You need some supplies and some tools.
(1) 1” wide Five-foot length of PVC pipe.
(1) Foam Camping Mat
(1) Roll of Duct Tape
(1) Roll Colored Tape (for handle, cross-piece, and/or handle end)
(1) 6” piece of wooden dowel or PVC pipe 3/8” in diameter
Utility Knife (Retractable Carpenter’s Knife)
1 Black Sharpie Marker
A Scrap Plywood Cutting Board
2 – C-Clamps
Drill and ⅜” bit
The Procedure for Creating Your LARP Weapon:
Lay the foam pad out on the cutting board. Measure the length of sword you want and draw the outline of the blade, plus the outline of the cross-piece and handle end. The simplest is to make the handle end a triangle. Make the blade at least 5” wide or more depending on the thickness of your PVC pipe. You want both sides of the foam to easily touch on either side of the PVC pipe and to form a sword-edge. Blade should be three to four feet long, plus 6” to 1’ for the handle, plus the handle end. You can cut the PVC pipe to fit, but you can’t re-cut the foam! So make sure it’s big enough.
Next, fold the camping pad in half lengthwise so that it is double-thick and screw the C-clamps tight so that the foam doesn’t slide apart. Set the square on the foam pad and cut along the lines through both thicknesses of foam. A few notes about cutting foam: If your foam is too thick to cut two layers, you may have to cut each half of the sword separately. Also, depending on the texture of foam, a sharp pair of full-sized scissors may work better.
Once you’ve got the foam cut in two identical pieces, cut the PVC pipe to length. Drill a hole through the PVC at one end for the cross-piece. Cut the cross-piece to length and put it through the hole. Then use the duct tape to attach the foam together at the edges. You may want next to wrap the entire blade with silver duct tape (the standard color). It makes a good metallic silver blade color! You can wrap your colored tape around the handle and/or cross-piece and/or sword end.
That’s it! Now take your LARP weapon to your favorite sword workout spot and do your routine!
The Meaning of Kendo
Kendo literally means “the way of the sword” in Japanese. It refers to the art of traditional Japanese fencing that was originally developed and practiced by Bushi or Samurai. Kendo originated from the various sword fighting techniques of hundreds of years of combat and study. It deals with the physical and mental skills necessary for sword fighting.The goal of Kendo is not only to develop the physical capability for fighting but also the moral and spiritual aspects that may be applied in coping with real life. In Japan, it is one of the most popular martial arts. Kendo has spread to other parts of the world.
The concept of Kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the Katana.
The purpose of practicing Kendo is: To mold the mind and body, to cultivate a vigorous spirit, and through correct and rigid training, to strive for improvement in the art of Kendo; to hold in esteem human courtesy and honor, to associate with others with sincerity, and to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself. Thus will one be able to love his country and society, to contribue to the development of culture, and to promote peace and prosperity among all people.
The Basics of Kendo
The equipment used for Kendo practice are the bamboo sword (Shinai) and a set of protective armor (Bogu). The shinai is made of four carefully prepared staves or pieces of bamboo that are fitted and held together at both ends by a leather handle, tip and special string designed to designate the back of the sword. The protective equipment consists of four different parts: Men, Do, Tare and a pair of Kote. Men is the helmet which protects the face, throat, top and sides of the head. Do is similar to a breastplate and covers the chest and stomach. Tare is the waist protector. Finally, Kote are like gauntlets and protect the hands and wrists.
In Kendo, there are four general areas to attack, subdivided into left and right sides ofthe body – each worth one point. These are strokes to the head, the wrist, torso and a thrust to the throat. In order to be considered successful,the attack is to be a coordination of the spirit, proper usage of the sword and correct movement of the body so that it would be a clear and proper stroke, as if it were made with a real sword.
An official Kendo match is a three-point match and has a five-minute time limit. The player who scores two points first is the winner. If neither player scores two points before the end of regulation time, the one in the lead at that point is declared the winner. If the score is tied after five minutes, an infinite sudden death overtime is held. Three referees judge whether or not a point is scored. Kendo tournaments are held in direct elimination form.
Original article posted on Santa Barbara Kendo Dojo