Sunday, March 11, 2007

Care and Usage of Wooden Weapons

It is good to always take care of your wooden weapons. Before you buy any weapon such as a bo, do a little research and find out what kind of wood it is made of. You will want to get wood that is pliable enough to not be brittle, strong enough to take punishment and has a good balance and weight. Most of my weapons are red oak, white oak and ash.

The first thing I tell students to do when they get their bo is to sand off any existing varnish. A bo that is varnished may look nice, but it is next to impossible to use effectively, especially doing Yamane Ryu bo kata. After they have sanded the weapon down with a medium, then a fine grade sandpaper, I have them oil it with boiled linseed oil to protect the wood. Oiling should be done periodically to ensure the long life of the weapon. Follow directions and take care to clean up as described on the linseed oil can as it can be dangerous if not used properly.

In our dojo we practice weapon against weapon technique in order to get the feel for hitting the weapons together through blocking and striking techniques. For this reason, students should try to acquire a good quality weapon that can take the abuse of another weapon hitting it.

Students should learn Okinawan weapons only from a qualified instructor and should take extra care when practicing alone. Students should never practice weapons that they have not received instruction in yet, especially Kama.

No comments: