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#296797 - 10/26/06 12:40 PM Wooden Katana
Jade Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 5
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I am currently learning Kenjutsu and I was wondering if anyone knew where I could purchase a Wooden Katana. *Not* a bokken practice sword used in Kendo combat drills, but a wooden katana (it is shaped exactly like a katana blade) complete with a wooden saiya. It is used in Iaido quite often for the purpose of practicing drawing techniques. The point being if you cut correctly, the katana will make a loud "whoosh" in the air. I hope I described that well enough. I'm having a hard time finding one to purchase online. Any help would be greaty appreciated!

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#296798 - 10/26/06 12:45 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: Jade]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5811
Loc: USA
Jade

Welcome!

1st, ask your teacher exactly what you need to buy and where to get it.

Specifc styles often have specific requiments for trainign gear---would not wish to steer you wrong by suggesting the wrong stuff.

2nd, many bokken are shaped like a katana and some even come with tsuba as well.

3, a non sharp, zinc alloy iaito is often used for drawing practice, wooden ones are seldom used as "stand-ins."

4-Generally a "correct" cut will sound different from a poor cut--regardless of the blade material.

What style of kenjutsu are you takeing??
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#296799 - 10/26/06 01:03 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: cxt]
Jade Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 5
My instructor actually got his as a gift from his instructor, and he doesn't have his instructor's resources. I'm not quite sure of the style or terminology. My instructor is only a 1st dan (officially), and he learned it from a (recognized? licensed) instructor that used to teach here in San Francisco, but has died recently.

Anyway, yes we do use the alloy iaito katanas for demonstration drills (katas). We also use bokken for drills in which our weapons need to make contact with another student's weapon. What I'm looking for is a wooden katana--the "blade" part is as thin as a real blade, and also has a blood groove. It is used to practice cuts in the air because it is lighter than an alloy practice (non sharpened) katana. A correct overhead cut, for example, will sound a loud "whoosh" in the air. My instructor says that once you transition to a sharpened katana, you can cut bamboo (with one cut) without breaking the blade. Is anyone familiar with this?

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#296800 - 10/26/06 01:18 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: Jade]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Quote:

*Not* a bokken practice sword used in Kendo combat drills, but a wooden katana (it is shaped exactly like a katana blade) complete with a wooden saiya. It is used in Iaido quite often for the purpose of practicing drawing techniques.




It may be used "quite often" in your parts, however I very rarely see anyone with such a tool during classes or seminars. A bokken with saya is perfectly fine, and even a step above what most people use, a bokken without saya. We're expected to make the jump to iaito fairly quickly, so the saya with the bokken isn't essential, but it is helpful. It's becoming more common nowadays (that I've seen).

Quote:

The point being if you cut correctly, the katana will make a loud "whoosh" in the air.




You don't need a thin, katana-like bokken for that. Our usual supplier, http://www.sdksupplies.com/cat_stdweapons.htm#Bokuto offers bokuto with hi (groove), which does exactly what you describe. They're perfectly suited to Iaido practice.

I wouldn't really go for a katana-like bokken. The thinness would mean less weight, less realism, totally different dynamics, and likely [censored]-poor performance during kumitachi. A nice display piece, I'm sure, but the good old standard bokken still rules.

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#296801 - 10/26/06 01:20 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: Jade]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
What you are looking for is typically referred to as a bokuto with hi(groove) and a wooden saya. I've played around with a couple of them and find them generally unsuited for iai, but perhaps you have found a different brand. If I were to want a saya for a bokuto, I would pick a saya with a plastic bokuto. Plastic may not be traditional, but neither is a wooden saya for a wooden sword.

This sword might be usable but expensive http://www.bokkenshop.com/eng/260.html Might as well get an iaito for that price. Same thing here http://bokkenshop.com/eng/258.html

My choice for what you are looking for would probably be the item titled "Shiro Kashi Saya Bokuto (with hi)" at http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/cat_stdweapons.htm I've considered purchasing that myself.

BTW a hi is not a "blood groove" and has nothing whatsoever to do with blood. It's purpose is to lighten the blade without overly weakening it in the all important ha to mune plane. Sometimes they are carved into a blade to remove a flaw from the steel. They have nothing to do with blood or suction, or anything else. Tachikaze(the swooshing noise) is a byproduct of a hi and good hasuji(angle of attack) and does not necessarily indicate good technique. The volume of tachikaze can be influenced by how close the hasuji is to perfect, speed of cut, and shape of the hi. A hi with sharper edges will make a much louder noise than one with softer edges.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#296802 - 10/26/06 01:24 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: splice]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

Quote:

*Not* a bokken practice sword used in Kendo combat drills, but a wooden katana (it is shaped exactly like a katana blade) complete with a wooden saiya. It is used in Iaido quite often for the purpose of practicing drawing techniques.




