Time to buy sai, need advice...

Brandon Fisher

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Bill,
I have 2 pair of Shureido Sai and they are quite nice. The real heavy duty ones are a bit big for me but I use the chrome ones most of the time anyway. I have a contact I am going to look into about their sai. He is a student of Kyoshi Donald Shapland of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan and makes sai the okinawan way. I don't know the quality yet so I can't vouch for it yet but I trust Shapland Sensei's opinion. Another option is Worbington Steele whom made the nunti for my nunti bo and did a nice job. http://www.worbingtonsteele.com/weapons.html

One last suggestion is one of the best if not the best but by far the most expensive and that is Peter Carbone Sensei's sai. http://www.weaponsconnection.com

All these suggestions are great but expensive but they are the best.

Brandon
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Hi Brandon:

Sensei Carbone no longer makes weapons; he is 'semi-retired'. And I understand about the quality of the other weapons. But when I say I can't afford them, I actually mean I cannot afford them. No money. I don't know how else to say that. It's like continuing to insist that Rolls Royces are great cars to a guy who rides a bicycle. I agree they're great. Can't afford one. How else can I say that? Anyway, thanks for the reply anyway.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Bill,
There are many things that I have gotten that "I couldn't afford" but I planned for them and worked to be able to do it. I understand money is tight, it is everywhere with about everyone. However I didn't deserve the tone in your response, so I won't bother again. Sorry for sharing my experience.

Gomennasai!!
 

tayl0124

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Bill,
I have 2 pair of Shureido Sai and they are quite nice. The real heavy duty ones are a bit big for me but I use the chrome ones most of the time anyway. I have a contact I am going to look into about their sai. He is a student of Kyoshi Donald Shapland of the Ryukyu Kobudo Tesshinkan and makes sai the okinawan way. I don't know the quality yet so I can't vouch for it yet but I trust Shapland Sensei's opinion. Another option is Worbington Steele whom made the nunti for my nunti bo and did a nice job. http://www.worbingtonsteele.com/weapons.html

One last suggestion is one of the best if not the best but by far the most expensive and that is Peter Carbone Sensei's sai. http://www.weaponsconnection.com

All these suggestions are great but expensive but they are the best.

Brandon

Let me know what you find out about this other guy who makes them. Do you study directly with Sensei Don Shapland?? I know a guy who I believe also studies under him. I also believe that my Sensei made a trip up to his dojo a few months back.
 

Brandon Fisher

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No I don't study with Shapland Sensei I was lucky enough to find a very good kobudo sensei locally that is a student of Tokumura Sensei now. I did just order 2 pair of tunfa from Shapland Sensei which are in the mail now and should have them in a few days. I can't wait to get them and use them.

However I have seen pictures of them and they are the old design with the handles having points on the end of the handle like Carbone Sensei's sai. Here is a picture of Carbone Sensei's sai in case you are not sure what I mean: http://www.weaponsconnection.com/weapons photos/energysaiofagena.jpg. It will be a little bit yet before I order them: my chrome shureido sai are still doing the job but haven't don't really do a lot of banging on them. That and just signed the lease for the new dojo so have some renovation costs and such coming up.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I offer my apologies to Brandon Fisher and anyone else whom I may have offended with the terseness of my replies to this thread. I allowed a recent personal financial incident to color my response, and it was not polite. Again, I offer my apologies.
 

tayl0124

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Awesome Brandon, I am familiar with Carobon's sais. They look very similar to my Sensei Holt's(also a student of Tokumura) shureido ones. Does your local kubudo Sensei study under the Tamiose(sp?) lineage?? We have just been introduced to the Akamine Hiroshi(sp?) lineage by a great kubudo guy from Mankato MN. I actually attended a Seminar hosted by him, where he brought Akamine Hiroshi to the little town of Mankato, as well as many ruku kobudo guys from around the world. I was truely amazed that there were so many people that would travel that far to train.
 

Brandon Fisher

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I am familiar with Jurgens Sensei and I know he lived on Okinawa for quite sometime training with Akamine Hiroshi Sensei. I have never seen his kobudo but I know its not easy to gain a 5[SUP]th[/SUP] Dan and Shihan ranking from a Okinawan organization typically.

My Sensei trained with Carbone Sensei for many years and received her 4[SUP]th[/SUP] Dan from Nakamoto Kiichi Sensei. She has more kobudo background than just that also but is now under Tokumura Sensei who since you are familiar with him you probably know he got his 9[SUP]th[/SUP] Dan / Hanshi from Nakamoto Sensei.

Personally I have been training in Kobudo since Nov. 1992 have never had the opportunity to gain separate rank in Kobudo from my Karate rank.
 

lklawson

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Bill,
There are many things that I have gotten that "I couldn't afford" but I planned for them and worked to be able to do it. I understand money is tight, it is everywhere with about everyone. However I didn't deserve the tone in your response, so I won't bother again. Sorry for sharing my experience.

