Kelly Allen wrote:
What's a tsuba ?
Come on, you guys. You should have answered this elementary question much earlier.
Kelly, the tsuba is the ring found on a normal Japanese sword which separates the hand grip from the blade. Most aiki-ken curved bokken do not have tsuba, but other bokken, e.g., the straight bokken used in kashima-shin(to) ryu do have tsuba to protect the user. In my aikido career to date, I have never practised aiki-ken with a tsuba.