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Shinai / Year

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  • Shinai / Year


    Quick question: how many shinai do you use per year? One, two, more? I was wondering about the pros-and-cons of carbon shinai.


    Alex Polli

  • #2
    I heard that when carbon shinai go they explode was the word my sensei used,
    and you can not replace parts like bamboo shinai,
    but I am still using my first shinai only thing that has gone on it are nakayui and the strap on the tsukagawa but I do have several shinai which I interchange between,
    sounds good that I am still on my first but I have only been doing kendo 7month it would interesting to see how shinai people use in a year but in comparison to the price 10-11 bamboo shinai for 1 carbon I think I would go for the bamboo plus I am sad I like cleaning and oiling my shinai


    • #3
      I have personally used both carbon fiber (Hasegawa) and bamboo shinai. I bought the carbon fiber because of its longevity, but now that I've been training for awhile (6 years), I personally like the feel of bamboo shinai. I still use my carbon as a back up, but I usually can get at least a year out of a bamboo shinai. You can also save the good staves from broken shinai to fit together a new one, but be careful the bamboo doesn't always match up.

      Jon Csensits


      • #4
        It was about 20 years ago that Hasegawa introduced these things. The marketing ploy at that time was the fact that they lasted longer.

        A friend of mine went straight out and ordered one. They initially had problems. Being carbon fibre sandwiched in plastic the sandwich started to spit. I thought they had ironed (forgive the pun) the problem out?

        Personaly I don't like the balance or feel of them. A plastic weapon seems alien to me.

        Worst of all they damage! I bought a nice dark red Do. So dark it was almost black and the sunlight reflected the colour.

        After one session in the dojo with two or three of the members using these my Do was badly marked. If you hit someone with these it will decidedly hurt more compared with take.

        At first they were not allowed in Shia either

        In buying one please spare a thought for the person on the receiving end!

        A good shinai if kept well that does not dry out should last you a very long time. If used badly such as catching the top of the mengane it wont last a session.



        • #5
          2 shinai/year

          I used to run about 2 shinai a year - causing me to buy cheap Taiwanese shinai to help the hip pocket.

          Then I went out and bought a Hasegawa CF39M for 22,000 yen. The thing's lasted a while, and gives no sign of breaking any time soon. Thus it's great for general/everyday keiko.

          I have a Japanese bamboo shinai in reserve that I use every now and then in training. It's the one I use in shiai.

          The Hasegawa's good for durability, but it is much more flexible and that translates through the strike. Bamboo's more rigid (natch) and you can REALLY tell the difference between the two. I tried switching shinai in the middle of one session from bamboo to carbon... yes - bamboo much preferred if I could afford the ongoing cost.

          Plus the Hasegawa's got this nasty clacking sound that makes it sound loose and like it's not assembled properly. Hence why I don't use it in shiai.

          As for them breaking; one or two take might snap, perhaps violently as they do flex a lot more, but you can, like with other shinai, switch out take when one breaks. Of course, you have to shell out another 20,000 yen to get a whole one, and use your older one for parts... ^_^
          Last edited by damocles; 27th April 2002, 12:59 PM.


          • #6
            A bamboo shinai lasts me for about two or three months. I have got a carbon shinai too, but I do not like it very much so I ment to use the bamboo.



            • #7
              I use one shinai for tree yaears.How I can use more then one per tree years????It is CARBON-GRAFITE!!!


              • #8
                Hi all

                A week ago I had the opportunity to practice with member from the Brazilian team who fought the last WC. Some of them use carbon because they got them as a gift, since they can't afford to buy bamboo shinai in a regular basis.

                Not one of them seemed to like it for anything besides hard practice. And I realized that, as mr. Hyaku said, they damage. My do had no scratches before that and now it has one deep scratch in each side, caused by their carbon shinai in endless sessions of Do kirikaeshi.

                So, I'm not going for this stuff.

