Thread: Why no tsuba?
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Old 08-08-2001, 12:13 PM   #8
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 208
Re: Why no tsuba?

Originally posted by JamesB
Does anyone know why aikidoka typically train with bokken that have no tsuba? Are there styles/schools within aikido that typically do train with a tsuba?

Has anyone trained both ways and has an opinion on which way you prefer and why?

Not even 5th kyu, USAF East
Hi James,

The reason why we don't use a tsuba on the bokken is to prevent the fingers from being injured during Tachidori (sword taking) techniques. The fingers can easily get trapped on the handle of the sword during this type of practice due to a tsuba being there.

The bokken is also used for suburi (individual kata practice) where a tsuba is just not needed.

When it comes to tachiuchi (kumite; paired practice) we opt for a bokuto made out of white waxwood. The waxwood is much stronger and denser material when compared to oak or hickory. It also cracks & splinters something like bamboo, rather than fracture like other woods, making it a much safer weapon to use on a crowded mat. Some students use a tsuba on these bokuto, but not all. (Once they get cracked on the knuckles a few times, they then become BIG fans of the tsuba )


Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"