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E.elemental
24th May 2005, 15:52
Until now I have only used tapered ones, but since I pretty recently broke two staffs I need one or two new ones. Perhaps this time I should get a straight one? Well, what are the dimensions concerning thickness you prefer? I was thinking of a staff straight style about 1" thick or perhaps some more. Or a tapered one that is 1" at both ends and perhaps 1 1/8" in the middle. So whats the best for the occasion when using them for Kumite? I prefer heavier ones (I use them in Kata also) but not to heavy because that slows me down. And material? Hickory or Jatoba? Or?

I`ll gladly take all recommendations about staffs (6 feet only). I was thinking of order from Crane Mountain and since they got a lot of choices I just want to know what you think. I would like one really tough.. but not to heavy...

TonyU
24th May 2005, 19:45
I always prefered straight ones. Not necessarily because of an advantage over another just my preferance. Probably becasue when I started in kobudo many years ago, tapered ones were lightweight and cheap quality.
Now there are many quality Bo's out there.
If I were to get a tapered one it would be from Shureido.
Pricey, I know.

E.elemental
24th May 2005, 20:08
I always prefered straight ones. Not necessarily because of an advantage over another just my preferance. Probably becasue when I started in kobudo many years ago, tapered ones were lightweight and cheap quality.
Now there are many quality Bo's out there.
If I were to get a tapered one it would be from Shureido.
Pricey, I know.

Thanks! I do appreciate all opinions in this matter. I must say that I about 2 months ago bought a staff from Shureido in red oak, I have owned one before and with that I was very pleased. However this one someone struck multiple times (really hard) with a tonfa, this resulted in that the bo cracked. Obviously this is poor usage of the weapon because it put to much stress on the weapon. One person that I sometimes meet have had a Shureido staff since the eighties, and it still looks nice.

However now I was thinking of one in hickory (better then red oak I have heard), according to shureidos staff (6 feet) specifikations because I like the measurements. But I was thinking to get some more input before I decide what to do. :)

TonyU
25th May 2005, 00:28
Wow, it cracked?
I didn't think they would.
What you can do is like most of us do, that is use a less quality bo for stricking drills and the nicer ones for kata.
That is, of course, if you can afford it.
I own a round white oak for drill and an heavy white oak octagonal (found years ago) for kata.

E.elemental
26th May 2005, 20:23
Wow, it cracked?
I didn't think they would.
What you can do is like most of us do, that is use a less quality bo for stricking drills and the nicer ones for kata.
That is, of course, if you can afford it.
I own a round white oak for drill and an heavy white oak octagonal (found years ago) for kata.

Well, it cracked not because of poor quality (I think), but because of the excessive force that was struck against it. It was from tonfas made of bubinga, that is a wood that is really hard and quite heave, this combination makes it ideal for cracking up staffs.

I am just about to order two staffs, but what about flexibility? Should I use a wood that is flexible or not? I have used only flexible until now but I was thinking of buying one that is not. Is there any disadvantiges with the non flexible?

Yes I have used one for kata and one for more damaging work as sai/bo kumite. I would like though to have one I could use for everything. Octagonal sounds interesting, I have never tryed one of those.

TonyU
26th May 2005, 22:47
Well, it cracked not because of poor quality (I think), but because of the excessive force that was struck against it. It was from tonfas made of bubinga, that is a wood that is really hard and quite heave, this combination makes it ideal for cracking up staffs.

I am just about to order two staffs, but what about flexibility? Should I use a wood that is flexible or not? I have used only flexible until now but I was thinking of buying one that is not. Is there any disadvantiges with the non flexible?

Yes I have used one for kata and one for more damaging work as sai/bo kumite. I would like though to have one I could use for everything. Octagonal sounds interesting, I have never tryed one of those.
Well wood needs to have a natural flexibility, but not so much that you can actually see it flex, but that's just my opinion.
One thing to consider is are they dry. I don't use or purchase bo with any finish on them and depending on their condition I treat them with boiled linsead oil. A little messy but well worth it.
My octagonal was purchased about 15 years ago when i walked into a local martial arts supply store and saw it displayed. It was my first heavy duty bo and I love using it for strengthening pruposes when I do kata.

