Anyone working towards the goal of seeing and feeling satisfying gains or weight loss knows that this process can become somewhat repetitious and expensive. Performing countless reps or tracking the distance you’ve completed hour after hour at the local gym can make success seem light years away from having the strength, stamina, and body type you long to achieve when beginning a training regiment. What is it that’s missing when so many training schedules fall victim to the, “It’s OK I can skip the gym today” or “I’ll start again on Monday” statements that we are so familiar with. Is it possible that the variety of machines and training routines available can sometimes get in the way of making simple decisions like how to go about getting the results you need to look and feel your best?
There is a traditional form of exercise that has been filling the void to these modern exercise conundrums we face when it comes to our physical appearance and mental well being. And martial artists have been capitalizing on these benefits for thousands of years. Practitioners of the martial arts have multiple requirements for self-defense techniques as a physical discipline, and combine it with the building of self-confidence and honor for both student and teacher. And this is considered basic training. Not only is this form of art a great blend of both cardio and anaerobic (weight training) workouts, it can help someone achieve a very defined physique by cutting and toning their body, in addition, this form of exercise teaches a self-defense system as the core foundation that contributes to the students dedication to progress and will to succeed. Weight benches, exercise bikes, and even loud personal trainers have yet to incorporate the three above mentioned martial arts attributes such as
1. Having a body of optimal strength and appearance
2. Feeling healthy inside and out and
3. Having the skills to protect all that you’ve worked for.
One particular self defense technique studied throughout the martial arts community and found in nearly every dojo as a mandatory skill taught to students around the world is the bo staff. Instead of stepping up to countless solid state machines or pumping reps with a free-weight bars jammed with dumbbells on both ends, how about taking and using just the bar itself? Probably the first combat weapon ever to be used following the fist, the bo staff would have been created quite easily with branches pulled from trees or fallen sticks found on the forest floor. If you have ever wanted a way to tone and shape your chest, back, and arms… the bo staff is a great tool for utilizing these muscle groups for a complete upper body exercise routine and there is no need to go to your local martial arts studio and register right away either.
There are many resources available such as YouTube, eHow, or even the EzineArticles directory where you can find many different instructors teaching the basics for free and it’s as simple as grabbing that broom stick in the corner of the laundry room or visiting your nearest building supply center to pick up a wooden dowel for less than ten dollars. Practicing and training with a bo staff can bring a complete workout that sharpens your upper body. Movements such as spinning and striking with the bo can be both physically demanding, but also a lot fun. If you can remember flinging a branch around when you were younger, or finding that perfect walking stick when camping or hiking… there is almost a nostalgic feeling when training with a 6 foot wooden bo staff, making it feel less like a chore as exercise can sometimes be.
When training with a bo staff you are learning a more than a thousand year old traditional form of weaponry. It can look and feel quite impressive when performing its most basic level techniques and it can be very useful as a form of self-defense protection for your self and others.