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Old 05-29-2004, 12:21 PM   #1
grasshopper73
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Ordering a bokken/jo

Could someone please offer their opinion on where to order a bokken and jo ? I wouldn't mind paying for quality, and have started looking at Bugei.

They have a Japanese bokken that comes with a scabbard for $139. I don't know the differences between the materials though (different woods, etc.)

I should also add I'm not sure about the lengths.

Any help would be great. (HopingGeorge Ledyard might chime in as well)

Russ

Last edited by grasshopper73 : 05-29-2004 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Forgot some info
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Old 05-29-2004, 12:54 PM   #2
acot
Dojo: West Michigan Aikido
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

It could be that in Taiwan the most expensive Bokken I have seen was about $45us. It depends on what you are going to do with it. If you are just going to show it off then $139 might be worth it, but if you are going to beat the crap out of it then you would better off going cheap. Again in Taiwan that would be about $2us.


Ryan
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Being relatively new to Aikido , when training , is contact made with bokken against bokken or jo against jo ?

Thanks
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:30 PM   #4
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
Could someone please offer their opinion on where to order a bokken and jo ? I wouldn't mind paying for quality, and have started looking at Bugei.
I personally like the bokkens made by Kingfisher WoodWorks. I bought the "Aikiken" model, with the number 7 grade hickory, large, and it is 42" long. This bokken has really grown on me. It is well balanced, heavy duty and no other bokken I have picked up can hold a candle to it.

In my opinion, it is well worth the extra money to go ahead and buy a good bokken. It is going to become a part of you, so you might as well buy the best. Kingfisher makes jo staffs as well. I have not purchased one of those yet, but plan to do so in the near future. Check out their website and read up on them. I think you will be impressed.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:37 PM   #5
otto
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

In my opinion , going cheap for a paired training weapon its pretty dangerous as it may break and splinter in mid of a training season possibly injuring you , your partner or a bystander..

Hopefully sometime soon I would be ordering at least a set of grade 5 weapons from KingFisher Woodwork's.

Yours...

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:38 PM   #6
Richard Cardwell
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

I have a 40" Aikiken (otherwise the same as James') from Kingfisher, and it's truly superb- the balance is better than any other bokken I've met and it's far more durable than a cheap oak one. The quality of manufacture is also pretty much unsurpassed- www.kingfisherwoodworks.com is the address.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:38 PM   #7
otto
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

oooops.....beaten for a nose

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:47 PM   #8
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
Being relatively new to Aikido , when training , is contact made with bokken against bokken or jo against jo ?

Thanks
Yes, at least in my school (ASU). We perform paired katas with the bokken called "kumitachis" (sword techniques), which are like staged sword fights. We also practice open-hand techniques for disarming opponents with a bokken as well.

Similar exercises are performed with the jo staff as well. That is why it is probably a good idea to invest in quality weapons if you plan on sticking with Aikido. They are a large part of training.
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Old 05-29-2004, 03:11 PM   #9
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
They have a Japanese bokken that comes with a scabbard for $139....
I should also add I'm not sure about the lengths.
Russ

I doubt that you will need a scabbard (?) At least, we don't use them in my dojo. If you are fairly tall/big, you probably want to go with a longer, heavier bokken. Another nice thing about Kingfisher bokkens is the handle (tsuka) is long enough to give your hands plenty of room. The extra length also gives extra leverage when you go to strike.
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Old 05-29-2004, 06:31 PM   #10
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

I'm 5'8" so not to tall I guess.......

I have always loved a really long sword since seeing Toshiro Mifune in the Seven Samurai. I just don't want to show up to class with a 4' blade ..lol

I am starting at the school next week so I will also ask there. Is it common for students to have different length bokken ? I would imagine this could possibly affect the technique ?

I'm going to look into Kingfisher......thanks for all the replies.
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Old 05-29-2004, 06:33 PM   #11
Marshall Sandoz
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

E-Bogu has very nice high quality Japanese white oak weapons, and they won't cost you an arm and a leg.
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:01 PM   #12
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Thanks Marshall.

Here's one that I'm looking at , at Kingfisher

http://mivasecure.abac.com/kingfishe...egory_Code=abo

It's $165....here's the description
The Yagyu bokken is a sword of finesse and evasion. The techniques of the Yagyu Ryu involve moving into positions quickly and lightly. This wooden sword is very thin and fast and not oriented to influencing the path of another weapon through heavy contact.

Looks very nice...not sure if it's appropriate for Aikido though.
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:20 PM   #13
James Giles
Dojo: North Florida Aikikai
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
Is it common for students to have different length bokken ? I would imagine this could possibly affect the technique ?
I'm going to look into Kingfisher......thanks for all the replies.
Most of the students in my class have 42" and a few have 40" inch swords. I don't think it would affect the technique that much. My Sensei is about your height and he uses a 42" bokken.
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:00 PM   #14
Octothorpe
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

I have and recommend (if it matches your style) the Iwama-style bokken from Kingfisher. I ordered it slightly thicker than standard to handle the heavy contact.

