The Art and Science of Staff Fighting: A Complete Instructional Guide

The Art and Science of Staff Fighting: A Complete Instructional Guide

by Joe Varady

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594394119
Publisher: Ymaa Publication Center
Publication date: 12/07/2016
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 627,093
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joe Varady is a fifth-degree black belt with over thirty years of experience in martial arts. He has trained in numerous Eastern and Western disciplines, including karate, judo, eskrima, boxing, fencing, and long sword. He has won numerous awards competing in full-contact weapons tournaments around the world. Joe holds a master’s degree in elementary education. He is the head instructor at Satori Dojo and Modern Gladiatorial Arts. Joe Varady resides in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

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ForewordPrefaceIntroductionWhat is Staff Fighting?A Brief History of the StaffStaff Fighting and Self DefenseThink BigKnow Your StaffIntensityThe LevelsLevel
1: The Foundation FundamentalsStancesBasic StrikingUnderstanding the LinesBasic BlockingBlocking, Parrying, and EvadingFootworkFigure EightsLevel 1 WorkoutLevel
2: Basic Middle Grip The Fighting StanceCombat StrikingRange, Distancing, and the Circle of DeathTargetingTraining Equipment: Target SticksCombinationsFeintingStrategy and TacticsTraining Equipment: The PellDefense: The WallLevel 2 WorkoutLevel
3: Advanced Middle GripThe Double StrikeTraining Equipment: Target SticksHooking DisarmsThe Push-Pull Energy DrillTraining Equipment: The Striking BallDisarming BlocksSliding DisarmsShushi’s WallLevel 3 WorkoutLevel
4: Basic Extended GripIntroduction to Extended GripExtended Grip Basic StrikesExtended Grip Figure EightsExtended Grip ThrustingTraining Equipment: The Target BallTraining Equipment: The Thrust BoardSnap StrikesTraining Equipment: The Horizontal MakiwaraExtended Grip Blocking DisarmsLevel 4 WorkoutLevel
5: Advanced Extended GripFencing with the StaffThe DisengageThe Double DisengageThe CutoverThe BeatExtended Grip Hooking DisarmsThe Disarm DrillTraining Equipment: SpinnersParryingPart the Grass to Find the SnakeLevel 5 WorkoutLevel
6: Combat with the StaffThe Moment of TruthFull Contact Weapons FightingTraining Equipment: The Padded StaffUnderstanding TimingThe Three-Step RuleProgrammingContinuation of AttackBlitz AttacksThe Grand Overall StrategyLevel 6 WorkoutLevel
7: Expert TrainingHot StuffSwitching GripsAlternate Ready PositionsFool’s GuardTail GuardHigh GuardRear GuardAdditional TechniquesUpward Heel StrikeOverhand Heel ThrustJabbing ThrustPoisonous SnakeFiore’s BlockDisarming BeatTrapping and PinningFlying Front KickFlickingThrowingLevel
8: Master TrainingClose Combat with the StaffGroundworkFacing Multiple Opponents with the StaffUnarmed Defense Against the StaffLevel
9: The Way of the SpearIntro to the SpearBasic Spear Fighting StrategyTraining Equipment: The RingsUnarmed Defense Against a SpearThrowing the SpearCatching the SpearTub TiltingAppendixes




