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Old 08-29-2001, 10:39 PM   #1
Location: Australia
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 89
Fewer cuts, Heavier bokken

It was interesting to read the other thread titled "too many cuts?" In relation to that has anyone tried using a heavier bokken?

Currently I have 2 bokken, 1 which is made of japanese white oak and is relatively heavy and the other is thinner and I call it my toothpick. I have also taken to using a metal bar which is in our dojo (for those engineers out there i think is it a R24 reinforcing bar. Mind you after about 20 cuts with the steel bar I'm pretty much spent, but if I then use my heavier bokken it's as light as a feather and I can move faster without really compromising my cut.

Does anyone else hae any theories about this??
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Old 08-30-2001, 05:19 AM   #2
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654

I have two bokkens (well several actually, but two types). One is a HEAVY suburi bokken , the other is the normal type ('red oak' - well actually some cheap wood).

I use the red oak bokken for kumitachi 'cos it is very light (using a heavy one is just not fast enough). But I do almost all my suburi (single practise) with my suburi bokken. It has a very different feel to it but I actually think it is better for aikido as it builds up the cutting muscles better (although I'm unsure whether it improves my cutting technique). However I find that it is much more like grabbing someones arm and doing yonkyo on them than with the lighter bokken. (not that such force necessarily needs to be used).

P.S. good excercise is plenty of bokken cuts (between 200 and 400) with a heavy bokken, then extend forawrds (whilst on the spot), 25 times in each direction (either forawrd and back or all 8).

I've looked at getting other suburi bokkens but I found they were generally too short and too light. Mine looks a bit like a giant oar. However I've got some lovely heavy wood which I intend to make a better balanced suburi bokken (a friend I know makes them - he says the best way to get a bokken you like is to make it yourself!).

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Old 08-30-2001, 05:21 AM   #3
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 334
Re: Fewer cuts, Heavier bokken

I used to assume a heavier bokken would be better for training, but now I'm not so sure. I began to wonder when I bought a rather good bokken that was much lighter than my first but also of much higher quality. I've used several light bokken (I'm in a club in a college where we have about twenty bokken in a press) but the feel of a well balanced bokken is extraordinary. So I think now that the balance of the bokken is much more important.

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