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Old 08-20-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
Neal Earhart
Neal Earhart's Avatar
Dojo: New York Aikikai / Aikido of Westchester
Location: New York City
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 98
Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Several years ago, a seminar was held at Columbia University with Chiba Shihan. Now, I rarely take weapons to a seminar, unless I know specific weapons classes will be taught, so I did not have any weapons with me at the time (albeit, with a Chiba Shihan seminar, you know some weapons work will be included).

Anyway, I was on the platform at 72nd street waiting for the 1/9 subway train to head up to Columbia U, when I saw another person with a Bu-Jin weapons bag near me on the platform. I assume he was probably going to the same seminar. Two NY policemen approached him and asked what was in the bag...his answer was..."aikido weapons"...the officers took him aside. The train came, I got on. I didn't see him get on the train, nor do I remember him at the seminar...

When asked, often by curious people in my apartment building, what's in the bag...I always say "exercise equipment." Rarely, is there a follow-up question, since my answer is not flamboyant/interesting enough to warrant any further questions.

I also find it interesting, that when traveling in the NY subway, no one would ever bat an eye at a few golf clubs, a baseball bat, or a hockey stick...but, a jo or bokken causes mass hysteria...and I can guarantee that after many years of play ice hockey, I could do far more damage with a hockey stick than with a jo and/or bokken...
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