Tsuba or no tsuba
A number of folks have come up with good answers as to why or why not to use a tsuba. My opinion is likely the least liked but perhaps the closest to reality. Since Aiki ken isn't really a sword style just a way of learning movement. There really isn't any need for the protection that it provides. As such there is more reason to remove it for Tachidori yes the tsuba does "get in the way" However I'm not sure that removing it to be "Safer" is neccessarilly the correct thing to do. That's sorta like leaving the training wheels on the bike forever. If you can't do tachidori safely with the tsuba on then you need to work on it. The point of the technique is to take a REAL sword away from someone without
A) Hurting your self
B) Hurting your partner/opponent
In the end you are cheating yourself and your technique by making the problem easier to solve before you start.
If your Boken can be fitted with a tsuba and you want to make one it's pretty easy to do so with leather from a weight belt and some Elmers glue. The ones I have made have stood up to some EXTREME abuse in Jodo class and have kept my hands from becoming hamburger. A dremel tool can be used to add decorative shaping if you need.
One last thing a tsuba is really on a sword to ballance the blade not for hand protection (though that is a nice additional aspect of it).
Last edited by Tony Peters : 08-11-2001 at 10:00 PM.