New Training Yari (槍)By: Carmelo Grajales
Our new Yari (槍) truly represents our ambitions at Bujinkan Weapons. The desire to create training tools that help us unpack the true feelings veiled in the designs and representing katas of weapons training. So we have set out to make available to students of the art, aspects that are not commonly available in other renditions of a training Yari. In my research and discussions with teachers; who have formal training with the Yari, I was able to gather what was important to them in a training version of the Yari. What I discovered in my research was, the more experienced the student was, the less the demands were in what a training Yari should actually look like. In some older schools in Japan the teachers and students would often just prefer a staff cut to proper length for training. I also assumed that many with this perspective already understood what it was to train with an actual Yari.
So with that in mind, we will be releasing about three training versions of the Yari, starting with the most demanding piece. Our goal at the end of this project is to produce professional grade staffs (nagaye or ebu) that can be rendered as both a training weapon or a live spear by producing a staff (nagaye or ebu) that allows you to properly maintain a live spear head, in a traditional sense, and or insert a training spear head.
Our first rendition of the training Yari is now available to the public. It is a more elaborate design, for very specific reasons. Outside of it’s uniquely attractive appeal. The distinguishable straight blade and pommel (ishizuki), are made of Iron Wood, and in addition to these features these parts are secured and weighted with actual steel to supplement what it truly feels like to wield a Yari. The staffs (nagaye or ebu), is made of our impact grade Appalachian Hickory and is round. The goal here is to provide a training tool that is not only safe, with the endurance and dimensions needed in a good training tool but also provide a simulated feel to its actual weight distribution as well. The staff (nagaye or ebu) measures 6 feet (182.88 cm) from pommel (ishizuki) to spear head and its diameter approximately 1.25 inches (3.175 cm). The spear head measures 12 inches (30.48 cm), with a traditional, triangulated shape at its crosscut, over all length is around 7 feet (213.36 cm). I’ve seen some other really nice, elaborate and detailed renditions of a training Yari, but after speaking with experienced students that told me the older teachers of Japan often preferred just a safe stick cut to its proper length, I realized my focus and ambition would begin with the essentials of dimension, durability, safety and feel. This is our new Yari, (槍), enjoy and play safely.