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Old 05-20-2013, 01:04 PM   #45
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Ok... Here's my take:
The jo we use are proportional to your size, unlike the ones used in Jodo which have a standardized. Ours fit under the armpit when you have your arm stretched stright out to the side.

Bokken... well, there are a lot of choices. To my mind most cheap bokken have handles that are too short for a proper grip. I buy my bokken at Kingfisher where I can get an 11" handle rather than the nine inch that most cheapos have.

Unless you intend to have a real sword teacher, do not listen to the folks who are advising you to get a live blade... It's just like the statements in A Christmas Story... "You'll shoot your eye out kid". One miss on a draw and you can be minus a finger or two easily. Get proper instruction. I'd stay with a good practice blade. You usually have to get into the four hundred dollar range to have much choice about handle length and fittings. The really cheap ones are more dangerous than they are worth. Absolute minimum ioutlay would be $200 from Tozand or E-Bogu, some reputable place that doesn't sell crap. I had a student who didn;t listen on this and showed up with a $50 piec of garbage that I wouldn't even let him use in the dojo because it was to dangerous.

Unless you are in a dojo which does a lot of weapons work, I doubt you'll need a metal blade anyway. My students do have them. I wanted them to know at least the basics of how to use a sword. Several have live balades and we do some cutting once in a while just to see how our technique is. But this isn;t standard for most Aikido dojos.

That's my take on it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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