8 May 2011

Chiba-bogu's new website


Chiba-bogu are one of the best online retailers of kendo equipment. However in the past all their equipment was very expensive. Now with the launch of their new site, they have a few new bogu including the one pictured above, their 5mm Clarino model.

Clarino is an artificial deer-skin substitute that performs very well. Most often it is used for kote palms, but here it is used for all the edging as well.

The advantage with this bogu is that it is order made to your measurements so you can be assured of a good fit. It does mean that it takes 6-10 weeks to complete your order. But it appears to have been marked down from over $1000 to around $650, which is pretty good value.

1 May 2011

Tenouchi and swinging - basic practice drill





This term we will be focusing on tenouchi 手の内. To review the basic theory about tenouchi and what it means, have a re-read of this.

Last Saturday we did a fun drill using a kind of kusari fundo, or weighted line. Usually this is a metal weight on the end of a chain, but we just used bean-bags on the end of cotton ribbon.

The exercise was to practice cutting by using the whole arm from the shoulder and not just swinging from the elbows. If you didn't do it properly, the bean bag didn't fly through the air in an arc. When done properly it was almost as easy as cutting with a shinai. Using the whole arm and shoulder meant the weight stretched out the ribbon and swung as if it were something rigid, like a shinai.

The other thing it did was to make you throw your cut forward, rather than down towards the ground. Above is a short vid of this exercise being practiced at this year's Kangeiko. I was going to put a picture, but the 'kusari fundo' is completely invisible in the still shot.

In the meantime if you want to make your own, I found with a little googling that probably the easiest way is to get some fairly thick rope and reverse-braid the end to make it a little heavier.

Hopefully it will look a bit like this.


Although for our purposes we only need one ended braided. For length I would say the same length as a shinai.  b