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robot66
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:11 pm    Post subject: Bo - Rattan or Red Oak Reply with quote

Hey guys, my name is Andreas, and this is my first post.

I am going to buy a non-tapered bo. It is my first real one, and I can't decide on the material. I want either Rattan or Red Oak.
I primarily want to use it to just do spins, forms, and so on. You know - showy stuff. I also want to spar a little bit every once in a while, though.
At first glance, I would say that Red Oak is what I would rather want, because I like the look of a long, slick, straight staff, that is solid, and doesn't bend a lot. Sort of like a broomstick, just prettier, longer, and cooler.
Rattan has some advantages though, as far as I know, that is. For instance, it is more durable and will last for much longer, and also it is lighter, and allows for easier manipulation.

I look forward to reading your answers.
Thanks in advance,
Andreas
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15811
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to KF; glad that you're here!!

From what you posted, I'd say...RED OAK...all the way. Boils down to a personal choice!!



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Spodo Komodo
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 24 Mar 2010
Posts: 307
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Styles: Wado Ryu, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends what kind of kata you want to do. Modern stuff is very fast and spinny, more suited to a lighter flexible bo. Traditional kata are a lot more solid and look great when you work out how to tense the muscles properly to get a crisp stop to a strike. For these kata a more solid, heavier and stiffer bo works best.

Not being a fan of the freestyle forms thing that goes on today I would go for an oak bo every time. I use one of these. You can twirl it as well but it takes a bit of doing.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1956
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What style to you practice? Spodo Komodo makes some great observations, and those are things to consider. If I was doing a super traditional kata, red oak is my choice, and in general it seems to be the chose of Okinawan and most Japanese systems, while Chinese kung fu systems tend to move towards rattan for its flexibility.
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yamesu
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1391
Location: Oceania <-> Asia
Styles: Kyokushin. MT. Arnis. Judo. JediMantre.

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have both, and each have their own advantages.

Rattan is the best material for practicing applications, and striking bo against bo. It will last longer and won't crack like oak (though after a long time it may frat, which can be fixed with electrical tape).

Oak is great for solo kata and is generally more hefty, so it good for practicing strength and speed with a solid weapon.
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Montana
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 827
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spodo Komodo wrote:
It depends what kind of kata you want to do. Modern stuff is very fast and spinny, more suited to a lighter flexible bo. Traditional kata are a lot more solid and look great when you work out how to tense the muscles properly to get a crisp stop to a strike. For these kata a more solid, heavier and stiffer bo works best.

Not being a fan of the freestyle forms thing that goes on today I would go for an oak bo every time. I use one of these. You can twirl it as well but it takes a bit of doing.


100% agreement from me!
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 484
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering what you desire to do Andreas; rattan is undeniably the better choice. It is light weight which allows for greater ease with more dextrous movements, such as spinning, yet it is also durable enough to be used in a combative format against other weapons.

However, if you are a beginner I would advise Oak over rattan. I would also advise exploring the traditional forms first over free style formats. Oak is a much better device through which to develop the conditioning to wield Bo effectively. Also, the traditional arts will provide both access to kata and kumite practice. It will also give you a much stronger base from which to explore the "show" aspects of modern forms, as if you have strong fundamentals, and an understanding of combative principles, you can more easily traverse the realms of free-style. Think of it like having a compass in the forest; you go into free-style without a strong base, you will not be able to see the tree for the forest.

Think of it like choreography in action films, or even professional wrestling. Ultimately; it is the people who studied both actual martial arts and choreography, over just stunt-work, who create the most interesting action scenes. It is the wrestlers who have actual technical grappling skills who most effectively blur the line between the glitz of pro-wrestling and actual brawling.

In short; good technique, and a nod to the actual purpose of the weapon will in turn produce the "show" without even aiming for it. The Bo material itself is just icing on the cake; oak is just better icing in my opinion.
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Doomed
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 25 May 2015
Posts: 32
Location: Florida
Styles: Kanzen Ryu

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that it depends on the form you want to train in; If you're going to practice in the Okinawan style of the bo, then I see red oak being your best bet, as you'll need something a little rigid and sturdy. If you want, as you said, a flashier style, or practice the Chinese style, rattan may be the right one for you.

Both materials have their advantages from what I understand, but the decision should be based on what all you plan on doing with the bo. Either way, I wish you the best and I hope you have fun with your new bo.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As many have stated, the type of weapon depends on what AND how one intends to use it. If the goal is training correct movement or technique, the weapon should be slightly heavier. If it is for demonstration, a lighter and more flexible material is usually favoured.
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RW
Green Belt
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 425


PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Welcome to KF; glad that you're here!!

From what you posted, I'd say...RED OAK...all the way. Boils down to a personal choice!!




what's more resilient?
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