A few months ago one of the Force Recon Marines who makes training weapons dropped by our club with some plastic ginuntings. I got two of them right away.
Each one is 60 cm long and weighs about 250 grams. I’m not sure what plastic it’s made from, but I can tell you its extremely tough. Tuhon Gaje used my pair in a class at our club recently, when he demonstrated florete with lots of weapon to weapon contact. Needless to say, if it can take getting whacked against each other by the heavy hands of Tuhon Gaje, its tough enough for me.
I instantly realized the training potential this tool presents, despite its light weight. I’ve long suspected that practicing with an edged training tool will make me more precise with my strikes and it has done that. The difference between using this and a stick is that when I practice with a stick I have to continuously remind myself how the weapon will contact the target and how I need to keep it aligned, edge-wise, toward it to make a hack or slash. This problem is most pronounced in panastas (upward slash), because I have to twist my wrist to get the “edge” of the stick to face forward, perpendicularly to the target. With the training ginunting, I know exactly how I need to position the weapon to get the edge forward. The training ginunting also gives me feedback as to how the weapon is tracking throughout the strike.
I for one don’t mind the light weight. I’m going to develop a dulled ginunting for training anyway and this plastic practice weapon already serves its purpose, as a tool for developing edge awareness. I’ve had my share of tendonitis after training with pipes early in my PTK education and I’m a little wary of making the same mistake, of going crazy with heavy sticks and pipes in training. So for now, this is the tool of choice of getting edge aware for blade use.