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Old 08-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
Janet Rosen
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Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

In four weeks I'll be taking Amtrak to a seminar - using the Amtrak connector bus to get to the train, then the train within the state. Just struck me that Oops! - maybe I'd better check and see if the dojo will have loaner weapons -
Anybody with direct experience on Amtrak care to comment?

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
Malicat
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
In four weeks I'll be taking Amtrak to a seminar - using the Amtrak connector bus to get to the train, then the train within the state. Just struck me that Oops! - maybe I'd better check and see if the dojo will have loaner weapons -
Anybody with direct experience on Amtrak care to comment?
Janet,

They specifically prohibit martial arts items, unfortunately.

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...=1251621565025
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Ah. Indeed, in black and white: "Martial-arts and self-defense items, including but not limited to billy clubs, nightsticks, and nunchuks " - neither checked nor carry on. Well, on the bright side, I'll be traveling lighter :-)

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:41 AM   #4
Dan Rubin
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

"Firearms or ammunition" are allowed in checked baggage, but "billy clubs, nightsticks, and nunchuks" are too dangerous!
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #5
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Just tell them it is sports equipment rather than saying it is martial arts weapons.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
Neal Earhart
 
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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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Old 08-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
chillzATL
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Call them walking sticks.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

I'm not shlepping them all over California on the OFF CHANCE I can get away with calling them other than what they are and will not take the greater chance that I will have them confiscated. Nope.

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:38 PM   #9
Rob Watson
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

As a martial artist are you not a 'human weapon'? Therefore not permitted to travel on Amtrak?

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:42 PM   #10
phitruong
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
As a martial artist are you not a 'human weapon'? Therefore not permitted to travel on Amtrak?
i can see the conversation with the LEO.

LEO: do you carry any weapon?
you: i am a weapon!
LEO: cavity search!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
lbb
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

This reminds me of the time when I and five friends went whitewater kayaking in Nepal and (as a favor to our outfitter) smuggled in something like a hundred raft paddles as a favor to our outfitter. We thought we were through and clear, when a customs official asked what's in the big box. Best possible response, from the youngest-looking member of our group, looking all big-eyed and excited: "Oh, they're RAFT paddles! We're going WHITEWATER RAFTING!" Worked like a charm.

...but, ya know, they weren't my paddles, and if we'd been busted, the duty, fine, and cost of the paddles was all on the outfitter. I'd feel differently if it was my beloved bokken.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #12
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
"Firearms or ammunition" are allowed in checked baggage, but "billy clubs, nightsticks, and nunchuks" are too dangerous!
My experience is the other way around.
Last spring I was visiting a large live role playing event with some particpants in metal chain mail and armor carrying steel swords. No problem with LEOs.
But there were also some dressed as Star Wars storm troopers carrying plastic storm trooper guns. Those guns were confiscated because they looked to much like real weapons!
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #13
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Several years ago, security check in Helsinki airport: "What's in the bag?" me:"Oh, a couple wooden sticks" "For what?" "Sports" Security guy's eyes lit up: "Oh, you do aikido?".

Jo and bokken traveled carry on. :-) But that was more than ten years ago... I don't fly with my sticks anymore.

This is the first time I hear of restrictions on a train though.

kvaak
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:46 PM   #14
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Janet - Em and I travelled via Amtrak to NYC to visit Deb and meet Peter a year or two back and we carried our buki (wooden ones in Bujin bag and iaito in a standard sword bag) and received not a glance. I vote for the "sports equipment" answer ... or just get and wear a LaCrosse sports team jersey ...
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Carrying jo, bokken on Amtrak?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote: View Post
Janet - Em and I travelled via Amtrak to NYC to visit Deb and meet Peter a year or two back and we carried our buki (wooden ones in Bujin bag and iaito in a standard sword bag) and received not a glance. I vote for the "sports equipment" answer ... or just get and wear a LaCrosse sports team jersey ...
Thanks for the updated info! As it happens I'll be Amtraking to Sacto at least a couple of times this year to train, but given that it's a big shlep (bus and train and w/o checked luggage options) I'm just going to do it w/o weapons and trust to my empty hand skills en route

Janet Rosen
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