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Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
Just Passing Through
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Hello there, first post, some of your names look familiar from the e-budo days so I want to say howdy to you all.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a review of the Cheness Oniyuri Bujinkan katana and have some questions about what this sword was based on.. as I was told it was based on one of Hatsumi-sensei's personal swords from either the Togakure Ryu or Kukishinden Ryu.. or possibly a hybrid of the two. For those that don't know what sword I'm speaking of, you can check it out here:

http://www.chenessinc.com/9260oniyuri.htm

I recieved my Katana and it is an amazing sword. Very sturdy, well balanced and a great cutter. I did 3 tests, cutting Bamboo and it ate right through the pieces, without a mark and left very little impact on the hands.. almost as though you cut nothing but air. The Nagasa is 25 inches including the habaki, 23 inches from the top of the habaki. The tsuka is 13.5 almost 14 inches in length. The saya is 30 inches in length, leaving room for metsubushi etc.. The nakago (tang) goes all the way to the bottom of the tsuka and is secured with 2 bamboo pegs.

For those looking for a serious Katana for a reasonable price (usually a Katana of this magnitude would easily break the 1,000 dollar mark), I highly reccomend it. It also has a lot of the characteristics of the infamous, 'shinobigatana' with the shorter blade housed in a longer saya and the exact same tsuba that I've seen Hatsumi-sensei wield on one of his Katana's.

Now my question is, I was told that this Katana was custom made through Cheness by some Bujinkan practitioners who took specs from what Hatsumi-sensei said the Togakure Ryu Ken's specs were...and I was basically wondering, for those in the know, how accurate these specs are. I was told that the Togakure Ryu Ken does have a fairly long tsuka, with around a 21-23 inch nagasa.. but I'd like opinions on accuracy... now I know usually each Katana was made for the user, but according to what these Bujinkan practitioners have said, this seems to be the right sword for this ryu and that Cheness got it right.

Thanks for any info.

Posted on: 2006/11/16 23:43
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
Kutaki Postmaster
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I did a review on this sword in the summer issue of Bujin-Kan, I did like the sword as well, but there were some downsides that definately make this sword priced correctly. The most notable would be the cotton tsuka ito, it is not wrapped very tight (possible due to the nature of cotton however I have Shura from cheness tha tis wrapped much better) this could be a potential safety issue.

Also, and this is confirmed by a Kukishin Menkyo kaiden holder, there is no such thing as a Kukishin Ninja-to as Kukishin is a Samurai ryu, so it would fall into Togakure, and yes the specs vary but the Cheness does fall under the correct specs.

IMO, the tsuka is just a bit too long for functional work, other than cutting.....and really, this sword id not supposed to be a cutter, it was more of a multi-purpose tool, doing some functions well but none perfect. I did think it cut well for it's size. All in all, if you are purchasing a sword for cutting, this in not the one. If you are purchasing this sword for its uniqueness, and some cutting, then this is a very nice sword at a great price.

I am waiting on a Ninja-to from Oniforge which will be reviewed in the next issue (this month), curious to see the differences.

In both cases, a Mogito version would have been nice as using it for kata would be more useful than cutting.

your opinions may vary.

Markk Bush
www.bujinmag.com

Posted on: 2006/11/17 1:00
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
Just Passing Through
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Thanks for the info.

Yeah, I was told some people recieved some loose ito, but mine is super tight and done with his new cotton. I do have a Bugei Trading Company katana, which is wrapped with silk and I love the feel so I'm having the ito on my Oniyuri changed to silk, which has a better feel and look. I have to say though that my Oniyuri is wrapped very well.

As for cutting, this Katana is definetely a cutter, Paul Chen (different Paul Chen the Chen Ciao Po) has multiple tameshigiri videos of him doing some cutting aswell and I did 3 cuts with this Katana so far on 3 inch Bamboo, which it performed very well. Considering it is 9260 spring steel, which is a very strong steel that can take a 90 degree bend and bounce back to being straight as an arrow, it's definetely a nice functional katana.


I also have another "Shinobigatana" from Cheness, which has a 10.5 inch tsuka and a 22 inch nagasa. Definetely more of a portable Katana that has serious cutting ability aswell.

I do plan on ordering an L6 Bainite Katana from Oni-forge soon, as L6 Bainite is the strongest steel for swords known. I like how it has a lifetime warranty of no breakage, bends, chips etc.. however, I will be getting a regular L6 Katana from them with a 28 inch nagasa and a 12 inch tsuka, not the "shinobigatana" version as I think the two I have from Cheness will suffice for my ninja missions, LOL!

