High Density Composite Bokken

Discussion in 'The ProShop' started by Nick Soapdish, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Yellow Belt

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    Hey everyone, I'm hoping this is the proper place to post this.

    I work with a friend who makes handmade bokken (and other martial arts training tools) from a high density composite material.

    I'd love it if you guys would take a look at the site and let us know what kind of questions you might have about the product.

    We just recently launched the website, but my friend has been selling the tools locally for the past 10 years. We are trying to get ourselves into the market and would love to have some martial artists take a look at them and ask us some questions. I'm hoping this is a good forum for such things.

    There's a lot of information out there about what wood is best for bokken and the properties of wood, but since we aren't using wood, we are having to answer a few more and different questions than normal. It would help us a lot to get feedback, ideas about what you would like to see on the website, or just questions in general.

    Here's a link to the site. Shinbudo Weapons | Handcrafted Training Tools

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I like the look. My questions would be about vibration and grip when your hands are sweaty. Of course I would also want to know the impact strength and what happens when they break. Do they break clean or shatter. I have a laminated boken from king fisher and have to be careful about impact because it could and has broken other people's bokken. The Web sight looks good, professional but I would like to see some more pics. Thanks for posting I might be calling for an order at some point.
     
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  3. hussaf

    hussaf Green Belt

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    I have the same concerns with alloyed woods (I don't think I used that word correctly). Bokken need a certain softness to them, like a king fisher
     
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  4. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Yellow Belt

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    We've been using this material in our bokken for awhile and not had any complaints about vibration or grip. The material looks polished and shiny, but it's not slippery by any means.

    When they break, which has only happened a few times, they break clean. I guess the closest example would be a short grained wood like lignum vitae, but we try to avoid comparisons with woods.

    You'd have to take the same care as with your laminated bokken from king fisher. We just finished a durability video against a store bought red oak, and handmade white oak and hickory bokken, and it dented those woods. We hit them pretty hard, but you don't want to damage your partners tools, so it would be best to take care.

    What kinds of pics would you like to see? I'll be uploading some new colors to a few of the styles in the next day or so, and we'll be adding our custom order page in the near future as well.

    Thanks again to both of you for the questions. It really helps us narrow down what to put on the site, and think about ways to answer questions better. If you do end up wanting to order from us, send me a message ahead of time and I'll see what I can do about getting you a discount or free shipping or something.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    I've been using the same hickory bokken for 15 years now, more than a few dents, but it has held up for iai and jodo contact with hardly a whimper.
    I have some nice weapons from my sensei, https://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/ , but I always go back to a basic hickory bokken. My "nice" weapons sit unused in my bag.
    When you're doing bokken on bokken or jo on bokken contact, it can't splinter, dents are fine, but splintering is a no-no.
    Wooden weapons are disposable, they are made to be used, broken and discarded, they're tools. Buy what you like, use it, enjoy it, and when it breaks, buy a new one.
    Nice website btw.
     
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  6. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Yellow Belt

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    Thanks!

    Hickory is an amazing wood for bokken. When we were doing the durability video for ours, we were so sad to have to hit the hickory. It's beautiful. After the test, the hickory didn't splinter even with the big dents that we made. The red oak splintered really badly and the white oak splintered a little, but would have been fine with some light sanding.

    We definitely aren't saying our stuff is better than wood. We don't like to compare what we make with wood, although it seems like we end up having to considering what we make. Every tool has a purpose. Our stuff is durable, won't dent, won't splinter, and doesn't wear out like wood. We are hoping there is a market out there for "nice" weapons and then the stuff you want to smash around. Because the high density composite that we use has different properties than wood, we are able to make thinner profiles that some people like, and some of our styles have a "live blade" feel to them that a thicker bokken doesn't give.

    We aren't trying to replace wooden tools, just offer something different.

    Thanks for the comment!
     

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