Sorry to diasgree with you here.Using a tsuba is using common sense.How do you arrive at the conclusion that it makes you lazy and complacent?I agree that you have to learn how to protect your hands etc, but while your students are learning this process do you advocate a policy wherby a junior student get his/her knuckles wacked?I think not -hence the use of the tsuba. cheers,Joe.
I don't mind disagreement. I will answer though.
Firstly I don't do dedicated bokken classes. I use it to demonstrate certain Aikido principles and allow students to learn certain principles of the sword.
Secondly I have done myself though. It may surprise you but I personally would not allow it except in certain situations as mentioned above.
Now, how do I arrive at these conclusions?
First is through my experience. In the threads above I have acknowledged others conclusions based on their experience which some have enthusiastically described to make their point.
My experience is the opposite to theirs so hence an 'apparent' opposing viewpoint. I was taught to never use one and thus through that experience could leave it there as the sole reason for my view.
I was told how and why which was all down to what I tried to explain in the previous posts, it leads to complacency.
Along with these explanations I was lectured on past battles and encounters in history from the view of where combatants got used to their armour or protection doing it's job so that when they come across a rival, another army etc. who could see how that protection was actually a weakness they then got thoroughly defeated.
The very basic and most common example of this complacency is from the view of bringing about bad habits. The most blatant being the person hasn't learned to move properly because he didn't have to.
Maybe I had a better teacher than most for by seeing the reasoning and examples given here I only see teachers who would crush your knuckles if you didn't use one. I hope this is people exaggerating otherwise I only see an idiotic teacher I'm afraid. My teacher would wrap the knuckles often and anyone not willing to face that was not considered ready for that training. However, there was no blood spilt and not crushed or broken bones ever.
Let me add another point here, my elbows got hit almost as often so does that mean people should wear elbow pads?
My personal opinion is I'm afraid it's all down to bad teaching. Striking someone without damaging them takes great self control and great weapon control and with that you should be able to point out waht was out to the student so that they can see what was wrong and know what to work on to correct.
With this approach I see no need for tsuba.