Posted on: 2006/11/17 8:07
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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hey Markk,

If it's at all possible, could you please post a mini review of the Oni Forge katana on Kutaki once you receive it. I would specifically like to know how it rates for cutting practice.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2006/11/17 11:39
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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Hi there,
My names is Don Gaffney and Im actually the person that designed both versions of this sword with Paul. Ive been involved with Ninpo since 1983 and was always bothered by the fact that we, as Ninpo practitioners, dont always have the selection available to us that other styles do in regards to quality training weapons. I based the overall design elements on a sword in Hatsumi Sokhe's collection. The first iteration of the 'oni' series sold out immediately. The first one was not quite all of the specs I had in mind but it served as a great guage to settle on the specs for the V.2 which were more of what I, and teh folks I rained with at Bujinkan LA, were looking for. The longer tsuka has definite advantages as Martin Sensei has demonstrated. The longer tsuka, improved and longer sageo, etc proved very interesting in joint locking and hojutsu. It was also decided to go with a through tempered blade for durability. Paul and I actually did some Tameshigiri with these blades and they cut remarkably well. Paul was initially resistant because he thought these might be too much of a niche piece but the Bujinkan has been very supportive of these blade which is why Im sure Oni forge and some others jumped on the bandwagon so quickly afterwards basically just copying our specs. I agree about the ito on the Tsuka..it is not ideal but Paul has made some improvements both to the itomaki and overall geometry of the tsuka since. I was just happy to be a part in finally getting those of us in Ninpo a sword patterned after a blade unique to our style. Its a nasty fast little blade.
Im glad those of you that have played with it have liked it.
Ninpo Ikkan!
Don

Posted on: 2007/10/30 19:23
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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Don, it is a pleasure to have you post here and share your part in the sword's creation.
Thanks,
Ed Martin

Posted on: 2007/10/31 1:01
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Ed Martin aka Papa-san
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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As far as the Oniyuri is concerned, I'm not fond of the shorter blade, although I've always liked the longer tsuka.

Now the Shura looks interesting. The Shura Performance wise are the two katana compariable when it comes to tameshigiri?

Posted on: 2007/10/31 3:59
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Robert Krone


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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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wow..I just spent 5 minutes typing a reply and accidentally deleting it...gotta laugh.
Thanks for the welcome, 'Papa-San' and so as not to confuse anybody when I mentioned 'Martin Sensei' I am referring to Andy Martin of Bujinkan LA not Ed (Papa-san). Dont want thinking Im putting words in anyones mouth :)
As to the Shura...when it comes to Tameshigiri there is no comparison. I own the 'test model' Shura and it was given to me to evaluate prior to release. The Shura and Oni series are two different animals. The Shura's longer and heavier blade is a cleaver designed for heavy cutting while maintaining traditional lines. The silicon spring steel makes the blade very forgiving and the geometry handles hard and softer targets very well. The Oni series is a good cutter but as the blade is much shorter your technique has to be different as you dont have the leverage or the momentum that you do with the longer and heavier Shura. The 'oni' is much lighter and very easy to manipulate one handed but when cutting one handed you have to focus more on your hasuji and tenouchi. The Shura is a great tameshigiri blade and is definitely the one I recommend for those wishing to focus on cutting. The Oni series, while a good cutter in the right hands, was designed to give Ninpo practcioners a versatile weapon of their own with a weapon that compliments their tai-jutsu. Hope this helps.
Don

Posted on: 2007/10/31 8:07
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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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Thanks, Don. You've given something to think about before buying my next sword. Wow...decisions...decisions...

Posted on: 2007/10/31 9:04
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Robert Krone


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Re: Cheness Bujinkan Oniyuri Katana, review and some questions.
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Quote:

Onigiri wrote:
The Oni series, while a good cutter in the right hands, was designed to give Ninpo practcioners a versatile weapon of their own with a weapon that compliments their tai-jutsu. Hope this helps.
Don


Don. Thanks for designing that katana. Hope to meet you one of these days shake your hand (I am in SF) ! Earlier in this tread, I already posted how I like that weapon. Just wanted to say thanks because form the first time I took it in my hand I knew this is a weapon for me. I like very much the shorter blade but the longer tsuka . Very good taijutsu extender...
And yes, it is great for cutting with single hand did that a few times...

thanks!!

Mariusz

Posted on: 2007/10/31 10:05
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