                Thanks a lot

                Alex Polli


                • #9
                  Hi all

                  I have been learning kendo for the pass 5 months, currently go kyu and my brother have been doing kendo for the almost 3 years now, currently a shodan... I am also a kendo supplier for Meblourne.
                  From what I know, most people would perfer the bamboo shinais is because of the feel and that it's much cheaper. Yes it is true that Carbon last longer but if people know how to and how often they should do maintance on their bamboo shinais, it should last quite long.
                  Personally, I think Bamboo shinais are much better, especially during shiai. But I could be wrong.
                  Anyway good luck guys with the hunt...


                  • #10
                    I find the majority of my seniors use the carbon shinais because of durabilityin training. The good bamboo shinais get a hammering when beginners practice cuts like men or kirikaeshi.

                    I used to shudder as each biginner hit out with all his strength at the shinai...


                    • #11
                      Tyoically, moat prefer the traditional bamboo shinai, as it is the classic version. It is also comparativley lighter.


                      • #12
                        Hard to say. I think maybe I buy two new bamboo each year, but during the course of the year I probably remake another four shinais about six to ten times from old parts. BTW I've been really disappointed with Tozando's shinais. Not for balance or weight but longevity. The tokusei-tozan and zen shinais I've bought have all had slats break (in half) in less than four months. I've had much longer use out of Taiwanese shinais which are the staple at my club for general use because of price and availability.


                        • #13

                          Being a mere beginner, I am still on my second shinai.
                          The first one lasted over six months(not quite ten months, really). It might have lasted longer except that the rubber thingy between the staves broke. Without the thingy's cushioning effect, the bamboo split not too long after.
                          Even though I didn't start to actually hit things with my shinai for two months(swinging, stepping, seeing myself in the mirror), I sort of figured that I could get through a year with a maximum of two shinais.
                          Moreover, all of the seniors at my dojo who have carbon shinai use them solely for solo practice. Hence, I feel that getting a carbon shinai would be a gross overspending on my part.

                          Now the question...
                          I use a practice shinai that cost me less than 20 dollars. But I see these really gorgeous looking shinais that cost 70, 80, 90 dollars or more. What's the difference? Are they worth the additional cost?
                          Anybody who's used them, please let me know. Thanks!


                          • #14
                            Hi there Keith

                            Good question there you have!

                            I use a practice shinai that cost me less than 20 dollars. But I see these really gorgeous looking shinais that cost 70, 80, 90 dollars or more. What's the difference? Are they worth the additional cost?

                            There is a difference in those shinai. Practice shinais usually cost much cheaper (should say, they are the cheapest) is because they are made by a lower grade bamboo. Also, this counts for the weight of the shinai (if you take notice, some shinais are quite light compare to practice shinais - many seniors I know uses the lighter shinai for shiai use. This is becasue its gives them a slighter increase in their speed). Another is the type of bambaoo it's made from. Also the most important, the balance weight on the shinai (this means knowing if it's heavier at the front of the shinai or the back). Usually, the increase of cost is more to do with the balance on the shinais, becasue balance of the shinai gives you a greater control with the shinai. The best wieght balance would be in the center of the shinai.

                            My sensai has a shinai which was given by a 8th dan sensai when a whole group of 7th and 8th dan sensais came down to watch and help Judge the Australian National Championship.... and man was that shinai so light and well balanced. It was like no matter which part of the shinai you hold, you cant even feel any heaviness in the shinai.
                            And guess what.... I did some reseach on the shinai, and it turned out that shinai was a very rare shinai and only a hand full was ever made. Each shinai cost over $300. That shinai was made by the most well known shinai maker in Japan.

                            Anyway.. enough of me going blah blah blah....
                            I hope that answers your question
                            Happy training my follow kendokas



                            • #15
                              Oh yeah Ben

                              How are ya? Forgot to ask you. Do you want to have a look at catalogue? If so I can give it to Chiaki so she can pass it on to you and you can have a look at the things you might want to get.
                              She wants to have a look at the catalogue herself becasue she needs to order for the club.