Jennifer Yabut wrote:
I also didn't think about the dowels getting loose. Again, I just hope that my stuff will hold up. We'll see, I guess.
Hi Jennifer, I train with Neil and was actually the one using the hanbo when the ends broke off. I can't stress enough that this was under VERY hard impact and after numerous classes at that level of impact. We should have known something was coming, because the sound of the wood changed over time, and you could see some space developing between the main portion of the stick and the end caps. After the first one flew off, I continued using the hanbo but always with the other endcap in my hand. The second break was really weird because it cracked off in my hand from the impact of the block I was doing. I think for almost any aiki-ken/aiki-jo that I've seen this level of impact would never come up, so you should be safe. Just play it by ear so to speak and inspect the endcaps from time to time. If you start hearing a brighter snapping sound when making impact, you should take a close look at the laminates.
Ditto what Neil wrote in his review. We've broken a number of sticks and bokken, and for the most part these are holding up well.