CEB
26th May 2005, 22:59
Hi Tony,

Are you from Jersey? I do not remember.

If so do you know what ever happened to Dolan Sports. I used to order uniforms and MA supplies from them. but that was probably a quarter century ago. That may be before your time.

TonyU
26th May 2005, 23:31
Hi Tony,

Are you from Jersey? I do not remember.

If so do you know what ever happened to Dolan Sports. I used to order uniforms and MA supplies from them. but that was probably a quarter century ago. That may be before your time.
Hey Ed,
How are you?
Yes I'm from Joesey. :)
I don't recall Dolan Sport.
Where in NJ were they located?

dsomers
26th May 2005, 23:33
I think they went out of Business , or stopped selling M.A. supplies like 10 yrs ago .

CEB
26th May 2005, 23:41
Thanks David.

Hi Tony I am doing well.

Dolans was in some town called Farmingdale NJ I think.

They used to advertise in Official Karate magazine, which I think is also no longer around.

TonyU
27th May 2005, 00:00
Okay that's why I don't recall them, since I have been around a little bit, maybe not as long as you. :)
Farmingdale is quite a ways from me.
Also Ed do me a favor and check your PM.

E.elemental
18th August 2005, 22:49
The tapered bo is said to have its origins in okinawa and I know that many use them. But for how long has this been the case? Historically I understand both tapered and straight ones were used and their shape wasnt the most important. Can you say that tapered is Okinawan and straight one is wrong since the mainland bo-jutsu use them the most?

Does anybody have any sources for this??

Ernest
5th September 2005, 01:41
Greetings - ahh, the stick. The only stick I have worked with is the straight stick - it is strong and feels good in my hands. That is the main reason. Not many people really know how to use the stick, or what wood to use and/or the acceptable length. It does appear that every instructor knows HOW to use a stick as most people know HOW to use a pen or pencil. That does not mean that they are experts in the manipulation of the stick - just like some people can use a pen or pencil but then there are calligraphers who study their craft and it becomes quite apparent that their writing and our writing is/are different. For that my friend, IMHO go and seek out a kobujutsu instructor / expert / proponent.

In the early 1960's most sticks (I will use the term stick as opposed to kun / kon / bo) were of the straight variety. With outside influences the tapered stick was introduced and became common due to its lightness (my opinion). And it was a way for people to make extra money - 'hey, do I have a kool stick for you, GI!" Now these tapered sticks were not for fighting - they were used mainly for demonstrations and kata. You could really move one of these sticks with great speed and boy did the crowd love that.

I met some kobudo instructors that were different in their outlook and trained accordingly. I remember going to Akamine Dai Sensei's dojo and watched him train with a steel stick. It was heavy but it did not slow him up a bit. I also enjoyed visiting the Okinawan village festivals and watched their stick fighting (all prearranged) but they swung and hit with great gusto. It was a wonderful feeling just watching them - it caused you to become mesmerized by their combat.

Later, I spoke with these practitioners and found out some of their 'truths'... they indicated that the round stick was the only one that could take the abuse of stick to stick combat (again, prearranged combat - but heaven help the one who missed a block). They would not even think of using a tapered stick - their basic reason was that it (the tapered stick) could not stand the stick to stick banging needed in order to learn the manipulation. Further, they would add, it cost money to get a new stick and what is the sense in buying a new stick when the one you have should be able to take the abuse. Sticks (that is, good sticks) lasted about two or three months at the most before they were taped up and used as "beater sticks." There were also "special" sticks that they would use for "special" occasions. These were of the hexagon variety and mainly used to break other sticks. They said that once you learned the right manipulation of the hexagon stick, no stick could stand up to it. Once again, these is pure village style and not really common to outsiders.

