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Old 01-27-2007, 08:07 AM   #1
Jennifer Yabut
Jennifer Yabut's Avatar
Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 100
Bokken and jo set from Aikiwood

I ordered a jatoba bokken and jo set from Aikiwood last month, and they arrived two days ago. The bokken is Aikiwood's standard 41" model. At about 1.5 lbs, it's noticably beefier than my Kiyota Company white oak bokken. It's a tad longer and thicker than I'm used to. I did some suburi exercises with the bokken. Balance is pretty nice, but the weight may be a *little* much for an entire class. I'm thinking about asking one of the guys at the dojo if he could try shaving it down a bit to lessen the weight. In any case, I'll see how it holds up during a training session.

The jo is a custom at 47" long, about a 1" diameter. It's a little thicker than my current jo (also from Kiyota Company), with a diameter of about 7/8". Also nicely balanced, around the same weight as my current jo. To my annoyance, both the jo and bokken were lacquered. Not only that, the jo isn't perfectly cylindrical; it almost feels more like a square-shape with rounded edges. I found the lacquer to be something of a hindrance when I put the jo through the 13 and 31 katas, and plan to sand down both weapons as soon as I can. I'm sure the handling will improve once I get the lacquer sanded off.

Aikiwood does have a money-back (minus shipping) return policy if the customer isn't completely satisfied. Although I'm not 100% satisfied, the quibbles can be easily fixed with some sandpaper and elbow grease. I've been sanding and oiling all of my wooden weapons anyway, so this wouldn't be any different. In any case, the new bokken and jo are very pretty and well-made. I am pleased with my latest acquistions.

Some pics:

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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