View Full Version : Is a tsuba necessary?
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01-19-2005, 02:58 AM
I've recently got a good oak bokken and was wondering - should I put a tsuba on it? Is it necessary for sparring or would it be simply an item of display?
01-19-2005, 03:38 AM
Depends on what you're doing. First, ask your teacher and do what he or she says, if there's no rule or requirement at that level, look at what the senior students do and copy them.
In many aikido dojo, there's not a lot of intense weapon-to-weapon contact, and tsuba aren't needed. If however, the weapons work is more like that you might find in Shinto Muso Ryu jodo, for instance, then a good, stout (preferably thick leather) tsuba is essential.
01-19-2005, 05:46 AM
As Chuck said, depends on what you're doing.
Have done extensive kenjutsu sparring with bokken, I would say it's a requirement if you don't want your fingers broken, grazed, cut or swollen.
In my kendo dojo you have to use them, even though they're not strictly necessary for what you're doing.
In aiki I've found it falls somewhere in between, but for form's sake I prefer them.
As for the leather ones, I've found the heavy plastic ones (or whatever they're made of) have always done the trick.
01-19-2005, 06:44 AM
Interesting. I gather they won't hurt even if they won't save my life :D. However, how to obtain a tsuba? And how to put it on a bokket that it wouldn't damage the bokken itself?
01-19-2005, 08:31 AM
However, how to obtain a tsuba?
Here's a place that offers a nice thick leather tsuba for bokken:
These things are your knuckle's best friend when it comes
Good luck with your sword training!
01-19-2005, 08:44 AM
I think tsuba can save your fist and fingers if your opponent use real sword.
I read that there are also techniques somewhat called tsuba-fighting.
01-19-2005, 08:56 AM
SDK Supplies (http://www.sdksupplies.com/) and Mugendo Budogu (www.budogu.com) both sell good leather tsuba. Emily and I use stitched tsuba similar to the ones (http://www.sdksupplies.com/cat_furtsuba.htm) SDK. E-bogu (www.e-bogu.com) may also sell leather tsuba.
The plastic ones that I've seen are good for beginners, but if the intensity gets ratcheted up, will give way quickly. I suppose something could be constructed from a hi-impact synthetic, but I've not seen one yet.
The Kashim SHinryu folks use a wooden tsuba on their bokuto, about an inch-thick hardwood.
As for fitting the tsuba, most are designed to fit snugly against the scribed line seperating the handle from the blade, and be retained by a rubber or synthetic ring (tsuba-dome). If your bokuto doesn't have the delineating scribing, you could use two dome, one in front and one behind the tsuba.
01-19-2005, 12:31 PM
I've found that when I use a tsuba my partner is much more at ease, especially a partner new to the boken.
01-19-2005, 01:26 PM
Only problem with the Tsuba I got is that it sometimes slips upward...I use a plastic one with a rubber thingy to keep it in place
01-19-2005, 02:44 PM
In my kendo dojo you have to use them, even though they're not strictly necessary for what you're doing.They're necessary in kodachi no sambonme in the Nihon Kendo Kata, and if you're doing the "new" bokuto-ni yoru kendo kihon waza keiko-ho, they'll save you a lot of pain in the tsuba-zeriai part of tsuba-zeriai kara no hiki-do.
01-27-2005, 05:05 PM
I went to a Kumitachi (if I mis-spelled that just assume I mis-typed =D) seminar...anyhow, I had the tsuba on. There was at least one whack that would have prematurely ended my participation in the day long seminar, which I was excited to attend and drove 3 hours 1 way to do so, if I hadn't. It still hurt pretty good, but I was able to keep going.
We even practiced a technique that used the tsuba for leverage.
02-10-2005, 02:42 AM
They're necessary in kodachi no sambonme in the Nihon Kendo Kata, and if you're doing the "new" bokuto-ni yoru kendo kihon waza keiko-ho, they'll save you a lot of pain in the tsuba-zeriai part of tsuba-zeriai kara no hiki-do.Haven't got there yet... is kodachi no sanbonme yondan? Sandan?
02-10-2005, 10:58 AM
Like folks said before...it all depends on what you are doing. If you aren't doing much combative sparring or whatnot, there really isn't much use for it, but if you are doing heavy sparring or such then it's pretty much a must for finger saving...cause that can hurt a little...
As for finding some http://www.sdksupplies.com/ has some good ones...
02-10-2005, 01:21 PM
Haven't got there yet... is kodachi no sanbonme yondan? Sandan?The kodachi kata are usually required for sandan, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until nidan to start practicing them. I learned kodachi no ipponme before I was ever ranked.
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