So, my friend, I use a straight stick for kata... they are usually of the Shureido variety. They are made of aka kashi (red oak) but white oak will also do. I look for the proper grain - running up and down and not across, the wrong grain will cause your stick to die before its time. For training I, personally and prefer to use a large stick - usually 8 foot in length and about one and three quarters in diameter. I don't recommended one using this type of stick because it takes time to learn the manipulation of such a large stick. It is hexagon and it is made of cocobolo wood. For two man type techniques I use a six footer with about one inch in diameter. I use the smaller one for safety sake because my "hanzo bo" will go through most anything brought up to block it.

Once again, this is me and my personal way of training... I am no expert in any sense of the word and there are far more knowledgable people around that can point you in another direction. BUT, understand that to learn kobujutsu, go to an instructor that specialize in kobudo. There are many fine practitioners of karate that do kobudo but think about it. If you have heart problems do you go to a GP (general practitioner) or do you seek out a specialist that deal with heart issues.

I remain, your humble servant,

Ernest

Blackwood
5th September 2005, 03:15
Again, good to see you Mr. Estrada!

I happened to ask the question fromTsumori Sensei this summer at our seminar. His recommendation was the straight stick. Strength was a factor, but his most telling comment was that the straight stick would slide through the hands much smoother than the tapered bo. And given the number of times in a kata that the stick is to be slide through the hands, this helps with keeping a firm grip.

Shikiyanaka
5th September 2005, 06:19
Thanks for raising this simple question :rolleyes: and thanks Ernest for sharing your experiences. Seemed like an easy question, but on the second look it becomes a hard task :)

I really thought that - generally - the tapered B were traditionally Okinawan, and the straight Japanese style.

I also thought that - other than Ernest's argument - the straight, thin and light B used by some Yamanni-stylists was only chosen as a means of becoming quicker in performance/demonstration. The argument is not the B itself, but the technique, which with its quickness and controlled and combinated swinging/thrusting/get-it-back movements would not allow a 3 cm Bubinga B, even when tapered; at least for the medium practitioner.

I bought a 2m/2cm diameter straight B made of ash just a few days ago. It surely can't stand a block against a hexagon or heavy straight or tapered B. But the technique can become very quick; a simple tactic which we consider in Karate when we argue; just like in the medieval arts, were - over time - the two handed and broadsword were superseded by sabre, and finally rapier, with an underlying tactic of the latter being simply that the tip is quicker than the edge (of course, together with change of armor). Just as the estremely bulky and heavy Tetsub came out of use sometimes in Japan. It sure would have broke most of what would stand in its way, but if it takes too long... So it is partly simply a question of what tactics one would follow.

The tapering of the B is extra work, so there must be a reason for this. Possibilities are many and I may simply argue in a way to support the intended outcome. Being faster and looking better in Kata is maybe one point, or the production of the B more complex and in this more expensive, maybe is another.

I don't want to sound experienced, but here are some quotes and thoughts:

In "The Secret Royal Martial Arts of Ryukyu" (Matsuo Kanenori Sakon; transl. by Joe Swift, 2005) Mr. Matsuo uses a tapered B (e.g. p. 76ff). The old pictures of Uehara Seikichi also show a tapered B (as far as I can judge; the pics are very small). On p. 73 is stated:

There are three types of Ryukyu Bojutsu: that passed down from ancient times from the Shaolin Temple, that passed down from ancient times in Southeast Asia (i.e. Fenoshima), and that passed down from Japan during the time of the Satsuma Occupation.
We do not know what kind of B they used; did they use straight B only in Shaolin? What B did they use in Southeast Asia? And what kind of sticks and techniques were imported from Jigen-ryu (which maybe just cut of a fitting branch from a tree)?

In Okinawa, the staff is called bo or kon (kun in the local dialect), but the latter is actually Chinese and refers to the metal fixtures attatched to the end of the staff.
Question how those metal fixtures looked like; could have been put on straight as well as tapered B.

