That's the thing, I was wondering if reading a book from Masaaki Hatsumi called Stick Fighting: Techniques of Self-Defense could help me learn at least the basics and perfect that knowledge as far as I can with a book. I have a Judo and Jujitsu background (I'm 5th kyu in both since 3 years).

It would be possible?

  • Yes it's possible to pick up new martial arts if you have experience in related arts. I don't see a lot of overlap between Judo/Jujitsu and stick fighting. Do you have someone you can practice with (i.e. learn together)? Have you looked at Karate/Taekwondo schools in your area (these will sometimes teach weapons, the bo being chief among them)? Does it have to be bojutsu per se, or will staff training in a kung fu style suffice? Sep 30 '14 at 19:10
  • Yes, it have to be bojutsu :). There is a taekwondo school, but they don't seems to train alot of bojutsu.
    – shackra
    Sep 30 '14 at 20:02

If you had some training in classical jujitsu, then Hatsumi's book will work out just fine for you. He takes the hanbo / jo staff (3 or 4 foot staff) techniques entirely from the classical jujitsu arts that are contained under the umbrella of Bujinkan. You'll find a lot of overlap and similarity with what you already know from jujitsu regarding the footwork, the leverage, the principles, etc.

Even the judo you learned will work well with the techniques shown in the book. He'll often take a familiar throw, for example "o-goshi nage", and then combines it with the use of the stick to apply leverage during the throw. Instead of grabbing onto the opponent's gi or belt, you wrap your arms around his body and grab a hold of your stick, pulling the stick inwards to cause pain and to gain leverage at the same time.

There are enough examples in the book for you to begin to think about how you could use the principles in other techniques you've learned. It adds a whole new dimension to everything.

You'll need a partner, and you'll need to play around a lot. When you get more serious about it, consider going to a Bujinkan workshop.

I just caution you that this form of "stick" fighting is completely different from escrima / arnis / kali. The stick used in escrima will be much smaller and lighter than the kind used in Hatsumi's book. And most of the applications shown in the book will not be stick vs. stick like you get with escrima training.

Also, this is not bo-jutsu. A "bo" is a much longer, 5 to 6 foot staff. Hatsumi's "stick" is a 3 foot staff (hanbo) primarily. Although, you could take it and use it with small sticks such as a kubotan keychain, escrima sized sticks, and up to jo (4 foot) staff.


Yes, you can definitely learn from a book. People in martial arts far too often deny that because they won't admit that that is exactly why people write books. As a lad, I learned three entirely different systems from books so I knew the curriculum before I showed up for the first class.

That said, eventually you'll find it valuable to train with other people. Just don't let ''eventually'' hold you back. There may be a stick-fighting teacher coming to your town in a month or two. Stranger things have happened.

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