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Old 12-11-2008, 10:45 PM   #1
Diane Stevenson
Location: Arizona
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Jo recommendations

So, I'm in the market for a new Jo. The one I bought 20 some years ago got left behind, and as it was kind of warped, I didn't go back for it.

Now I'm finding 2 catagories of Jo online as far as price goes. One is sold as a "straight hardwood jo" and runs about $20. The other is imported from Japan, a "white oak jo" and runs about $50 -$60.

So my question: Is there a qualitative difference between the two, or am I looking at the price of producing a wooden thing in Japan, and importing it to the US (sort of like carrying coals to Newcastle, if you know what I mean)?

To be honest, I'd like a reason to buy the expensive ones, but I just can't bring myself to lay out that much for a "brand" when the "genaric" is so much cheaper.

...not as evil as I could be
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:35 PM   #2
Voitokas
 
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Re: Jo recommendations

You could tell yourself that the fancy ones are more likely to be vetted for faults in the wood.

Or that whatever nameless hardwood may be inappropriate for a weapon - I mean, a broomstick might be straight hardwood, but I wouldn't necessarily go wacking it around.

Or you could tell yourself that subconsciously you'd be trying not to hit too hard with the cheap jo, so your form would mutate and suffer.

Japanese white oak is a nice wood for a jo. And it's better to buy now before they adjust their price to reflect that a dollar only buys 89 Yen just now ...

I am not an expert
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:07 AM   #3
GeneC
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Re: Jo recommendations

WOW, the yen rate was around 200 when I was there.

Anyway, I'd ask, at what level is the student? How hard do they intend on using it? If money is an issue ( and who isn't?) I'd suggest getting the less expensive one( as long as it's a hardwood- Ash, Hardrock Maple, Hickory, Walnut, Oak, etc) and see how it does. There's a 80% channce that it'll be just fine for a beginner and by and by, you'll alot more about it. I bought a $20something Jo and Ken (Red Oak) and have been beating up some (really hard palm) trees with no problem. A top end Ken/Jo maker says that the more ya whack 'em, the harder they get.

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Old 12-12-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: Jo recommendations

For a reasonable price you could consider a hickory or oak jo from Kim Taylor up in Canada.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:32 AM   #5
StevenR
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Re: Jo recommendations

The white oak Jo offered at E-bogu is of good quality, and their prices are reasonable ($32).

The weight varies from Jo to Jo, but they are all made of a single piece of wood (which is not always the case, even from "reputable" sources for Japanese weaponry) and quite strong. We do a lot of wood to wood contact in our training and they hold up well. With proper maintenance it will probably last a long time.

All the best,
Steven
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
Cynrod
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Re: Jo recommendations

Quote:
Steven Resell wrote: View Post
The white oak Jo offered at E-bogu is of good quality, and their prices are reasonable ($32).

The weight varies from Jo to Jo, but they are all made of a single piece of wood (which is not always the case, even from "reputable" sources for Japanese weaponry) and quite strong. We do a lot of wood to wood contact in our training and they hold up well. With proper maintenance it will probably last a long time.

All the best,
Steven
X2 on what Steven said about the white oak Jo for $32.00 + shipping on E-bogu. They are also offering 10% off on everyrhing right now.

You can check the SDK website on their hickory Jo for $53.00 shipped to CONUS, the best price on a hickory Jo that I've ever seen. Janet Rosen is right on right on that one. Bujin also make a hickory Jo and you can check their website for that.

Last edited by Cynrod : 12-12-2008 at 11:14 AM.

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #7
Voitokas
 
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Re: Jo recommendations

Now *I* want a new jo, too - come on, guys!

I am not an expert
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:59 PM   #8
Rosecarmethene
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Re: Jo recommendations

japanese white oak is by far the best jyo I've worked with. It's much more solid and "weighty" than hardwood, it is smooth, supple, resilient, and makes a very satisfying thwacking sound when striking other jyos. Rubbing it down occasionally with a light coat of mineral oil is good for maintenance.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:30 PM   #9
StevenR
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Re: Jo recommendations

Here are some tips on (white oak) Jo / bokuto maintenance I learned from my Sensei. The following ought to be done before you use your brand new weapon:

1. Remove the lacquer from the weapon(s), as mot weapons you purchase come with some type of clear coat on it. You can use a coarse grit sand paper to do this (80 grit works well

2. Once you've removed the lacquer, smooth out the weapon with a medium grit sand paper (120 - 150).

3. Apply Boiled Linseed Oil with a rag (you can also use a mixture of Tung Oil and Boiled Linseed Oil, but Boiled Linseed Oil is preferred).

4. Let weapon sit for an hour or so. Check it to see how the wood absorbed the oil. If the weapon is still overly oily wipe it down with a dry rag and let sit for a while.

5. Repeat the process above a handful of times over the next week. If you find rough spots, sand it down, then re-apply the oil. If the weapon is overly tacky after multiple applications of boiled linseed oil, use some mineral oil on a rag to remove the "tackiness".

After you've completed the process you probably don't require another coat of oil for another six months or so... before you re-apply a coating of oil, sand the weapon down to remove dirt with a light - medium grit sandpaper.

After this, you probably don't need to reapply oil for another year...

All the best,
Steven
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:13 AM   #10
JRY
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Re: Jo recommendations

I've just received my hickory jo from SDK supplies. I can say that the weight & feel of the jo is very, very nice!
I can't compare it with a Japanese white oak as I've never felt one but am sure you can't go wrong with either.
I also have another jo made of oak - am sure its normal european oak and it gets dinged very easily. you can see/feel the numerous depressions on the jo but I still use it for outdoor practice.

PS. wasn't there a thread awhile back that you can get a broomstick made of hickory?

Last edited by JRY : 12-15-2008 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:19 AM   #11
Diane Stevenson
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Re: Jo recommendations

Thanks for your input, everyone. I now have a big long box waiting for me under the christmas tree. The consensus seemed to be good for e-bogu (especially since I wasn't interested in a hickory jo), but I went a little nuts when I ordered and got a weapons bag and tanto as well. So when it came, I handed it to my son and said, "here, wrap this."

Now even though I won't be training on Christmas day I'll have my sandpaper and boiled linseed oil ready!

...not as evil as I could be
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