I'd just like to add to this discussion, that Chris, what you seem to fail to have missed is that the 'Bokken' you speak of is not the live bladed 'Shinai' sword they use in Iaido, but the wooden edged blade which is used in some Aikido classes. Consequently it is by far the safest option for a beginner who wants to train in swords, but doesn't know where to start. The advantage of having a wooden sword, is that you can wave it around your living room all you want, and no one is going to get hurt. A bruise or two is the worst that can happen. I brought my very own bokken from Academy sports (derby UK), last week for eleven pounds. (About 18 usd). My is made of red Chinese Oak, and is a mighty fine thing is ever you saw one. The only thing is that ever I took it to my Dojo yesterday, my Senseis advised me not to carry it around unsheathed and consequently wrapped it up in black bin bags for me to carry back home.
Now I do remember about fifteen years ago when I had a live 'Seven dragon' Samurai Chinese antique sword from Ebay. Which was a mighty fine to the best of my perception which then was completely the untrained eye, however the police confiscated this when i smashed up a car with it adjacent one day, and I have had neither the inclination nor the means to buy another since that fateful day.
Suffice to say I'm sure that a good bokken is the best bet for your first sword, and I dare say most weapons stockists will do the wooden variety, at a fraction of the price of the live stuff! John.
Last edited by john2054 : 04-05-2013 at 04:17 PM.