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Old 06-19-2015, 01:42 AM   #1
Arman
Dojo: Yerevan
Location: Yerevan
Join Date: May 2015
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Armenia
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Regarding Bokuto

Could you please illuminate me regarding the following question. Some weeks ago I ordered on-line High Quality Oak Short Bokuto (55 cm) Black, but my sansei said that I have need to order more longer one or vise versa shorter. Could you please explain me how to use that bokuto ? How I can make it useful ?

Thank you in advance,
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:11 AM   #2
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Arman Badalyan wrote: View Post
Could you please illuminate me regarding the following question. Some weeks ago I ordered on-line High Quality Oak Short Bokuto (55 cm) Black, but my sansei said that I have need to order more longer one or vise versa shorter. Could you please explain me how to use that bokuto ? How I can make it useful ?

Thank you in advance,
Dear Arman,
Is the weapon ordered 55cm in total length[ie including hand grip ]?If so its far too short.Almost like a short sword[Wakizashi ]. You need to find a longer Bokken.There are multi types of Bokken , ranging from very heavy ones , these are usually used for suburi hitting rubber tyres .These are not multi purpose ones.Too heavy .The thinner and lighter ones are more useful. Kashima type ones [rounded, squared offf tip]and ones fashioned from Shinai [Kendo type ] with extra padding have their uses as well.So what do you want to use the weapon for?Identify your needs then buy a suitable weapon.You should try and find someone near you who stocks swords.Even if the bokkens look the same, usually they vary in weight, balance etc,A sword which suits me may not suit you.Try handling a few.You will know when the item is the one for you.It will feel good .Do not buy junk.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
Arman
Dojo: Yerevan
Location: Yerevan
Join Date: May 2015
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Armenia
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Dear Joe

Many thanks for quick response and detailed information that will be useful in future.
But anyway for which purposes this bokuto is used for ? Especially if it is officially mentioned at E-bogu site as an equipment for aikido.

Thanks again
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:30 PM   #4
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Arman Badalyan wrote: View Post
Dear Joe

Many thanks for quick response and detailed information that will be useful in future.
But anyway for which purposes this bokuto is used for ? Especially if it is officially mentioned at E-bogu site as an equipment for aikido.

Thanks again
A few years back we practised a bit with a short sword. It was a dual wielding practise with a short sword (wakizashi) in the left hand and a normal sword in the right.
There are some sword arts (kenjutsu) that practise this (this for example), but I think it is uncommon in aikido.
In the 5 years that I've been training, there were only two lessons where we used the short sword. And then still we used in in combination with a normal length sword.
I did buy a matching set of a short and long sword, just because I liked it.

That E-Bogu lists them under their aikido section does not mean it is used a lot in aikido. I also see they list shinai under aikido. But that is a weapon used in kendo and it's not commonly used in aikido.
I think E-Bogu is just not very accurate in the categorization of their products,
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:48 PM   #5
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Weapons that are commonly used in aikido are
- jo (straight wooden staff, length about 125 cm),
- bokken (wooden sword, length 90cm -110cm)
- tanto (wooden knife).

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Old 06-21-2015, 08:04 PM   #6
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
A few years back we practised a bit with a short sword. It was a dual wielding practise with a short sword (wakizashi) in the left hand and a normal sword in the right.
There are some sword arts (kenjutsu) that practise this (this for example), but I think it is uncommon in aikido.
In the 5 years that I've been training, there were only two lessons where we used the short sword. And then still we used in in combination with a normal length sword.
I did buy a matching set of a short and long sword, just because I liked it.

That E-Bogu lists them under their aikido section does not mean it is used a lot in aikido. I also see they list shinai under aikido. But that is a weapon used in kendo and it's not commonly used in aikido.
I think E-Bogu is just not very accurate in the categorization of their products,
Fukuro shinai? Those are not used in kendo, and are very appropriate for empty hand vs sword practice.

In the ASU we practice two sword forms, but the shoto is pretty long.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Fukuro shinai? Those are not used in kendo, and are very appropriate for empty hand vs sword practice.

In the ASU we practice two sword forms, but the shoto is pretty long.
Hi Cliff,
Hope you do not mind my comments.Not all of our readers are TOPGUYS in Aikido.Some guys are newbies. How do you expect them to know what a Shoto/Fukoro Shinai are?The newbie would not know this lingo.In fact he /she might think these items are delicacies listed on a VietNam Restaurant menu.In a word do not cater for elite think of the dunderheads[me ] and the beginners.I think the guy asking about the bokuto is a relative newbie. Joe.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:01 PM   #8
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Fukuro shinai? Those are not used in kendo, and are very appropriate for empty hand vs sword practice.

In the ASU we practice two sword forms, but the shoto is pretty long.
That's because it's not really a shoto, Cliff.

Years ago, while in Tokyo, I picked up what was represented as a child-size Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu bokuto. The only difference between that and the "shoto" used in the ASU nito practice is the tip profile (double flat cut, rather than curved like an actual kissaki), otherwise, exactly the same in length, profile, wood, and so forth.

But that said, I've also seen a number of folks in different groups with connections back to Yamaguchi-sensei use shoto in the right hand as a tool to explore certain kinds of what remain, essentially, taijutsu practice, fwiw.

