Encyclopedia > Quarterstaff

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The staff, or quarterstaff, is a traditional weapon, basically consisting of a long wooden stick. The length of the weapon varies, but it is approximately the same height as the user. The weapon's name comes from the way it is commonly held: one hand at the center of the staff, and one hand halfway between the center and one end.

The quarterstaff is a crushing weapon, much like the club, but its weight distribution is even throughout its entire length. Sharpened or fitted with a metal head, the quarterstaff easily becomes a spear or some other short pole weapon.

Being a very simple weapon to manufacture, it has a long history of use, and a wide cultural dispersion.

The staff is a traditional weapon of many Asian martial arts. In Japan it is often referred to a the bo[?], or in shorter version as the jo[?]. It was historically a common weapon in England, where it features in the Robin Hood legend as the favorite weapon of Little John. In French savate, the staff and the techniques of using it is known as the grand canne.

Moves include many different forms of blocks, thrusts, strikes, and sweeps.

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