View Full Version : Making Your Own Training Weapons

26th June 2007, 20:32
Something I made over the course of this past weekend... oak staff with a poplar blade, bridal-spliced together. Strictly for kata, not sparring. This was my first shot at making a habaki as well.


27th June 2007, 07:20
nice work. What are the measurements?

27th June 2007, 13:00
Thank you. It measures 7 shaku, 2 sun, 5 bu; (86.5", 220 cm).

john sheppard
27th June 2007, 14:17
The shape and the material look beautiful.

For which Koryu have you crafted it ?

27th June 2007, 17:43
The shape and the material look beautiful.

For which Koryu have you crafted it ?

Thank you for the compliment. I've learned elements of Katori Shinto Ryu from my kendo teacher in the past, but I'm seriously looking into the Toda-ha Buko-ryu offered at the Shutokukan dojo run by Meik Skoss Sensei.

3rd July 2007, 15:43
Absolutely beautiful job! There's nothing like the feel of using a weapon you made yourself. I only went as far as making my own Roku-Shaku bo but I still feel good using it because I made it just the way I like it :)

5th July 2007, 01:57
man that looks nice any for sale? i think you're a bit south of me in nj it'd be great to pick up something that came out as nice as that

Benkei the Monk
6th July 2007, 07:49
Very nice work. I like it very much.

I think you can find useful also this link

Garden of Cherry trees - DIY page (http://www.ilgiardinodeiciliegi.eu/index_file/Page998.htm)

It is in Italian, but some material is also in english. The handbooks have detailed pictures and you can easily understand even if you don't speak Italian

The naginata one is also in english

I hope it can be helpful for all the people interested in self made objects for martial arts practice

9th July 2007, 18:30
Thank you all for the compliments.

I wouldn't sell one, as I have yet to take it through kata one, and have no idea how durable a design this is.

Benkei, grazie for the very interesting and well-prepared links.

14th July 2007, 04:20
Excellent work. I'm very impressed. :)

I think it might have looked good too if the habaki were carved from the wood as a ricasso.

20th August 2007, 16:22
This is the second naginata I've made this summer, this time out of red oak with a danish oil finish. Thanks for looking.




21st August 2007, 08:27
mmm nicey-nice!
What's it's length?

Have you pictures of the making process? I 'd be interested to see that.

21st August 2007, 13:35
I'm an idiot, and neglected to post the specs: Length, 84"/213 cm (7 shaku); 2.9 lbs/1.3 kg. It was patterned off a loaner, which weighs exactly the same.

21st August 2007, 14:33
mmm nicey-nice!
What's it's length?

Have you pictures of the making process? I 'd be interested to see that.

No'during' pics, as I was working on it an hour or two at a time over the weekend, but here are some 'before' shots, laying it out:



Benkei the Monk
21st August 2007, 18:57
Great Job Melillo-san :) It looks very nice and well balanced. The oil finiture is pretty and I think also it swings well. A+

Kevin Geaslin
14th September 2007, 17:18
I regret not buying an oak yari in Tokyo, but the only one I could find was about 3 meters long, and I wasn't about to hump that through the subways and Narita! I want to try my hand at woodworking but don't know what types of woods are best. I assume oak and cedar sand down well and don't splinter too much under impact? Also, what types of tools work well?

Joseph Svinth
15th September 2007, 02:19
For yari, Kim Taylor writes at his retail site, http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/cat_bokuto.htm , "YARI. Spears of any length up to 9 feet are no problem. (Longer weapons must be specially shipped at greater cost). It is highly recommended that you choose hickory, ash or white oak for weapons of this size. I can produce the weapons with oval or circular shafts, and with a taper if you wish.The usual design comes with no 'tip' and is intended to have a padded leather ball fitted. I can put a hole in the end, fit a rubber stopper, or do anything else you might desire which would help hold the padding in place."

For making wooden weapons, of any kind, see Kim's article at http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_taylor_1100.htm .

