Staff fighting is a discipline that is not quite as popular as the other more romanticized and often-depicted fighting styles.
While almost every other weapons-based martial art has received the lion’s share of attention over the years from TV, movies and the various media, relatively little is known about staff fighting techniques.
If more people were aware of how effective and devastating this weapon is however, it would surely receive far more attention than it does now.
Nevertheless, staff fighting is slowly gaining more notice. A recent feature on a popular television program that covered the various weapons used in martial arts has shown just how powerful and effective this simple piece of wood can be in the hands of a suitably trained expert.
Capable of delivering a wide range of strikes from sweeps to glides to skull crushing blows and even jabs, staff fighting techniques are certainly something to be reckoned with.
In fact, when faced with the prospect of a swirling staff that you have little or no chance of blocking or intercepting, the outcome of the combat will more likely than not favor the staff fighter.
As impressive as the staff is for offensive combat techniques, it actually makes quite a good defensive weapon as well.
It can block or parry virtually any type of strike thrown by your opponent, whether they are punches or kicks, and it can even be used to break your way out of a hold if you are unfortunate enough to get caught in one.
Staffs have actually been used as weapons to great effect by a number of different cultures, and each of them has developed their own unique set of staff fighting techniques.
China in particular has developed many techniques and methods for staff fighting, and they are an integral part of the country’s wushu or war arts style.
The Japanese use several different lengths of staff, among them the 3-foot long han-bo or half-staff and the 4-foot long jo.
Staffs are also used as fighting tools by Koreans, Filipinos, East Indians, and even the English, who used an eight foot long piece of wood called the quarterstaff.