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Old 09-19-2005, 11:28 AM   #1
maeukemi
Dojo: Kyushinkan dojo - Roswell, GA
Location: Woodstock, GA
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Question bokken for beginners

Sensei finally told me I could start practicing bokken suburi outside of class -- whee!

Knowing I don't own a bokken or jo yet, sensei suggested practicing with a broom. The only problems with this are a) whacking myself in the head with said broom and b) brooms in no way come close to even the lightest-weight bokken we have for use in class, so I'm finding I'm having to step out often and for relatively long stretches compared to our class length.

What's the best wood for a beginner like me to use?

Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:41 PM   #2
Chris Walla
 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: bokken for beginners

I am no expert, but this may help you.

For home practice with a bokken you may purchase a very cheap bokken from a local martial arts supply store (white oak is good)

For a jo I went to several hardware stores and found a broom stick that was almost as heavy as a real jo and cut it to length.

Now I would not advise hard hit or parry with these as they are not seasoned properly and will break.

- Chris
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Old 09-19-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
James Davis
 
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
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Re: bokken for beginners

Quote:
Maya Mattison wrote:
Sensei finally told me I could start practicing bokken suburi outside of class -- whee!

Knowing I don't own a bokken or jo yet, sensei suggested practicing with a broom. The only problems with this are a) whacking myself in the head with said broom and b) brooms in no way come close to even the lightest-weight bokken we have for use in class, so I'm finding I'm having to step out often and for relatively long stretches compared to our class length.

What's the best wood for a beginner like me to use?

Suggestions?

Thanks!
Maybe you should try getting a suburito. They're a little heavier than bokken and made for solo practice, so don't get one and go whacking people's bokken with it! If you work out with one, a bokken will feel much lighter in comparison.
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:17 AM   #4
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Re: bokken for beginners

If your teacher suggests you to practise with a broom, then I suppose he thinks the weight issue is at the moment less important than cutting straight etc. When you are fed up with your broom I agree on getting a cheap bokken to start with. Just make sure it is straight, not bent to the side!
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:39 PM   #5
aikido funky monkey
Dojo: aikido northwest
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Ai symbol Re: bokken for beginners

I suggest going onto awma.com and getting one of the cheap bokkens for 20$$$$$$ its some foreign wood not all that hard but it works fantastic for solo practics
:
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Old 09-23-2005, 01:31 PM   #6
Matthew White
Location: OKC, OK
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Re: bokken for beginners

I'd go with the broom handle. If you sensei suggested it, there may be specific reasons. This may not be your case, but I've found that lots of people get there hands on a "sword" (even a wooden one) and go into "fight mode". Not conductive to proper learning. Or, it may be a cost issue. He doesn't see the need for you investing money in a bokken at this stage in the game. Or, it may be that in the way he teaches, there are good lessons of extention and proper cutting that can ge learned from a broom handle.
As I understand Aikiken, you're not learning to use a blade in combat, per se. You're learning fundamental aiki priciples through a new tool, a new way of extending, a new way of focusing your intent, an different way of "connecting" with uke. The fact that it's a sword is kinda irrelevant.
On the other hand, aikido is also a cutting art, so swords can be a helpful tool in learning proper body movement. But that should not be confused with learning to sword fight.
I think that your sensei has specific things in mind for you using a broom. He didn't just tell you that off-hand. I'd trust him. He knows what he's doing, he knows you, and he's responsible for your training. Follow his instructions, then ask him about purchasing a bokken, what kind of bokken, where the best ones can be found, what quality, etc. He won't guide you wrong.
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Old 09-23-2005, 01:45 PM   #7
maeukemi
Dojo: Kyushinkan dojo - Roswell, GA
Location: Woodstock, GA
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Re: bokken for beginners

Quote:
Matthew White wrote:
.
I think that your sensei has specific things in mind for you using a broom. He didn't just tell you that off-hand. I'd trust him. He knows what he's doing, he knows you, and he's responsible for your training. Follow his instructions, then ask him about purchasing a bokken, what kind of bokken, where the best ones can be found, what quality, etc. He won't guide you wrong.
Like maybe being my own uke and learning to get out of the way of the bristles!

Sensei knows I work for the government in social services and earn next to nothing, which is probably why he suggested the broom. I've got nothing against brooms, you understand, it's just that all of ours at home are "used" quite heavily and tend to give me sneezing fits when I'm doing something with them other than sweeping the floor...

I've no problems getting 'creative' with my aikido equipment.
Was also wondering if anyone else had recieved the same piece of advice and what they learned from doing "broom kata?"

M
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Old 10-08-2005, 06:07 AM   #8
Ed Shockley
Dojo: aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: philadelphia
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Re: bokken for beginners

Three quick thoughts. First, I agree strongly with the sentiment of Mathew White: trust your sensei. Second, Nazam Taleb sensei, 5th Dan(Lenape Aikikai) always encouraged me to practice suburi cuts and jo technique using an imaginary weapon when I was in my glass filled living room. I could learn weight at the dojo or in the back yard but the kata and form was equally important. Third, all dojos regularly dispose of splintered and warped weapons. These are useless in paired practice but will serve your suburi purposes. Good luck.
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