Zekken of Ki-ken-tai-icchi
This zekken, a name tag, belongs to J. Paasonen, from Helsinki, Finland.

Oiling the wooden training equipment (weapons)

..and why do Finnish people eat poison for breakfast?

  • To look grumpy the whole day.

The essence in oiling the wooden training equipment, which are used in the martial art training, is primarily to keep the sweat out of the wood.

Other aspects could be to prevent the wood from drying, bending, etc. It can also give the wood a different colour, one which makes it look nicer than the others. Most of the cases too, it makes the weapon easier to handle in case the techniques include sliding the grip.

For weapons which are of form long and straight stick, like bo and ebu of naginata, the most efficient way to have them well oiled is to do it in a pipe. The inner diameter of the pipe should be slightly bigger than the biggest diameter of the weapon and the other end should be sealed. The length of the pipe does not need to be the full length of the weapon, half of it is enough as the other end can be soaked on another day.

Chinese wood oil has seemed to be suitable for this use. In Slovenia they had something called “laneno olje“ which was much cheaper but still good for this.

The duration of the time how long the weapon should be standing in the pipe with oil depends of the density of the wood. One day is good number to start from if the material is hard wood.

As the thermodynamic pressure pushes the oil in, it will keep coming out for a week after the soaking has been executed. At this time is best to have the weapon lying down on a flat ground, preferably plenty of news papers under it to suck the extra oil.

Before applying the oil and perhaps a month after, it might good to polish the weapon with a sand paper in order to get rid of the possible varnish and patterns.

Disclaimer: Not all people are fond of doing this. I take no responsibility of it.