What are Practice Swords or Wasters for?
Practice swords or wasters are an integral part of the martial artists sword training equipment. Practice katana boken (bokken) were essential training tools for the young samurai. Bokken were traditionally made from wood which enables you to safely practice forms without the dangers of a live blade. During martial arts training, semi-contact to full contact can be performed as well. With the advances in technology from the days of samurai training, the boken is now available in polypropylene. Unlike wood, polypropylene practice swords do not break, splinter or snap like the traditional wood boken can in contact situations. Western martial artists can also choose wooden wasters or polypropylene training swords for practicing forms. Polypropylene swords have become a more popular choice amongst the student of western martial arts as well as it allows the user to withstand heavy contact. The term wasters is most commonly used for wooden European styled training swords.
Training swords are available for almost any martial arts discipline. Wooden tai chi swords are used for wushu and tai chi training. The European or Western martial artists have single hand, hand and a half training swords and daggers at their disposal. Kendo shinai are available for practice and sport, as well as a wide array of practice katana, wakizashi and tanto for those practicing the Japanese martial arts.