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#269112 - 07/04/06 01:26 AM Quality Sai
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
So a friend of mine bought me a pair of sai (sais?) for an early birthday present and I have been using them nonstop since he got them for me. I went to use them again tonight and dropped one. The tine actually broke off. I knew that these were a cheap set, but I didnt expect the metal to break.

Long story short, I'm looking for a new pair. I'd like a pair that isnt going to break on me. That's pretty much the only requirement. I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on them...... so if anyone could give me some tips on how to buy decent quality sai, or could link me to a site that sells sai that won't break I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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#269113 - 07/04/06 03:41 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
A pair of quality sai will last forever...so if you think of it they are cheaper than constantly buying garbage sai.

I have been happy with my sai from Shureido. The pair I got cost me $135 (delivery included), but if your school is 'on their list', you will get a 10% discount.

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#269114 - 07/04/06 04:48 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
It's unusual for steel to break like this even when dropped so I'm assuming that these were aluminium?

Dont buy aluminium. Its brittle and will break when dropped.

Buy decent steel sai from a reputable MA supplier and be prepared to pay a good price for them. Quality always costs a bit more but you get what you pay for in the long run.

Perhaps you should be practicing on a grappling mat? We get our students to stand on one of the grappling mats when learning nunchaku and sai so that if they drop them there is less noise and less chance of breaking the weapon.

Another thing our head instructor suggests is to stand beside the bed and practice over that when doing spins and other things with them. They don't fall as far and if you tuck your feet under the side of the bed then you dont hit your feet when you drop them either!
_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#269115 - 07/04/06 06:33 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Reiki]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
Thanks for the information guys. I'm not quite sure what material these sai were made of.. I just know that I was very surprised when the tine broke off after dropping the sai. I will look into finding some steel sai this time.

I would practice on a grappling mat if I had one, but sadly I do not. I actually did the bed idea with my other sai last night after having the first one break. I think I will practice outside in the grass from now on though. That way I have more room... and the grass / dirt will be much softer than the carpet / concrete underneath it. Once again, thanks for all of your help.

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#269116 - 07/04/06 07:59 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
dont muck about mate, get shureido sai - better/custom are avalaible but you are entering silly money.

Make sure the sai when held in reverse grip extends half inch past your elbow - dont cheat with shorter ones!!!!!!

I think mine are called 'natural' and they are excellent. The stainless ones cost silly money (but are very nice).
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#269117 - 07/04/06 08:41 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: shoshinkan]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
Just curious, why do you want them to be past your elbow? Wouldnt you want them a little shorter than your elbow so that you could conceal them better when holding them in reverse grip?

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#269118 - 07/04/06 09:04 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
I see the sai as specifically a weapon of defense against the Bo and Sword, used to block and then disarm/entrap.

With that in mind as a 'forearm' loaded weapon you need to cover your complete forearm, otherwise you risk getting caught by the attacking weapon.

It also gives you a reverse thrust if needed, shorter than your forearm you would simply elbow without the sai point.

Im sure there are many on here with other uses but these form my basic reasoning.

Re concealment I dont think that tucking them up your sleeves is particulary practical, possible yes. With that in mind Im fairly happy that the sai would have been holstered in a belt if carrying them for a specific job, on that note I beleive the okinawan law enforcement would have used them, along with Bo.

Just my minds ramblings, hope it helps.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#269119 - 07/04/06 09:49 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: shoshinkan]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
Yea, your logic is definitely intact. Thank you very much.

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#269120 - 07/05/06 04:15 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
Just got off the phone with Shureido... Their cheapest sai is the black sai.... $170 shipped. Ouch... I'm going to check ebay and see if I can get decent sai secondhand, if not I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and pay the 170

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#269121 - 07/05/06 08:03 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
If you can get second hand Shureido Sai (unlikely) then go for it, make sure to check the length!

That kind of money is very fair IMO for these weapons. They will last you many, many years and are well balanced weapons (others tend not to be unless custom made - well $$$$)
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#269122 - 07/05/06 09:21 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: shoshinkan]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
I definitely do not deny the fact that this weapon is worth the price... it's just that it's a bit expensive for my current financial state. However, I just got a job today... and my birthday is this sunday (my family tends to give me money on my birthday) so I think I'll start saving up and maybe get the sai in a week or two. I'll probably get the black ones because they're the cheapest (even though the stainless steel is dead sexy )

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#269123 - 07/05/06 11:35 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Joe:

There are people who hand make assorted weapons, Sai among them. The tine will be the place a sai will break unless it is cast in a single piece of iron, steel, etc.

Do a lot of internet pricing... worst that happens it takes you a bit longer to get a better pair. Best that happens, good pair, great price. If you know anyone in Japan, Okinawa them buying you a "gift" might be the best solution. They offer you your ~gift~ and you thank them with an envelope of thanks...

Luck,
Jeff

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#269124 - 07/06/06 03:28 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Ronin1966]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
I could only wish that I knew somebody in Okinawa. Sadly, I do not. I went to my local martial arts supply store today because I knew they sold Shureido Sai... and the owners are very nice and very helpful. I asked if I could hold I pair.... and I will just say that I was thoroughly impressed. The weight of these was much heavier than my other sai (the ones that broke)... mine, in comparison, felt very cheap. I didnt know there would really be that big of a difference. I will definitely begin saving up for these.

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#269125 - 07/06/06 03:32 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I suspect that if you deal with them directly (cut out the middleman) that they will be a bit cheaper. You can see their sai online and contact them directly for prices.

http://www.shureidousa.com/

(Aren't the internet and debit cards great?! )

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#269126 - 07/06/06 03:57 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: harlan]
Joe7987 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/26/05
Posts: 317
Loc: Orlando, FL
You know, I thought the same... but I called them yesterday and they were 155... but 15 dollars for shipping. My local store will give me them for 170 which is the exact same price so I figure I'll just buy them locally, same price and I won't have to wait for it.

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#269127 - 08/08/06 06:42 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Joe7987]
gregc618 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/06
Posts: 193
Loc: Illinois, USA
You want them longer so that you're able to apply elbow strike with the tip of the blade. Having it a bit longer make it easier to do and keep everything in alignment when u strike...
_________________________
There can be only one, and its neither of us!

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#269128 - 09/09/06 05:29 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: gregc618]
RyokoYaksa Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 1
Out of curiosity, is it to your disadvantage to use sai that are longer than your measured size? I'm fitted to use 19 1/2 inch sai but just recently received a 21" pair as a hand-me-down.

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#269129 - 09/10/06 12:04 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: RyokoYaksa]
gregc618 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/06
Posts: 193
Loc: Illinois, USA
From what I know there are incident where sai can be too long for a particular person. Too long and they can become cumbersome to use when trying to execute techniques. There is also the notion that they can also be measured too short and cause hindrance of some techniques being performed in a fluid/smooth fashion as well.

I have 2 sets that are 21.5 inches long and I wouldn't mind if they were say 22.5 inches instead. However I'm not willing to pay $200.00 or more to get one more inch of metal with a custom set, and maybe a bit better balance point. If yours are about one inch past on either end of you sai then you have a good fit imo. At least all the fitting instructions seem to say that is a wrap.

FYI: I see lots of ppl complain about the grips gettin loose, and maybe needing to be replace because of sweat.

I think I found the answer: Replacement Golf Club Grips.

Just not sure if they should be adult sized or junior club replacements. A strip of electrical tape cut in half on the horizontal to make two thinner strips, and its back in business with brand new gripping surfaces on your sai.

Take Care


Edited by gregc618 (09/10/06 12:18 PM)
_________________________
There can be only one, and its neither of us!

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#269130 - 11/17/06 12:19 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: gregc618]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
Okay, so maybe this horse is dead enough for some people, but I'm kind of facing the same question these days. I cannot order from Shureido USA for reasons I do not understand. (I do know if I show up with a pair with the purple Shureido USA wrap on it, I will get stomped. I guess I do understand the reason after all.) However, I'm not sure Carbone's sai are right for me because even his carbon steel sai are surprisingly corrosion-resistant, and what I am looking for is a pair of iron sai, for the weight and the texture of the metal once a healthy oxide layer is on the outside of the metal. The difference between iron and stainless steel or chrome in terms of grip is considerable.

