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Old 01-29-2002, 08:46 AM   #1
ian
 
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Storing Weapons

I usually keep my weapons very close to vertical, propped up against a wall. With the bokken I make sure that the blade either points towards or away from the wall. Is this the best way to store them?

I know many dojos put them in horizontal racks, but I presume that the same direction of stress (i.e. from front to back of blade)is necessary to stop the bokken bending to either the left or right; therefore the blade is placed up or down.

Am i right, is it not so much whether they should be stored horizontally or vertically, but whether you put the blade perpendicular to the stress or not? Whats best? (remembering that I want easy access so I can nip into the garden for some practise).

Ian
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Old 01-29-2002, 09:20 AM   #2
Edward
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Hi Ian,

I'm very much into taking care of my weapons, sanding and oiling them monthly.

I think the best way to keep the weapons warp free is to prop them against a wall as vertically as possible. The horizontal racks are good for display, we have them at our dojo but all the weapons are warped because of that.

Traditionally, since bokken is supposed to be treated like a real sword at all times, you should keep it handle up and blade down. However, since I found out that it is not really a sword but just a piece of expensive wood, keeping it blade down may cause the point to break or be damaged in transportation, which can be quite expensive knowing the crazy prices of good quality bokken, so while in the carrying case, I keep it the opposite way, handle down, despite the fact that I won't be able to draw it fast enough in case of an unexpected attack

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-29-2002, 11:44 AM   #3
abarnhar
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Question

What oil do you use on your weapons?
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Old 01-29-2002, 12:22 PM   #4
Johan Tibell
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
Traditionally, since bokken is supposed to be treated like a real sword at all times, you should keep it handle up and blade down. However, since I found out that it is not really a sword but just a piece of expensive wood, keeping it blade down may cause the point to break or be damaged in transportation, which can be quite expensive knowing the crazy prices of good quality bokken, so while in the carrying case, I keep it the opposite way, handle down, despite the fact that I won't be able to draw it fast enough in case of an unexpected attack

Cheers,
Edward
Well my sword isn't pointed, in "Iwama style" aikido we do alot of weapon work as I'm sure you know and the top breakes of all to easy is you strike properly and hit something. Another sword or a car tire for example. Although the swords with "sharp" points looks nicer.

Regards,

Johan Tibell
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Old 01-29-2002, 12:56 PM   #5
Greg Jennings
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johan Tibell

Well my sword isn't pointed, in "Iwama style" aikido we do alot of weapon work as I'm sure you know and the top breakes of all to easy is you strike properly and hit something. Another sword or a car tire for example. Although the swords with "sharp" points looks nicer.
I had this happen recently. First time I'd ever seen it.

My partner was using a "conventional" bokken while I was using my trusty Iwama bokken.

On the knee cut of kumitachi 2, when I blocked (for the non-Iwama folks, that block is edge-to-edge), the blade of her bokken broke right in the middle. Both halves were extremely sharp-pointed and could have easily injured someone.

One humorous tangent: my bokken is even thicker and heavier than most Iwama bokken. The first time I visited Hans Goto Sensei, he took one look at it and said something like "What a club that one is!". The name stuck. My bokken is known in my dojo as "the club".

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 01-29-2002, 01:04 PM   #6
Sherman Byas
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breaks easily? Oil?

Why do Johan's bokken break? Where where they purchased? I just received jo & bokken as a gift from my Sensei and have not done any sanding or oiling. Does this really make a difference? Will it prevent breakage?
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Old 01-29-2002, 01:12 PM   #7
Johan Tibell
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Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherman Byas
Why do Johan's bokken break? Where where they purchased? I just received jo & bokken as a gift from my Sensei and have not done any sanding or oiling. Does this really make a difference? Will it prevent breakage?
My bokken hasn't broke. It's a sturdy piece of white aok.
I "pointed" bokken will break or gett "nagged" if you hit something with the tip (and it sometimes happen). Nothing strange about it since the tip is very thin.

Regards,

Johan Tibell
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Old 01-29-2002, 01:13 PM   #8
Johan Tibell
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings

One humorous tangent: my bokken is even thicker and heavier than most Iwama bokken. The first time I visited Hans Goto Sensei, he took one look at it and said something like "What a club that one is!". The name stuck. My bokken is known in my dojo as "the club".

Best Regards,
We have one of those at our dojo, they are generally refered to as suburi bokken because they are sometimes used to do your suburis with (suprise!). Good for strengthening your wrists.

Regards,

Johan Tibell
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Old 01-29-2002, 03:28 PM   #9
Niadh
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Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherman Byas
Why do Johan's bokken break? Where where they purchased? I just received jo & bokken as a gift from my Sensei and have not done any sanding or oiling. Does this really make a difference? Will it prevent breakage?
Hi,
Bokken, and other weapons, break because the material is not perfect, it never can be. The sanding helps, especially with one of the Poly coated weapons, because then the oils from your hands won't cause the weapon to become sticky. That is, if you remove the poly by sanding.
Oiling the weapons helps keep the fibers of the wood moist, and therefore they don't dry out (obvious I know) and warp, crack, split, etc.
Just a thought. to the person who stated that because they carry thier bokken "handle" down it would be slower to draw, have you considered that, since it is a wooden stick, if you NEED to draw it, it doesn't matter what end you hold?
A thought to mull over, and yes I know it is unconventional.
Niadh

Last edited by Niadh : 01-29-2002 at 03:31 PM.

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Old 01-29-2002, 04:36 PM   #10
Thalib
 
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Talking The OAR and the BROOM HANDLE

Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings

My bokken is known in my dojo as "the club".
When I go to the dojo I usually bring all of my practice weapons. This includes 3 bokkens, 1 shinai, 1 jo, and 1 suburi-to.

My suburi-to is the large version of a bokken, it's like that is modeled after a no-dachi instead of the regular o-dachi. It's very large, long, thick, but flat in its proportions. Everybody in the dojo called it "The Oar", because in a way it does look like an oar.

My jo is thicker in diameter than any regular jo. This is because it is actually a broom handle that is almost the same length as a jo, so I just use it anyway. It is called, yes, "The Broom Handle".
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:08 AM   #11
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by abarnhar
What oil do you use on your weapons?
Hi!

I use refined linseed oil, which I buy from any department store at the stationary section. I use the variety used for painting which is more expensive but as I said I love my weapons

In my experience, my first bokken started to splinter as soon as I received it. I thought the wood was bad, but after a few treatments with linseed oil, the splintering stopped. So I guess oiling the weapons once a month will definitely extend the life of the wood. Also they look much nicer

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:13 AM   #12
Edward
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Re: Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Niadh

Just a thought. to the person who stated that because they carry thier bokken "handle" down it would be slower to draw, have you considered that, since it is a wooden stick, if you NEED to draw it, it doesn't matter what end you hold?

Niadh
Thank you very much for your kind thought which I appreciate very much. However, your sense of humour doesn't seem very sharp, or maybe your computer doesn't read smilies. If you go back to my post you will see a BIG GRIN near my "statement", which means it's a JOKE. Got it?

Last edited by Edward : 01-30-2002 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:14 AM   #13
Anat Amitay
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Keeping my weapons

I don't know too much about the traditional way to keep weapons, but I use the useful way to keep them from breaking, cracking or tearing holes in my weapons bag.
That is especially for the bokken and tanto since the jo has the same ending on both sides.
If I take them out of the bag, I keep the "bladed" weapons with the tip pointing up. Two reasons- 1. keeping the tip down wears it and it starts to chip. 2. with the tip down, the weapon is less stable and has a greater chance of falling and by that getting unwanted hits...
As for the bag, when I started weapons practise I made a special bag for my weapons, with two layers, cross- stitch work, a small compartment for the tanto etc. A friend from the dojo who saw it told me- if you want that bag to last longer, keep the balded weapons pointing up, or they will start to tear the bottom of the bag. It's still holding!
Good practise!
Anat
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Old 01-30-2002, 04:10 AM   #14
Mares
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Re: Keeping my weapons

I shall impart my knowledge on you all, take it or leave it.

I believe you don't need to oil your weapons provided you use them regularly. If you train with your weapons regularly the oil and sweat from your hand prevents the weapons from drying out and splintering. I have not oiled my current set of weapons and I've had my bokken for about 4 years now. If you do not intend on using your weapons for a lengthy period of time you should oil them to prevent them from drying out.

As for sanding your weapons I don't do it as a rule. You work so hard to get the white oak bokken/jo a nice dark colour with years of hard work and sweat. Then you want to sand it off in an afternoon. It doesn't make sense to me. However I did sand my jo back once and that was when it started to splinter, so I sanded the splinters off and the nice dark colour as well. I should add that, that particular jo was of low quality and after years of use and abuse it started to splinter, hence the sanding.

As for storage, again, if you use them regularly it doesn't matter if u store them on a horizontal rack. I don't believe it will warp out of shape. Mine haven't yet. However if you don't intend on using them for a considerable amount of time you should store them flat on the floor or vertical, and turn them every now and then when you walk by them. That should prevent the warping.

In summary, the best maintanence for your weapons, is use. Just do 5 minutes of suburi every morning, or even just 10minutes of suburi after every class and they should be fine.
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Old 01-30-2002, 04:53 AM   #15
petra
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weapon storage

Okay, people will probably freak out when they read this but I store my weapons in the trunk of my car...
Not to dry nor to wet, flat on bottom in my homemade weapons bag, I use them two or three times a week and I always take them with me to class. My teacher and several fellow students do the same and up to now all our bokkens and jos are in good shape, no splintering or breaking. We don't sand them, we don't oil them, we just use them. The only thing I did take care of when I bought them was that there were no knots or anything in the wood (I handed the first 3 bokkens the store showed me back because they had knots or didn't have a good finish). My bokken has been with me for 3 years although it has't got a name yet and I resently bought a new jo, my previous jo was a piece of curtain rail and after 3 years a collision with a bokken point at full force resulted in a very nasty dent. A very good excuse to buy a real jo I thought and so I did, I am still in doudt if I should mark it in any way. In my regular dojo it is no problem but during large seminars (100+ people and even more jos) it could get confussing which jos whose.

Hope I didn't give anybody a heartattack

Petra

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Old 01-30-2002, 07:12 AM   #16
Edward
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Re: weapon storage

Quote:
Originally posted by petra
Okay, people will probably freak out when they read this but I store my weapons in the trunk of my car...
..................
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Old 01-30-2002, 07:30 AM   #17
cconstantine
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Re: Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Johan Tibell

My bokken hasn't broke. It's a sturdy piece of white aok.
I "pointed" bokken will break or gett "nagged" if you hit something with the tip (and it sometimes happen). Nothing strange about it since the tip is very thin.
I agree.

You can also use weapons of different wood than Oak. I have a jo stick made of Hickory.

Technically speaking, hickory has better mechanical properties than Oak (its a hard wood like Oak, but it has finer grain, it's stronger, and more resilient.) BUT, I'm not sure it's significantly better than Oak. And, it has visual differences that you (whomever) may not care for: It's generally nearly white, and usually has color variation within it's grain. (To me, this just makes my bokken have its own personal contenance. )

Anyway, I haven't seen enough Hickory in action to say it's definitely better than Oak, but mine holds up beautifully in heavy, paired work with Oak jo. Another student in my dojo has hickory, and he has the same results/opinion as I. If you already have several weapons, I'd suggest trying Hickory. Since you're very familiar with Oak, you can readily compare for yourself.
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:33 AM   #18
akiy
 
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Re: The OAR and the BROOM HANDLE

Quote:
Originally posted by Thalib
My jo is thicker in diameter than any regular jo. This is because it is actually a broom handle that is almost the same length as a jo, so I just use it anyway. It is called, yes, "The Broom Handle".
One thing to be careful of when using "alternative" sticks for weapons practice is that oftentimes, they're made of inferior wood. This means that they may be more prone to splintering and breaking which can cause injury to yourself and others around you.

I preferred to invest in a nice, hickory jo that has lasted me for the past seven years or so. Friends of mine in jodo have commented that they have had their jo (which takes a much heavier beating in jodo than any aikido kumijo I've seen) for ten years of training.

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Old 01-30-2002, 09:16 AM   #19
ian
 
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Many thanks for the replies. I'll keep them as vertical as possible, upside down in the bag but tip down when against my wall.

I put a little paint symbol on the bottom of my hilt of the bokken and on the end of the jo (for identification). Its a very obvious place and they've been there for 10 years and haven't worn off. However I would recognise the weapons now by their scratches and dents!

