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07-05-2006, 11:35 AM
I am looking for some help - my husband are about to turn 30 (July 11th) and I want to give him a NICE wooden sword for his birth day...something very classy and good looking that he can still use at the dojo, one that he will always cherish. Who should I contact? What should I get? I want this to be totaly under the proverbial radar and thus I have yet to contact any of his friends. He absolutely hates suprices and he has his friends "spying" for him incase I ask them something. We don't have a computer at the house so I figured you guys could help me out - please?


James Davis
07-05-2006, 11:48 AM
My wife got me a suburito from aikiwood.com. It's not designed for contact, and it's beautiful :) , so I keep it at home for solitary training.

If your husband intends to leave this weapon at the dojo, I would suggest that you get him a "run of the mill" bokken from a flea market or something. Even with the best of intentions, weapons sometimes clash during kata on a crowded mat. :eek:

I hope you think of something really nice, and I hope your husband has a happy birthday. :)

07-05-2006, 12:41 PM
You might consider Kim Taylor up in Ontario; he makes (and uses) bokuto, and has a variety of nice woods to choose from ...



07-05-2006, 01:08 PM
I'm a big fan of Kim Taylor.

When this bokken breaks what do you want your husband to do? If you want him to go out and buy another one just like it then get him something from Kim Taylor. If you want him to sit down and cry then get him something from Kingfisher (http://www.kingfisherwoodworks.com/).

Lan Powers
07-05-2006, 02:32 PM
Sei Do Kai from the supplies section of this very website has a really nice aikido bokken that is white oak, and feels very sweet in the hand.

John Boswell
07-05-2006, 03:16 PM
I'd rather cry over a Kingfisher bokken than get something not worth crying over. Besides, has anyone ever seen a Kingfisher bokken break? They have an excellent reputation. ;)

Lan's bokken from Sei Do Kai IS an excellent bokken. I've seen and held it. "It'sverynice..." :D It would also be an excellent choice. Given that this is a birthday and special gift, go for the gusto! Get him something kickass!

I feel the need to recommend Bu Jin also. I have been very impressed with every product they have produced that I have seen. They are not cheap, but then again, you're looking for something special, right?

Three excellent choices... you can't go wrong with any of them. ;) Good luck!

PS: One last thing - there are many choices of "styles" of bokken you could get. Stick with a basic "Aiki" style if you can find such a thing or "Iwama" which is a stronger and more sizable style to use. There are dozens of choices on some websites... I would tend to avoid the really fancy stuff. But that's just me.

henry brown
07-05-2006, 03:49 PM
I also vote for Kingfisher. My wife got me a bokken and a tanto for our 5th (wooden) wedding anniversary. No complaints many years later!

07-05-2006, 09:57 PM
I hope he doesn't read this forum.
That said, my gal got me a Bujin bokken like 6 or 7 years ago. I love the balance, feels great in my hands (I have no idea how to use it). It's a nice looking bokken, which is really showing the marks from contact more than I expected. If I had paid for it I doubt I'd let anyone hit it with anything.

07-05-2006, 10:56 PM
Another weigh in for KINGFISHER ( here. I absolutely love my bokken. It's taken a lot of abuse and is still going strong. There's something really nice about the feel of their bokken because they are not sanded at all. The grain is left open because they are shaped by shaving with extremely sharp tools. As one of my students once said about one of the Kingfisher jo, "when you grab it, it grabs you back".


07-05-2006, 11:21 PM
I have many friends and senseis who have purchased Bujin bokken. Never broken any of them, that I've heard. I myself bought a white oak bokken from Kiyota Company (no web purchases from them, though), and I'm still using them.

I strongly advise AGAINST buying an inexpensive bokken from a "oriental knick-knack" store. They'll not be any more useful than those wall-hanger "samurai swords" you find in there.


07-06-2006, 11:06 PM
I'm a big fan of Kim Taylor.

When this bokken breaks what do you want your husband to do? If you want him to go out and buy another one just like it then get him something from Kim Taylor. If you want him to sit down and cry then get him something from Kingfisher (http://www.kingfisherwoodworks.com/).

I love my bokken from kingfisher, it is so beautiful,

07-07-2006, 07:22 AM
Lena, Kingfishers are grand, but they usually ask for at least a month's lead ahead of delivery. They may be slow right now, but, if that's not the case, the other suggestions of Bujin, Kiyota or Kim Taylor would be nice too. Try for hickory. Light, strong, and tough, and no, that isn't redundant.

Good luck.

Now we need a thread comparing everyone's kingfisher hickory grade, inscriptions, and personal care.


Robert A. Wilkins
07-07-2006, 09:13 AM
Give the Kiyota Co.(They don't have a web address.) a try. They're in Baltimore, Maryland if I remember correctly. They have a excellent selection of bokkens and they ship FAST! Highly recommended. As for Kingfisher, everyone I've had ( Three the last time I counted.) have all splintered pretty quickly.
-Robert Wilkins.

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 09:45 AM
I've enjoyed my Bear Woods hickory bokken for several years now. Pretty much just as unmarked and straight as the day I got it. Really nice work, and I actually don't treat it as well as I should.


Charlie Huff
07-07-2006, 10:09 AM
I'll put in a good word for Kiyota as well. I've got a white oak bokken that I bought from Kiyota back about 1990 and I still use it. It's got a few dings and shows its age, but it's still solid.

07-07-2006, 11:06 AM
I also can put in a good word for Kiyota as I am still using my $35 white oak bokken from them that I got from them in 1994.
Still solid, no splintering, stood up to some solid striking. Never seen a white oak bokken from Kiyota that didn't have nice balance.

Kiyota is at 800-783-2232 last time I checked.

Japanese white oak is something he can use. And the joy is in handling a well-made one with great balance so it feels alive in his hands when practicing solo or with a partner. Beauty in the plain and simple.

There has been a trend in recent years to make bokken out of expensive exotic woods or hand fashioned to be artfully shaped in some special way. IMNSHO, it's a silly consumerist trend for those who like to spend a lot of unnecessary cash on any hobby they jump in to. If you are just getting him something pretty to display like art and not use you can do that. Plenty of companies will take your money.

Ron Tisdale
07-07-2006, 01:09 PM
Wow, Craig. Nice put down.


07-08-2006, 02:57 AM
Too bad you're in the states :(

You might have had some nice options if you were here...

There is an area in a local flea market that caters to woodcrafts.... I came across a particular shop that would custom make a Bokken for about 6 - 8 dollars at most (and you get to choose the type of material you want it to be made from), this is quite sturdy and good for practice

But if you want something really fancy, for display only, there are also antique / furniture shops here that sell Hand Cafted Bokkens with designs on them (Like a Dragon head handle) >> unfortunately this'd cost about 180 - 200 dollars...

Either way, hope he has a happy birthday, and good luck on your search! :)

07-08-2006, 04:41 AM
Why don't you give IWATA a try, they have a very good reputation for excellent weapons. If I'm right they are the company that directly supply Aikikai Hombu Dojo with their needs.
Although they might be a little bit expensive, but I think since hopefully it will last him throughout is Aikido career; it wont make alot of difference with the price.

Trish Greene
07-14-2006, 01:33 PM
Personally I would like to thank everyone for all the information on this thread. I am just starting to work with bokkens in practice and have figured out that I really love handling bokkens! I am using one that the dojo has at this point and would love to get my own. Reading this thread has been very helpful!