My understanding is that the Shureido natural sai are iron, though I could be wrong on this, and I am considering buying direct and having them shipped from the island. Looking at conversion rates, it seems that the guy on ebay who will do it for you is getting about a 50 buck commission, plus 40 bucks shipping. I can't imagine the shipping would be that much different from the factory. Has anyone tried this route? Does anyone know what metal those natural sai are made of? Furthermore, does anyone know of anyone making iron sai anymore?

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#269131 - 11/17/06 11:54 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I own the shureido natural Sai. They are really really nice and have black grips, but I feel that the ones with purple grips are a bit better balanced. The purple grip shureido just feel "smoother" when I flip them out and back. Honestly though the natural ones are still awesome. Its like the difference between a BMW 3-series or 5-series.

The natural are made of iron and come with a sort of lacquer like coating on them to prevent oxidation, and after just a few months of use, almost all of the coating is gone. I'm starting to get that grayish patina oxide coating. These things are serisouly heavy compared to any chrome toys that I've used. Its a very satisfying heft.

The major difference between the purple grip and black grip natural sai from shureido is the way that the tines are connected to the main section. With the purple grip sai, it is welded and then ground to be very flat. The sai seems like it comes from one solid piece. With the natural sai, both tines are part of one piece with a hole in the center that the main part is slid through. The tines are then welded near the bottom side and no grinding is done. The result is a larger junction, right where your thumb happens to reside when you strike. Personally I like it because it is unique among other sai I have seen. It doesn't hamper use that I've noticed at all

Here are some closeups that may explain the construction a bit better. Also I threw one in of the patina that is growing so you can see it is iron. (sorry for the blurry focus!)

Tine 1

Tine 2

Patina

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#269132 - 11/18/06 08:19 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Borrek]
Chatan1979 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 338
Loc: Mahomet , Illinois
I use the Shureido Natural as well and I can attest for its good quality. Sometimes in the summer when it is humid they will oxidize a bit and the dust will rub on your gi, but if you wipe them down before you train its not so bad.
_________________________
There is always someone who knows more, and noone who knows it all....

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#269133 - 11/18/06 09:32 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Borrek]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
You have been extremely helpful, and I just put in an order to Shureido in Okinawa. It's surprising how closely their standard sizes fit my build. Maybe I'm built like an Okinawan, big trunk, short limbs, big hands, short fingers. Maybe not. I understand their trunks are small as well.

With the yen low these days, I might actually be saving money by buying direct. It all depends upon the shipping price, which should come by email soon. I went ahead and included a pair of tonfa in the order, as well as carry bags, since I want to throw a couple packs of silica gel into the bag to prevent serious rust and don't want my dessicant drying out my gi instead of my weapon.

I've looked at your posts, and you seem to know what you are talking about. I'm not Shito Ryu myself, but I have known an owner of a Shito Ryu dojo. I'm saying that I've thought about it and your advice carries weight.

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#269134 - 11/29/06 01:01 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
An update on Shureido Okinawa. There seems to be something wrong with their order form, since I have tried to order from them twice and gotten no reply. Your milage may vary. They are still a better deal than any US distributor if you can reach them, especially if you are ordering in bulk. I was not ordering in bulk, so the international call, had I made it, would have cut into my savings on the deal, so I bought domestically. The hassle was not worth the cost difference.

I found a distibutor my dojo does not have a problem with. However, it turns out that kobudo weapons tend to get stuck in customs. Apparently, DHS is concerned about terrorists attacking the White House with sai. If the service and product are good, I will pass on a link to the person I ordered the sai through. So far, he has been friendly and seems very familiar with the product he carries--when it is in stock. He seems to only carry products he personally uses, since he could make a lot more money by having a wider selection. I am given to respect that.