There is also a type of bo used by the civilian class to transport goods, called tenbin bo, and those staves formed naturally when the ends of spears and halberds were cut or broken off in the heat of battle.
Now, there was spread the idea that the civilian B was the origin of the tapered B; because it became dirty and was cleaned by rubbing it over some fence, hence becoming tapered by time. This is, however, rethorical only meant discredit the traditions using a tapered B by implying that the tapered one was a dirty "pig b" (to call it by name).

When it was the "Ursprung zahlreicher Wehren" (source of umpteen [staff]weapons), asit is called in a medieval German martial arts textbook, than the simple question is, how the speartips, halberd-edges etc. were attached to the staff.

Furthermore, from my personal experience (just a little) I cannot confirm the argument of the straight B slighting better through the hands; quite the converse: as the hand slights down and reaches the tapering, you feel and really know how much space you have left for slighting. I think this is very intelligent. However, this is all arguing; you may do it this or that way. :)

Funakoshi had at least one straight B (if it was his own):
http://www.hinodekarate.ca/images/funikoshi_bo2.jpg

The picture of Yabiku, Taira and other from 1933 show two straight B, the middle one maybe tapered, not clear (I have a much bgger pic of this, so I was able to check this):
http://www.itosu-kai.com/images/1moden.jpg

Most important for this thread, Taira uses a tapered B in Nakasones "Karate-d Taikan" from 1937/38 (The fotos, not the drawings. I have the pictures in the new edition of Ryky Kobud Taikan, 1997). So this would be the earliest pictures of tapared B that I could find.

In "Ryky Kobud Taikan" (Taira, 1964), Taira also uses a tapered B in all pictures.

There are also three pictures from about the 1960s of Akamine Eisuke and Taira Shinken; B vs Sai, B vs Tunfa, and B vs. Nunchaku. I could bet the B are tapered.

The "Ryky Kobud Taikan" (p. 44 of the new edited edition, 1997) there is only described one "way of constructing a B":


棒の作り方
 棒の材質は棒の性質上硬質のものが使用され、普通樫の木が用いられる。
 棒の規格は全長六尺とし、中心部の太さを一寸位とし両端から一尺位のところより徐々に細く削り両先端を直径八分程度とする。

In short: evergreen oak is used for it, the standard length is six shaku, with the middle part aprroximately 3cm; both ends - over the length of about 33cm each - are tapered into a pointed end, to a diameter at the tip of eight Bu (=2,4cm).

Accordingly, "Ryky Kobud Chkan" of Inoue 1974, also shows a tapered B on page 12 (chapter on construction of the weapons).

The lineage on the website of Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai (http://www.ryukyu-kobudo.com/history/lineage.htm) shows pictures of Higa Jinsabur, Seiichir, Raisuke, and Akamine Yhei (all Yamanni-style), but sadly I cannot really tell from the pics if the B are tapered or straight; I would guess two straight and two tapered :) .

Apart from straight or tapered; the hexagon argument of breaking other wooden sticks is absolutely concincing; at the least it would leave a "predetermined breaking point".

Gibukai
5th September 2005, 09:57
Hello,

although not easy to discern in the posted photograph, G. Funakoshi is using a Bo, which is tapered at both ends. His son, Gigo Funakoshi, trained also with a tapered Bo. Nowadays, however, Shotokan/Shotokai people seem to prefer the straight Bo for (at least to me) unknown reasons.

Regards,

Henning Wittwer

Ernest
5th September 2005, 14:32
Greetings and Salutations Andreas -- yes many do use the tapered stick and for good reason. Not only is it faster but it goes back to the yari (spear) techniques of poking and not so much the smashing and flailing techniques found in ones (my) 'root' style - unless, of course, you are heavily influenced in the poking aspect of your personal stick style. The practice of Okinawa / Ryukyu kobudo has changed in the last 50 or so years. Many karate practitioners are now saying that they are EXPERTS in the manipulation of the stick but I feel that the stick, which is more closer to karate than any other weapon, should be used as close to karate training as one can get. An example are the two man techniques - I have seen them done in Okinawa in the early 1960's and have seen the same schools practice their waza in 2002. It is a big difference - a number have not improved but a number have matured!

