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Holding the Bo -- Pinkies

In Yamani-Ryu bojutsu, it is very important to grip the bo firmly with the pinkies. All of the fingers should grip the bo, but the pinkies are especially important.

Many beginners put the emphasis in their index fingers and leave their pinkies loose. It is very easy to knock the bo out of their hands.

But when the pinkies are firm, the bo is very solid. The idea is for the pinkies to be firm -- not tight. You sort of squeeze the bo.

You might find that keeping the pinkies firm requires you to adust your elbows. If your pinkies are loose, the bo is under less tension. Keeping the pinkies firm puts the bo under greater tension and may require you to bring your elbows closer to your body -- which is a good thing. When the bo (and your body) is under tension, it is easy to "whip" the bo -- to dynamically transfer your body power into the bo.

Remember that in bojutsu your opponent will try to knock the bo out of your hand. When performing kata, there is no one to test your grip. If you lose the bo, you will almost certainly be defeated.


Charles C. Goodin