A good staff should be at least four feet and can be as long as you like, but be reasonable with length. If you make the staff too long you lose mobility, and you can't do much with it. When fighting with a staff you mak stab with either end, slash with either end, or do just about anything. Remember: You have TWO ends, not just one. If an enemy blocks a swing with on end, pivot it and swing from the other side. The best way to grip in normal contact when not planning to pull off a special move is grip it from the center. This makes it easy to block or strike with both ends. If you block with any part of the staff, swing the easiest to swing part of the srtaff to try and counter strike. The most important part about staff fighting is IMPROVISE! If you can't improvise, the staff is not for you. You need to be able to think on your fight and find a way to block and counterstrike everything. Not everyone fights the same, so there isn't just one way to fight with a staff.