Diffused opinion about carbon shinai maintenance

by Olga

I meet a lot of people who think that carbon shinai users don't pay enough attention to condition of their shinais. They also think that carbon shinai doesn't require such care as bamboo shinai, since it is hard to break carbon as against bamboo.

So many people who use bamboo shinai and never tried carbon consider carbon shinai users as lazybones.

As a user of both carbon and bamboo shinais I would like to say a little bit about that.

When I started kendo I used bamboo shinai only and later started using carbon on trainings and continue using bamboo shinais on special occasions. So I have to take care about both types regularly.

It is true that it is hard to make a kind of split on carbon shinai, so we don't need to polish and grease it. But like with bamboo shinai every time we have to make sure our tsuru and nakajime are tighten enough.

Unlike bamboo shinai carbon shinai has square shape and webbing. And because of that nakajime has to be tightened exactly at the level of webbing. If not, the shinai will become flat after a target is struck.  That is the reason why carbon shinai has to be retightened quite often.

For me it is more often as against bamboo shinai. And of course we still need to examine shinai good not to hurt
our opponent during keiko.

So in general we pay approximately equal attention to both carbon and bamboo shinais.

And one more diffused opinion: carbon shinai hurts motodachi more than bamboo one.

I have made a little experiment. I asked my training partner to receive 50 continuous sayu-men strikes. I was striking quickly and almost without going forward.

I did 50 strikes with bamboo and then did the same with carbon shinai. My training partner said that felt no difference, both shinais hurt the same.

Surely in past carbon shinais might be different from what we have now, but today both carbon and bamboo shinais hurt opponent approximately the same. And the fact that carbon shinai is more flexible influences striker much more than receiver, as it was said here in 'Carbon vs bamboo' article's comments.

Surely all that is just my experience and opinion.

Kendo-Guide.Com:  Thank you for sharing your opinion. It does not matter what kind of shinai we use, we must check it before we train. That is “must do”. 

Those who don’t maintain are not lazy but selfish and thoughtless people.  They don’t care if they hurt their kendo mates or not.

Again I would like the readers of this article to know that broken shinai, bamboo or carbon, can kill your friends.  So check your shinai as often as you can. Have at least 3 shinai all the time.

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