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#163156 - 07/01/05 03:46 PM Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
In the past I have always built my own equipment.
I have gone through several oak Bos and Jos. It seems that the wood dries up and breaks with age and inproper strike techniques.
After reading some of these weapons articles I decided to order a Waxwood Bo.
It is quite a bit thicker and heavier ( especially at one end ) than I am accustomed to so I would like to taper both ends.

My question is - will it weaken the wood drastically when I expose the grain by tapering it ?
Should I apply any kind of oil to preserve it ?


Also - I just read about the length of the Bo.
Is it true that it is OK to shorten it ?

I do like the extra reach of 6 feet but there are problems with vertical manouvers. My 5'8" height restricts these moves without sliding it in my hands with each revolution.
Would hate to cut it down if it is not proper.


Edited by Diga (07/01/05 04:00 PM)

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#163157 - 07/01/05 06:11 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Quote:

In the past I have always built my own equipment.
I have gone through several oak Bos and Jos. It seems that the wood dries up and breaks with age and inproper strike techniques.
After reading some of these weapons articles I decided to order a Waxwood Bo.
It is quite a bit thicker and heavier ( especially at one end ) than I am accustomed to so I would like to taper both ends.

My question is - will it weaken the wood drastically when I expose the grain by tapering it ?
Should I apply any kind of oil to preserve it ?


Also - I just read about the length of the Bo.
Is it true that it is OK to shorten it ?

I do like the extra reach of 6 feet but there are problems with vertical manouvers. My 5'8" height restricts these moves without sliding it in my hands with each revolution.
Would hate to cut it down if it is not proper.




Hi Diga

That's a very interesting question. Are you learning correct technique with an instructor? If not, why not, and I suggest it may be a very good time to do so!

If your bo is breaking on the ends it could be a technique based problem or a physical property of the bo that is causing it.

I personally do not like tapered bo because they are weaker on the ends. All mine are straight. Ditto with the jo.

I am 5ft 8" and have no problems swinging my 6ft bo without moving my hands up and down it and I have never hit the floor, so I would again ask if you are doing it with correct technique!

For sizing of the bo we hold it vertical behind us with one end on the floor. The total length should be your own height plus about one hands length.

It's normally considered ok to cut it to length [but do check first with your instructor!] - this is why I prefer the straight ones, you do not change the balance point, whereas with a tapered one you would make it off balance unless you cut down BOTH ends by the same amount and even then you may find it is not properly balanced in the centre making it difficult to spin overhead.

I don't oil any of mine. Also have a look at how you store you bo, mine are kept on the floor against a wall in a dry room so they remain straight. Never lean your bo up in the corner or it will end up like a banana!

Are you sparring with your bo & jo? Mine have not split or cracked yet despite the hammering they have had over the years. Might be a good idea for you to buy one and see if it lasts better. I suggest rattan for the bo and heavy Japanese white oak for the jo.
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#163158 - 07/02/05 12:08 AM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Reiki]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Thanks for the info.
I think I will leave it 6 feet long.
Actually I have practiced so much with what I was taught to be traditional - tapered at both ends - that I will 1st just trim the fat end to equal the other end and see how it feels.
The way it is right now, it is grossly over weight, so it needs some lightening up.

Your question about my training.....well never enough...but...I have been in the arts for over 30 years.
I built bos, wooden swords and Jos for several people in my Go Ju and Aikido classes including one instructor. This was over 20 years ago though. Those oak ones worked fine in classes though we did not go full power with sparring.

For the past few years I have not been attending classes because I moved out into the mountains and far away from activities like martial arts. A couple of times a year some old cronies come out for a weekend of practice but other than that I am on my own.
I have taken up useing the bo, jo and cane again recently because my hips have worn out on me. I will be walking with a cane until I go in for hip replacement so I decided to sharpen up my old studies. I have my own dojo downstairs with quite a bit of equipment to stay active.
Now I am useing the weapons instead of kicking or jumping around much. These poor sticks have a tough time when I use them against the heavy bag, speed bag, punch board and trees. I have been getting tuned up in a different way than in the old classes. Now I know what kind of things can and can not be done. Plus finding where the power points are with each weapon, where it will vibrate too much through the hands, many angles that never came up in class like how to always be ready for a missed target and where the weapon will go, not to mention putting it back down to the ground to manouver my body quickly to another position without hurting my hip.
Actually I am having lots of fun learning more from the tools than ever before.

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#163159 - 07/04/05 02:51 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Realising that it is a holiday and few people are useing their computers I decided to get this one back on the active topics list.
There must be some more input on this topic.
I am useing weapons in a different way lately. Instead of light contact with a sparring partner or open air techniques - I have been pushing myself and my tools to their limits to find proper locations for power.
Just found this wax wood and want to balance it and lighten it up a bit. Not sure if it will weaken it by exposing the grain when I shave it down.
Any comments from someone that has used their weapons in this way would be appreciated.

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#163160 - 07/04/05 04:30 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Good idea Diga

I'm not familiar with waxwood, how does it feel compared to rattan to use?

lighter/heavier???

is it flexible?

Is the grain small or large?

No wonder your bo keeps splitting if you are belting trees with it!
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#163161 - 07/06/05 12:04 AM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Reiki]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Too bad I am not familure with rattan. I believe it is a bit like bamboo ( please correct me if I am wrong )
This piece of waxwood is a lot heavier than I thaught it would be. It is now 1 & 1/2" wide on one end and 1 & 1/8" on the other and quite out of balance. I will try to atleast balance it out soon.
This wood is more flexable than anything I have used before and the grain is fairly tight. Better than the tightness of the grain it looks like the layers are both just as strong as eachother - almost no visable pores - almost like plastic.

Yes it is no wonder my oak and iron wood bos and jos are breaking. You would probably appreciate what a beating the maple tree in my wokout area is taking. I have shattered some oak bos with straight on lunge strikes but the iron wood ( which is heavier ) just takes chunks out of the tree.
I have learned to take it a bit easy on my speed bag and heavy bag because it is too easy to tear the outside of them. This is where I found the proper positioning of strikes with the side or edge of the tools along with proper hand positioning for these type of strikes that both protect the hands from too much vibration and the tool from breaking while delivering incredable damage to the targets.

It is kinda fun for an old cripple like me to still have confidence due to the cane that helps me just move around these days.
I'm anxious to see how this bo will feel after some balancing and maybe even tapering it a bit on each end.

Do you have experience similar to mine ?
Tell me something about rattan.

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#163162 - 07/06/05 04:17 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Hi Diga

I just use my bo, jo and sticks on people. And the occasional horse or steer on the farm.

Haven't taken to beating trees yet.

Rattan is flexible and tight grained, not hollow like bamboo. It is a variety of grass [like bamboo] but has a long history of being used for sticks and bo because of its strength and flexibility.

I heard the waxwood is good for hitting things, although you may find it bruises when hitting a harder wood.

I didn't realise you had to use a cane to walk these days, hope it makes a good weapon too!

Have you tried glucosamine for your joints yet? It's helped mine to feel a bit better.
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#163163 - 07/06/05 04:52 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Reiki]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Hello Reiki
Thanks for the exchanges.
I will have to look into getting some rattan. It is always nice to check out new implaments.
This morning I started trimming down the waxwood. It is a slow process because I do it all with hand tools, calapers, straight edges and jigs, but already it is starting to roll smoothly on the table and get lighter.
I do think it will be more forgiving than the oak and look forward to puting it to use.

The walking with a cane thing is kind of a long story. I have been blesses with hereditary bone degeneration, both on my Mothers side and my Fathers side of the family. I already have a 2 discs in my neck fused which gave me back the use of my hands. Now both hip joints are severely degenerated and hip replacement is the only answer. I have taken suplaments for decades now - including Glucosomine. I believe it has been my practice of the arts and healthy diet that has helped me do better than my brother but that is how things are these days.
I could have the regular replacement done now but there is a new procedure called " Joint resurfacing " that is being voted on this month with the American Mecical Association to allow it to be done in the United States. This new procedure has no restrictions to what you can do after recovery like the old procedure has so I am useing an ( Iron Wood ) home made cane to walk with while I wait.
It makes a great weapon. It is cracked in 3 places right now but I already have drawings for the new updated one.