The idea of maturing and/or learning is close to the same theory / idea as found in karate -- you learn in a 60%, 20% and 20% increments. 60% comes from your practice with your own teacher - what he has taught you, how he has taught you and, based on the experience of your teacher, how sound the principles are. The next 20% comes from outside sources...from even ones own school, where a senior will explain it better (leastways it sounds better and you are able to understand it) than your own teacher. Or maybe you learn from another teacher who may not know your style but understands the manipulation of the stick (a punch is a punch is a punch except when you... as the saying goes). The last 20% comes from your own, personal understanding of what you are doing - or from what YOU believe is best... this in itself may differ from your teacher. You may favour this technique over that and it will show in your training or your teaching.

When I was young (oh no, this statement must mean that I'm old) the dojo where I trained had a tree stump in the corner that was attached to the ceiling. It had a number of different size holes in it. Sensei would instruct us in the art of the poke by aiming at the hole (here we would use a tapered stick as oppose to a straight stick). Some of the seniors would poke so fast and so accurate that it was absolutely lethal! Others, like myself, would poke endless hours and just damage the stump - I was threaten more than once that if I didn't improve that they would attach me to the ceiling and use me as the machiwara. Later, sensei would instruct us in 'tenshin' and the use of the poke. (Andreas, this is much like learning how to hit a machiwara karate style - many people know HOW to hit a machiwara - stand there and just hit it! - but there are over 50 ways that we were taught on how not only to hit a machiwara but also the theories and principles behind the techniques used).

Outside we had a cross dug into the ground where we learn to strike using our "cudgel of inspiration." We also had a tire where one end was cut (make sure you use the top end of the tire, the bottom end is weaker - ha) and attached the tire to a strong pole. We would strike this tire with our sticks, or nunchaku, our tunqwaa and our tanbo. Hence, even now I still use those methods that I was taught over 45 years ago.

Both sticks (the tapered and the straight) have their own place and many people have their own preference. This is good. Just like a machiwara, you always have two in the dojo - a hard/stiff one and a soft light one. Both have their place. Just one more example, Andreas, the height of the machiwara should be / are different... there are the Sui (Shuri) style machiwara and the Nafa style machiwara. What is the difference?

Andreas, thank you for all that information, I will treasure it and added it to my collection, I remain your humble servant,

Ernest

PS - I am sorry, may I refer to you as Andreas or would you prefer to shikiyanaka?

Shikiyanaka
6th September 2005, 17:26
Please, Andreas.

wsteigner
6th September 2005, 17:59
Hi Ernest Estrade Sensei; I think you have said in the past that Sui{Shun}
Machiwara is at the top of the solar plex.Nafa is just below the solar plex.
Estrade Sensei is there a difference in the forward angle of these Machiwara?
I have seen some at a 45 degree angle forward,both of the Shimabuku brothers Dojo in Agena and Kin Village had them like this. Most now have them with just a small forward angle. Is this just a Sensei/Dojo thing or a Ryu ha thing?
thank you
bill steigner
Jinbukai

twayman
6th September 2005, 18:45
While training I use a straight six foot bo, made of red oak 1.25 thick. I prefer the heavier bo to the lighter tapered bo. But, one thing I did notice at kobudo competitions, during kata, the straight bo was a little too heavy and made some of my technique not as flashy as the others who used a tapered bo. While using the heavier bo I placed lower than using a tapered one so, during kata competitions I use the tapered bo. But during combat drills I like the straight bo for the tapered ones dont stand up half as long as the heavy straight bo.
In a nutshell I use the tapered bo for kata competitions and the straight bo for everything else.

