Whether you call it a stick, a staff or a cudgel, it is simply a long, thin piece of wood of varying length. With the introduction of metal, a wooden staff may appear redundant in the martial culture. Yet, it is this very aspect which makes it and its practice so enduring throughout human history.
First of all, unless he is a warmonger, an average man would not carry any weapon - especially in times of peace. However, dangers can come at any time. And in these instances, a stick or staff is often the most accessible weapon.
Secondly, a staff is non-threatening in comparison. In Chinese culture, the staff is often associated with Buddhist monks. A peaceful yet practical weapon for self-defence.
There are many schools and systems for the staff. For our Association, we follow the Shaolin tradition.