Thursday night is typically Tae Kwon Do/Jujitsu sparring night. That’s the night us guys get to beat the hell out of each other without any interference from wives (I should note – they don’t give us much sympathy). Tonight was different because my sparring partner didn’t show up. My instructor (Jim) was feeling a bit unwell in his knees and hips. So he invited me outside with his son (Conner, 14) to learn how to play with the Bo Staff.
The Bo staff is, as its name implies, a long wooden staff. It is an extremely simple, but effective weapon. The popular story is that the art of Bo Staff fighting originated in Okinawa after weapons had been banned by the Emperor. This may or may not be true, nonetheless, Jim and Conner taught me some basic moves. Toward the end, we were moving pretty quick and coming up with different attacks and defenses. It was quite fun and I could see the practical use of the staff. In self-defense, a rake or hoe or even a broom could be a weapon.
In the course of the lesson, I mentioned another weapon I was interested in called the Kama. This too originated from Asia as a tool for cutting rice. Well, right about then, I learned that Conner had been on a Kama Demonstration team. He had two sets that he brought out – a demonstration set (flashy) and a fighting set (pointy). We transitioned from Bo Staff to Kama, a much more dangerous weapon. For me, it was also more natural. I’ve had over twenty years experience with juggling including club work and some of that translated into the Kama. It didn’t take me long to learn some the basic spins and blocks. A lot of that also takes from Tae Kwon Do.
By the end of the night, we were mixing the two – attacking with the Bo Staff and defend with the Kama. So sweet.
I learn the coolest stuff.