I'm the same height as you, and went with the standard length. I've heard that a good way to measure swords/bokkens is to hold it naturally down at your side, and the tip should just barely miss the ground.
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:01 PM   #15
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Well right or wrong..I have gone ahead and ordered the Yagyu Bokken from Kingfisher, with a Kanji inscription of "victory over oneself".

At will at the very least make a nice collectors piece @ $200.00

Now to find a Jo....
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:23 PM   #16
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
Well right or wrong..I have gone ahead and ordered the Yagyu Bokken from Kingfisher, with a Kanji inscription of "victory over oneself".

At will at the very least make a nice collectors piece @ $200.00

Now to find a Jo....
Hey Russ. I think you will be very happy with that bokken. The hickory is very tough wood and each bokken is in itself a work of art....just wait until you see it. By the way, if you didn't already, you might want to invest in a tsuba also. I know mine has saved my knuckles on quite a few occasions!
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:24 PM   #17
kironin
 
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

I have had a Japanese white oak bokken for almost 10 years. Balance is good. Grain is still good. You might say it's taken some impact. A little discoloration from my hands but still solid and good shape.

cost me around $30 from Kiyota company in Baltimore (see Jun's supplies section). It's seen a lot of sweat and I consider it a priceless old friend. I thought I was really going to town because before that I had a red oak bokken I paid $7 for.

All this talk of $100-200 bokkens reminds me of my brother when we were kids. When he got into something new he had to buy top-of-the-line stuff, consequently we had a lot really nice equipment stored in the garage (e.g. a kayak with a good coat of dust).

Pay enough for quality, but don't pay so much you can't afford to break it.

Craig
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:35 PM   #18
Marshall Sandoz
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Russ,

Congrats on the new bokken from Kingfisher. I'm quite sure that you'll be very happy with it as I've read nothing but good things about Kingfisher. The truth be told, I drooled over their Iwama style bokken but opted for Japanese white oak aikido bokken from E-bogu instead. I figured I'd save some bucks now and wait till I attain shodan before making that kind of investment. I'm very happy with the bokken from E-bogu and will probably keep training with it for many years providing it lasts that long. It has far exceeded my expectations as far as quality and appearance, the balance is quite good and the grain on mine is very tight. If I had bought the Kingfisher Iwama, I might be tempted not to use it for fear of damaging it. I know that IF the one I bought from E-bogu EVER becomes damaged, I can get another one like it for $45 plus shipping. Kinda makes me sleep better at night knowing that.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:26 PM   #19
kung fu hamster
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

I agree with Craig, I adore my beautiful Kiyota Japanese white oak bokkens, they have a tight grain and although my teacher had selected a fairly slim one for me (my first bokken), it is straight and durable. I oiled it with boiled linseed oil and have never had a splinter or crack in 6 years.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:30 PM   #20
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Russ,

Don't go getting buyer's remorse. I guarantee you that your bokken is worth the extra bucks. It is made of very tough wood, and I don't think you have to worry about it breaking. Don't worry about beating it up either. It can take a lot of abuse and still keep its good looks.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:31 PM   #21
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Craig, $200 for a bokken for an Aikido white belt....I would agree is excessive. But let me give you a little background.

I've had the martial arts in my life since around 12..with Chito Ryu Karate, then Graice Jiujitsu, then Judo (started to dab a little in Aikido here), then back to Brazilian Jiujitsu and Mauy Thai under Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin(UFC Fighter).

So now being 30..and after some minor injuries and career changes I find myself coming full circle back to a traditional MA. During this whole time I have studied Buddhism and continued to study budo.

So for me...even if I only did Aikido for a few months and needed to get back to rough stuff...I would have a cherished Bokken that I hope that I can pass along to my son.

Anyways...probably to much information, I guess I'm trying to justify the price a little. I'm really excited to have this especially after the encouraging comments made about Kingfisher.

Take care,
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:34 PM   #22
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

James----

The buyers remorse almost hit after I did the CC transaction... I know it will hit me when my wife finds out. LOL
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:43 PM   #23
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Russ, please let us know how you like the bokken when you get it.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:45 PM   #24
James Giles
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Quote:
Russ Rohling wrote:
James----

The buyers remorse almost hit after I did the CC transaction... I know it will hit me when my wife finds out. LOL
Yes, I know, I felt the same way. But once you start working out with the bokken, I think you will be glad that you went the extra mile to get a really good one. It is a good investment. I know I love mine!
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:47 PM   #25
grasshopper73
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Re: Ordering a bokken/jo

Will do James.

The email that I got from Kingfisher stated it would take about 3 weeks. I'll probably make a new post with some pictures to show it off for those intrested.

Russ
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