The Way of the Brush & the Sword Sacred Fist Karate International Ken To Fude No Ryu Kenshu Kai Karate Solly Said's Solly Said's Karate,Kickboxing & Gym
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The Shinai Bamboo Sword (竹刀 しない) is a weapon used for practice and competition in Kendo and are meant to represent a Japanese sword. Shinai are also used in other Martial Arts like Yagyu Shinkage Ryu,Bujinkan,Karate and Kenjutsu but may be styled differently from kendo shinai, and represented with different characters.The word "shinai" is derived from the verb shinau (撓う しなう), meaning "to bend, to flex", and was originally short for shinai-take (flexible bamboo). Shinai is written with the kanji 竹刀, meaning "bamboo sword", and is an irregular kanji reading.The Shinai is one of the weapons we use in our style of Karate and you can learn how to use this weapon in our Kendo Classes.

The origin of the shinai can be found in the Edo period. The shinai was developed when a group of swordsmen, in an effort to reduce the number of practitioners being seriously injured during practice, undertook to create a practice weapon that was less dangerous than bokutō (木刀 ぼくとう), the hard wooden swords they were previously using. This is also the motivation behind the development of bōgu (防具 ぼうぐ), the armour that protects the kendoka

The kensen is the tip of the shinai covered by a leather cap called the (insert term). The strap of leather wrapped around the shinai towards kisaki is called the shinogi and the area between the shinogi and the kensen is called the monouchi. The monouchi is the most dangerous part of the sword and it is in this area that should make contact with each strike. The sword guard, called the tsuba is held in place by the tsuba-dome. The leather wrapping the handle is called the tsuka and the string connecting the tsuka, shinogi, and kensen is called the tsuru. The tsuru represents the back of the blade (mine) and the cutting edge (hasaki) is represented by the opposite slat.

In kendo, it is most common to use a single shinai, sometimes called itto style. Some kendoka choose to use two shinai. This kendo style is usually called ni-tō (二刀 にとう?), a style that has its roots in the two-sword schools of swordsmanship such as Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū. A ni-to combatant uses a long shinai called the daitō (大刀 だいとう?), which is usually held in the left hand, and a shorter shinai, called the shōtō (小刀 しょうとう?), which is usually held in the right hand. The daitō may be slightly shorter and lighter than a shinai used in the itto style of kendo.

9 parts that are required to complete a shinai are:

Tsuba Normally it is a round plastic fitting that fit onto the shinai to guard the hands
Tsuba Fudogomu (The little rubber part that stops the tsuba from moving)
Tsuru (The string)
Shinai (4 bamboo slates)
Gin Sakigawa (Cap of the shinai)
Sakigomu (The plastic fitting that fasten the 4 bamboo of the shinai at the end)
Nakajime The adjustable leather divider that indicates the cutting area on the shinai
The rubber handle

Above is a diagram of the parts and steps in completing a shinai.

Completing the shinai step by step.

Fit the Tsukagawa onto the bamboo shinai
Take the Tsuru, and string it through the Nakajime and the Gin Sakigawa as accordingly.
Then fit the Sakigomu onto the end of the bamboo shinai, followed by the Gin Sakigawa (with the Tsuru).
Then fasten the Gin Sakigawa with the Tsuru as shown.
Ensure that the Nakajime is still on the Tsuru, then pull the Tsuru to tighten the knot on the Gi Sakigawa.
To fasten the Tsukagawa on the shinai, first form an adjustable knot as showen, then loop the Tsuru around the Tsukagawa, and then through the adjustable knot.
Tightly pull the tsuru downwards, and then fasten it around the Tsukagawa as shown.
Wrapped the Tsuru around starting from the bottom as shown, and tie a knot at the end.
The end knot should look similar to the picture as shown.
Take the Nakajime, starting about 1/3 from the tip of the shinai, wrap it around the shinai 3 times, and loop it around the string, and at the end with the Nakajime going under the string, and pointing downwards.
Pull the Nakajime down tightly, and loop it under the Tsuru again, with this time the Nakajime pointing upwards and under itself.
Loop the Nakajime under the Tsuru again tightly and under itself with it pointing downwards.
Finally on the thrid time, loop it under the Tsuru and under itself with it pointing upwards.
Pull tightly at the end to fasten the Nakajime tightly on the shinai, and cut off the excess Nakajime, the end should be no more than 1cm.

Care of The Shinai
A shinai must be properly taken care of or it can pose a danger to both the user and the people around it. Shinai should be inspected for splinters and breaks before and after use, and maintained in a manner considered most appropriate by one's style, dōjō, or sensei.
Many people believe that oiling and sanding a shinai prior to its first use, and then periodically during use, can greatly extend its life. However, some disagreement exists on what is considered proper shinai care.

To properly inspect a shinai, one first examines the area around the datotsu-bu, inspecting all sides of the shinai for splinters. This is very important, as bamboo splinters can easily cause injury. The saki-gawa should be intact and the tsuru should be tight so that the saki-gawa does not slip off the end of the shinai during use. In addition, the nakayui should be tight enough as not to rotate easily.

Excess moisture is a shinai and bokutoh's worst enemies. If water comes into contact with the swords, it must be wiped off quickly so as not to ruin the wood. The same danger is found when the air is too dry as it results in the wood becoming too brittle, particularly for shinai. If the air does become too dry, wiping the slats with a damp cloth every so often will reduce the risk of breaking it during practice.

When not in use, shinai are rested against a wall with the handle pointing downward. When a shinai is placed on the ground, it is considered very poor etiquette to step over it.



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