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Different types of shinai

by Reader of Russian kendo-guide

In some on-line shops of kendo equipment in Shinai section all shinais are sorted by types: Kotō, Dōbari, Big grip, Jissen.


Can you please explain the differences of those types of shinai?

Answer: Dōbari shinai: the part close to tsuka (handle) becomes big. On the other hand, kotō (also called kantō zukuri apparently) does not such feature. The big part as seen in dōbari is straight.

*kantō is an area around Tokyo.

It is said that dōbari has its centre of gravity towards the tsuka so that means the kensaki side (the tip of the sword) is a bit lighter, compared to kotō.

Now about big grip and jissen. Big grip means just the handle is really fat. Some people like a fat handle. It is personal preference.

I am sure that jissen is a name of shinai that the shop came up with. It means "actual fight" or "practice 'as in practical'", depending on kanji (Japanese characters) they use.

Hope this helps.

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