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Thread: Weapons Makers & Vendors

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    Default Weapons Makers & Vendors

    This thread replaces the now closed "WeaponsConnection" thread. Feel free to discuss the quality/style of manufacture, the end product and their use in the dojo ... for any weapons maker from Carbone to Shureido.

    Also, feel free to challenge and discuss intelligently any claims made by any maker. However, keep challenges and responses focused on the issues at hand and keep personal slights and insults out of the thread.
    Doug Daulton

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    Default Shureido is the vendor of choice for RKHS

    For practioners of the Taira-Akamine line of Ryukyu Kobudo (a.k.a. Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai), Shureido is the vendor of choice. It is my understanding that their weapons are designed for and therefore ideally suited to our style of practice.

    Personal experience backs this up for me. I've owned 10+ pair of sai in 25 years of practice and study as well as many bo, tekko, nunchaku and tonfa. None has held up under the rigors of training quite so well as those made by Shureido. And, none has suited our waza quite so well either.

    I have worked with Western-made weapons which either copy the Shureido designs or try to improve on them, but none has ever matched or exceeded the original. That said, I am wholly ready to admit that this may simply be personal bias. Perhaps Tim Jurgens or Mario McKenna could chime in as well from the RKHS/Taira side of the house.
    Doug Daulton

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    I like Shureido weapons as well. I have bought enough “stuff” from them to send Nakasone’s kid to Harvard and Oxford. (Nakasone owns Shureido).
    I have two stories which I will relate that are similar in nature but come from to different arts.
    When I was in Taiwan I studied brush painting. I wanted to buy a new brush and asked the owner of the brush shop which one was the best one for me. He said “they are all just fine for you”. I thought what kind wise cracker is this guy…..I asked again. He said look and picked up a junky brush that was about $1 and started to paint an excellent piece of work (for me anyway), then picked up a brush that cost $500 and painted the same thing just as well. He said “it’s not the brush but the artist”. Iliked his honesty because he could have sold me the $500 brush and my work would have sucked just as much as if I had bought the $1 brush.
    Years ago I was in the dojo and my teacher said almost the same thing. “a true warrior should be able to pick up any weapon and use it well” (a weapon that he knows)

    For these two reasons I have never been in to “custom made weapons”.
    Believe me when I hit someone with a weapon it’s gonna hurt and I doubt they will care if it was “custom made” or not.

    If I am not mistaken Musashi said something to the effect that weapons should be sturdy and for serious use and not “decorative”.
    [CENTER]Robert Rousselot

    [B][I]Yeah, I’m humble…..I’m just not obsequious--- me [/I][/B]
    [B][I]Human behavior flows from three main sources; desire, emotion, and knowledge --- Plato[/I][/B][/CENTER]

  4. #4
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    Default Shureido Weapons

    Doug and Rob,

    Concur with both of your comments. Only a little more info to add about Shureido, their Dogi are also very good. The only complaint is about the price as the gear is top price. I would also waive anyone off from buying one of their stock Eku (Oar) as the ballance is not very good. Shureido get most of their kit from someone else. I wish I knew where. I know that for a while they were selling Tinbe that Don Shapland was making from a sea turtle carapas he got from some fellows having a turtle soup down near the Seaman's club. The quality of his work was good enough for Shureido to resell. That is what they do with the rest of the weapons as well.

    I would also say that most of the time plain iron weapons are prefered to chrome plated ones. The plain kind seem to be more yeoman in nature and that fits well with the idea of having plain but solid technique. If you have a good waza you don't need the sunlight to glint off of the weapon to make it look impressive. As a down side to that you do need to keep an oil rag fresh to keep the rust down and probably your nice white dogi has some brown / orangeish tint around the hips.

    I would also suggest getting any Kama at a hardware store instead of a martial arts store. The item will be genuine and you won't have to pay any mark up for it being something that is hard to come by. Obviously you can't buy Sai at the local do it yourself shop so there is a bit of a monopoly that drives up price. Kama go for under 10 Dollars US for a very nice one, 20 for a pair. They can also be purchased at much cheaper prices as little as 3 Dollars in some places for the lighter ones with thiner metal on the blades.

    While we are on the subject of weapons I would also say that it is a good idea to have a good Bo that you want to keep for a few decades and a softer maybe rattan one that you don't mind getting chunks taken out of while doing weapons kumite.

    One other intersting story is that my good friend Emile vanHeerden made some very nice nunchakku that he tried to sell in his home county of South Africa. The shop owner ran him off because the nunchakku did not have chains and instead used nylon chord. The fellow did not think they would sell without the flashy chains.
    Last edited by TimJurgens; 9th January 2006 at 12:34. Reason: spelling
    Yours in budo.

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    Default Murasaki Kobudo

    Gordon Shell makes some of the most beautiful and rugged weapons I've seen.


    http://www.murasakikobudo.com/
    R. Kite
    Budoka 34
    "Study hard and all things can be accomplished; give up and you will amount to nothing".