However, I found that WeaponsConnection (that plus dot com) is almost the same price and a better product for tonfa, if you are willing to wait for the man to custom make your weapon to your body--about ten weeks. He only makes the square kind, but he makes them out of wood harder than red oak, and you don't have to choose between two sizes. You have to tell him the length of your arm and the width of your hand. When Shureido Okinawa seemed to be unresponsive, I went ahead and ordered through him. Again, I will pass on my experience. So far, I have found him to be unresponsive, either because he is away or because he has gotten emails before that have not led to sales. However, I went ahead and ordered from him because I have seen his finished products, and I have not yet seen anything better than what he makes. Again, I will pass on my experience of service and product.

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#269135 - 11/29/06 04:40 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Quote:

I was not ordering in bulk, so the international call, had I made it, would have cut into my savings on the deal, so I bought domestically. The hassle was not worth the cost difference.




Not that this completely relates, but there is computer software that allows you to make calls over your computer for pennies. The software I got is called "Skype". I got it and the phone at Wal-Mart and can make calls to Okinawa and Australia (as well as almost everywhere else) for $0.02 per minute.

------

its bordering on OT but since it sort of relates in a tiny way I'll let it go


Edited by Reiki (11/29/06 05:07 PM)

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#269136 - 12/01/06 12:29 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: Saisho]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
Thank you for the phone info. I don't know if it applies to me, since I'm dialup. (I know it's lame, but I go online mostly for text, not for graphics and videos.)

It turns out that Shureido Okinawa (at least I hope it was them) contacted me about an hour after I made the last post. They knew, approximately, the order I had tried to make, however, I had already ordered through other suppliers and did not want to cancel orders taken in good faith, since the orders to Shureido had long gone unconfirmed and could be considered cancelled by default. (Besides, they got the size wrong on the sai and did not mention the size of the tonfa; any other information they had could have been known from my post or deduced easily.)

One strange thing: they wanted my credit card info by email or fax, which I did not think was too secure. As I said, I went with my previous suppliers. I will report on the other suppliers when they deliver.

The Shureido emails, when they got to me, seemed very responsive and polite. However, it is hard to tell when you have the real thing and when you have someone who has made his email address look like Shureido. I've gotten emails with forged addresses before, even emails forged to be from me.

I'm not saying they were fake. The fax number they offered was very similar to the Shureido fax number. I'm just saying that no legitimate business has ever asked me for credit card information by email before. Anyone who has ordered from them before can correct me. Please correct me. I would not want to slander what I know to be a great provider of authentic Okinawan Karate supplies.

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#269137 - 12/01/06 10:34 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I deal directly with Shureido in the USA, and I've never had a problem. I call them in California (I seem to call to recall that they are closed on Mondays). I put my order in over the phone (I like chit chat with people). And the item always arrives on time.

Sorry you are having such a problem.

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#269138 - 12/02/06 10:46 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: harlan]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I'm not trying to slam Shureido. I would not be trying to buy weapons from them if I did not think that they were reputible and skilled. I'm saying that I am concerned that the person emailing me was not from Shureido. I started emailing in 1988, and I know that it is not a secure system of transfer. It relays through dozens of places domestically. I can't imagine how many relays there are internationally. I had no way of knowing the transaction was secure, and I can't imagine such a respected company uses so dangerous a system.

I'm on the other coast and don't know if it is better to order from ShureidoUSA or from Shureido Okinawa, since exchange rates change every day and shipping charges were never disclosed. The person emailing me seemed to have no idea, which seemed odd to me, since they should be shipping to the US every day. I had already ordered through domestic suppliers when I got no response from either company.

Then, after two weeks of no response, I post to a public forum. Then, in hours, I get someone who wants my credit card number almost immediately. Does that not seem shady? My opinion is that there is Shureido Okinawa trying the best it can and not knowing its online order form does not work. There is also an outside phisher who sees that someone wants to make payment. He sends me an email.

The scam I am talking about has nothing to do with Shureido. I've used their weapons, and they have my respect. My issue is that I have no way of knowing if someone with Shureido as his address is really the real thing.

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#269139 - 12/06/06 10:38 AM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
Meibukan003 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 100
Wow, some of those prices are wild. I paid $65 CDN in 1994 and they are still going strong. I even learned to throw them, and they are still good after hitting each other and being in the mud / rain / grass.

