Market Research: Demand for premium training Daitō, Shōtō and Tantō

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Ikari, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Ikari

    Ikari New Member

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I've been in the Bujinkan for many years and have amassed a sizable collection of training equipment, but as many BJK practitioners would know, many training weapons commercially available work for training, but they aren't ideal. Short tsuka, thin bokken, small tsuba, lack of tsuka and durability problems are a few specific issues when thinking about bokken.

    I have recently come into a business opportunity which would allow me to design and manufacture premium polypropylene bokken (would we still call it a bokken or would it be a kasoken 可塑剣?) and I would like to get some feedback on my design ideas and if anyone would be interested in this product.

    The base product would be a set of three weapons, daitō, shōtō and tantō each with their own plastic saya. But unlike available products from suppliers like Coldsteel, these weapons would have bronze or brass tsuba [hand guard], kashira [pommel] and menuki [tsuka decorations]. The tsuka-ito would also be cotton in a variety of colours (thinking green, red, blue and yellow for initial runs).

    The daitō and shōtō would have significantly larger tsuka than commercially available bokken. Daitō would have 35cm tsuka and Shōtō 21cm tsuka. Tantō I'll probably keep shorter at about 16cm. Their tsuba diameter would also be much larger than commercially available versions at 8cm^2 (or 7x8).

    A major difference for this set is that all three weapons will have a plastic saya (which aren't available commercially for shōtō or tantō.

    Blades will all remain in the standard black polypropylene it is manufactured in.

    The main purpose of this set is to have a closer feel to the real thing (nice fittings and cotton tsuka-ito), a durable safe blade that can be bent and bashed without deforming, a saya for drawing practice and weapon dimensions that are more in line with western body sizes (hands/height).

    Calculating production costs, I could probably get away with $150 to $200 USD for the set.

    Based on the success of this project I would also go on to create other sets of polyprop weapons that you don't see on the market like jutte, kabuto wari, rokushakubo and so on.

    Thoughts and feedback appreciated.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  2. Rataca100

    Rataca100 Valued Member

    Ar eall of these for sparing or is it more air practice with light sparing?

    Also, unless you do international shipping or you are based in the U.K i would not be intrested. :p

    I am assuming you are going to go as much to quality as possible as well, but you are on the right path as Japanese weapons are obscure, past the Katana, Tanto and Wasasoemthing i can hardly ever spell. So lets wait for the reviews to come after you make them.
  3. Simon

    Simon The Bulldog Admin

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  4. Ikari

    Ikari New Member

    I'm thinking entry level iai, light sparring, hard sparring, solo and paired kata. And yes, I would do international shipping.

    Bokken are great for some things, but without tsuki-ito and a decent tsuba some kata just can't be done the correct way. The lack of saya for shoto and tanto have annoyed me for ages.

    It wasn't intended as advertising. There is no product yet. I just wanted to get an idea of demand for high quality weapons.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  5. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth

    Whilst it's a great idea, and it is!
    Bokken aren't for sparring, that's what shinai, in all their variations are for.
  6. Ikari

    Ikari New Member

    It's not too bad with a pair of kendo gloves, but you are right. For beginners, shinai and fukuro-shinai are definitely a better choice for sparring and free play. Though, for more experienced practitioners sparring with these kasoken is a possibility.

    That being said, the primary use I would see is probably drawing practice before moving onto steel weapons or single/paired kata.
  7. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    Blackfencer already do a nylon sparring safe Katana with steel fittings for 67 euros, will make you a tsuba'd Tanto for 45 or so and will make you a Wakizashi for somewhere between the two. They'll even make you a Nodachi for 100-110.
    Given that Blackfencer are the best sub $150 training swords available, being the perfect weight and handling like real swords, I think you've missed the boat I'm afraid.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  8. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I think as time goes on the HEMA equipment will become the norm for weapons sparring in most systems. Having less restrictive armour (and cheaper) and more representative sparring weapons can only be a plus.
    Dead_pool likes this.

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