View Full Version : Bokken practice stand
06-10-2003, 07:26 AM
Our dojo has a wooden stand with a tire fixed to it that people use to practice bokken strikes. Does anyone know: a) What is the stand called (I suppose I could ask the next time I am there but I'm a horribly impatient person) and b) What was traditionally used for this purpose i.e. before Mr. Goodyear covered the earth in old tires. I'm just curious.
06-10-2003, 09:27 AM
A few years ago, I was at a dojo mate's apartment watching an old old video of Saito sensei doing weapons work. There was a segment on the video showing Saito practicing his cuts on a stand just like the one you describe.
If I remember the video correctly, the voice over said something like, "A tire anchored in concrete is a good tool for praciting one's strikes."
So maybe the name of this particular stand is, "a tire anchored in concrete" -- or the Japanese equivalent.
I'm not sure there's anything traditional about it. Maybe Saito, or O Sensei simply thought it was a good idea to have some resistance to the strikes.
06-10-2003, 01:11 PM
Check out the the last video in Aiki News O'Sensei series. I think it is called, "The King of Aikido." It was a Japanese tv documentary of Morihei Ueshiba. It shows (among other things) O'Sensei and Saito Sensei striking at a big bundle of sticks bound and placed on a stand made of thick sticks. I have attempted to make one a few times, but they always fall apart on me. I think I'll try the tire stand next.
BTW, the video also shows the Founder practicing spear thrusts against a tree wrapped in what looks to be an old Kendo chest protector. I have found a good replacement in using an old waterskiing life jacket. I wrap it around a tree and practice jo thrusts. It also works well as a makiwara.
06-10-2003, 01:32 PM
Check out the picture on this page (http://www.aikiweb.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=515). Jun calls it a Tanren Bokuto.
Does your bundle of sticks fall apart or do the sticks break? There's a good chance the sticks he's using in the video are young bamboo. Pretty strong stuff.
I have found a good replacement in using an old waterskiing life jacket. I wrap it around a tree and practice jo thrusts.
The big difference between this and what O-Sensie had is that the kendo armor is hard. It's much more difficult to land a solid thrust with a jo/spear on a curved hard surface because if the thrust isn't just right it'll glance off.
You should be able to take an old plastic 55 gallon barrel and cut a section out of it and hang that on the tree. It'll give you something a little closer to what O-Sensei was using and will show you immediately if your thrusts are solid and on target.
Back in my armored fighting days we used to use a thing called a Pell or Pale. We mounted an 8' 4x4 two feet into the gound. Added a cross piece of 4x4 at about the five foot mark to simulate shoulders (brace them up), and sometimes a piece angling forward (toward you) and down into the ground to simulate a leading leg. We wrapped the whole thing in cut up tires and practiced throwing combinations and learning to hit with power. It was fun and helped a lot.
06-10-2003, 04:53 PM
Does the tire spin around the post when struck? We used a similar contraption in little league to practice our swings with an old bat and the tire would spin about half a revolution with each hit. I can't imagine a bokken standing up to too much of that kind of practice, but just normally striking the tire would be useful I think, just a little bit of give in the rubber so you could get a better feel for power.
06-10-2003, 09:02 PM
Howdy. According to the Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary, tanren suru means "train"
This link http://www.aikiweb.com/videos/detail.html?video_id=13
describes a video with information about tanren uchi & how to build the stand. Tanrren-uchi is described as "the forging of the spirit through repetitious striking".
A box filled with newspaper works as well. Although it won't bounce a poorly focused strike back into your face like the tire or branches, it will give excellent feedback on where you are holding tension as you receive a jolt in your wrist, elbows, shoulder, lower back, etc. ;)
06-15-2003, 01:13 AM
Does the tire spin around the post when struck?
In the one I described the tire is cut in several places so it can be opened up (imagine opening a circle to be a straight line). The tire is then lashed to the pole to provide padding and durability.
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