Re: First Bokken
Some of the cheaper bokken I've seen imitate the shape of a katana (thick in the handle and an abrupt thin portion for two thirds where the "blade" is). I would avoid those.
They are too light. If you use one you'll never get the momentum to parry a regular sized bokken (slightly thinner at the "blade end" than at the handle -tsuka- end, no abrupt blade shape ala Kingfisher Woodworks).
Jeff, how long have you studied Aikido. My dojo let me into the weapons class right away and I think I missed something by not knowing good ukemi. I wish I'd waited until I had a good forward roll. Your class may be different, but I thought you'd like to know.