Gomennasai!!
Whao! Slow down there chief. There wasn't any insulting "tone" to Bill's post. Yes, there was obvious frustration but no overt insult. And, frankly, your post could be considered insulting. Just because you have the means to plan and save for some expensive item doesn't mean that everyone can. You and I have no idea of Bill's current financial circumstances. He might be so far underwater that any expense is a luxury. Crap, I know some people for whom money is so "tight" right now, that fixing their blasted vehicle so that they can get to work without it over-heating is a "luxury." I know some folks who, sometimes, eating anything other than plain rice is a "luxury" (what, you mean we get meat today? huzah!).

Maybe he's lost his job. I know a lot of folks in that boat. Maybe he's working multiple minimum wage jobs. I know folks there too. Maybe he's had sudden expenses such as property damage or sudden illness. I know one person who's paying out almost $10,000 to repair damage to his roof from a hail storm (you're in Ohio, surely you remember this summer's hail storm) and I know another person who's just been diagnosed with Cancer (insurance covers most but he's still got deductibles, non-covered expenses, travel expenses 'cuz gas ain't free, etc.).

It doesn't pay to make assumptions about what other people can or can not afford, even if you think they should be able to budget and scrimp and save for God knows how long.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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Bill Mattocks

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It's OK, Kirk, I spoke with Brandon via PM and we're cool. In a nutshell, yes, my finances are in dire straits at the moment. Not permanent, but some legal things are happening and it's not good and it was on my mind; I spoke out of turn. Thank you, though.
 

Brandon Fisher

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When Bill and I get to see each other again hopefully in November I am sure we will shake each others hand and say hey.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Sorry picture didn't attach. I found the picture of the sai I was talking about
 

Grenadier

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Master Phillip Worbington of Worbington Steel. Best made and balanced sai I have ever seen or handled.

I have yet to find someone dissatisfied with Phillip Worbington's weapons, especially the sai. Each pair is custom fitted, and for the price paid, I'm not sure if there are any others out there who fit each pair of sai for each buyer.

Glad to see that he's still cranking out weapons.
 

MikeBielat

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Sorry to bring back an old thread but I just pulled the trigger with Phil Worbington to have my sais custom made. I'll let you all know how they turn out. So far, Phil has been prompt to get back to me and double and triple checked my sizing for me to make sure things are correct. So far so good! He said about 10 days to make before being shipped.

I truly feel like there is no halfway decent sai in the $60-80 price range that would be acceptable for training. If one plays a guitar then you have the cheap $100 guitars and they can go up easily into the thousands. The difference here is that a $250-350 guitar would be of very decent quality and would play like a dream.

Unfortunately weapons aren't like guitars and it is hard to get a pair that will hold up and not break.

I ordered a pair of sais from AWMA back 8 years ago and a whole chunk of one fork was not chrome plated and was super rusted in that section.

Cheap ain't good and good ain't cheap.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Cheap ain't good and good ain't cheap.

That is a fact. But when you do not have the big bucks to buy the best, your options are limited to "the best of a bad situation." And "saving my money until I can afford the best" isn't an option either. For various reasons, that is not permitted to me at this time. So I bought a pair of cheap sai. They're not good, but they're OK enough to practice in the dojo with. And that's all there is too it for me. Wishing for more is fine. Affording more is not possible. So I moved on.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Sorry to bring back an old thread but I just pulled the trigger with Phil Worbington to have my sais custom made. I'll let you all know how they turn out. So far, Phil has been prompt to get back to me and double and triple checked my sizing for me to make sure things are correct. So far so good! He said about 10 days to make before being shipped.

I truly feel like there is no halfway decent sai in the $60-80 price range that would be acceptable for training. If one plays a guitar then you have the cheap $100 guitars and they can go up easily into the thousands. The difference here is that a $250-350 guitar would be of very decent quality and would play like a dream.

Unfortunately weapons aren't like guitars and it is hard to get a pair that will hold up and not break.

I ordered a pair of sais from AWMA back 8 years ago and a whole chunk of one fork was not chrome plated and was super rusted in that section.

Cheap ain't good and good ain't cheap.

I bought a pair of the worbington sai after seeing this post and I gave in and did it. Now let me give the positives first.

1. The balance is very good but not perfect
2. Phillips response time is very good
3. Delivery time after placing the order is very acceptable

Negatives
1. I had to send my sai back twice only to be told that the last time would be the last time fixing the sizing. I gave him the exact size of my hand across the palm and the size was 1in to large the first time they were made and to small the second time. Guess what they still don't fit me at least my wife can use them so I am not out alot.

I hope you don't have the luck I had. I had another pair of custom sai made by someone else and I paid the same price and they are much better. However they are not stainless steel but very functional.

Just my .02,
Brandon Fisher
 

MikeBielat

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That's a bummer Brandon. I'll let you know if I have any issues. May be why Phil double and triple checked sizing for me. Lessons learned?
 
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