Growing bamboo

This Forum is a place for students of swordsmanship to ask advice from moderators Paul Champagne & Scott M. Rodell on how to practice test cutting in a manner consistent with how swords were historically used in combat. Readers use this Forum at their own risk.

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Graham Cave
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Growing bamboo

Post by Graham Cave » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:38 pm

I have been looking into which varieties of bamboo would be suitable to grow for cutting practice. The ones that have been suggested by UK suppliers do not look like the bamboos that are commonly seen used in cutting videos.

Does anybody know which varieties are commonly used? Have you any advice on growing them?

Graham

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Tashi James
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Post by Tashi James » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:19 am

There is a great book titled

The book of bamboo,.Farrelly. D,.Sierra Club Books isbn 0-87156-825-x

In it you will find history and usage, as well as cultivation sections.
You want to find a variety that is clumping, and of a lumber type. You will need to research as some can grow up to a foot in circumference, with walls of an inch or more. That is too thick, and you may need to do tree surgery in order to retrieve the blade safely.

Maybe Oxytenanthera abyssinica which grows about 48' x 3", however this is a running variety {i think} and is a tropical species.
You are probably going to need a temperate variety. Try and get your hands on that book though, if you can't let me know and I'll send you mine.

tashi
"There is nothing that does not become easier through familiarity" (Santideva).

"We become what we do repeatedly. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit" (Aristotle).

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Graham Cave
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Post by Graham Cave » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:05 am

Tashi James wrote:You are probably going to need a temperate variety. Try and get your hands on that book though, if you can't let me know and I'll send you mine.
I've managed to find a copy of the book OK, thanks for the offer of yours.

You are right about needing a temperate variety and probably a very hardy one at that - I live in a rather cold and windy spot!

Graham

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Tashi James
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ok

Post by Tashi James » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:39 am

No worries,

Laoshi, may be able to help you out as well. When he arrives back from Estonia that is. He may not know the exact type but he may be able to give you an idea of what to look for.

With much kindness,
Tashi
"There is nothing that does not become easier through familiarity" (Santideva).

"We become what we do repeatedly. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit" (Aristotle).

Scott M. Rodell
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Re: Growing bamboo

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:46 am

Graham Cave wrote:... Does anybody know which varieties are commonly used?
Any variety will do. Look for one that is at least 2" (5 cm) in diameter & that has walls that are at least 1/4" (1/2 cm) thick. Or you might try bundling together thinner stalks. You could easily & quickly bind them with duct tape.

The 2" variety is good for wrapping a rice straw mat around for making a cao ren (grass man).
Graham Cave wrote:...Have you any advice on growing them?
Yes, bamboo is an invasive, non-native species. It can take over your yard in a few years easy. So if you are serious about growing bamboo, plan on digging a trench 2' deep on all sides of the grove & filling it with cement. That might old it back.

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