What is a bo? A bo is a staff, usually about 1.8 metres long, used in Okinawan martial arts. Bojutsu, the art of using the bo as a weapon, and the bo kata, were part of the Shotokan system until the American occupation of Japan after the second world war. During the occupation martial arts training was initially banned. In an attempt to get this ban lifted, the Shotokan system was modified, and the use of the bo was removed in an effort to make the training seem less martial to the occupying forces. After the occupation the use of the bo and the bo kata were never fully reintroduced to Shotokan karate.
The leading exponent of Shotokan Bojutsu in the UK is sensei Ian MacLaren, KUGB 6th dan. For many decades Ian has trained with, and learnt from, Japan’s leading bojusu experts. Shotokan Connect is privileged to have Ian leading our work to reintroduce bojutsu to the Shotokan system and to our dan grading syllabus. Due to ill health, sensei Ian MacLaren is unable to join us in person on the day, so instead will be running a one hour online seminar on the history of Bojutsu and its place in the Shotokan syllabus at 19:00 on Thursday 26th May. This seminar will be free of charge for those who have already signed up for the course.
The course on the 28th May will be taught by sensei Sam Birch (5th dan) and sensei Tabitha Baker (3rd dan). Sam and Tab have been studying bojutsu under Ians’s instruction for the last 13 years, and, as many of you know, have been assisting Ian in teaching the bo sessions on the Train with the Champions Courses for a number of years. Sam and Tab have an exciting session planned.
If you don’t have your own bo, don’t worry, we’ll provide you with one for the session. You’ll learn basic bo blocks and attacks, and in the first session we’ll be learning the kata Shuji no Kon.
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