YMMV,

Fred

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Old 06-23-2015, 10:11 AM   #9
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Hi Cliff,
Hope you do not mind my comments.Not all of our readers are TOPGUYS in Aikido.Some guys are newbies. How do you expect them to know what a Shoto/Fukoro Shinai are?The newbie would not know this lingo.In fact he /she might think these items are delicacies listed on a VietNam Restaurant menu.In a word do not cater for elite think of the dunderheads[me ] and the beginners.I think the guy asking about the bokuto is a relative newbie. Joe.
You're right, Joe. I tried to keep my post brief, and perhaps I came off sounding a bit snooty.

To the original poster: I think your best bet is to ask your Sensei for recommendations as to a proper bokken. He or she might have requirements, for example, Iwama style Aikido uses a distinctly stout bokken for Aikiken practice. Or you may need to get a bokken with a tsuba (that's the round guard you see on swords).

To Dave: I looked at the e-bogu page for Aikido weapons and the shinai they were selling are fukuro shinai - wrapped in leather. These are not used in kendo, and are designed to be safer to use when your partner is not wearing kendo armor. They can still knock out teeth and break face parts with a thrust, and if you haven't learned to not use lots of muscle they can certainly smart quite a bit, but they don't cause the welts that strikes with a naked shinai against naked skin will cause (naked kendo shinai are infamous tools of corporal punishment in Japan).

And I also pointed out that we have two sword forms in the ASU, and the short sword is in fact a child's yagyu bokken! They are fun forms, great for whacking yourself in the head as your arms get confused.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:14 PM   #10
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Fukuro shinai? Those are not used in kendo, and are very appropriate for empty hand vs sword practice.
Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
To Dave: I looked at the e-bogu page for Aikido weapons and the shinai they were selling are fukuro shinai - wrapped in leather.
I didn't actually click on the shinai link there. I just assumed it would be kendo shinai. Anyway, I didn't know what fukuro shinai are (well I have seen them in some clips, but I didn't know the name) are I didn't know that they are not used for kendo.
So thanks, I learned something
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:25 PM   #11
Riai Maori
 
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Fukuro shinai? Those are not used in kendo, and are very appropriate for empty hand vs sword practice.

In the ASU we practice two sword forms, but the shoto is pretty long.
We are purchasing some of these while in Japan for our Dojo. Sensei reckons they don't hurt as much when you get whacked on the shoulder opposed to being whacked with a Bokken. I believe you. I have been doing some internet research for him on the different type available.Any suggestions on shops in Tokyo?

Motto tsuyoku
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:12 PM   #12
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
We are purchasing some of these while in Japan for our Dojo. Sensei reckons they don't hurt as much when you get whacked on the shoulder opposed to being whacked with a Bokken. I believe you. I have been doing some internet research for him on the different type available.Any suggestions on shops in Tokyo?
Just get the kind that you can order from E-BOGU or whoever imports budo gear in your country. The kind that cover most but not all of the bamboo and end in cords that wrap around the "tsuka."

Kenjutsu that hails from Kashima shrine often use a shinai that is comp!etely wrapped and has a tsuba, but these are probably not worth it unless you use the tsuba in your sword forms.

The leather wrapping should last longer than the bamboo. You can buy spare inserts from various places online.

The bamboo should be replaced when the shinai gets too floppy...it'll whip around and hit people...it isn't supposed to represent a morning star, its supposed to be a sword!

You can extend the life of the bamboo by learning the difference between cutting and bonking. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don't recruit a lot of muscle when attacking. Try to hit people with the very end of the blade and not the middle bit. Remember that a good cut with a blade translates into a really light strike with a shinai...a heavy tap, really.

And don't do a lot of shinai vs shinai stuff where you block a strong cut with the middle section of the blade.

And never ever ever ever let one partner use a bokken when their partner has a shinai. The bokken will win that one.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 06-27-2015 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:03 AM   #13
Arman
Dojo: Yerevan
Location: Yerevan
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Hi everybody !
I was observing from the side your hot and helpful discussions. I could not imagine that my raised question would generate such an interesting debate. The hilarious point that the mentioned bokken I ordered in Fargo (ND), when I was there and the main issue was the procedures of delivering the ordered bokkens to Armenia because it is prohibited to bring the long one like jo, otherwise it would be seizure by custom officers, therefore from both bokkens like wakiszashi and tanto I decided to bring the middle one. I think I will use it for the strengthening of my wrists or any protective technique.
And a small comments regarding newbie. Really in aikido sphere I am a newbie but not in martial arts. Many years I was carried away by karate and now I was moving to aikido. At the very beginning it was difficult but step by step I tried to be customized to aikido.
I appreciate your comments and stay in touch.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:20 PM   #14
Riai Maori
 
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Re: Regarding Bokuto

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Just get the kind that you can order from E-BOGU or whoever imports budo gear in your country. The kind that cover most but not all of the bamboo and end in cords that wrap around the "tsuka."
Thanks Cliff, I went online and purchased a long Fukuro shinai from E-BOGU. They look nice. At least it gives Sensei something to look, feel and train with and let us make a more informed decision at what to buy while in Japan. At the end of the day it's another fine exercise body movement tool that doesn't hurt when you accidentally hit someone.

Motto tsuyoku
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