Bo staffs are very common in martial arts and sometimes self defense, although carrying a long bo staff everywhere is not real practical. You will also find them in a lot sport competitions. Whether you have been using bo staffs for years or you are just beginning you may not have ever bough your own bo staff. There are many to choose from including toys and cheap knock offs, it is important to get a good bo staff that will work for you and not fall apart.

With all the choices out there, it can be hard to find a good staff for you. With a few tips however, you can quickly narrow down your options to a bo staff that works for you. The faster you can pick your bo staff out the faster you can enjoy your new weapon.

Factors for Choosing a Bo Staff


The size of your bo staff is probably the most important factor when choosing a staff. If you get the wrong size staff you may not even be able to use it effectively. The average bo staff length is about 6 feet long but most people choose a staff a few inches longer or shorter than they are. A shorter staff will be easier to handle and will probably allow you to be faster. A longer staff, however, will give you a longer reach and possibly more power.


Bo staffs come in different widths as well as lengths. You need to consider this when buying a bo staff. You should be able to make a solid grip at the widest part of the staff, so no matter where you grab you will have control.Elite Competition Bo

What Bo Staff is Best for You?

This really depends on what you want to use it on. The weight, material, and sometimes length and width, will vary depending on what you will use your bo staff for.


For demonstrations you want to basicly look "cool" show off your skills. You will often prefer a light staff so that you can pull off faster moves. A flashy bo staff may also benefit you since you want people to focus on your bo staff. If you are planning on doing any kind of floor striking or using it for other purposes you may want to get a slightly heavier staff so that it can withstand the extra pressure. For a 6 foot demonstation bo staff, it should way around 9 oz.

Combat Training

Combat training usually involves being hit with a staff or hitting someone else. This can be very painful and could easily break a rib or small bone. Because of this, we choose a different material bo staff. You will want a bo with a softer wood such as white wax or rattan. You may also consider foam covered bo staff for training.

Strength and Speed Training

With strength and speed training, I would recommend a heavier staff to build your muscles and speed. This will really give you an edge in competitions when you would use a lighter staff. For strength and speed training you would want to use the heavier woods. With heavier bo staffs comes higher prices so you'll also want to compare prices. A heavier bo is also good if you tend to break staffs a lot during training.

If you follow this guide you should be able to pick out a bo staff fairly quickly and be on your way back to training. Bo staffs shouldn't be extremely expensive, especially for training purposes. You spend a little more on show staff because they will have unique designs.