Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cold Steel O Tanto Bokken

I've been interested in Cold Steel's training weapons for awhile now. I own several of their rubber training knives, but had never purchased anything in the polypropylene training sword line. I have some experience in Filipino martial arts, and stick combat translates very nicely to almost any melee weapon, especially knives and swords. I had been thinking the O Tanto Bokken looked like a good option for a tool that could be used as a training knife, and also a short stick or sword.

Weight: 9.2 oz.
Blade Thickness: 3/4"
Blade Length: 12"
Material: Solid Polypropylene
Handle: 6 1/4" Long
Overall: 18 1/4"

It's no secret that my more recent martial arts attendance began slipping about 2 years into training with the group in Seattle. I was sick and didn't know it. After being hospitalized and put on blood thinners, my doctors forbade me to do any combat sports, here it is, 3 years later nearly, and I'm still on blood thinners, so martial arts with contact and weapons, against others could literally be life threatening if I were to get cut and begin bleeding. Since that time, I've been using my existing rubber trainers, escrima/arnis sticks, bokkens and aluminum training knives to practice movements and rehearse various imagined combat scenarios such as being taken by surprise or defending against a knife. It really helps if a partner is involved, but I still feel I get something out of thinking and moving by myself.

The Cold Steel O Tanto Bokken is a good length and the weight simulates a light but sturdy long knife, it's useful also for practicing disarms with a partner, with ercrima sticks or empty handed. The tip is surprisingly sharp, as I've been practicing rolling it like an escrima stick to generate power, which is hard to do with a short, light weapon. With a long rattan stick, inertia and weight play a role in allowing you to roll the sticks forward and back. Anyhow, I was practicing to see if I could get any power going while lying prone and rolling the O Tanto off the end of my bed, when I rolled the item back and it poked me, hard in the clavicle! I have to say, that training weapon regardless, if events called for it, you could defend yourself decently with any of Cold Steel's solid polypro items, training swords included.

Even with the short O Tanto, you could disarm somebody if that's all you had against their kitchen knife or whatever, you could also use it as a blocking and distracting tool. Now, I'm not saying I'd go out and foolishly fight an armed assailant with a training sword, but, if that's all I had at the time, I wouldn't be complaining.

I'd really like to check out Cold Steel's full size, and Wakizashi Bokkens as well, along with their new line of medieval sword and dagger trainers. The best thing about these training swords, is the fact that they're so durable, and so inexpensive. I got my O Tanto bokken in a retail mall cutlery shop for just over $20.00 USD and I know for a fact they can be found much cheaper than that online, at least before shipping is paid.

Check out Cold Steel's training items at their discount site LTSpecPro.com

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