The above video shows a practice session of the basic kobudo bo drill, Fuso Kumi Bo. I shot the first portion of this video last fall with my son in our backyard. It is easiest and safest to practice kobudo, especially with the Rokushaki Bo (6′ staff), outside where there is plenty of room. Outside you don’t have to worry about hitting walls, ceilings, or items in your home. Just be sure to practice safely, far away from anyone who may wander into your practice area.
In the first part of the video shows I am practicing the defending side of the drill with MJ. In the second part of the video I am demonstrating the attacking side of the drill with a student, Julie, who had recently learned the drill and was promoting.
Fuso Kumi Bo is a two person agreement drill featuring a series of moves from the basic bo form – Kata Fuso. It is useful to practice the moves from the kata in the two person drill in order to work on kamae (fighting posture) maai (distance), sen no sen (timing) and zanshin (awareness). It is also useful to periodically video your practice sessions in order to review your performance and continue to improve. As such, this video is intended as a work in progress snapshot in time rather than as a perfect example. There are a few minor glitches in the video that will be pointed out in the step-by-step breakdown with corrections in my next post.
Fuso Kumi Bo – Freestyle Version
The above video is a special bonus. It shows a performance of Fuso Kumi Bo in a free ranging freestyle approach, rather than the normal linear back and forth from the formal drill. This video was filmed in 2015 at the dojo where we train and teach, The Academy of Traditional Karate. MJ was 15 at the time and being promoted to Joshu Shoban (Jr. Black Belt) in kobudo. He performed Fuso Kumi Bo with his very talented fellow kobudo student Tommy Lee.
Fuso Kumi Bo 2012
The below video shows a demonstration of the basic kobudo bo drill, Fuso Kumi Bo that we performed in 2012. This video was shot when our dojo, The Academy of Traditional Karate, gave a karate and kobudo presentation at our local farmer’s market in Wilmington, MA. In this video I’m demonstrating the attacking side of the drill while MJ demonstrates the defending side.
MJ was only 12 years old at the time and a Yonkyu in kobudo. He had just learned the defending side of the drill and was still perfecting the attacking side. So when we demonstrated the drill he performed the defending side twice rather than us switching attacking/defending sides.
Fuso Kumi Bo Drill Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown
This two person drill goes back and forth with each person attacking at different points. We generally call the person who does the first attack, the attacker, and the person doing the first defense, the defender. So in this practice video I am the defender on the left and MJ is the attacker on the right. After the first attack, the defender goes on offense and drives the attacker backward through the first half of the drill. Then the attacker goes on offense driving the defender back to the original position with a few remaining bursts of offense from the defender along the way.[Note: The photos below are freeze frames from the live action practice video, so they are not as perfect as if they were specifically posed photos for each move.]
Defender Goes on Offense Driving Attacker Backward
After the attacker makes the first strike the defender goes on offense and begins to drive the attack backward through the first half of the drill.
Attacker Goes on Offense Driving Defender Backward
Now the attacker goes back on offense and drives the defender back to the starting position.
Defender Strikes Back with 5-Strike Combination
Defender temporarily strikes back with a 5-strike combination flurry. Down (bo front), Up (bo back, bo front on same side), Down (bo front), Side (back/left), Side (front/right).
Attacker Goes on Offense Again
The attacker goes on offense again and drives the defender back another step.
Defender Strikes Back with 5-Strike Combination
Defender temporarily strikes back with a 5-strike combination flurry. Down (bo front), Up (bo back, bo front on same side), Down (bo front), Side (back/right), Side (front/left).
Attacker Goes Back on Offense Again
The attacker takes the offense gain driving the defender back.
Fuso Kumi Bo PDF Reference Sheet
The following PDF reference sheet is a single condensed page to use as reference while learning and practicing the drill. It is useful to help you remember what all the moves are until they are committed to muscle memory or for review to remember them after returning to the drill if it hasn’t been practiced in a while. I had created this reference sheet when I was first learning the drill myself. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.Fuso-Kumi-Bo-05-11-21
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-Renshi Mike Scaramozzino