Everyone seems to love working with staffs during class. It is a nice change of pace and something different to do for sure. You should be aware of a few tips when using staffs that will make you a bit more advanced than the average student. Check them out…
- Tang Soo with 1 hand only: When we bow, we usually use 2 hands to give our “TANG SOO” salute. However, with 1 hand holding the staff, you should raise only 1 fist when doing this because if you are bowing to a partner, your staff may raise up and hit your partner.
- Grip the staff along imaginary “cut lines”: 1 common issue with beginners is letting their hands roam the staff when attempting techniques. This can be problematic and cause later techniques to become difficult to do if too much of the staff is on 1 side of the staff. Imagine that your hands are super-glued to the staff and try not to move them when doing most techniques. Also, you should hold the staff such that your hands divide the staff into equal thirds. So imagine that you were going to chop the staff into 3 pieces. Your hands should be on the spots where the staff would be cut.
- Don’t forget your stances: With staffs, most of the focus is on your hand and arm movements since, obviously, this is how the staff is operated. However, you footwork and stances are just as important when doing weapons training as they are for any other form of training.
- Toughen up your ribs and underarms: As you get more and more comfortable using a staff, you will be able to generate more power for your techniques. But because many techniques involve the non-striking part of the staff coming to rest on your body, you may end up a bit sore in this areas of you really go for power. An example would be for an ordinary strike technique – the end of the staff not striking is brought to rest under your arm near your armpit. Try doing it fast you will see what I mean. The best way to get used to this is to do your techniques over and over again and with strong power each time in order to condition your body to expect the discomfort and to disregard it.