Bear Stick History

For almost 20 years I studied and worked out three times a week at Aikido. This is a Japanese Martial Art ( the way of unifying with Ki or life force) I like to refer to Aikido as “the gentleman’s martial art.” The theory is to avoid the attack of an opponent by moving with and away from an attack.

One of the most enjoyable parts of Aikido is practicing with several weapons: a wooden knife or Tanto; a wooden sword or Bokken; and most notably a wooden staff or Jo. The Jo is a 48” – 50” wooden staff that is used in various Katas (pre-arranged exercises) against an opponent.

Aikidoka with a Jo

On the left, Morihei Usehiba (O Sensei), the founder of Aikido performs Jo Kata with a student.

When I first started casually hiking about 12 years ago I would take my Jo as a hiking stick. This helped with balance and going up and down hills. I also felt that it could be used as a weapon in case of a bear attack. I soon realized that a simple Jo would be no match for a charging bear. After thinking it through I realized that a Jo with a sharp end could be used to thrust at a bear to keep him away. As they say, the light went on and I devised a Jo (a 48”-50”) doweling with a 7” ardox spike imbedded in the shaft.

Spiked imbedded in the shaft

While hiking the spike is covered by a hollow handle. (see pictures below) This could be used to thrust at a bear – being extremely sharp the spike would stab the bear if he got too close. If there’s more than one hiker with a BEAR STICK the defensive capability is enhanced greatly. Should the bear get too close he’ll be punctured by the spike and may stop the attack i.e. a wounded bear is not a happy or aggressive bear.

Patent Pending, November 2016

Jim ready to defend against a bear attack