_________________________
My Bo: http://www.meibukan003.110mb.com/

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#269140 - 01/07/07 09:07 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I still have not seen the sai I ordered from a CA dojo distibuting Shureido weapons. I've spoken on the phone with him several times and he seems to be a nice guy, but seriously, I almost could have had the things custom made by this time. Carbone custom-makes better sai in 10 weeks. This place takes seven weeks to deliver something off the shelf. After a couple broken promises, I was promised (3rd strike) the sai by the end of the weekend. I'll be watching my mailbox for the next couple days, but if I do not see it soon I will post the name and link to this non-distributor.

He refuses to send me a tracking number for something he claims to have sent weeks ago. I suspect that he intends to send it on a quick delivery to cover up for his own delays, but with no tracking number and no sai, I have no reason to believe he is even in the business of selling weapons. So far, all I know is that he is in the business of charging credit card numbers.

For those of you thinking of ordering immediately, he is in pinot noir wine country, not Napa.

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#269141 - 01/08/07 01:57 PM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Time to get your money back from the dojo. Sounds like consumer fraud from someone capitalizing on the good name of Shureido.

Anybody here from California who might be able to research this a bit?

I've never had a problem...and like I said...I called the company directly (using the site I listed earlier and cutting out any middleman profiteers)...and had the weapons within a week.

You might want to call Shureido in California...and give them a head's up about this distributer...as it is giving them a bad name.

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#269142 - 01/08/07 05:50 PM Re: Quality Sai [Re: IRKguy]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
If I were you I would tell the guy you're going to have your credit card company remove the charges. They will take the matter up with him for you, but you will get your money back. The one good thing about credit cards!

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#269143 - 01/10/07 12:10 AM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: harlan]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
My take on this guy is that he is a decent man who is trying to run a dojo part time and helping paying the rent by selling these things at a marginal profit. He's just not doing it very well. Maybe I'm wrong, but my credit card records have not yet shown up with anything wierd. I've been paying attention and it expires soon. Because I am a nice guy, so I called him up and let him promise that I would have either have the order or proof that the order was sent when he said it was when I get home tomorrow.

I'm not a vengeful person, so the phone numbers to ShureidoUSA, the Better Business Bureau, Visa, and the US Postal Inspector fraud division are just waiting on the legal pad on my desk until I get home tomorrow. There's no point in making a big deal about nothing, until tomorrow.

I have no intention of threatening him with these actions. A threat is a gift. If the situation warrants, then I will do as necessary.

A note for anyone facing internet fraud: if it involves a shipment, it is mail fraud. The Postal Inspector is the oldest federal police force in the nation (some customs agents disagree). I'm sure they will know what to do, and they love to respond to mail fraud, especially when there is an email record of the transaction. They live for this. You can even report dumb chain letters. https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm

I'll decide tomorrow.

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#269144 - 01/10/07 12:50 PM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Thanks for the info, IRKguy. I hope your situaton gets resolved without any more messiness.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#269145 - 01/14/07 10:47 PM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: MattJ]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
You would not believe this. As the guy said, ShureidoUSA was backordered by two weeks. This guy added a week of delay by not getting back to me, and Fedex has been incapable of delivering for a month. It amazes me. The last entry on my tracking says "unable to find address." I don't live in the Amazon Jungle. I live one block from the post office in a major metropolitan city, on a numbered street. How is it hard to figure out that 14th street is between 13th and 15th street?

I tried three times to have them just leave it at the station so I could pick it up myself, but they can't seem to manage that either. What does it mean when a shipping company cannot find your address? If I said that to my boss, I would be fired on the spot. I can find my address on GoogleMaps, complete with the tree next to my front porch. The degree of incompetence I am dealing with baffles me. The stupidity is baffling.

I will pass on the names and URLs of every business involved when the transaction is done.

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#269146 - 01/19/07 12:21 AM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
So now, after two weeks of delays due to customs, a week of delay due to the vendor, a week of confusion on ShureidoUSA's part, and over a month of FedEx screwing up and not being able to adapt to ShureidoUSA having given them the wrong address, I have the sai in hand. The sai seem to be very well-made, but there is no Shureido mark on the sai themselves, though they were sent from Ryukyu Enterprises (the only authorized US importer) and I can't imagine anyone would take the trouble to make forgeries that are this well-made. Is there usually a trademark on the weapons?

