Bo Staff Blog: Why handmade hand crafted weapons are important

Are you tired of buying karate bo staffs and then having them break? When I first started trained in karate breaking bo staffs was a way of life. It was just an unavoidable truth of full contact bo staff use. However, in my years of making karate weapons, I have found this is not at all the reality. 

The reality is that mass produced bo staffs, though cheap, are not made, or able to last. 

I will explain the process that I 'have to' use to make quality (near indestructible) bo staff, and then one will have a greater understanding of why a good bo staff works the way it does. (Well)

Every few months, me and my father travel to our Tennessee Lumber yard, where we are well known, as the people who need to pick through the entire selection of Tennessee Hickory hardwood. And before you ask, yes it is Appalachian hickory. But every part of the process of making these staffs MUST be attended to by a conscientious person. Me and my father who have been teaming up to lift the heavy boards and inspect them for years now hand select only a FEW out of the hundreds of available boards. What are we looking for? First, we are looking for weight, if its not up to snuff, it goes to the side. But most importantly, we are looking for straight grain with no knots. And maybe only one out of 10 is good enough for karate staffs.

Often people don't realize that the grain structure is of the utmost importance in karate staffs. The splits between the grain is the weak spot. Going across the grain is very strong. When splitting wood, you split WITH the grain. In effect, if the grain runs across the length of the wood, by hitting it you are causing the wood to want to split. And it will not want to split if the grain runs more or less straight up and down the wood.

But that is not all. Hickory is a VERY hard wood to work with. It destroys machinery as it is so tough. And this is something that needs constant maintenance and personal attention. However the payoff is immense. Due to the vigilance of picking out the right wood. HICKORY, and selecting the right wood, straight grain, we sell near indestructable staffs, that have never broken ONCE in my history of selling thousands and thousands. 

This is unknown in the martial arts world. Until now. Because it turns out the human touch and some careful selective caring is all one needs to have a bo staff that you can be proud of and confident of for life.

Just by picking up one of these objects, you will know the difference, and I never get tired of feeling the beauty myself. Even with my eyes closed you can feel the difference in your hands. Many spiritual weapon traditions think that a weapon that is forged with care has a soul. And if you can feel this when using, you can feel it with these weapons. 

These are tools not just to defend oneself, but to grow and evolve and hone oneself as a human being. And I believe that one needs to do the same in the making of these tools, just as in the training with them. 

Functional Resilient Hickory Bo Staff

Hickory Staff Collection. 

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