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Old 11-10-2004, 10:03 AM   #1
Henning Ulseth
 
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griptape on bokken

Hello all

I'm just wondering if one can use some form of tape on the handle?...like they have on katana or like hockeyplayers use on their sticks for better grip. Would it go against bokken etiquette or seem unfitting for Aikido?

...the Key is to Do the Eye
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:10 AM   #2
Shipley
Dojo: UBC Okanagan Aikido Club
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Re: griptape on bokken

I wouldn't have a problem with a student taping a bokken, but I've never found it necessary personally. I'd say if it helps, why not?

Paul
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:23 AM   #3
Todd Worobey
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

As a new student to Aiki, I have found taping my bokken very helpful to me, I was concerned that this would be frowned upon but I have had no scoldings so far. Osu!
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:25 AM   #4
akiy
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

Hi Henning,

I find it a bit odd -- are you needing to grip your bokuto so strongly that you need tape on the handle to keep it in your hands?

I prefer to have a soft yet connected grip on my bokuto myself and find putting tape and such on weapons unneccesary. If someone hits my bokuto to hard it's about to fly out of my hand, I move my body or let go of one of my hands rather than trying to keep a deathgrip on it...

Others may feel differently, though. Just my thoughts.

-- Jun

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Old 11-10-2004, 11:35 AM   #5
Fiona D
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Re: griptape on bokken

Just a quick thought, Henning - is there any kind of varnish on your bokken? A few years ago (while I was already training MA but very little actual bokken work) I bought a fairly cheap bokken from a local MA store, which had a coat of varnish. Once I started using it properly (aikiken & iaido) I found it slipping around in my hands whenever I was doing lots of cuts and my hands started to sweat a bit. So I removed all the varnish with coarse-grade sandpaper and smoothed the wood with fine-grade sandpaper after that. No problems with the grip any more.
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:56 AM   #6
Todd Worobey
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

I found that the tape helped my bokken from slipping due to my nasty sweaty palms once my workout got going, works for me. Cheers.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:40 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

Check with your local authorities, I somewhat remember being told that once you delineate the handle it becomes an illegal weapon rather than just a piece of wood you are training with. Besides, IMHO, if you need that much grip you are probably holding it too tight.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:50 PM   #8
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: griptape on bokken

I have sweaty hands and noticed, as Fiona D. posted, using unvarnished weapons avoid a lot of gripping problems, especially slipping.

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Old 11-11-2004, 01:16 AM   #9
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

The sword should be held like you're holding a bird. Not so gently as it would fly away, not so tight that you would hurt it.

I've never found it necessary to put tape on a bokken. But I do use some extremely rough grit stuff to carve up the handle for better gripping quality. Rocks tend to work well.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:51 AM   #10
Henning Ulseth
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

Thank you all for providing info I think I will avoid tape as I dont have too sweaty palms. And keep to a clean bokken. I have trained very little with bokken, so I just wanted to make sure! Thanx again all.

...the Key is to Do the Eye
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Old 11-11-2004, 04:34 PM   #11
Dan Gould
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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.
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Old 11-15-2004, 10:03 AM   #12
graham butt
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Re: griptape on bokken

i tend to find a varnished jo pretty hard to tsuki with... my bokken is alright to grip and cut with... so is my jo as long as the varnish is not there.... it squeaks as well.
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:01 AM   #13
Steve Kubien
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Re: griptape on bokken

[quote=Dan Gould]I find it terribly hard to accept that a bokken that isn't varnished is an illegal weapon."

I think the impliation was that grip tape may make it illegal, not varnish removal. I'm not sure. I suppose it also depends on the local laws. In Ontario, if I threaten or actually strike someone with a bokken (or other such shaped piece of wood), it would be considered a deadly weapon. Of course, such would not be the case on a hockey rink but I digress.