I also wonder why Shureido would make such a balanced weapon so light. My mass-produced sai were heavier, and if sai are a bludgeon, why not make it more point-heavy? I also wonder about the width of the grip. In the point-back grip, I can barely catch a bo. My hand gets in the way. Maybe Okinawans have smaller hands or smaller bo?

I'm sorry if I sound paranoid, but I have been jerked around for two months, and I want to make sure I have what I paid for and have been waiting for before I contact the vendor and close the transaction.

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#269147 - 01/19/07 07:52 AM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Why don't you post the dimensions and weight of the sai...for comparison? (What type did you get, BTW?)

Don't know your size, but my sai were the small, natural ones and my hands are less than 4" at the widest and wrist to fingertip 7"....and it seems to be a good fit. (Sai at home...dont' have those specs to post right now.)

I was used to larger, heavier Tokkiedo (sp?) sai...and initially unhappy about the sai size...but felt it would be a bother to exchange them. Besides...one should get used to different sizes/weights/brands.

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#269148 - 01/21/07 08:55 PM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
My shureido have no sort of trademarks on them.

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#269149 - 01/25/07 10:57 PM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: Borrek]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
Thank you, Borrek.
As I said, I cannot imagine someone would make forgeries of such high quality. However, after two months of unnecessary delays, I got suspicious. I had nothing to compare them to. Although my sensei's sensei uses these weapons, he is a few states away, and people in my dojo tend to use mass-produced weapons and then make the jump to much more expensive custom made stuff (3 times the price). I just wanted to be sure the whole thing was over.
Since the delay was due to Fedex and Ryukyu Enterprises (ShureidoUSA) not being able to get their acts togther, I am leaving out the name of the third party vendor except to say that whoever was quoted 170 by ShureidoUSA was being played. There are third part vendors who charge less, so ShureidoUSA could have done a lot better.

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#269150 - 01/26/07 08:08 AM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: IRKguy]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I'm sorry...did I miss something? I thought this whole debacle was basically due to you deciding to go through a third party?

Glad I paid $130 for my sai by going directly to the company. Since I got them in 3 days, with no hassle, I feel they were 'worth' the price. If I ever need a second pair...I'll keep the advice in mind as a cautionary tale.

Quote:

There are third part vendors who charge less, so ShureidoUSA could have done a lot better.



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#269151 - 01/27/07 12:38 AM Re: Quality Sai Fraud? [Re: harlan]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I don't know who caused the whole debacle, but my Fedex tracking information says that Fedex caused most of the debacle. I paid 135 from the third party vendor, but I have heard of people getting all kinds of prices from ShureidoUSA, depending on how they like you over the phone. It doesn't matter too much because my school will be setting up its own wholesale account after this mess.

As for the initial order, I was willing to pay the extra five bucks to avoid taking the time to talk with someone long distance. I'm more than a bit of an introvert, and half of my 5 bucks of savings would be lost in long distance charges anyway, provided the salesman liked me and I was at home at the right time to make the call. It turned out that I ended up losing more in time talking to FedEx's worthless customer service

I sent the third party guy an email yesterday, and I figure that if he is a good guy, he will try to make things right. Otherwise, his link goes up. So far, I have said that I was talking about a Shorinryu dojo in California wine country that is not Napa. Someone about to order would know who I was talking about and think twice.

By no means was I recommending this guy or anyone else. I was saying that anyone talking to ShureidoUSA and getting a quote of 170 should say that he knew of places where he could get it for a lot less. He should not order from those places. He should use those places as bargaining points. As Eric Cartman says, you use the breaking my balls technique.

You didn't miss anything. I've just, out of an abundance of caution, delayed giving the link to someone no one should ever think of order from because ths might be an isolated incident. In any case, the service was awful, and I would definitely work directly with ShureidoUSA or even Shureido Okinawa in the future. A boat across the ocean could not be slower.

I want to be absolutely clear. When you deal with a third party, you are just inviting new markups and new delays, since you have added another moving part to the transaction. However, you should shop third party providors so Shureido does not give you unreasonable prices.

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