Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Do Bo Staff Wrist Spins

Karate was originally devised by the Okinawan people to fight back against a conquering army from the northern islands of Japan several hundred years ago. Though the majority of karate, literally meaning "empty fist", is a martial art that does not use weapons, it would be foolish for a combat system devised to overthrow an oppressive occupying army to completely disregard them. One common weapon readily available to the poverty stricken locals was the Bo Staff. Martial arts pertaining specifically to the use of a Bo was called Bojitsu. These staffs are simple lengths of polished wood roughly the height of the combatant and can be deadly in the hands of a practiced user. Current day martial artists will use them for single person demonstrations, showing their prowess with the Bo through sweeping strikes and spinning parries. Though arduous and very complex, the individual movements that make up the Karate Bo Kata are fairly simple and can be performed within a day or two and mastered with a little more dedicated practice. This guide will explain how to perform one of these moves; the Wrist Spin.

Things You’ll Need:
Bo Staff
Open Practice Space

How To Execute A Wrist Spin
Step 1:
Begin with the Bo held vertically out in front of you. Your hand should be about a half foot down from the Bo's center.

Step 2:
Turn your wrist and arm inward so that what was the top of the Bo is now pointing down.

Step 3:
Sharply twist your arm and wrist back to the original position and then a little further. Let go of the Bo with you hands and finger, and let the momentum of the spin carry the Bo up over and out of your hand.

Step 4:
As the Bo spins over the top of your hand twist your arm and wrist inward again to catch the Bo before it falls to the ground. You are back in the position to repeat the move again and again, as many times as you wish.

Tips & Warnings
Beginners can wrap the middle foot of the bow with sports tape or electrical tape as a guide so you know where to place your hand when performing this move. A Bo is very long and you will need a great deal of room to safely lift and spin one. If you've no dojo or exercise area you can use, take it outside.
Make sure you're outdoors when you first try this out so as not to break anything. If you should be unable to catch the Bo, the force of the spin will pinwheel the Staff for a pretty good distance.

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