Ernest
7th September 2005, 02:47
Greetings and Salutations Estimado Amigos,

Personally, I prefer the machiwara to be slanted slightly forward - again, that is MY personal preference. Others have it straight up and down. Most people strike the board with two knuckles but as one becomes more advanced my advice is to strike with only one knuckle (the first knuckle) this gives one more penetration - much like hitting with a sledge hammer or hitting with a ballpeen hammer. Each school and each teacher has their own preference and that is great as long as they have a specific reason or rationale for their methods (as most do)... you know, "I am learning to hit," "I am learning to smash," "I am doing this to get big knuckles and impress the masses," etc, etc.

If the board is straight up then it is easy to tell, the practitioner develops callouses not only on the first two knuckles but also on the lower joints of the same knuckles. Which one is better - I don't know. It depends on your reasons. It is like arguing about which style is better - it is never about the style it is always about the practitioner. If you are good, then your style is good, if you are a poor practitioner, then no matter what style you practice, your style is also poor.

To ramble on, some people like to thrust into the board while others do what is called a kizami tsuki (snap like punch). Each has its place and each has a reasoning behind it. What do you do?

In 1963 I visited the dojo of Toyama Kanken Dai Sensei in Tokyo and brought my 8mm camera with me. His son, Toyama Ha Sensei came up to me (I did have a letter of introduction) and asked me if I was there to steal. I was stopped cold and started to stammer because foreigners did not have a good reputation at that time. I just sat there - he made me sit formally which just about killed me. I watched class and at the end, Toyama Ha Sensei came up to me and asked what I wanted to steal. I said, I don't steal. He asked, "well, you have a camera. My father said that if you intend to steal you must train yourself to learn, observe and focus on everything that is around you and not to rely on a camera." I now understood. Since I had a letter of introduction, Toyama Kanken Dai Sensei agreed to perform a kata which he called "okugi useishi" and later his son took me outside and had the students perform kata for my camera. He wanted me to steal outside the dojo and not inside the dojo.

I continued to "steal" all night until he got to the stick (it was a straight stick and heavy - nice feel). The students then demonstrated their sekisen no kun, shushi no kun, sakugawa no kun and yonegawa no kun - it was very enlightening - or as the young folk say, "it was sweeeet." I was then taught the kata referred to as Chibana no kun. It was very long (in its original form) but very repetitive. Hence, there were not a lot of techniques to it. Toyama Sensei said that it came from his father's senior, Chibana Choshin Dai Sensei. Chibana Dai Sensei did not practice kobudo (what do I know!) and let alone teach anyone kobudo. The story was that Toyama Dai Sensei had invited Chibana Dai Sensei (with his young student, Miyahira Katsuya) to his Tokyo Hombu of the Zen Nippon Karatedoh Renmei Shudokan. Toyama Dai Sensei had asked Chibana Dai Sensei about his understanding of kobudo, Chibana Dai Sensei said he doesn't know kobudo and added some like this... in this life I only practice shorinryu, in my next life I will practice kobudo. At that time, Chibana Dai Sensei then picked up a stick and went through his rendition of village style stick manipulation. It blew everyone one away, except Toyama Dai Sensei... he was busy with the concept of "stealing his technique." He later put together the form, Chibana no kun.

As far as the weight of the stick, I like it heavy. Again, that is my personal preference. I have three sticks that I use for training. One is a plastic covered pipe with lead inside. It is heavy and cumbersome but I like it. My favourite is my "hanzo bo" which is 8 foot long and almost two inches in diameter its made of cocobolo. My last one is a six foot stick just a little over two inches in diameter. Am I doing bad? Everyone to their own. A light stick feels like a tooth pick to me and I have broken several with a whipping action. I don't do tournaments, I don't teach for tournaments, I don't do flash. But then again, that is just me. Those who do - GREAT. Maybe cuz I am old - and in tournaments I don't feel the LOVE. When I get up in the morning and walk outside with my beloved hanzo bo - I swing, I punch, I poke and I flail --- then and only then, I start feeling the love. But again, that is me.

With Kind Regards and Lots of Love,

Ernest

PS - forgot to mention - Toyama Dai Sensei did not use a six foot staff. The style that he practiced stated that the bo should be to the top of the ear of the practitioner. Then there was a lot of hand sliding making the techniques elongated. Interesting style - he taught 10 stick forms.

