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  • Shinai Grip Length, Shops

    Hey there,
    I have always wanted to shorten the grip length on normal shinai because it fits my hands/arms better. I know how to cut the leather part and then stitch it back together but when I tried it, it always ended in a mess due to my complete lack of skill in sewing etc.
    So, I found the custom shinai from Miyako Kendo offers a shorter grip length. I am probably going to buy that but wonder if anybody knows of a European based shop that has short grips or at least short leather parts to use for normal length shinai?
    Regards

  • #2
    Check with nine circles.

    Comment


    • #3
      Pretty much any online vendor should be able to get you a smaller tsukagawa fitted in. Please note that the "short grip" on the custom workshop shinai refers not only to the leather tsukagawa, but the actual bamboo cut and taper.

      You can also, instead of cutting and sweing, simply fold the open end of the tsukagawa. I do this to all my shinai (my tsukagawa length is just under a normal 37)

      Comment


      • #4
        This is a good point and trap for the unwary, such as me.

        Like the OP, I felt like the tsukagawa was a little too long for me on a standard 39, so I ordered a couple practice shinais in size 39 but with 38 and 37 tsukagawas. This seemed like a fine idea except for a few things:

        1. The balance is off. I'm not expert enough to say how, but it felt weird. Not just front heavy. Weird.
        2. It makes the grip a little thinner than I would have wanted or am used to.
        3. I had to stop using the 38 because the tsukagawa didn't come up high enough on the "fat" part of the bamboo, so the other night during keiko the tsuru kept jamming inside the slats because the spacing was not staying tight enough on the lower part.

        1 and 2 I could learn to deal with, but 3 is a deal breaker for me. I am thinking I should try a 38 instead of a 39 with a 38 tsukagawa, but more likely I'll just go back to the usual 39s.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
          3. I had to stop using the 38 because the tsukagawa didn't come up high enough on the "fat" part of the bamboo, so the other night during keiko the tsuru kept jamming inside the slats because the spacing was not staying tight enough on the lower part.
          Not sure if this will help or not but this usually happens when the tsuru is too lose, or the bamboo has separated too much. The first one is obviously an issue but just recently I saw our sensei tell a visitor that the stays had separated too much and not to use it. I have old shinai and never thought this was an issue but I can see the problem. Also I use a 37 tsukagawa for what its worth.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Toecutter View Post
            Not sure if this will help or not but this usually happens when the tsuru is too lose, or the bamboo has separated too much. The first one is obviously an issue but just recently I saw our sensei tell a visitor that the stays had separated too much and not to use it. I have old shinai and never thought this was an issue but I can see the problem. Also I use a 37 tsukagawa for what its worth.
            Thanks. That may be it. Although I can't remember it happening with regular 39s that are no less tight. And the shinai is practically new so I don't think it's age. Maybe I can figure something else out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lloromannic View Post
              You can also, instead of cutting and sweing, simply fold the open end of the tsukagawa. I do this to all my shinai (my tsukagawa length is just under a normal 37)
              What is the distance from end of tsubadome to tsuka-gashira? I say end of tsubadome because the tsuka length can still vary depending on your tsuba/tsubadome combo.

              I was doing 28.5 cm for a while...I'm experimenting with going back up to 30cm.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
                3. I had to stop using the 38 because the tsukagawa didn't come up high enough on the "fat" part of the bamboo, so the other night during keiko the tsuru kept jamming inside the slats because the spacing was not staying tight enough on the lower part.
                Hmm...usually, that problem can be fixed by shortening the location of that place on the tsuru where you do the final looping. Most vendors put that little leather loop (or tsuru loop) in the middle of the shinai section betwen the largest and the next one up. I simply move it down to like 3/4.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DCPan View Post
                  Hmm...usually, that problem can be fixed by shortening the location of that place on the tsuru where you do the final looping. Most vendors put that little leather loop (or tsuru loop) in the middle of the shinai section betwen the largest and the next one up. I simply move it down to like 3/4.
                  Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not following how that helps. Why does shortening the looping help? Wouldn't that make it less stable and more likely to slip between the fat part of the slats? Do you mean merely sliding the little leather stopper farther down towards the tsukagawa helps?

                  Hm. I'll try that tonight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DCPan View Post
                    What is the distance from end of tsubadome to tsuka-gashira? I say end of tsubadome because the tsuka length can still vary depending on your tsuba/tsubadome combo.

                    I was doing 28.5 cm for a while...I'm experimenting with going back up to 30cm.
                    Hi David, I just measured and the 4 shinai I have are

                    26 cm Koto shinai I got from a visiting sensei, has the weirdest tsukagawa I have ever seen
                    27 cm Standard emudo cheapo shinai (my favourite, available in NA, cheapo shinai)
                    29 cm frankenshinai made from 3 different ones
                    30cm Really weird shinai I got from ebogu 3 years ago (!). I ordered three cheapos and got two and this one. It bears no markings and weighs just above 610 grams. Only used for suburi, kirikaeshi and kihon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
                      Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not following how that helps. Why does shortening the looping help? Wouldn't that make it less stable and more likely to slip between the fat part of the slats? Do you mean merely sliding the little leather stopper farther down towards the tsukagawa helps?

                      Hm. I'll try that tonight.
                      Ha ha, I could make up a reason...I don't know why, it just works for me through empirical experience.

                      And yes, mearly sliding the little leather stopper farther down toward the tsukagawa helps, at least for me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lloromannic View Post
                        Hi David, I just measured and the 4 shinai I have are

                        26 cm Koto shinai I got from a visiting sensei, has the weirdest tsukagawa I have ever seen
                        27 cm Standard emudo cheapo shinai (my favourite, available in NA, cheapo shinai)
                        29 cm frankenshinai made from 3 different ones
                        30cm Really weird shinai I got from ebogu 3 years ago (!). I ordered three cheapos and got two and this one. It bears no markings and weighs just above 610 grams. Only used for suburi, kirikaeshi and kihon.
                        So, you like the 27cm length the most? For me, 28.5 cm is exactly three grip width for me, and by grip width, I mean by how I normally grip shinai, not baseball grip.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, it depends what I am using it for!
                          The 27 cm one is an overall favourite and is te reason I started using extra short tsukagawa in the first place. Using it immediatly helped correct the over-cranking on my right arm and improved all my big cuts. It is a custom made shinai and tsukagawa however (the sensei I received it from owns a bogu shop).

                          The 28 cm one is my favourite kind of cheap shinai, as it is a normal-towards-dobari shinai, the balance is definitely affected and it is not as easy to execute oji or nidan-waza as the centre of gravity is moved away from the hands and there is less leverage with the hands. This has helped me get a firmer strike with more tenouchi and when I go use a shinai with a longer tsukagawa (28-30 cm) I can use it with complete ease.

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