The Shinai Bamboo Sword / Kendo Stick is designed for balance and reliability. This bamboo sword is recommended for all who want to learn sword fighting. Two piece hand guard included. Great for practice, this Kendo sword is made of real bamboo, and the handle is covered in leather. Shinai Bamboo Swords are constructed of 4 pieces of split bamboo. The tip of the Shinai is covered in leather; the four staves are held apart by a t-shaped piece of rubber. The staves are held together at the opposite end by a long leather handle. The handle is round rather than oval like a real katana. A leather lace tied in a complicated knot about a third of the way from the tip keeps the staves from spreading too far apart. A string runs down one stave -it signifies the dull edge, or back of the sword.