PPS - Andreas - you are fantastic my friend. You are a true master of the video... I am very impress. My copies are being put on DVD (NTSC) can you work with that type or can you only work with PAL. I would like to send you some videos taken in 1970 on Okinawa of my teacher doing kata with a stick and sai.

wsteigner
7th September 2005, 05:11
[QUOTE=Ernest]Greetings and Salutations Estimado Amigos,

.

If the board is straight up then it is easy to tell, the practitioner develops callouses not only on the first two knuckles but also on the lower joints of the same knuckles. Which one is better - I don't know. It depends on your reasons. It is like arguing about which style is better - it is never about the style it is always about the practitioner. If you are good, then your style is good, if you are a poor practitioner, then no matter what style you practice, To ramble on, some people like to thrust into the board while others do what is called a kizami tsuki (snap like punch). Each has its place and each has a reasoning behind it. What do you do?

Hi Estrada Sensei All of the above plus other areas of the hand and arm.
thank you
bill steigner
Jinbukai


With Kind Regards and Lots of Love,

Ernest

Gibukai
7th September 2005, 12:20
Mr. Estrada,

do you know, if A. Itosu practised bo-jutsu or kobudo in general?

Kind regards,

Henning Wittwer

Shikiyanaka
11th September 2005, 11:50
Ernest-san, I've sent a PM to you. :)

ShuriHayakawa
17th September 2005, 21:03
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Until now I have only used tapered ones, but since I pretty recently broke two staffs I need one or two new ones. Perhaps this time I should get a straight one? Well, what are the dimensions concerning thickness you prefer? I was thinking of a staff straight style about 1" thick or perhaps some more. Or a tapered one that is 1" at both ends and perhaps 1 1/8" in the middle. So whats the best for the occasion when using them for Kumite? I prefer heavier ones (I use them in Kata also) but not to heavy because that slows me down. And material? Hickory or Jatoba? Or?

I`ll gladly take all recommendations about staffs (6 feet only). I was thinking of order from Crane Mountain and since they got a lot of choices I just want to know what you think. I would like one really tough.. but not to heavy...
__________________
Patrik Weitko


Patrik san,
For what it's worth, my red oak Shureido bo was also broken, being used while I was absent, by someone in the dojo, possibly my instructor or one of his yudansha. He made me another to replace it, but I've been told that ANY bo will break if hit hard enough. Tapered or straight. (My preference is for the tapered, as it transfers the power to the end, for strikes.)
I have a friend, he's not making weapons now, but he used purple heart wood for the bo. Unfortunately, the dust is poisonous, and purple heart may not be available anymore. Another friend, who makes bo, owns the Ryu Te Supplies, and I understand his weapons are made according to good standards in Okinawa. The web site is http://www.Ryutesupplies.com, the owner is Saleem Saed, a yudansha of Oyata Sensei. By the way, the Sensei that probably broke mine was Oyata Sensei. He and his yudansha would never admit to who did it. :-) Shureido does make fine bo, though. I still have five feet of it around the house somewhere.

Sharon Hayakawa

Shorin Ryuu
18th September 2005, 03:19
I've seen the "purpleheart is poisonous" on this site once or twice. How bad is it? I pretty much have most all of the weapons I practice with in purpleheart. If it is so bad, why do many companies use it for weaponry?

I have two bo, a nunte bo, an eku, a jo, a pair of tonfa, a pair of nunchaku, and a pair of kama (handles) that are made of purpleheart. I've also known people who've used weapons made of that wood for quite a good number of years without noticing any effects.

Is it really only a "minor irritant" or can it actually get pretty toxic? I'm just curious where all this info is coming from. Or, is the danger from the dust more to the woodworker instead of the practitioner who uses it?

ShuriHayakawa
18th September 2005, 06:46
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I've seen the "purpleheart is poisonous" on this site once or twice. How bad is it? I pretty much have most all of the weapons I practice with in purpleheart. If it is so bad, why do many companies use it for weaponry?