I also have a very strange jo (which I no longer use) which I mistakenly bought when I started aikido. I remember them telling me it was Japanese bamboo. Its definately bamboo, but it is solid (no hole). It is as light as anything (like its made out of polystyrene) and bends like a bow. It got very dented from too much kumijo, but is quite springy for jo taking. Also impressive for jo suburi 'cos you can do it amazingly fast (but it is so light you don't actually get any muscle memory)!

Ian
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:19 AM   #20
guest1234
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For those of the No-need-t-oil group, I see how oil from you hand coats the jo, but how does it cover the bokken during use, not just the handle? I would think the blade, which takes the beating, doesn't get touched much (besides checking to be sure it was splinter free before starting practice)...
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Old 01-30-2002, 12:13 PM   #21
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg Jennings


I had this happen recently. First time I'd ever seen it.

My partner was using a "conventional" bokken while I was using my trusty Iwama bokken.

On the knee cut of kumitachi 2, when I blocked (for the non-Iwama folks, that block is edge-to-edge), the blade of her bokken broke right in the middle. Both halves were extremely sharp-pointed and could have easily injured someone.

Best Regards,
My favorite bokken is one I got from my first sensei, no idea where it is from, it is blunt ended and only slightly curved (but more than Iwama) and slightly more of an edge than Iwama (but not much)... I'd say it is most like an Iwama bokken except it is very narrow diameter---perfect for me since I wear childrens gloves... the point: it is petite, very.

During a weapons seminar my partner, a somewhat taller female with a larger, more traditional shaped (but that funny light red wood) bokken and I were working when she executed a yokomenuchi that I was to block... with a loud 'crack' the distal third of her weapon went sailing into the center of our group (since it had a very sharp break, it luckily missed everyone). The instructor, without missing a beat, called out 'now THAT'S a harai!'
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:48 PM   #22
Mares
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
For those of the No-need-t-oil group, I see how oil from you hand coats the jo, but how does it cover the bokken during use, not just the handle? I would think the blade, which takes the beating, doesn't get touched much (besides checking to be sure it was splinter free before starting practice)...
This may be scorned but as a matter a of course when I pick up my bokken I grab it in the middle as you would a sheathed sword. I also run my hand along the blade just to "oil it", so to speak. But during kumitachi there are variations where you touch the back of blade. Also I've been known to do 1st suburi cuts holding the tip of the weapon to help buld stronger cuts. But if you see my bokken the handle is much darker than the blade. And is hasn't splintered, yet.
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Old 01-30-2002, 07:11 PM   #23
Mares
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Re: Re: Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by cconstantine


I agree.

You can also use weapons of different wood than Oak. I have a jo stick made of Hickory.

Technically speaking, hickory has better mechanical properties than Oak (its a hard wood like Oak, but it has finer grain, it's stronger, and more resilient.)
I believe I read somewhere that hardwoods are not considered good for training. Admitedly they are stronger and more resilient, but don't they have a tendency to be brittle rather than ductile therefore when they break they pratically shatter and splinter, rather than just spliting. I also understand that the hardwoods are bad for those using japanese white oak as they tend to cause more damage. So your nice hardwood weapon is ok but you can dent and damage your partners weapons.
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:03 PM   #24
akiy
 
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Re: Re: Re: Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Mares
I believe I read somewhere that hardwoods are not considered good for training. Admitedly they are stronger and more resilient, but don't they have a tendency to be brittle rather than ductile therefore when they break they pratically shatter and splinter, rather than just spliting. I also understand that the hardwoods are bad for those using japanese white oak as they tend to cause more damage. So your nice hardwood weapon is ok but you can dent and damage your partners weapons.
Here's an article on different characteristics for wood when used for weapons that's pretty comprehensive (right here on AikiWeb!):

http://www.aikiweb.com/weapons/goedkoop1.html

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Old 01-30-2002, 08:05 PM   #25
Niadh
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Re: Re: Re: Re: breaks easily? Oil?

Quote:
Originally posted by Mares


I believe I read somewhere that hardwoods are not considered good for training. Admitedly they are stronger and more resilient, but don't they have a tendency to be brittle rather than ductile therefore when they break they pratically shatter and splinter, rather than just spliting. I also understand that the hardwoods are bad for those using japanese white oak as they tend to cause more damage. So your nice hardwood weapon is ok but you can dent and damage your partners weapons.
There was an excellent article on woods for weapons in ATM, which Jun had posted here at one point. The author is James Goodkeep (sp?) of Kingfisher Wood works. Very informative.
Niadh

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