Either Erik on Ian recently said that all that bokken training does is get you really good at using a bokken - can't find the quote but in context it struck me as funny and a truism at the same time.
I do think the bokken is a part of what we do and that there are lessons to be learned through practice with said weapon that will help your Aikido. The wielder of the bokken has his focus, posture and Ido Ryoku worked on with none of these affected really by how you grip the bokken. Nage has these and a few other lessons but of course certain techniques can only be practiced one sided. Like all great learning tools, those lessons should be easily applied to left or right side when you do actual Aikido techniques.
Long and short of it - enjoy the practice and don't worry about it. It is a good idea to constantly think how the weapons version of techniques applies to toshu and to practice those lessons.
Jesse Candy wrote:
I'm spending a lot of time with the bokken these days. I feel it helps with body movement and many aikido techniques. However, I'm wondering if the placement of the hands in the same position--right hand forward, left hand back--overtrains one side of the body for empty hand aikido. This is the reason that I've preferred the jo over the bokken for off the mat training. What are your thoughts? Would it be OK to switch hands during my personal training or is there a negative that I'm not seeing?