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What would be the best bamboo shinai...?

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  • What would be the best bamboo shinai...?

    Just wondering if anyone can recommend me any brand or name of premium quality shinai that people use for shiai.
    I've seen a few expensive shinais at many different bogu shops on internet but found it is bit hard to tell the quality or if it would suit me before I actually hold and feel them.
    I'm sure they last longer and balance better as they use a certain type of bamboo but what are the things I should look at to be able to tell the quality difference between good bamboo or bad bamboo? And how would you usually measure if the shinai has the good balance? Thanks for your kind reply in advance.

  • #2
    Hello Taek!

    First i'd like to ask you your grade in kendo, or how long are you training?

    Then, i can give you some good advices!

    Tnk's

    deco

    Comment


    • #3
      u normally cant tell how good the bamboo is unless you are testing/feeling it in an actual shop, but i guess the respectable brands are ok...

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the quick reply. Well, I used to be shodan but hadn't palyed for many years until I was able to make return after recovering from an accident....still having chiroperatic treatment.. but can't help myself. I'm starting right from the scarch as far as my grade goes. I've got a couple of shinais from Korea...one is called Budonshim and the other one is Ill gum. Both of them are dobari style, and I'm very happy with them and probably use them for next a few months without any problem but was just been queries about other brand and how people choose their shinai. I heard a good shinai tends to bend from datotsubu if you test shinai by pushing against floor or something..not bend from tsubamoto area. None of my shianis seem to bend from datotsubu, wondering if anyone has tried? Anyway, I wouldn't purchase an expensive shiani and destory it by doing basic striking excersice stuff so a few member's insight regarding shinai would be appreciated.

        cheers

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        • #5
          Hi Taek! I'm currently compiling a club order for Koei - I'll ask Terada-san for you. I presume that you want a dobari shinai for competition only right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Serious Simpleton Question

            "Just wondering if anyone can recommend me any brand or name of premium quality shinai that people use for shiai."

            What qualities does one look for in choosing a good shinai? I have been training for 18 months now and go about 3X's a week. I know I like the balance closer to the tsuka because it makes it feel lighter, but that's the only criteria I can think of.

            When I seriously fenced epee, I used to choose my blades very carefully. I liked a certain amount of flexibility so the point was easier to control, the steel needed a certain natural bias to the left, and I wanted the balance point close to the guard. I used to go the storeroom with the clerk and feel out a dozen or more blades before I picked the one I wanted. Eventually, I found that since the blade is a disposable item and no two blades are exactly alike - what was the point in spending all that effort? I just took whatever they gave me and made super fine adjustments to my actions to accomodate.

            Is it the same deal with a shinai? I fully realize that my skill level is too low to notice the small differences in shinai. But, when (excuse me - if) I am good enough to note the differences, isn't it just as likely that I won't be too fussy?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Old Warrior
              Is it the same deal with a shinai? I fully realize that my skill level is too low to notice the small differences in shinai. But, when (excuse me - if) I am good enough to note the differences, isn't it just as likely that I won't be too fussy?
              Some people are fussy, some aren't. There are definitely differences between shinai, even between two examples of the same model. Bamboo is a natural material, so it can't be helped.

              There are 2 broad categories of shinai style - chokuto and dobari. Chokuto are pretty straight, have the balance more evenly distributed and are often fairly heavy. Dobari have the balance towards the tsuka, with a pronounced flair before the first knuckle and quite a narrow, light tip. This wide portion helps out with some techniques such as suriagi. Lots of people prefer dobari style for competition. Many older sensei like chokuto as it feels closer to a sword and is better for their more conservative style.

              The cheaper shinai most people buy as beginners are somewhere in the middle between these two styles, with a mild flair and a fairly light construction.

              When looking at shinai, look at the butt end and check to see the thickness of the "meat". You can also look at the tip. Most people like to see very little or no gap at the butt and quite a small hole at the tip, indicating thick meat. If you are in the shop I suppose you could also look inside to see if there are any cracks or flaws. When shopping by mail/internet you just take your chances.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Andoru
                Hi Taek! I'm currently compiling a club order for Koei - I'll ask Terada-san for you. I presume that you want a dobari shinai for competition only right?
                Hi Andoru, thanks for your reply. It's so good to hear from same club member!!!
                I mentioned a good quality shinai for shiai but I don't think my grade and skill is up to that level yet, however, it would be great if you can ask Terada san so I can learn more about shinai and hopefully get myself a good shinai soon as one of mine already shows sign for replacement. Thanks again and see you on this wednesday. Cheers

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                • #9
                  I'm pretty much of the same opinion as Neil.
                  I have both chukoto, dobari and 'standard' shinais. The dobari ones 'feels' nicer than the standard ones, but really doesnt have any effect on my kendo (Even my suriage). The chukoto is more for single cutting and seems more effective in ai-uchi situations and for me, they can be good for showing how straight you are cutting, as due to being tip-heavy (and more heavy in general), they will punish you if you don't cut straight. I've more or less stopped using chukoto, after I started doing jodan.
                  Also, expensive shinais will last longer, barring freak accidents. I've only worn down 1 expensive shinai's, the rest have cracked on unlucky hits. (ie where you hit straight down on the tip of the opponents shinai).

                  Jakob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have the same thinking of the other felas, but i recomend you to buy a training shinai, becose of your close enconter with the kohais.

                    In the first i was in the same place as you, i didnt knew how to buy the shinais. But with time i understod that if you whant a special shinai or a normal shinai you pay have to pay for it.

                    I recomend you to look for www.bogubag.com and see what fits in your buget.

                    Mr. Robert Stroud is a very nice person, and can answer any question that you may have.

                    Cheers friend!!

                    Deco

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can look at

                      http://www.koei-budogu.co.jp/koei_bu...inai/index.htm

                      to see the shinais that they sell.

                      Cheers

                      deco

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                      • #12
                        That is only about 1/3 of Koei's selection of shinais, FYI.

                        Jakob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Taek, for your information:

                          Dear Andrew-San,

                          Thank you for your shinai inquiry.

                          Now, we recommend our shinai 31-156 "Shigekane Bessaku" 39
                          to you. Our price for 31-156 should be Yen 3,200.- per a shinai.

                          Best regards
                          M.Terada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dear Neil, Thank you for the great detailed information.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Andoru
                              Taek, for your information:

                              Dear Andrew-San,

                              Thank you for your shinai inquiry.

                              Now, we recommend our shinai 31-156 "Shigekane Bessaku" 39
                              to you. Our price for 31-156 should be Yen 3,200.- per a shinai.

                              Best regards
                              M.Terada
                              Thanks Andoru,

                              I'll check it out right away.

                              Cheers

                              Comment

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