Kevin Geaslin
15th September 2007, 02:28
That's a great page. Thanks for the link!

Bruce Mitchell
15th September 2007, 16:13
what types of tools work well?

Just get your wood and take away anything that doesn't look like a yari :p

I would recommend the following tools:
wood plane
rasp & files

You could probably do the whole projest with just a good wood plane if you wanted. I would recommend that you cut it to an octaganol shape to start with (a table saw works well for that). If you want to taper it, mark your wood in 12" sections along it's length and number them. Give the 1st section five passes with the wood plane, then do five passes of the 2nd and 1st section, and so on, you will have a nice even taper.

Let us know how it comes out.

Benkei the Monk
16th September 2007, 17:42
You can also find quite useful this site Il giardino dei Ciliegi (http://www.ilgiardinodeiciliegi.eu/)

Watch for the Yari in the photogallery and let me know if it is what you are looking for. As soon as possible I'll write something about its making of. I hope it could be useful for you

18th September 2007, 09:53
I made a yari that involved going down to the local hardware and cutting a piece of 19mm (IIRC) diameter oak dowel to length (9 shaku I think it was). I then found that a shinai's leather sakigawa is a tight but effective fit on the end as a stopper. Needed some coaxing to get it on, but it stays on with any kind of tying or adhesive.

Cost AUD$30.00 + the sakigawa which I had already (AUD$2.00).


Benkei the Monk
18th September 2007, 19:18
Isn't it too much flexible with a such small diameter? I think that for that lenght only diameters over 28 mm work well. Let me say :)

20th September 2007, 14:42
Benkei, for you, I got off my arse and went to the shed and measured it properly. I must have been on drugs: it's 30mm diameter.



Benkei the Monk
20th September 2007, 21:34
Benkei, for you, I got off my arse and went to the shed and measured it properly. I must have been on drugs: it's 30mm diameter.



Thanks :)

paul browne
29th June 2008, 20:52
My second stupid question of the day.
Has anyone practiced with a PVC staff? how did it compare for weight with wood? how did it hold up in practice against wood or other PVC staffs.
I wouldn't really want one for personal practice but as a relatively cheap, unlikely to warp if left in a corner option for leaving in the cupboard at the dojo they seem a viable alternative.

Lance Gatling
29th June 2008, 23:32
I have a European three piece one.

It's great for what I do with it - travel, work out on the road to remember kata.

Other than that, I don't use it for anything. Even though nicely made, it's the wrong weight, flexes too much, feels wrong, etc.

17th July 2008, 14:18
I study Korean stick ("bong") which tends not to be bi-modal as one finds with Okinawan BO. I mention this because I have heard that people sometimes like to use the plastic (acrylic) staffs and even the PVC being mentioned. What I have found is that such items can be interesting if the goal of the staff work has more to do with demonstration. We sometimes identify such activities as "baton twirling", but no disrespect is intended and there is a definite advantage to the lightness of the plastic over hardwood. Bi-modal execution, where striking, blocking and thrusting can be accomplished with either end of the staff----interchangeably---- especially for demonstration---- probably might not be too heavily impacted by the use of plastic as the staff is held from the middle ("short stick").

In comparison, the use of the staff with the focus skewed to one end of the staff (or occasionally held closer to one end for "long stick" techniques), or for use in weapons applications, would suffer greatly for the reasons given (handling characterisitcs) as well as inaccurate feedback when striking/breaking a target. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


13th August 2008, 12:42
Hello all. I have used a number of stave types (jo, bo, hanbo etc) formed from PVC as well as other vinyl types.

To be honest I found them all to be very sturdy, more so than the majority of wooden types. The weight difference really was not noticible, but I will say that wooden weapons "Feal" better and slide in the hand far easier than the PVC types.

Personally I prefer to use the tried and tested wooden pole... plus if they break they can always be cut down and reshaped. not so easy with PVC

Hope this may be of some help