Hey thanks for checking this out and maybe giving me a little help. I'm a relatively new aikidoka and i was out of curiosity wondering how much it would cost to purchase my own bokken for solo practice at my home. If you could it would help a lot if you could list some place that i could look to buy one also.
Thanks a ton,
I'm in the UK so I can only offer some brief advice:
- a cheap bokken over here costs around £12 ($18)
If you want a good bokken:
- be careful not to get a bokken which is heavily laquered. They often coat a bokken with a dark wood effect laquer to disquise cheap wood.
- get one with a nice thick handle, which feels comfotable in your hands (they often vary slightly) - I usually buy the thickest handled ones I can get, and my hands are small.
- make sure there are no knots in the wood. Look down the length of the 'blade' to make sure it is not bent to one side or the other.
- various types of wood, but for solo practise you don't have to worry too much, as long as it feels the right weight. You may want to get a suburi bokken (solo practise ones - a bit heavier), though I find the Japanese ones to be too short.
My advice is to get a relatively cheap one. What they call 'white oak' is a good bet. Go on the heavy side but don't get something that you won't be able to weild well!
You live in a city that I am sure must have several martial arts supply stores, I'd check out the yellow pages and call a few for prices, then visit for quality. I'd expect to pay around 40-50 for one you will like and that will last. You can get them much cheaper, but the quality goes down and you would rather buy one that will last than several that won't.
Since you say it is for solo practice only, Ian is right, you could go for the cheap wood (no one will be hitting it), but you never know, you might want to start practicing with others. Besides, I recommend light sanding and oiling, and you hate to invest time and effort in something poorly made to start with.
I would buy from a local place over mail order if possible, unless it is a very well known mail order business (again, since I like taking care of the wood, I like seeing it and choosing it out of the stack at the local store, not getting it in the mail).
If you like what your dojo/club uses, you may want to ask your senior students or sensei where the weapons are bought for club use. I hate to disagree with Ian, but I would choose a handle based not on bigger is better, but on your hand size; it needs to be right for your hands to hold in the correct position.Most folks are about the same size, but if you were significantly outside the two standard deviations, you might need to look for a specially sized bokken.
I recently purchased a bokken from Kingfisher Woodworks, and it is of impeccable quality, made from what they call "impact grade hickory." Somewhat more expensive than other places, but then again you get what you pay for in my mind. Their website is:
Also, I understand Bujin Design offers bokken. Based on their reputation, I think pretty much anything you purchase from them is going to be of high quality as well. Their website:
While I am a huge fan of almost everything that Bujin makes (I own two bags and two Hakamas) I don't care for their wooden weapons...I have one of their jos that is an exception tool but because it is made of laminated wood feels "dead" to me...mind you this is just my opinion. I ended up puting a Yari on it so it didn't go to waste. If you in the market for a well made Boken that you'll own for a lifetime try Unka Kim
His prices are good for custom made sticks
Re: Bokken Prices...
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