The Go Shaku Bo This Japanese word means five foot staff. A shaku is approximately one foot and a Bo is a staff. The Goshakubo is a hardwood staff that tapers towards either end. It varies in diameter from one inch to two inches. The use of this weapon is entirely dependent on a sound knowledge of “te” techniques. The basic purpose of the bo is increasing the force delivered in a strike, through leverage. The user’s relatively slight motion, effected at the point of handling the bo, results in a faster, more forceful motion by the tip of the bo against the object or subject of the blow; thus enabling long-range crushing and sweeping strikes. The bo may also be thrust at an opponent, allowing one to punch from a distance. The bo is a weapon mainly used for self-defense, and can be used to execute blocks and parries. Although the bo is now used as a weapon, its use is believed to have evolved from non-combative uses, like most martial arts devices. The bo staff was traditionally used to balance buckets or baskets across ones shoulders. Typically, one would carry baskets of harvested crops or buckets of water or milk or fish, one at each end of the bo, that is balanced across the middle of the back at the shoulder blades. In poorer agrarian economies, the bo remains a traditional farm work implement; yet, when these nations were required to lay down their arms by conquering armies, they looked to their household implements to extend their self-defense. There are stick fighting techniques native to just about every country on every continent. The word “Bo” is merely the Japanese word for wooden staff weapons.