I Have been making Bokken and Jo staffs to sell for about 2 years now. I discovered Ipe or Pau Lope wood a few years ago and am quite satisfied with it. It has a good specific density (weight) and seems to withstand impact well. Unfortunately the article in ATM did not cover this wood, but when I contacted the author he stated that he had had good results with it, but had not tested enough samples for a good cross section. The IPE Boken barely show contact, but it is a very hard wood and takes extra time to work. I like working with Ash, and maple, hickory is pretty good. I have had a few requests for non contact bokken out of Cherry. This is a nice wood to work with and makes for a quick, light bokken, but is not suitabkle for conact. Please conatact me with any questions.