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Old 02-11-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
shadowedge's Avatar
Dojo: Sensei Aikido Dojo / Marikina Metro Manila
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 115
About Bokkens...

This weekend I visited a province known for wood crafts.
You can get anything from tonfars to Bos, to nunchucks.

I was surprised however to see a couple of not so typical bokkens.

there were bokkens that had handguards made from steel and grips made from rubber... others from animal skin... some even had dragon heads carved into the handles...

My question is, generally, does it matter what kind of Bokken you own?

Or do most dojos just allow the use of the plain wooden standard Bokken?

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Old 02-12-2007, 02:00 AM   #2
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: About Bokkens...

Most dojo will have a generally accepted form/size/shape for the bokken they want students to use, especially if they actually know anything about the use of the Japanese sword ...


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Old 03-02-2007, 07:20 PM   #3
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
Re: About Bokkens...

there were bokkens that had handguards made from steel and grips made from rubber... others from animal skin... some even had dragon heads carved into the handles...
Sounds like stuff for tourists to buy.

From experience most dojo often keep in stock a few bokken which the sensei deems to be the standard for the school. However it really doesn't matter.

I've used the cheapest red oak and handled the most expensive ebony. I can say that different sizes / shapes / weights WILL affect your learning curve. But once you reach a certain level of competence in handling a wooden sword, it will only take you a matter of seconds to handle a new one and understand how to adjust your technique to compensate for different weight distribution, sori, tenouchi etc.


"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:01 PM   #4
David MH
Dojo: Bisham Aikido
Location: Berkshire
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2
United Kingdom
Re: About Bokkens...

IMHO weapons in the dojo are purely tools for learning from. They are not a fashion item.
I have owned a basic (red oak I think) bokken with plastic tsuba since my early years and it is still very serviceable 20 years later. One of my more experienced colleagues brought it back from a summer camp for me when I could not afford to attend.
O Sensei is supposedly quoted as saying weapons practice is not strictly necessary because students should consider they have a bokken in their hands for all training and I find this a great principle. When I struggle with a movement I put an imaginary sword in my hands and it becomes a little easier.
My senior instructor in the UK is very weapons oriented, I can see where the sword is the source for so much of the Aikido we practice, his classes are incredible in terms of his understanding of the parity between sword and unarmed movement (I hesitate to use the word technique as this limits ones perception). His main bokken is quite old and certainly not of any flashy design.
So I would say a basic bokken is all you will ever need. It is not what it looks like, it is what you do with it that is important.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:17 PM   #5
CitoMaramba's Avatar
Dojo: Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui Group Philippines
Location: Plymouth, UK
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 492
Re: About Bokkens...

Rene Vencer, Jr wrote: View Post
This weekend I visited a province known for wood crafts.
You can get anything from tonfars to Bos, to nunchucks.
Rene, would that be Paete, Laguna?

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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