Steve Kubien
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:38 PM   #14
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

If it would help you with practice then go for it. Of course you should always be sure to ask your instructor if it would offend him/her in any way (people can be goofy like that). As far as helping with the grip it might. I don't much have a hard time gripping my bokken when I use it and I have pretty sweaty hands. It really depends on your feelings toward the matter and the dojo's feelings. It probably wouldn't be a big deal in any case.
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Old 12-26-2004, 03:36 PM   #15
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

I have very traditional looking cord wrapping on my bokken handle. I find it helpful and it looks extra cool.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:18 PM   #16
Amendes
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Re: griptape on bokken

I would talk to your Dojocho. There are schools with rule against tape being on weapons.
So it is best to see if it is allowed at your school. Personally I was always led to believe that adding tape to a weapon was not proper etiquette.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:49 PM   #17
jonreading
 
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Re: griptape on bokken

I think you need to ask why you need tape. Jun made a great point that you may be using the bokken inappropriately it you feel you need tape to maintain a grip on your weapon. Regardless whether your instructor would allow it or not, you may simply be covering up a bigger problem.

Also, most tape adhesive will damage your bokken's finish, which would be the primary reason I would never use it myself. Unfinished wood naturally absorbs liquids like oil and sweat, so it is important to remove any lacquer finish that may prevent your bokken from absorbing fluids; that may help your problem.
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Old 01-18-2005, 01:51 PM   #18
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: griptape on bokken

Seiser Sensei is correct about the laws of California. A simple bokken or jo with the handle clearly defined with tape (or something else) becomes a billy club under California law and mere possession is a felony. Carrying a loaded and concealed handgun is only a misdemeanor - go figure. I doubt that any aikido student would run into a problem with the police here on the Left Coast, but it could happen I suppose.

Michael
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:42 PM   #19
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
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Re: griptape on bokken

What type of tape did you use? j/w...I was thinking of uing electrical tape, but I'm afraid it'd outer coating would be just as slippery as my bokken.
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:09 PM   #20
Don_Modesto
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Re: griptape on bokken

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote:
Seiser Sensei is correct about the laws of California. A simple bokken or jo with the handle clearly defined with tape (or something else) becomes a billy club under California law and mere possession is a felony. Carrying a loaded and concealed handgun is only a misdemeanor - go figure. I doubt that any aikido student would run into a problem with the police here on the Left Coast, but it could happen I suppose.
Wait a minute--tape "clearly defines" a handle, but the machine shaping of the wood doesn't? Huh?

Don J. Modesto
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:41 PM   #21
Michael Hackett
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Re: griptape on bokken

I didn't say it made any sense. The Penal Code deftinition of billy club is pretty broad. The traditional police hardwood baton is illegal for civilians to possess, but a hardwood "stick" of similar dimensions remains a hardwood stick unless a lanyard is tied to it or the grip is carved or taped. Then it becomes a billy club. The context of possession means something too. For example, truck drivers frequently use a short club that looks like a scaled-down baseball bat to check the inflation on their tires. In their truck, it is a "tire checker" and legal. In their pick-up, it is a billy club.

Many of the martial arts implements are illegal here, but yet may be possessed in a dojo or to and from the dojo. Remarkably, there is no exemption for possession in the home. How do you get it to and from the dojo? Nunchukyu are a perfect example of this paradox.

As I said, California is a strange place in many ways. We currently have a legislator who is working diligently on a new state law to force movie theaters to announce the starting times of the actual movies and the starting times of the previews. I can only imagine what a major problem this has been to cause concern by our legislature. I'm starting to think our Governator is right in his idea that we should have a part-time legislature.

I seriously doubt that an aikidoka would run afoul of the law with simple grip tape, but I would caution against carrying a taped bokken on an airline flight. The TSA people might get concerned and then refer the matter to the locals who might feel like they had to do something.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:59 AM   #22
Mat Hill
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Re: griptape on bokken

Quote:
Dan Gould wrote:
That's like saying a toothbrush without bristles is a penny whistle.
LOL

I'm with Jun, but also with Bryce Montgomery. I'm pretty sure it would be frowned upon over here, and I've never seen it, but if your dojocho is happy fair enough. And I have to say, I love the feeling of the wood, and have some notion that it helps my understanding of the grip, but then having never practised with anything else (except real katana) I can't really qualify this.

As an aside, the finishing on my weapons over here is much less 'sticky' varnish than the ones I have in the UK. I always had to sand my jo in the UK, because they were too sticky for tsuki and the varnish got slippy with sweat. Maybe I should ask the people in the shop here if they know what finish they use...

That thing about a concealed handgun being a misdemeanor and a taped bokken being a felony is hilarious in a scarily unfunny way!
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