DOJO WEAPONS RACKS AND WALL MAKAWARA
A question I receive from time to time from fellow kobudo practitioners is how do you store your various kobudo weapons in your dojo. Over the years I have tried a number of means to accomplish this, with various levels of success. The current method we use at the HKA seems to work out quite well, can be expanded easily and is easy and economical to construct. As such, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some suggestions and photos on some weapons storage options you might want to consider for your dojo. I have also includes some photos and discussion on how to construct a wall mounted height adjustable makawara.
KAMA and TEKKOS:
The photos below show a rather unique display/storage case for kamas. The display box provides for the placement of two sets of kamas on each set of pegs. It also has a clear plastic center slide which provides for safety as it covers the blade portion of the kama storage. The center plastic sheet slides left to right in order to permit one to access entirely one side or the other of the storage rack. I also added some additional rubberized hooks for securing various sets of tekkos. Note, to the left of the kama box are an additional set of tekko storage positions.
TUNFA, SAI and NUNCHAKU:
Since I have a number of personal sai and tunfa, as one can never have enough weapons, I needed a way to store them which provided ease of access as well as safe storage. My approach is shown in the photos below. The design is based on the use of two dowels. The dowels are placed in a manner that provides for two equal open spaces. The center (second) open space between the dowels is used to insert the blade of the sai. this permits one safely store a number of sais or nunte sai. The rear space, closest to the backing board provides a hole for the insertion of the blade of the tunfa with the handles extending to the front. In the set up at the HKA, the tunfa / sai rack extends around six feet in length. If you would need a greater storage length, you may have to design in a center support to provide adequate support for the rack due to the weight of the large number of weapons. For the nunchaku, I extended a single dowel which permits me to just lay the nunchaku cord over the dowel with both ends hanging down.
My storage of my eikus is easy to construct. Again I use padded double hooks which fit the eiku perfectly. This approach can be used with or without the eiku bags. I also constructed a single dowel "protection bar" which while providing protection from anyone bumping into the eikus, also provides a place for any extra weapons bags to be stored.
BO and NUNTE BO:
It is important to store you bos in a vertical manner. Placing the bos on the floor horizontally can result in warping of the weapons over time. At the HKA my bo storage area uses two ways of storage. For long term storage, I use the padded duel hooks placed at the top which permit me to loop the top of the bo bag over one of the hooks which lets the bo hang down directly. For those bos that I use on a regular basis, they are just stacked vertically, being held in place by the front "guard" which protects the weapons from anyone bumping into them during sparring sessions.
SHINAI, YARI, NAGINATA and EXTRA PRACTICE BOS:
Here I constructed three different storage racks as shown on the photo below. All three racks are constructed in a similar manner. A horizontal base and top board are constructed and holes were drilled into the board with a diameter sufficient to easily insert the specific weapon desired to be accommodated. The positioning of the distance between the holes also is dependent upon the weapon to be stored. As can be seen for the Shinai, the holes are a little farther apart to account for the guard. Also the height of the top board will be based again on the weapons to be stored. The rack on the left is used to store our practice yari and naginata. Also I use it to store the "fighting bs" I constructed using two shinai at the ends connected by a center section made of pvc pipe. The second rack is for shinai. Note that I have short dowels along the two side supports where wooden practice boken can be stored. The final rack is for student bos or extra "banger bos" used for practice. One nice aspect of this type of weapon storage is that it can be easily moved around the dojo as needed.
Installing a makawara in a dojo can be a problem at times. Over the years I have constructed a number of options for makawaras in the dojo, but unfortunately, they did not last long under heavy usage. Initially, I secured the makawara pad directly to the wall securing the pad backing board to two 2x4 plates against the wall. While this worked, it did not provide adequate "give" needed to be able to safely use the makawara. Next I bolted a metal post base support to the cement floor on the ground floor of the dojo. The problem we had with this option was that the use of the makawara resulted in the base support being ripped up from the floor as there was too much force exerted on the bolts in the floor. Finally, I came up with the idea of mounting the makawara pad in front of two bed slats which are secured to the wall at the top and bottom. As shown in the photos, the top and bottom supports are constructed of two 2x4's with the bed posts held in a cut out into the top support board. In this manner the bed slats are kept away from the wall and thus have the ability to "give" when the makawara is hit. Also this design permits me to raise or lower the makawara pad using two wing nuts - just position the pad to the height desired and tighten the nuts. By having adjustability in the height I can set the pad for use for kicking as well as punching/striking as well as change the height for children vs. adults. This design has help up well over the years as the one in the photo has seen three decades of use. The design also gave the added benefit that I was able to install a makawara on the second floor of the dojo where using a floor mounted approach I had not been able to do so in the past. The design also gives those who rent/lease their facility and may not be able to construct a design which requires a more permanent construction method.
I hope the above comments and photos will provide some ideas to dojo owners on options they can utilize to construct weapons storage areas. If any of our members have other approaches to weapons storage that they use in their dojo, please send the IKKF Honbu a photo or two and a description and I can add it as another option to the posting above.