mark johnston (mj) wrote:
To me the tsuba is like the groin guard, no-one is going to try and chop your fingers but we all accept it may happen on a rare occasion.
Sometimes, we do paired weaponswork that has one of the bokuto "riding up" the other person's. Also, in cases where we do ken-tai-jo (one person wielding a bokuto and another a jo), there is often motions somewhat much like hikiotoshi (as done in jodo) that makes things much safer for the person wielding the bokuto with a tsuba. Also, there are times when folks get a bit over-eager in slicing through my bokuto...
For these reasons, I have a hide tsuba on one of my bokuto. I have a few others (including a couple of light, Yagyu style) that do not have tsuba, though. Depending the kind of exercises or the kind of bokuto my partner has, I'll switch to another...