Sai review: Worbington Steele

Grenadier

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Just thought I'd post an update.

I had some money burning a hole in my pocket (I know, I know, that's a rare thing), and decided to get a premium pair of sai, since the generic pair that I bought from Century, ended up being horribly unbalanced. In addition to this, working the Yamanni Ryu kata that require smooth flowing movements, became a pain with these clunkers, literally. It wasn't unusual, that I would wake up the next morning, and have the hands shaking while trying to drink my morning coffee.

Anyways, I had looked at several sources, for a pair of stainless steel sai.

1) Shureido USA / Ryu Kyu Enterprises - Could have gotten a pair of their sai for about $175 + shipping at the time.

2) Agena - $275 + shipping

3) Murasaki - $300 + shipping

4) Worbington Steele - $175, shipping included.


In the end, I chose Phil Worbington's company to make me a pair of sai.

I found Phil to be a very knowledgeable fellow, and very pleasant to deal with, and that the man really takes pride in his work. We went through several measurements, to make sure that the pair of sai that I ordered would be the right fit.

I ended up getting a pair of stainless steel sai, that had the antique finish, pointed tips, and a blue cotton wrapping that feels ever so much better than the awful leather grips that my generic sai have.

They look identical to this:

http://www.worbingtonsteele.com/images/DSCN1149.JPG

with a blue wrapping.

Weight was slightly less than my clunkers, but the weight distribution is far superior, and that I can get a much, much faster "twirl" while handling the sai. Working kata such as Kyan No Sai or Nokan Nokari No Sai, has become much less taxing to the hands and wrists, and the flow of the technique has improved.

The guy really knows what he's doing, and it's actually a pretty interesting process when you can see the metalworking being done.

http://www.worbingtonsteele.com/shoptalk.html

Overall? I'm pretty darn happy with my purchase, and anticipate on keeping this pair until I'm no longer capable of using them. The fact that he took a good bit of time to make sure that I got exactly what I wanted, gives that "happy customer" feeling, and I will be recommending his works to all of my students who train in saijutsu.

On another note, he can make a pair of sai with a lighter steel, for those who may need the lower weight.
 

stone_dragone

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That's awesome! It's always good to walk away from a deal knowing that you got taken care of instead of just taken.

If I ever get deeper into kobudo and saijutsu, I will use this fellow for my sai.

Thanks for the review!
 

Flying Crane

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Very good, sir. Given my own propensity to modify and rebuild swords and spears in search of a better weapon, I have a tremendous amount of respect for this kind of work, and for someone willing to search out and spend more money for something that is clearly superior. That is time and money well spent.

I picked up a pair of sai from Asian World of Martial Arts, back in about 1982, before I had any martial arts training. I never did learn to use them, but I still have them. They are heavy and solid, but I have no idea if they are well balanced, or somehow poorly designed. Perhaps someday I will have a chance to explore them as a weapon. In the meantime, I see a lot of sai on sale in San Francisco Chinatown, but they all strike me as being pretty light and of questionable durability. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I always felt a real weapon should have some real heft to it, make sure it is something that could actually stand up to a beating. I guess I've just seen way too many lightweight, toy wushu swords and I just have no respect for anything along those lines.

At any rate, thanks for sharing, hope you have many years of good training with your weapons.
 
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Grenadier

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Mine are being shipped in 10 days or so. Super excited. Thanks for the review.

Glad to hear that it helped!

How do you like your new sai?
 

MikeBielat

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My sai are awesome. They are the talk of the dojo even.

They are very well balanced and actually very light which I was surprised by. Love them. I'd sleep with them under my pillow if my wife let me lol.
 

DaleDugas

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I have many a blade or weapon under my pillow.

Why would you ask your wife permission for something under YOUR pillow?
 
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