Bu Jin Design
Jeffrey Lynne wrote:
My sensei suggested I purchase a bokken for training. He did not mention a tsuba was necessary. Some bokken in class have them; some do not.
Could someone suggest:
(1) a good website to purchase bokken;
(2) what is considered "too much" to spend; and
(3) whether a tsuba is suggested.
You can spend anywhere from around $60 or so to $100 for a good, functional bokken, more if you get into fancy hardwoods but they aren't necessarily better, often just prettier. Get the best one you can afford. If you don't train hard with it it will last for years and years. If you train hard with them a cheaper one won't last a week.
The first time you feel the tsuba take a resounding hit from your partner you will know why it's very nice to have a tsuba. There are some folks who maintain that you aren't doing aikiken if you have a tsuba... I would prefer that my bokken be as close as possible to my blade as possible. Not having a tsuba causes you to run your techniques a certain way whereas having one allows you more flexibility.