Time to break out the tools and get creative!

2011-06-19 10:07:00

building a kendo dummy

Who'd have thought that training a sport would also lead to creative tendencies? You may remember that I kind of, sort of damaged our fence a few months ago, looking for a target to practice men strikes. Since then I haven't found any real alternatives, leading both Martijn and I to search for a frame or a dummy of sorts. A quick search turned up simple practice dummies such as this one and this one. Both look fine and shouldn't be too hard to build. 

However, instead I would love to build the dummy pictured on the left. It's based on free instructions by Best Kendo, who provide full plans and designs to build this kendo practice dummy. The good part about this dummy: all three valid striking targets (men, kote and do) are available and there's even an option for the dummy to hold a shinai for added realism. It may be a complicated design to put together, but it looks great!

One thing I would like to do differently from the Best Kendo design, is to construct the dummy in such a way that it can be dismantled for storage or transport. This would require a minimal change to the design of the arm (just use a different screw/bolt combo), though the foot would be quite different. Instead of glueing and screwing the body to the base I would use another axle screw/bolt. Because this might compromise the strength of the structure, it might be wise to add a diagonal leg which gets connected with a similar peg. 

Another project that I'm looking forward to is making a weather proof case for my shinai and boken. My ideas for the design are inspired by a homemade naginata case project by Kristin. For my shinai case I'll be getting a PVC tube which, like Kristin, I will be covering in a nice looking fabric. Unlike Kristin i won't be attaching the straps to the fabric, but instead I'll use rain pipe fasteners which are usually used to connect a PVC tube to the side of a house. 

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