Re: griptape on bokken
I find it terribly hard to accept that a bokken that isn't varnished is an illegal weapon :-\ That's like saying a toothbrush without bristles is a penny whistle. A bokken is no different whether it's varnished or not, and I have many, some of which are varnished, some which are not. That's stupid to me.
Anyway, just for the sake of another opinion, I agree that if it's slipping that much that you need tape, it isn't against etiquette. People at my dojo have done things like carved rings into their bokkens, and one guy there said he was gonna get the same stuff they have on cricket bats to go on his handle.
Maybe wrapping some material like that around there would look more natural and be more effective than just having tape?
My primary bokken was painted, and I had no problem with grip. Another hasn't been varnished or anything, and has a fairly open grain, so the grip on that is fairly solid, too.