Traditionally, training tool such as bokken and hanbo were made using high quality woods. While we still use wood, we take advantage of modern materials to create training tools that are unique and different from the standard.
Originally, white oak or shirogashi was used to make Japanese bokken. This wood was readily available in Japan and made excellent, durable bokken. We have access to many other woods; some more durable, some more colorful. Our standards on offer are Ipe, Hickory, and Purpleheart, though we often have other woods like Jatoba and Tigerwood. These woods are durable enough for standard training and offer a range in color choices.
We source an eco-friendly paper phenolic from a few Pacific Northwest companies including Richlite and Paperstone. This material is normally used for kitchen countertops and desktops, but it is a durable, water resistant product that is excellent for training tools.
Made from layers of paper impregnated with a resin and compressed under heat and pressure to form a dense, uniform material.
While it is more durable that hardwoods, the main advantage to this material over wood is the density of the material. It allows us to create training tools that are more similar to the real weapons they're meant to represent in both weight and shape. We can make bokken that are thinner and feel more like shinken.
A step above paper phenolic in durability, this material is made using layers of canvas impregnated with a phenolic resin. For martial arts purposes, this material is more than durable enough. This material is on par with paper phenolic in weight and feel and allows for us to create the same style of training tools.
Occasionally, we will come across other materials such as UHWM, Makralon, or other phenolic materials. .