What is a sojin shinai?

As I’ve learned, a sojin is used for practicing suburi. Is that so? Also, there are different numbers of staves of a sojin, and as I understand the weight of the sojin varies with the number of its stave. But what is the difference and advantages of using a sojin, and using a regular shinai? Is it more advisable to use a sojin to practice suburi?

Answer: Thanks for your question. The name of the shinai probably varies. And it means “devoting yourself to training without getting distracted with other things”. We call it “suburi yo shinai” (Shinai for suburi).

I do not really recommend using a heavy shinai for suburi, especially to beginners. When using a heavy shinai, many cannot keep the good form. Unless you can keep the good form, that will help you to develop bad habits.

With a heavy shinai, you must use the entire body to swing it. You just cannot swing it with only arms. You’ve got to use the abs, back and the legs. So these muscles will be trained too.

I remember that one of my sempai used to swing 5kg iron pipe. Of course, he was one of the top kendoists in my prefecture. His forearms were like legs :)

But again, I do not recommend it to beginners.

Hope this helps.

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