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Having been to a good few seminars where weapons (wooden sticks, that is) were part of the training, I have some thoughts to share.
First, if you're organizing a seminar, for heaven's sake please be clear about whether participants should bring sticks or not. I have been left wondering many times, and either had to bring them just in case, or leave them home and hope they wouldn't be needed. I've been wrong both ways.
Please give abundant notice. I've been part of a large group flying to a seminar where we were all scrambling two days before the event to buy and/or build airline-appropriate carrying tubes. Given that we were trying to get other things handled before traveling it would have been a lot easier to have dealt with the stick-transportation problem weeks ahead of time instead of at the last minute.
And after all that, we didn't use them anyway. *headdesk*
Not everyone has their own weapons. Sometimes there are loaners available, sometimes not, and often not enough to go around. The first seminar I went to was actually a retreat, and was to be fairly weapons-centric. I rush-ordered an inexpensive set of weapons (and basically had to refinish them on arrival - the night before the event) to be sure I would be able to fully participate in the weekend's training.
It's great to have extras for participants to borrow. It's a pretty iffy prospect for the participants, though. Maybe they'll get one, maybe not. It seems there are always a few folks pantomimin