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The web page

http://www.silverwolfwushu.com/WeaponsStaff17.html

has links to short YouTube videos showing the same five simple and common moves done with a variety of staffs. With the exception of the lau gar (3 meter or 10 foot pole) and one very old and heavy staff  (wood unknown, alas) all the staffs are about as quick. To be fair, the mylar toothpick staff is fractionally fastest because it is so light. That comes at a price – I have never heard anyone say “Whoa, I am thankful you are not fighting me with a short, round and very light mylar staff instead of that octagonal hickory staff.”

My personal rattan staff needs more sanding and finishing – it does not slide through my hands. That implies that woods that splinter easily or significantly dent will not be the best choice in  a long combat. Note that the staff is symmetric – both ends are the same.

Another aspect to staffs, especially tapered waxwood ones, is spinnability: can you spin the staff so it remains balanced and still delivers a damaging blow [to the opponent].

 

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