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About the Author

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The Art and Science of Staff Fighting: A Complete Instructional Guide 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
RichardHoang More than 1 year ago
This book, THE ART AND SCIENCE OF STAFF FIGHTING - A Complete Instructional Guide, by Joe Varady is well written and easy to follow. The A to Z guidance of Mr. Joe Varady is a clever way to get the beginner/ advanced trainees to familiarize with the basic staff techniques, of which can be adapted to any fighting style, through simple drills for one and two-persons prior to progress more advanced exercises. Mr. Varady provided step-by-step instructions at each level in such a way that I felt like I actually had a real instructor by my side. His practical and easy-to-build training equipments are another bonus for those who want to enhance their skills with/without the training partner(s) and not to spend too much money. Not only that, his staff fighting skills can be adapted to use with simple household items like brooms, walking canes, etc. Overall, I enjoy his instructional staff training guide very much. It is definitely a must-have book for anyone from newbies who just want to learn self defense to trained martial artists to refine and enhance their skills.
TGMaples More than 1 year ago
Joe Varady’s The Art and Science of Staff Fighting takes a practical training manual approach to his subject. The book is divided into 9 sections from basics through expert level (use of the spear). He starts with an exposition of centerline theory and division of target areas for striking, much of which seems to be derived from Wing Chun and fencing, as well as a multitude of types of strikes leading into combinations. There are lessons on different grips and how to use them to your advantage in combat and there are sections devoted to defensive tactics and blocking. A workout schedule is given at the end of each section, so you can practice what you’ve learned. Throughout the book there are photos and excerpts from old staff fighting books, mostly from Europe. Mr. Varady frequently shows how to make your own training equipment to save a bit of cash. The strength of this book is found in its practicality. There is not a lot of fluff here; he simply gets on with a systematic method of training and advancement through the levels. That being said, what was missing for me was any explanation of the spiritual aspect of learning the staff. There is not much about breathing, chi, or the way this type of martial art fits into disciplining the practitioner. There is an appendix which relates the physics end of the art, but not much on the metaphysical other than a few inspirational quotes. All in all, I would recommend this book for anyone interested in adding staff training to their martial arts repertoire. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest revue.
19347593 More than 1 year ago
Combining the best of Eastern & Western Styles of staff combat. In his book The Art and Science of Staff Fighting the author presents a diverse system of staff fighting that is applicable to any style of martial art. Any martial artist can learn something from this book whether or not you are a beginner or seasoned practitioner. The training is broken down into nine levels from Beginner to Advanced including levels involving barehand against staff, multiple opponents, and even a level introducing The Way of the Spear. Each level includes techniques, footwork, training tips and equipment, fighting strategies and a suggested workout using what is covered in that level. In my opinion this book is a must have in any martial artist’s library.
C_Ing More than 1 year ago
Well-organized and thorough. The concepts and techniques of Varady’s system are organized into a logical and easily digestible progression, effectively blending Eastern and Western methods. Each level in this system is detailed with ample photos/illustrations, applications, as well as suggestions for training and practice. Beneficial for everyone regardless of style or experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“The Art and Science of Staff Fighting” by Sensei Joe Varady is a well-written, well executed and ultimately highly practical and pragmatic guide to the use of the staff, and ultimately improvised impact weapons which provide the reach and potential blunt trauma potential of this family of tools and everyday objects. While most of the book’s focus is on what appears to be wielding of the single staff in the 5 to 6 feet range common across many arts, the principles explained and taught are easily transferrable to shorter staffs/fighting sticks if one truly understands them, and even to the longer-length poles encountered in Southern Kung Fu such as Wing Chun, Hung Gar and others. I will state up front that learning from a book, or even a video, has its challenges, particularly for the less experienced, as without a knowledgeable instructor to provide guidance and corrections, there’s simply no assurance that techniques are necessarily being learned correctly. For the more experienced and capable martial arts practitioner, with a solid grounding in biomechanics and an understanding of how the body functions under stress (where fine motor skills deteriorate, rendering many flashy or overly complex techniques problematic and prone to failure), it is more plausible to learn without an instructor being present. In part, some of the potential limitations above are addressed by the fact that the book, while providing instruction in technique, actually has a strong emphasis on teaching principles which when learned properly, can be applied broadly and are far more adaptable than rigid techniques designed for very specific applications. As a long-time practitioner who shares Sensei Varady’s apparent view that one can gleam insights from different styles and systems, I certainly appreciate his search for finding what works, and what makes sense based on realistic and practical applications, as opposed to rigid adherence to any particular lineage’s forms or dogma, which I too believe makes for a more well-rounded and capable fighter. This is reinforced by his use of a famous Bruce Lee quote at the end of the recommended reading lists, which reads, “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” The book is very logically organized 9 “levels” which build upon the user’s skills and understanding of fundamental principles explained along the way, with skillful use of diagrams and pictures, which while still being limited to being static images, still manage to convey important information about direction and movement. There are a