It may be used "quite often" in your parts, however I very rarely see anyone with such a tool during classes or seminars. A bokken with saya is perfectly fine, and even a step above what most people use, a bokken without saya. We're expected to make the jump to iaito fairly quickly, so the saya with the bokken isn't essential, but it is helpful. It's becoming more common nowadays (that I've seen).




Agreed. Students at our dojo use bokuto for a couple months or so and then generally move on to a loaner iaito or a saya with plastic bokuto if the loaners are taken. I can see the plastic saya bokuto finding a place in dojos looking for cheap durable loaners for students who are ready for saya but haven't yet ordered/received their iaito. They really do need to be short term as they are a very poor substitute for an iaito. Handy for kumitachi though.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#296803 - 10/26/06 01:27 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: Jade]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5811
Loc: USA
Jade

So your training in a style that you know nothing about, with a teacher that has no idea where he got the equipment he is using, and that his only contact is now dead?

Ok, number of things:

1-I personally think that if your going to be spending your time and hard earned money on something you should probably know a little more about it first.
Just an opinion.

2-Most legit koryu, MOST NOT ALL , do not offer "dan ranks" in their art--the whole kyu/dan ranking system was developed long after the koryus and as a general rule they don't use it.
There are of course exceptions--but in general kyu/dan ranks are used in gendai arts not koryu.

3-If your doing cutting practice---even in the air, you would want a blade that is as close to "real" in terms of weight and handling a possible--NOT a ligher one.

It will make the transtion to a real blade that much harder.

4-A "whoosh"--will be made by iaito/bokken, regardless if its wood or metal.
A "proper" cut sounds different regardless of what its made of then a poor cut does.

A sharps katana should be able to cut bamboo without breaking---prseuming your swinging it correctly and the blade is of decent quality.

5-I have seen bokken with plastic saya and tsuba for sale--but that does not sound like your looking for.

Sorry.


Edited by cxt (10/26/06 01:29 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#296804 - 10/26/06 01:27 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: splice]
Jade Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 5
Quote:

I wouldn't really go for a katana-like bokken. The thinness would mean less weight, less realism, totally different dynamics, and likely [censored]-poor performance during kumitachi. A nice display piece, I'm sure, but the good old standard bokken still rules.




Nevertheless I would still like one. I'm not debating practical uses, since we do use all the available types in training--all except the sharpened katana. I was just wondering if anyone knows what I am talking about and if anyone can point me in the right direction where I can purchase one. I believe it was used often in iaido, since it is the art of sword drawing. Maybe not so much anymore. It is very light and thin (and fragile seeming), much lighter than a standard bokken.

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#296805 - 10/26/06 01:37 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: cxt]
Jade Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 5
Quote:

Jade

So your training in a style that you know nothing about, with a teacher that has no idea where he got the equipment he is using, and that his only contact is now dead?





I'm sorry, I'm misrepresenting my instructor. I'm not paying him anything to teach us. He's a friend and a practitioner of kenjutsu for several years. His is not really a school, but an informal training so his knowledge won't die with him, so to speak. He doesn't have any formal licensing for instructing, but I do know his instructor was well known in the kenjutsu circuit, he came from Japan--although I can't remember his name. I'm not arguing for the legitimacy of what I'm learning. I know my friend/instructor was favored with his own instructor, and the things he is teaching us is not by the book, but is legitimate because he recieved the same training from his own instructor.

Like I said I am just wondering if anyone knows what I am talking about, and if you can help me.

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#296806 - 10/26/06 01:41 PM Re: Wooden Katana [Re: Charles Mahan]
Jade Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 5
Quote:

What you are looking for is typically referred to as a bokuto with hi(groove) and a wooden saya. I've played around with a couple of them and find them generally unsuited for iai, but perhaps you have found a different brand. If I were to want a saya for a bokuto, I would pick a saya with a plastic bokuto. Plastic may not be traditional, but neither is a wooden saya for a wooden sword.

This sword might be usable but expensive http://www.bokkenshop.com/eng/260.html Might as well get an iaito for that price. Same thing here http://bokkenshop.com/eng/258.html

My choice for what you are looking for would probably be the item titled "Shiro Kashi Saya Bokuto (with hi)" at http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/cat_stdweapons.htm I've considered purchasing that myself.

BTW a hi is not a "blood groove" and has nothing whatsoever to do with blood. It's purpose is to lighten the blade without overly weakening it in the all important ha to mune plane. Sometimes they are carved into a blade to remove a flaw from the steel. They have nothing to do with blood or suction, or anything else. Tachikaze(the swooshing noise) is a byproduct of a hi and good hasuji(angle of attack) and does not necessarily indicate good technique. The volume of tachikaze can be influenced by how close the hasuji is to perfect, speed of cut, and shape of the hi. A hi with sharper edges will make a much louder noise than one with softer edges.




Thank you Charles Mahan. I'm sorry I am not very familiar with the terminology since I just started learning within the past few months. I will try those links out, thank you very much!

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