Friday, January 07, 2005


OK, I don't plan to beat this to death, but for the record ... It's annoying being slammed for selling "knock-off" knives, so I just did a tour of several big and well-known martial arts online suppliers. No surprise: what I found were lots of cheap knives (and a few good ones sprinkled in, same as my site). Gee, could those be imports from China or Pakistan? All I know is if it costs less to import and sell retail than to get made over here, that's a yes. You don't find many custom production knives for under $100, let alone $30, so it seems I'm in good company offering tools for the common man. I decided a year ago to try selling some because it is such a common item, at hardware stores, convenience stores, martial art stores, etc. If a normal business practice makes me a bad guy that some folks won't do business with, I guess they don't spend money at the grocery store either! After all, they might be offended that you could buy imitation Ho Ho's instead of the name brand.

Also on these same sites, I've found knock-offs of my sticks for nearly four times what I charge! Example: One size and material of synthetic stick for $56 each! I sell a pair of identical ones for $50! (those are my 28" x 1" Panther II sticks). I also offer an complete range in this material, from 6" tabaks to 4" staffs, customized for each order and not just one size like the "other guys". I also use a variety of choices in materials and diameters to tailor weight and appearance.

Anyway, those are pretty hefty sticks they sell and wouldn't be my first choice for most people. I bet a lot of folks would be turned off to synthetics after trying them, saying "synthetics are too heavy" when it's just the lack of imagination or creativity that limits the selection on these sites (though many do offer a wide array of ... cheap imported knives!) Expensive blades are a specialty item and there are plenty of sites for those who prefer them. Hey, not everybody can afford to drive a Lexus either, and that's why Honda created separate showrooms.

Since I pioneered these types of sticks, I guess all the big guys are ripping off my creative concept, but I don't see too many complaints aired about them doing so. It's funny in a way because when I first tried to market my sticks wholesale, I was told by several large mail-order companies that they weren't interested because it would hurt their recurring sales of breakable rattan. Let's hear it for integrity!

For those who don't know my sticks, they can be found at

No comments: