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  • Shinai lifespan

    Dear fellow kendoka,

    Got a couple of shinais in the last few months. I payed 30 euro's a piece (for 2 of them) and i ordered a new one last week (at e-bogu, the "obaru koban gata" oval grip dobari) which was 65$ (about the same in euros). The first one i got splintered already after the first few hits. The second one I have been training with for 3 months now and i had to sand it after every training. Due to this, one of the parts is 1/3th smaller and I will stop using it after my new arrives (it just bashes into splinters). A bit strange that these things last so short espec since some people on this forum use them for a year (1 training a season?), hope the more expensive one lasts longer. Anyone with the same experience? Are the 30-40 euro/$ ones just poor quality and are the 65$ ones a lot better or has it something to do with my technique (as far as possible, my sensei expects me to hit men's a lot and so i do).

    Isn't it time for titanium shinai's ?

    Regards,

    Louis

  • #2
    Titanium? no But there are Carbon Fiber Shinai's.

    Comment


    • #3
      Titanium

      I know, it was a joke. I wouldnt recomend titanium on a bamboo do or an aloy mengane. Can imagine it hurts being hit by one of them. Wouldnt use a shinken for kendo practice neither (unless im the only one )

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by louisvandalen
        Dear fellow kendoka,

        Got a couple of shinais in the last few months. I payed 30 euro's a piece (for 2 of them) and i ordered a new one last week (at e-bogu, the "obaru koban gata" oval grip dobari) which was 65$ (about the same in euros). The first one i got splintered already after the first few hits. The second one I have been training with for 3 months now and i had to sand it after every training. Due to this, one of the parts is 1/3th smaller and I will stop using it after my new arrives (it just bashes into splinters). A bit strange that these things last so short espec since some people on this forum use them for a year (1 training a season?), hope the more expensive one lasts longer. Anyone with the same experience? Are the 30-40 euro/$ ones just poor quality and are the 65$ ones a lot better or has it something to do with my technique (as far as possible, my sensei expects me to hit men's a lot and so i do).

        Isn't it time for titanium shinai's ?

        Regards,

        Louis
        I don't know how long you've been doing kendo but a shinai that breaks easily might not be a bad shinai at all. You might want to adjust your tenouchi and take the power out of your right hand. Relax those wrists!

        Titanium?? Well I don't think that will happen. But you might want to think about going to a carbon shinai. There are plenty of threads about carbon shinais on this forum.

        Take care,

        Comment


        • #5
          i use 15$ shinais complete with leater. they last me about 3 month. and i train hard! looks like you hit wrong way

          Comment


          • #6
            tenouchi

            I looked up the tenouchi part and i suppose that's the problem. Found an article on http://www.geocities.com/westsideken...g/tenouchi.htm explaining what it exactly means (my japanese sucks). I had fellow kendokas complaining about the force i use when striking but i find it very hard to apply a soft touch. Ill try the "newspaper exercise" that is offered on the page. Hope this will solve the problem (and protect my team mates a bit better). However i still think it's very hard to apply the right force, i'm only 180cm but pretty strong so my muscles are rather short (as to long and flexible). Hope i can still turn this arround and become the gracefull kendoka instead of the hulk with a bamboo sprout (no i aint green).

            On the other hand, we have no proper supply shops and all shinai's i get have to be ordered (which costs additionaly). The shinai's are probably 15$ when you can get them from a store in town (and an additional 15$ for shipping). So the 3 month lifespan is rather normal.

            Think i'll stick to the cheaper ones (if there is no difference). Still wonder how some shinai's last a year when training properly.

            Comment


            • #7
              i mean 15$ shinai, that fly about 15 000 km to me by air and costs me 20$ after all.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by louisvandalen
                I looked up the tenouchi part and i suppose that's the problem. Found an article on http://www.geocities.com/westsideken...g/tenouchi.htm explaining what it exactly means (my japanese sucks). I had fellow kendokas complaining about the force i use when striking but i find it very hard to apply a soft touch. Ill try the "newspaper exercise" that is offered on the page. Hope this will solve the problem (and protect my team mates a bit better). However i still think it's very hard to apply the right force, i'm only 180cm but pretty strong so my muscles are rather short (as to long and flexible). Hope i can still turn this arround and become the gracefull kendoka instead of the hulk with a bamboo sprout (no i aint green).

                On the other hand, we have no proper supply shops and all shinai's i get have to be ordered (which costs additionaly). The shinai's are probably 15$ when you can get them from a store in town (and an additional 15$ for shipping). So the 3 month lifespan is rather normal.

                Think i'll stick to the cheaper ones (if there is no difference). Still wonder how some shinai's last a year when training properly.

                Good on you! I'm glad you found some answers. Work on that and probably you'll see some better results and a more cash-filled wallet!
                Good luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  You probably already do this, but if not you should make sure to oil shinais before using them, especialyl if they are new. There are plenty of techniques discussed on the forum so a search will yield quick results. If you can't find any let me know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think that a strict maintenance routine helps too. I have been using my cheap $25 shinai for about 6 months now, with no problems. Every practice I check for splinters. Every other practice I give her a healthy dose of oil. Last weekend was the first time I had to completely take my shinai apart. A small splinter had formed on the middle portion of the Datotsu bu. With a little bit of love (i.e. gentle strokes with a file and sand paper) she is now primed and ready for practice.

                    Not to say that she wont break soon but hopefully my attention will allow for at least another 6 months of use.

                    Leon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wait wait wait, don't you need to take it entirely apart to oil it? I do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, you should take the shinai apart and oil the slats.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Take apart shinai and oil it first

                          Originally posted by Sentunim
                          Wait wait wait, don't you need to take it entirely apart to oil it? I do.
                          I agree otherwise you'll only end up with a nice finish and by taking apart the shinai you can rub the oil in better. Remember that most shinais shouldn't be used when you first get them. They'll be quite dry since the bamboo has been left to dry for about a year, so "feed" your shinai first before use or else it'll crack easily, especially if you don't do te no uchi

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How many times a week do you practice? How long is each session? Unless you practice everyday, a properly maintained shinai should last a few month at least. A shinai I bought 2 month ago was soaked in vegetable oil for 3 days before I used it for practice and no need to file it yet. Another thing you may want to check is the humidity level in your area. I once met a kendoka who lives in a desert area and he told me that he has to take the shinai apart after every other practice to oil inside and out so that his shinai can last for a few month.

                            Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by louisvandalen
                              I looked up the tenouchi part and i suppose that's the problem. Found an article on http://www.geocities.com/westsideken...g/tenouchi.htm So the 3 month lifespan is rather normal.

                              Think i'll stick to the cheaper ones (if there is no difference). Still wonder how some shinai's last a year when training properly.
                              Good for you to search for answers.. Expensive or Cheap, if you're a clubber, shinai will break. Try to stop ( Tenouchi might be a hard concept yet ) your shinai at the contact point or inch below men ( If your target dissapears, your shinai should stop inch or two below the top of men instead of going all the way down ) that is the proper way to hit and it will also let you be prepared for the next move. I sometimes purposely move my men to teach students to make my points..

                              Center

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