OK, the review process has been underway for a couple of months. We're still at it, and this is an ongoing process.
Recently, Ric Kaplowitz of Seishin Budo Dojo
, who trains and teaches several koryu arts, and has a teacher's license in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, paid a visit to Latham Eclectic. His school had given a demonstration at the Aiki Friendship Seminar
held on on December 14, 2014. At the seminar I'd shown Ric the Shinbudo bokken, and watched his eyes light up. Wanting to spread out the process and get them in some good hands, I welcomed him to take a few with him for his evaluation.
Larry Gravett of Latham Kokikai
, one of the guest instructors at the seminar, also took a couple of bokken for review. And there is a bokken with Ric's teacher in NYC.
Shinbudo sent eight bokken for review. All different in look and feel. During the recent get-together and training with Ric Kaplowitz we had five of the bokken from Shinbudo. We'd both brought some other tools and toys, and all are pictured below — as well as in this album with 11 photos
In order of appearance.
My purpleheart jo
A 25-year-old Japanese oak bokken given to Ric by his teacher
Two wooden bokken from Kim Taylor at SDK Supplies
Five bokken from Shinbudo
I'm going to write these reviews in sections and over time in this topic. We're going to keep working with the bokken from Shinbudo, and getting feedback as we round them up from their various travels into various hands.
I was interested in doing reviews on the bokken, not only because what Shinbudo is doing caught my attention, but also because I have been a reviewer, tester, and evaluator for many products in the pro audio industry
for many years. I've been through well over several hundred products, and I can say that I'm not easily impressed. People and companies sending me products have long ceased to make me giddy. I give honest feedback, which has at times resulted in changes and modifications to products.
I also don't write quick knee-jerk reviews. My process takes months, sometimes years. I dig in deep into the companies, people, and products. If I like something, I get involved. If I like it more, I get more involved. I'm not on the take, and have never been paid for a review. If I like a product, I can typically buy it for an "industry accommodation" price that sits just south of wholesale.
I've always approached the review process as someone who is championing the consumer and end user. And have enjoyed over the years getting the word out about new exciting products and companies on the market. And in quite a few cases that has resulted in serious sales and growth for the companies.
I sit here with a number of products from Shinbudo, and they've got some very cool stuff I want people to know about. So, consider this the beginning of my part in educating the consumer, and beginning to tell a story. Choosing a bokken can be a process that needs some knowledge and understanding to be able to get the right tool into the right hands. And part of this process is continuing to educate myself about the Shinbudo products, and their unique composite construction and design.
I've got to say that say far I'm very impressed with Shinbudo and what they're doing — on a number of levels.
Have a look through the pics I've provided. Look through their websites and online info.
Stay tuned as we get more into the trenches with these weapons.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them here. And either I or someone from Shinbudo can come along and provide some information.