Staff in Different Cultures

From Firestaff Tutorials
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list, started out by Ben-ja-men on HOP and Tribe, to catalog some of the diverse styles of 'staff' or long pole-like object manipulation various cultures have come up with. It generally assumes that the object has to be manipulated like a long staff, or like doubles. (Morris dancing or escrima sticks is not really taken into account, since they can't really be liked to staff / double staff.)

Contact Staff

A young 'western' style of spinning, related to contact juggling and influenced by the juggling community. (At least in Britain.)

Baton Twirling

A slightly older form of spinning. Using short metal 'baton's and heavily based on competition. Incorporates lots of contact, gymnastics, fast precise twirling and throws and very high throws. From 1 to four batons can be used. (Not five just yet.)

Chinese Fei Cha

A Chinese form of spinning / contact. Comes from the Beijing / Chinese opera tradition. Done with tridents traditionally. All based on rolling. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Rifle Twirling

Obviously heavily militaristic. Generally based on the spinning and throwing of just one rifle.

Egyptian Cane dance

I don't know much about this, other than it's a male Egyptian dance involving one or two medium length sticks.

Samoan Fire Knife

Samoan Fire Knife is a warrior dance used to display skill in combat. The knife is very heavy, and is spun very fast, with high and technical throws and catches, there is also a lot of 'performance' elements to show warrior spirit. The knife dance is very old, but the fire a relatively new element. 1 - 4 knifes can be twirled. Recently women have also started competing.

Tai Chi

A martial art form of staff manipulation. Thou generally they use spears.


Another martial art, this time a display martial art with flips integrated into it.


A black fraternity form of spinning from America. Uses a short cane, with a round hook, which contributes to a unique set of moves. There seems to be an emphasis on integrating spinning with dance, at a relatively fast speed. The cane can also be tapped on the floor in group performances for making rhythms. Two and three canes are sometimes also manipulated in performances. Generally due to the small and lightness of the cane, planes aren't really considered.

Random other stick manipulations: