Wooden weapons of varying length have been both ceremonially and combatively used by humans since earliest times. Although the staff lacked prestige compared to the magnificent Japanese sword because of the fact that anyone could make and use a staff, the Bushi (warrior) never neglected the study of the staff because of its obvious effectiveness. Just like the Jo has its smaller size for its advantage, the Bo also has its bigger size for its advantage in its own respect. The standard staff weapon for the Bushi was the Roku Shaku Bo (six foot staff).
The size of the Bo gives its user the advantage of keeping distance from his attacker. As a defensive art, Bojutsu centers the tactics by which an attacker armed with blades and other weapons, can be easily and effectively dealt with, when using correct technique. One of its most notable characteristics, apart from its length which helps keeping the distance, is the power of its blows which can break metal blades and shatter bones. Systematic combative use of the staff is known as Bojutsu (Art of the Staff). The Bo, like many other ko-
The Jo is originally taken from the Bo and made smaller in size for swifter movement. The Stick and Staff are the 3rd weapons known to man, directly after the fist and stone, not just in Asia but World Wide. Because the stick (Jo) is shorter and lighter than the Staff (Bo), the techniques comprising these two traditional weapons have their own differences, but they also have their similarities. One very notable characteristic of the Jo is the speed and high frequency of reversals of the weapon in meeting a combative situation. The Jo thus offers the exponent an excellent way to develop dexterity.
The Jo is also very effective against bladed and some other weapons and has some excellent history trademarked in the legacy of Japanese Martial Arts and Ways. The Jo is usually 4 Shaku 2 Sun and 1 Bu in length, in Japanese measuring, that is equivalent to 1 meter 27 centimeters. Correct posture, body movement, footwork and weapon handling and gripping are very important in the training and use of the Jo. In our Ryu-
Hojojutsu is the Art of tying / arresting with a cord. This is mostly used after the attacker is restrained with a Jujutsu technique, tying the attacker without harming him / her while keeping him / her under control. This is because the victor did not necessarily wish to kill his victim. Under certain circumstances it was desirable to take the foe alive. Thus, closely allied to close-
The special cord used in Hojojutsu was normally carried by all warriors as part of their battle equipment. But often a field expedient was used when the warrior found himself with nothing but his Sageo (cord attached to the scabbard of the sword). The size of the cord depends on the style. The Sageo, as already said, can also be used for this type of training. The Sageo is approximately 2 meters long (depending on the make of the sword).
Both Samurai and commoners alike considered the Sensu (folding hand fan) an important accessory. Customarily carried in the hands or tucked in the obi (belt), the Sensu also played a significant role in Japanese etiquette, especially on formal occasions, and was rarely ever out of a Samurai's possession.
The Tessen, are constructed of either an actual folding fan with metal or bamboo ribs, or a non-
The very core of Japanese grappling consisted of armed grappling. In Jiushin Ryu the bokuto (wooden sword) is used to replicate the very beginning of Japanese grappling by the Samurai warriors who fought in full armour, a practice which rendered striking techniques ineffective and thus required reverting to grappling when the blade could now be used in close quarters or was lost altogether.