I have two bo, a nunte bo, an eku, a jo, a pair of tonfa, a pair of nunchaku, and a pair of kama (handles) that are made of purpleheart. I've also known people who've used weapons made of that wood for quite a good number of years without noticing any effects.

Is it really only a "minor irritant" or can it actually get pretty toxic? I'm just curious where all this info is coming from. Or, is the danger from the dust more to the woodworker instead of the practitioner who uses it?


Actually, the master weapons maker that told me about it was complaining about the dust, which would be only while the weapon is being made. It's very toxic, then, though I don't know if that is just for certain people or any one inhaling some of the dust while it's being sanded. My friend (his name is Gordon Garland) made weapons for the better part of fifty years, and has been having heart trouble (he's around 80 now) which has caused him to stop making weapons. I don't think the wood is toxic once it's sealed and becomes a finished weapon. I'll e mail him and ask, but last time I spoke with him on the phone, his computer was down, so I may have to wait to get the answer.
I think the logic of using purple heart is that it IS so solid, it's much less likely to break. He used to guarentee his weapons, and repair them if they did get damaged. There is a way to mend the cracked red oak bo, if Patrik still has it.
It's not even a difficult process, I watched Garland mend an eiku that was cracked, by the practitioner during competitions. He did it with a C clamp and some special glue he makes, and sawdust. It looked new again. Unfortunately, I don't know what he makes the glue from. I'll ask.

I have some red oak nunchaku from Shureido, also, and they have held up very well, for around 25 or 30 years, now. I don't use them but they are a sturdy pair, I've used them for all kinds of non martial applications over the years.

I don't know if purple heart is endangered or just too expensive these days, but I do seem to remember that it's difficult to get now. Maybe that was just in Atlanta.

Sharon Hayakawa

Shikiyanaka
18th September 2005, 09:35
Hi Sharon, hi John,

it seems Purple heart is a common name for Peltogyne purpurea (Leguminosae).

There are also musical batons made of it, as well as furniture etc. I also think that it is not toxic, but only irritation through the grinding dust getting on the skin or mucous membranes, and in the nose/lungs, just as it is the case with Wenge or Socupira woods. But I couldn't find any mentioning of purple heart being toxic.

A description says:

Heartwood intense purple or violet. Very hard, heavy, tough and strong. Weight 57 to 76 lbs. per cu. ft. Slightly difficult to work, finishing very smoothly.

The following is from:
Strategies for the sustainable use and management of timber tree species subject to international trade: Mesoamerica. Annex 2 Species Information. (http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex_2_Trees.doc)

Common names:
au roxo, purperhart (Erfurth & Rusche, 1976); aromo, morado, nazareno, nene, purple heart (Fournier,2003)

Description:
This species reaches 35-40 m in height and 1 m d.b.h. Its trunk is moderately buttressed and it has a smooth bark which is gray on the surface and pink in the inner layer (Fournier, 2003). The wood is heavyand has a specific gravity of 0.83. When dry, the sapwood is gray-yellow-brown, and the heartwood is abrilliant purple when exposed to light (Carpio 1992 cited in Fournier, 2003).

Distribution:
Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, Venezuela

Utilisation:
One of the most valuable timber trees in southern Costa Rica (Fournier, 2003). The wood has beenused for agricultural tools, boats, general carpentry, interior and exterior construction, railwayfoundations, furniture, cabinetwork, paneling, inlays, flooring, dock fenders, veneer, and ornamental plates (Allen 1956, Carpio 1992 cited in Fournier, 2003). Trade Logs of Peltogyne spp. were reported in international trade in 2002 (ITTO, 2003).

Some pics of the wood.
http://www.cds.ed.cr/teachers/harmon/nazareno%20trunk.jpg
A picture of the trunk.
http://www.cds.ed.cr/teachers/harmon/nazareno%20wood.jpg
A picture of the wood.
http://www.cocoboloinc.com/heart.jpg
A picture of the wood.