Kobudo yesterday was focused on the Bo. This was a surprise since I went in expecting a nunchaku class and working on the second kata for that tool, but I’m not complaining.
My immediate reaction was that this is a weapon that I could seriously train in. The other weapons are nice, and I do have previous nunchaku experience (just flashy stuff), but the bo simply clicks as a practical self-defense tool. This is something that I could walk around with, in theory. It’s solid, has a good reach, and it immediately felt good in my hands. I can definitely see myself in the back yard practicing this on a regular basis, more so than the nunchaku.
I’m pretty much sold on it.
The activities in the class were super basic. We covered how to do strikes from over head, the side, and from below. How to do a couple of blocks, how to perform a couple of jabs, and practicing turning the bo in our hands without letting go with one hand. How to hold the hands while striking, and so forth. It was the “learning to crawl” class.
We also practiced jabbing the bo through a karate belt that had been tied into a loop. The person held the loop still, and then increased the difficulty by swinging it. I did alright with these, although I did stab the knot twice which sent the belt flying. Oops. ^_^ Ah, being a newb has its own joys, doesn’t it?
Class ended with a practice routine where we used the bo to strike styrofoam blocks. They were placed on top of four or five striking mats (I forget how many). While the “goal” was to break it using either of the two styles of jabs that we learned, no one expected to actually break the blocks in this way. This practice sesesion ended with each of us taking one solid side strike at the block, and someone did manage to snap one of the two blocks in half.
I nailed the mats twice during the entire practice session. A lot of practice is going to be required before I can accurately add hip torque and other techniques to the strikes. Doing so added a small rotation to the end of the staff which lead to the mats getting hit rather than the styrofoam.
Practice, practice, practice. Not much else to it.