Bo-jutsu was also called Kon-Pou. It is said that officials (policemen) wielded Bo-jutsu. According to "The Okinawa Language Dictionary", Bo is described as "for carrying loads or for martial arts". Bo was one of the necessities of life for townsmen and fishermen. This art was studied and practiced for self-defense, and excellent techniques have been handed down. There are also techniques introduced from China. It is presumed that Sapposhi (high-ranking Chinese missions) from Fuzhou province brought Bo-jutsu with him. Also, Okinawans went to Southern China or Shanghai and learned Bo-jutsu. These Okinawans studied and developed Bo techniques after they came home. The Bo techniques described in the Chinese war tactics book called "Bubishi" and "Kikoshinsho" are very similar to ones we practice today. Both books say that Bo jutsu is the essence and foundation of all martial arts using weapons. After researching various documents on Okinawan Bo-jutsu, it seems to be combined with Chinese Bo-jutsu and evolved to fit the physical features of the Okinawan people and the political situation of the islands
The Bo-jutsu forms practiced by the samurai (warriors) have names ending in "Kon". These art forms were presented to the king and are distinct from "Son-Bo", the common people's Bo-jutsu. In ancient times, the Kuba (Chinese Palm tree) was used as material for Bo. The grain of this hard tree is wavy-like, the same as oak. Kuba was an ideal material for Bo. It is not easily broken or bent in actual fighting and, in case it is broken, it's still an effective weapon as the broken point is quite sharp. However, in recent years, oak has been used as a Bo material.
Bo is commonly called
6 feet Bo (roku shaku Bo), simply because its usual length is 6
feet. However, the Bo used by warriors at Shuri Castle was 5 feet
8 inches. This Bo was shortened to fit inside the house to avoid
any disadvantage in case of a fight indoors. Besides 6 feet Bo,
there are 3 feet, 4 feet Bo as well as long ones ranging from 8
feet to 9 feet to 13 feet.
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