The maneuvers listed below describe two different, yet similar, styles: Bojutsu (the art of the staff) and Jojutsu (the art of stick-fighting).
Bojutsu, the art of the staff, uses the bo staff (also known as a rokushakubo, "six-foot staff'). The staff is held two-handed. Staff-fighting was often used to help train warriors to use other weapons, since the staff can be used in practice without causing fatal injuries.
Jojutsu, the art of the stick, uses the jo, a short staff or stick about four feet long. Legend has it that the art was developed around 1500 by Muso Gonnosuke. Muso, a samurai, was taking the part of a mushashugyo (a samurai who travels the country, testing his martial skills) to improve his Bojutsu techniques, and was proving himself to be a superior warrior. Because of his reputation, another undefeated warrior, the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, sought him out and challenged him, using only a bokken (wooden sword). Miyamoto defeated Muso easily, but spared his life. Muso, humiliated, continued his wanderings. Eventually he dreamed of an angelic being who told him to create a new, shorter staff, and instructed him in the techniques of its use. Muso went into seclusion and perfected the 12 techniques ofJojutsu. Then he sought out Miyamoto, challenged him, and beat him—the only defeat Miyamoto ever suffered. A practitioner of
Jojutsu is known as a shijo; he wears a hakama and a type of jacket called a haori.
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