number of innovative ideas for training drills and equipment, and Sensei Varady is not shy about proper use of sparring (with appropriate protective gear) to develop and test one’s skills. Clearly he is not a believer that a martial artist can truly learn to fight by doing drills with empty air or sticking to heavily choreographed solo or partner forms, a believe that I personally share wholeheartedly. His choice of “art and science” to describe his approach is spot on, as principles based on universal truths by definition need to have a groundwork in “science,” while the “art” is expressed in the personal manifestation and expression of technique. This book is another high-quality publication from YMAA, a well-researched and thought out guide from Sensei Varady, and a great addition to the knowledgebase of both beginning and experienced martial artists alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic teaching tool for all levels. The writing is easily understandable to those who are beginners, but also thorough for those of a higher level. The book covers vast principles of the art of staff fighting. This book also covers all situations that a staff fighter would need to know. The images captured in the book also add to the learning experience. The book is completely worth the buy and the read!
Mphilliber More than 1 year ago
Most martial art streams teach some form of staff fighting and forms. Sometimes there’s rationale given, and at other times it’s simply, “Do this and make it look good.” The value of learning the staff varies from school to school. Joe Varady, award winning martial artists, instructor and accomplished author, has pulled together this 203 page softback manual, “The Art and Science of Staff Fighting: A Complete Instructional Guide” to strengthen the ability of the karateka. It is a how-to handbook that covers bo staff, quarter staff, disarming techniques, and unarmed-against-a-staff. “The Art and Science of Staff Fighting” takes the learner through nine progressive levels of staff training, beginning with the fundamentals and traveling all the way to the use of a spear, because a spear “is simply a staff equipped with a power multiplier” (159). Clear pictures, directional arrows, stance and foot-placement diagrams, and explanations are all useful and lucid. At the end of six of the chapters are suggested workout regimens to help hone learned skills. There are also plans for building training equipment at home that can have uses beyond staff training. This is truly a how-to book! The explanations are meant to give the kind of logic a trainee needs to have to become expert in staff fighting. The science (specifically, physics) of using the staff is lined out in bits and pieces from chapter to chapter, and then fully explained in the first appendix penned by Chris Hall. The artfulness is quickly obvious as Varady explains the “why” and “wherefore” of each level. The detail of the material is solid, but not dense. For example, as the author is explaining the importance of targeting, he notes that there are two types of staff strikes, distraction and disablement. Also, the purpose of the strikes is either structural attacks, nerve attacks or a combination of both (25). Without wearing down the reader, Varady explains his point, illustrates it, and then moves to the next level. The book moves at a nice, steady pace. “The Art and Science of Staff Fighting” is an easy-to-approach, easy-to-use guide, valuable for both instructors and learners. This would make a great addition to a lending library in any martial art school, as well as a good supplement to a personal collection. I highly recommend the book. Thanks YMAA Publication Center for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “The Art and Science of Staff Training” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).
MarkBrandenburg More than 1 year ago
The Art and Science of Staff Fighting is one of the most complete and well laid out training guides I have read! If you train with the staff or want to learn, this book should be considered required reading and added to your library! Joe Varady is one of the most passionate martial artists I have ever met. Spend a minute training with him and his passion for the martial arts is immediately apparent. He has a gift for teaching; he presents material in a very clear and easy to understand way and his enthusiasm is contagious. Joe's passion and enthusiasm on the training floor made the transition to printed form in this fantastic training manual. Joe extensively researched the topic of staff fighting which is evident throughout his book. He includes history of staff use through time and across different cultures. Furthermore, he goes beyond simply trying to explain how to perform a technique; he describes the physics behind the technique to help the reader understand the broader principles needed for mastery of the staff. The addition of history and science provides the reader with a solid foundation for a deeper understanding of staff fighting. Overall the book's layout is exceptional. The chapters (levels) represent increasing levels of difficulty. The numerous photos and illustrations clearly illustrate the topic being discussed. Each of the first 6 chapters end with an excellent workout specifically focused on the subject of that chapter. Throughout the book he identifies training equipment designed to work a specific technique. He provides detailed descriptions on how to make the majority of them yourself. The Art and Science of Staff Fighting is divided into 9 levels, from beginner to expert. Level 1 introduces fundamentals of the staff, and basic blocking, striking, and footwork. Levels 2 and 3 discuss middle grip, double strikes, disarms, and training equipment. Levels 4 and 5 discuss extended grips, snap strikes, thrusting, fencing-style techniques (cutover, beat, change of engagement), and additional training equipment. Level 6 gets serious and fun--combat where you will learn to make padded weapons and get fighting! In Level 7 and 8 Joe provides expert and master level ideas, including advanced guards, close combat, ground work, multiple attackers, and empty hand defense against armed opponents. Level 9 discusses a relative of the staff, the spear, it's similarities and differences, and techniques to incorporate into your training regimen. This book really is a complete instructional guide to the staff. I always look forward to training with Joe each year at the Cuong Nhu International Annual Training Camp and when other opportunities arise. - Mark Brandenburg, Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts 3rd degree black belt, Co-Head Instructor of Kim Hiep Si Dojo, University of Central Florida, Orlando.