I spent atleast 10 years doing weapons kata and sparring with people. I really do miss that. Sometimes at my dojo we would spar for 2 to 3 hours at a time taking breaks to rest and have a drink then back at it. Now I live far away from all of that so the maple snag and my equipment are my inspiration along with talking to folks like you.
Thanks for your concern.

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#163164 - 07/10/05 10:51 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Well....I have finished shapeing the Waxwood bo.
Turns out that there was no way for me to balance it without tapering the thick end to match the already thinner end. It is not as tapered as my older oak Bos but it does seem to be a bit lighter than them now.
So far I have only spent about 1/2 hour playing with it. Just kata so far. It feels pretty good.

I need to get my upper body power back to where it was a few years ago to feel its flexability in the open air but I think it will be fun when it meets the maple tree snag. It is too long to use much on my equipment because the basement ceiling is too low and when I get going I tend to tear the fire retardent on the ceiling.

Anyway....Just thaught I would update progress.
Will add more when I get a chance to go outside and really get into it.

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#163165 - 07/11/05 04:29 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Quote:

Well....I have finished shapeing the Waxwood bo.
Turns out that there was no way for me to balance it without tapering the thick end to match the already thinner end. It is not as tapered as my older oak Bos but it does seem to be a bit lighter than them now.
So far I have only spent about 1/2 hour playing with it. Just kata so far. It feels pretty good.

I need to get my upper body power back to where it was a few years ago to feel its flexability in the open air but I think it will be fun when it meets the maple tree snag. It is too long to use much on my equipment because the basement ceiling is too low and when I get going I tend to tear the fire retardent on the ceiling.

Anyway....Just thaught I would update progress.
Will add more when I get a chance to go outside and really get into it.




yes----- working with bo inside can lead to some embarressing accidents!

Good to hear you have it sorted out.
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#163166 - 07/11/05 08:49 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Diga]
Onaji Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 2
Okay, sorry for coming in like this, since I'm new and everything. Well I'm just starting to get intrested in 'The Bo', and there are no places where I can learn this stuff so...I have chosen the internet. Unfortuantly the internet is not the best site, anyways, if anyone could give me a site or teach me themselves through like MSN messenger or yahoo, that would be great , anyways reply back, and ill do my best to reply back as well. Thanks

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#163167 - 07/12/05 09:18 AM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Onaji]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
Quote:

Oteach me themselves through like MSN messenger or yahoo, that would be great , anyways reply back, and ill do my best to reply back as well. Thanks




Umm... youre not serious are you?
_________________________
There is always someone who knows more, and noone who knows it all....

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#163168 - 07/12/05 11:08 AM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Onaji]
Iamdadude Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 83
and I thought learning from a book would be hard...!

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#163169 - 07/12/05 04:28 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Onaji]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Quote:

Okay, sorry for coming in like this, since I'm new and everything. Well I'm just starting to get intrested in 'The Bo', and there are no places where I can learn this stuff so...I have chosen the internet. Unfortuantly the internet is not the best site, anyways, if anyone could give me a site or teach me themselves through like MSN messenger or yahoo, that would be great , anyways reply back, and ill do my best to reply back as well. Thanks




You cannot learn martial arts especially weapons work from the internet or a book. Nothing can replace a good instructor working with you in person.

Even though I've spent years learning and teaching bo techniques I am not prepared to even try to teach someone who isn't in front of me so I can see what they are doing and correct it instantly!

You need to find a good local dojo, join it and begin training.

Good luck.
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#163170 - 07/12/05 11:14 PM Re: Altering "Waxwood Bo" to taper both ends [Re: Onaji]
Diga Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 209
Loc: Hoodsport, Washington
Onaji
Ditto to what everyone is telling you.

Your question should be - Does anyone know of any Dojo in my area that teaches weapons techniques ?
Maybe someone here knows your neighborhood and has some suggestions, otherwise check the yellow pages or internet for some in your area then go and watch them to see if you like what they are doing.

Smacking things with a stick will teach you how to smack things with a stick quicker and maybe a little better but that is about as far as you can go on your own.

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