    -Yamaoka Tesshu

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    My only criteria for Bo is that they don't break so easy when sparring.
    I had one split down the middle and just about "pierced' a student.
    [CENTER]Robert Rousselot

    [B][I]Yeah, I’m humble…..I’m just not obsequious--- me [/I][/B]
    [B][I]Human behavior flows from three main sources; desire, emotion, and knowledge --- Plato[/I][/B][/CENTER]

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimJurgens
    .......
    One other intersting story is that my good friend Emile vanHeerden made some very nice nunchakku that he tried to sell in his home county of South Africa. The shop owner ran him off because the nunchakku did not have chains and instead used nylon chord. The fellow did not think they would sell without the flashy chains.
    Actually Emile’s Bo are very nice and his replaced the one that split on me.
    [CENTER]Robert Rousselot

    [B][I]Yeah, I’m humble…..I’m just not obsequious--- me [/I][/B]
    [B][I]Human behavior flows from three main sources; desire, emotion, and knowledge --- Plato[/I][/B][/CENTER]

  8. #8
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    Default

    I've purchased some nice weapons from Roger Pratt sensei (student of Estrada sensei, who posts here on occasion.)
    Very well made and nicely balanced. You can feel the Ki.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Tony Urena

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    Default Weapon producers

    Hi Doug:

    Long time no chat. I really don't have too much more to add. I would agree with Tim's descriptions about Shureido. The quality is definately good (although more and more of Nakaone-san's goods are becoming mass produced), but the price is quite high. I would also agree that their stock eku are poor and unbalanced. I ordered one several years ago and found it to be quite cumbersome. I had better luck with the local dragon boat oars :-)

    There are other solutions and vendors of course. One of which was a small vendor in Fukuoka that I used when I still lived in Nagasaki. He made everything by hand and the quality was top-notch. I can dig up his address if needed. And speaking of making things by hand, I was also fortunate in that my dojo sempai / sensei made some of their own weapons such as tonfa, nunchaku, ticchu, suruchin, etc.

    Kama are also best purchased at the local hardware store. I bought a few sets when I went back to Japan last year at about 1/2 the cost of shuriedo and just as good if not better quality.

    Here in vancouver, I have been lucky enough to have one of my students who is a blacksmith make some of our weapons, mostly sai and tekko. Some of my students have also ordered bo from Crane mountain and I have been impressed with the quality, but they are very expensive IMHO. The only weapon that is problematic is Rochin/Tinbe, but as Tim pointed out, Mr. Shapland is producing good quality ones from what I have heard. Alternately, there are some good manufactures for the society of creative annacroynisms that do good work and could be contacted to make them.

    All the best,
    Mario McKenna
    Vancouver, BC
    Kowakan Karatedo

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    Shureido kama are OK if you like swinging twin hand axes. I guess they make for an better workout than 12oz curls.
    Ed Boyd

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    Default

    Hello,

    can anybody say something about "Okinawa Seibudo"?

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Oops! It appears that I forgot to post his webiste.
    www.fightingweaponry.com
    It is still under construction.
    Tony Urena

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    I was told you can purchase Eiku at a sporting goods store in Okinawa, and/or japan. Was wondering if any of you have done so, & what your take is on them compared to Shureido, & other such dealers?

    David

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    Thumbs up

    I dont have a lot of experience, but these are my favourites. I do agree though that you should be able to use whatever weapon available. So using different and lending from some other at times is highly recommended.


    http://www.crane-mountain.com
    Bo: Really nice to whatever specifications requested (straight and tapered etc).
    Nunchaku: Nice, however the weapon itself is not my favourite.
    Tonfa: Very impressive heavy duty tonfa, does take o lot of beating!
    Eiku: Excellent and beutiful, can be made of purpleheart (heavy and my personal favourite) or any other wood, hickory would be the choise if speed is of extra importance.

    Pam: Kind person that have helped me a lot with different things. She even sent me a christmas card.. thanks Pam!!

    http://www.weaponsconnection.com/
    Sai: Great sai that I think are very nice and easy to use.
    Tonfa: Good heavy duty tonfa made of bubinga.

    Donald Shapland
    Timbe: Great looking and heavy duty timbe, can be made with various kanji written on the front or the back (silver or gold).
    Rochin: Made of Cocobola for instance, nice feeling. He makes the blade of two different metals, ask for the one of knife-blade quality. Costs a bit more though.

    Other sites:
    http://www.okiadventures.com/html/weapons.html
    Sai: I am pretty interested in their sai..

    http://www.reimondo.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
    Bo: I myself prefer straight bo but for the ones in to tapered this company has nice ones.
    Patrik Weitko

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    Jerry Taylor is also now making custom sai for Murasaki Kobudo and Gorden Shell -- seen a few pair and they are really nice.

    Andy Morris
    Delmar, NY USA

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