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  • eye damage

    Some of my fellow kenshi have told me horror stories about splinters from shinai coming between the bars in the men-gane and causing serious eye-damage.

    Such kenshi wear clear plastic eye protectors behind the men-gane or Hasegawa Mujun men.

    Can anyone corroborate these tales? True stories? In all my years of practice, I've never seen anything like it, nor met someone who had been blinded/suffered vision loss from a shinai/chuk-do splinter.

  • #2
    I' worry about it from time to time, when serving as motodachi for beginners. Often they don't know how to care about their shinai, and frequently fragments would fly in my face after those Scorpion King-esque men blows.

    I've been thinking about getting a mujun men or a shield, but so far I've decided to take the risks.

    Since we're talking bout it, Hyaku, can you get me a quote on a Mujun Men?

    Cheers,

    Alex

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    • #3
      I put eye shield in the MEN of my kid for futher protection of the eyes and I start wearing Glass in the MEN for both protection and for a more clear view.

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      • #4
        Shinai maintenance is important as is the sakigawa length which should be minimum 50mm.

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        • #5
          I do know someone who had one of these nasty injuries. Even working with bamboo and getting it under the skin is nasty. It goes septic in no time at all.

          Hyaku

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          • #6
            I heard that a sensei from mexico was killed when someone with an improperly maintanenced shinai hit him and it split through the men-gane. I think it was because the little metal piece at the hilt of the shinai wasn't there and so it slid out and went right through his eye....

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            • #7
              I've had a friend get a small splinter in his eye from his opponenet's shinai. His eye swelled up very quickly, but the doctor couldn't find anything at all until his second visit the same day, when he got a high powered lens out and found a very small sliver of bamboo.

              Luckily his vision was not impaired, but it very well could have been.

              Alex, do you check beginnners' shinai before or while you train with them? They'll learn pretty quickly when you refuse to train with them until they sort their shinai out.

              Hamish

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              • #8
                Hamish

                From time to time I walk among them telling them to take off the shipping cords of the shinai, to check for splintering, etc, but the fact is that most of the time there's no opportunity for these procedures. Many of my shodan colleagues also know that their shinai is letting go of splints but do nothing about it, so it's not strange that beginners do the same.

                Shinai is quite expensive in Brazil since they have to be imported with 60% taxes, so they only stop using the one they own when it breaks. That's why I'm planning to buy a new men or a plastic shield, but both look horrible

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                • #9
                  Somw of my seniors told me that the eye protector (fits in the men) actually interferes with breathing.

                  A senior said when he first tried it he could feel the air coming from the top and bottom of the plastic eye protector. When he removed it the difference was "amazing" he said.

                  I actually wear sports goggles( yes like a fighter pilot) so the splinters aren't a problem.


                  Meng

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                  • #10
                    I never thought much about poorly maintained shinai until just last weekend. During practice with a much higher ranked partner, his shinai cut right through my tsura an my shinai quickly fell apart. Upon examination of his shinai I saw that it was badly splintered and cracked and and it was this split side that cleanly cut through my tsura. As far as I'm concernded, it is now pretty apparent why people warn that poorly maintened shinais are dangerous. Thank goodness it wasn't something like my eye.

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                    • #11
                      Re: eye damage

                      Originally posted by Achilles
                      Some of my fellow kenshi have told me horror stories about splinters from shinai coming between the bars in the men-gane and causing serious eye-damage.

                      Can anyone corroborate these tales?
                      Back to the original post... I can't corroborate a story of splinters, but i can recommend that you spend time CLEANING THE FLOOR, and the inside of your men. My budokan is very dirty. I clean the floor, but it doesn't help, people walk outside with bare feet, then come inside, without wiping them. It's really nasty.

                      Shortly after starting kendou, I contracted a mysterious eye illness, which was of course, improperly treated by japanese doctors, and it instead developed complications and turned into uveitis. I've had it for 10 months now, and it does get noticeably worse when the budokan floor is extremely dirty. the dirt is stirred up and gets inside my men, making my eyes worse.

                      if i can pass one useful piece of information on to everyone else, it would be: clean the floor. i'll never see properly again in my life, because of a bloody dirty floor and poor medical care too.


                      c

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                      • #12
                        Confound, do you have to slag off people in every post?. It's getting a little tiresome.

                        Jakob

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                        • #13
                          Well, thank goodness that the stories have yet to be corroborated...

                          However, I remember a vivid demonstration by one of my sensei of this precise danger. It was during a break in keiko when he was talking to us about shinai maintenance -- he took an el cheapo shinai, broke it just so that there were these long, menacing looking splinters... Then he demonstrated (in slow motion and safely, of course) how the splints could travel through a men gane (on a kohai, phew!)...

                          Suffice to say that the only way to make sure you will never corroborate this story in your own dojo is to inculcate a sense of care for equipment... Admittedly it's hard to do, what with busy lives and just plain laziness(!), but I try to periodically remind people to check their shinai after keiko, especially (1) for beginners when they start hitting a motodachi, (2) after a particularly hard keiko, and (3) during the winter months (here in the Northeast US, the air gets pretty dry).

                          After all, it's out of consideration for others, isn't it?

                          As to protective equipment, Hasegawa just recently (well, in the past couple years) got their visor men design approved for use in tournaments. It's been advertised in "Kendo Jidai" pretty regularly since -- basically, the men gane has a little plastic window cut into it where the rungs would normally be a little wider . Unfortunately, I haven't seen this item carried by any kendo e-tailer.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JSchmidt
                            Confound, do you have to slag off people in every post?. It's getting a little tiresome.

                            Jakob
                            YOU <insert word i'm going to leave out>!

                            I am not slagging anyone! I'm trying to pass on a piece of advice, so that NO ONE ELSE gets an incurable disease. Having this particular illness is easily prevented, and i wouldn't want anyone else to get it! Thus, seeing that someone had a post on eye problems, I thought I would pass along some information.

                            However, if you would ENJOY getting uevitis, and ENJOY having the possibility of going blind before you turn 40 (i am only 22 now), then please, ignore my well-intentioned post.

                            c

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                            • #15
                              Confound has the right name...

                              Originally posted by Confound


                              YOU <insert word i'm going to leave out>!

                              I am not slagging anyone! c

                              Errr...for the record, yes you are....

                              "a mysterious eye illness, which was of course, improperly treated by japanese doctors"

                              ...therefore all Japanese doctors are incompetant. You are a little fond of sweeping, negative generalisations ("what a sorry lot you all are"), and then you always say "I'm not negative!!"......

                              Jakob - maybe she just likes to keep us typing....

                              <never-the-less, rei>

                              Dave

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