Starting Thursday, January 14th (7pm-8pm), and Sunday, January 17th (11am-12:30pm), during our regularly scheduled classes, we will begin a phase of Weapons Training, remotely via Zoom during the pandemic – starting with Staff, The Most Versatile Weapon.
The staff is one of the most ancient and versatile weapons –
Learn practical techniques and strategies to improve strength, coordination, power, and how training with this weapon correlates with bare-handed self defense as well as being able to use walking sticks, gardening tools, brooms, mops and pool cues as effective self-defense weapons!
We will be learning single and double ended staff techniques and strategies, focusing on developing coordination and power!
Later, when the pandemic is under control and we’re finally able to train together in person again, we will introduce partner drills and more refined locks, throws and strategy work using the staff to its fullest potential!
Before you join in to the Zoom class, make sure that you have at least 10 square feet to move around in front of your computer/laptop in a space with a good internet connection (plus additional clearance for the weapon). Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and get a notebook to write down what we cover after each class — that goes a long way to retain and absorb the material.
How to Find Your Own Staff
You do need to bring your own staff to this event to train with, and to practice with after you attend the workshop. It’s best to buy the staff locally, in person, instead of ordering from a catalog or online, because you need to double check the following:
- The ideal length of the staff should be at least as long as coming up from the floor to your chin, or the top of your head when standing (usually between 5 to 6 feet long, longer is ok, but avoid getting something too short). Another test is if you hold the staff horizontally, balancing it at shoulder height along your outstretched arms, you should barely be able to touch the ends of the staff with your extended fingertips.
- The ideal diameter of the staff should be at least 1-1/8 inches to 2-1/4 inches — if it’s too thin, it will snap during training.
- The staff should be made of hardwood – it should pass “the thumbnail test” (you shouldn’t be able to dig your thumbnail into the wood). Pine and bamboo are unacceptable because they aren’t hardwood — Pine dowels won’t work, they will splinter and crack under the very lightest training. Suggested woods are Hickory, Maple, Oak, Waxwood, Ironwood, Treated Rattan, etc.
- One shop option is Seattle Martial Arts Supplies, located on King Street at the South end of Seattle’s Downtown International District. Another option is your local hardware store – Ace, Lowes or Home Depot, etc – go to the section with hardwood broom and shovel handles, and get a straight, un-tapered Hickory broom/mop/shovel handle — it will probably be cheaper and more durable than some of the maple and oak staffs in the martial arts shops (make sure it is at least 5 feet long and at least 1-1/8 diameter, and use the thumbnail test in #3 to make sure it isn’t Pine).
- Make sure the staff isn’t cracked or has splinters. Check to make sure there aren’t large “eyes” in the grain – it’s common for stress-fractures in the staff around these brittle areas when subjected to regular training – even with hardwood. Avoid staffs with fancy engraving along the shaft, as they lend to cracking and splinters during practice.
- Make sure the staff isn’t warped – look down the shaft from one end to check if it’s warped or bowed. Warping in the wood throws off the balance of the staff and makes it unwieldy.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu classes
We have a few spots available if you would like to start training Remote online with our Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class, held Saturdays at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm PST!
With all the uncertainty of the tumultuous times we are all living in, Bagua Zhang is an excellent practice to help you improve your health, increase your vitality and awareness, and develop self defense skills to meet the challenges we are facing with focus and confidence.
Once you get some of the basics down, you are welcome to join in our other regular group classes on Thursdays 7-8pm PST, and Sundays 11am-12:30pm PST.
The Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since we are training Remotely via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. I will be available to answer questions after class from students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group.
The Remote Membership is only $50 per month, half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us live via Zoom and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts. Also, we are in the process of creating instructional videos and workbooks to help you learn and grow with your practice!
If you are interested in joining for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you’ve attended our classes, please respond to this message so we can get you started with our Bagua Zhang Martial Arts classes!
At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation.
Please share with anyone you know that might be interested in joining our classes!