryu Bujutsu: Bojutsu, Hanbojutsu, Tachiai
(Kukishin Martial Arts: Staff, Half-Staff, Sword)

the jo, bo and tanbo stick is a very handy technique,
staffs can be scrounged or a retractable baton could be carried

here a tactile bo:

a titanium shafted umbrella could prolly be carried anywhere

Bojitsu: (Japan/Okinawa) Meaning "art of the staff." A collective term referring to martial systems employing a bo, or long staff (over five feet in length), that developed in Japan, Okinawa, China and elsewhere. The use of the bo dates back to times of legend and is as old as man himself. In Japan hard wood was plentiful and even the poorest individual could easily arm himself. A whole arsenal of poles, staffs, spiked staffs, and long iron clubs were developed. The bo was sometimes tipped in iron and sometimes totally covered by iron. In modern times its practice is an inherent part of many styles of karate and aikido.

To the traditional samurai armed with a cherished sword, the bo was considered plebeian, a weapon of commoners. But because of its effectiveness it became necessary to understand its use, if for nothing other than defensive reasons. In Japan it's study was distinguished by its focus on techniques useful against an opponent armed with a sword or other weapon. Techniques such as blocking, parrying, striking, tripping, throwing off, off-balancing, striking and thrusting were often combined into a single movement, the most powerful of which could break a sword or shatter a bone.

The weapon has the unique advantage of having two ends, thus each successive technique with one end opens up a possible technique with the other. The skill level of a trained exponent is truly remarkable, the speed of movement blurred to the eye. As a wooden instrument, however, the bo was comparably safe compared to the sword and other bladed weapons. Thus the bo, or wooden equivalent of swords and other weapons, are often used as substitutes for actual bladed weapons practice in schools teaching weapon arts.

The bo was equally popular among commoners, priest and monks (who were denied many weapons). A shorter version of the bo, called a "jo," also became widely practiced.

The founder of one of the most effective and famous schools of bo jitsu was Muso Gonnosuke, an expert in the bo who was catapulted into prominence by his loss of a match. Using a bo in a challenge against the two sword legend Miyamoto Musashi, Gonnosuke lost but was spared his life. Gonnsouke is said to have retreated into seclusion atop Mt. Homan where he underwent years of rigid self-discipline. He meditated, fasted and underwent ritual purification out of which he received divine inspiration. This led to development of a shorter version of the bo that allowed quicker response time. He developed his own special techniques, while borrowing from both bo and sword techniques. He then challenged Musashi again, this time defeating the sword legend. Gonnouke named his style Shindo-Muso Ryu and developed technical curriculum.

The use of the bo, or staff, is so widespread that virtually every country has its own tradition. In Europe the long staff was used by peasants during the middle ages. In China the bo and other weapons were also widely practiced and often incorporated into various kung fu systems. Likewise Okinawan systems of bojitsu have their own traditions.

In the Ryukyus of which Okinawa is the largest island, bo kata are the oldest of martial arts kata dating back to Matsu Higa, the weapons (kobudo) teacher (sensei) of Takahara Peinchin. Actually oral tradition traces the use of the bo back even further, to the 1400's. And after the Japanese (Satsuma Clan) occupied Okinawa (1609), although bladed weapons were banned there is some evidence that the bo was actually allowed to flourish, or even taught, as a means of civilian defense against the possibility of Chinese invasion. Today in Okinawa the bo and other traditional weapons are taught separately, but have also been adopted by many karate systems. Since many movements of Okinawan traditional weapons duplicate or closely parallel techniques from karate, some suggest the unique character and style of karate itself was influenced by these weapons. In researching the techniques used, some authorities have noted the similarity of their bo techniques to Japanese spear techniques, something that would support the hypothesis that the Japanese Satsumura might have encouraged adoption of bo techniques based on other Japanese weapon systems.
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