In last week’s training post we explored the use of the six-foot stick in the Japanese martial arts (bojutsu).
This week has us following up with the hanbo- the three foot stick.
Regardless of the length of the stick one of the characteristics that follows it that it is used to increase distance between you and your training partner.
With the stick, you can reach them, and they can’t reach you.
Naturally, they are not going to just stand there and let you whack them with the stick, they are going to try and close, they might even try to grab the stick or pass it out of the way.
Footwork is what prevents this-using your footwork to always maintain the correct distance with the stick: 3, 5, or 6 for the hanbo, jo, and bo.
The hanbo is also unique in that given its length, it can also be used as a multiplier for various throws and immobilization techniques. Adding the strength of the wood on joints and weak points on the human body to capture balance.
Elements of striking are also added as a way of opening up the movement of your training partner as a way to apply locks and throws, or as a way of stopping the movement so a lock or throw can be applied.
What is amazing about hanbojutsu, the use of the three for stick, is just how complex the use of the stick is- all of the various techniques and ways of just using a simple stick tend to really catch one by surprise the first few times you see it in action.
Wishing you the best training ahead!