Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 32

Thread: Bokken, bokuto

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default Bokken, bokuto

    Hi, all. So I bought a new bokken the other day, and I have some concerns. Basically, the bokken I bought is not very expensive and one of the thicker ones. Do you know what I mean when I say this? It is thicker and heavier than most of the ones you see, red oak, does not conform to the palm as well as the slimmer kind do, and I have heard people say, "Oh, that's not a bokken, that's a bokuto." Which, as far as I know, is incorrect - both bokken and bokuto are terms for the same thing, aren't they?

    I use my bokken for a number of things: suburi, obviously, and kendo kata, but also kumitachi in iai practice, and I use it when learning a new iai form or when I am not in a position to practice iai with my iai-to (i.e., public gym, or someplace "on the fly").

    While I like the weight of the heavier bokuto, I'm worried that its bulkier form might cause me to develop bad habits, like a wrong grip? Also, I'm worried that it would inflict more damage on slimmer bokken in paired practice. It's been my experience that bokken get banged up, even in kendo kata, over time - will my Big Bertha trash my buddy's svelter model?

    Finally, I know, I know, I should shell out some real cash for a nice bokken. (Been meaning to contact Kim Taylor.) But papa didn't get a bokken for Christmas this year. Papa got a bottle of his favorite scotch.



    Your thoughts?
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Posts
    1,526
    Likes (received)
    58

    Default

    Bokken and bokuto are two words that mean the same thing. Which word you use depends on what you learned first.

    I have no thoughts on the thick handle. My own bokken is a custom job from Bruce Campbell, thinner and with more sori than a standard kendo bokken. I like it a lot.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  3. #3
    stevemcgee99 Guest

    Default More sori?

    Is it OK, then, to deviate from the "normal" bokken in the kendo kata? Or do you use it for other things?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    rural MD between DC and Baltimore
    Posts
    270
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking To-ma-to, to-mah-to.

    In general, I have heard the term "bokken" used for the wooden sword in Aikido and Kendo, and it seems to be specific to that style (length, shape, etc.) of wooden sword.

    In other arts, like various styles of Kenjutsu and other Koryu such as Jojutsu and Naginata-jutsu, the term used is "bokuto." It seems to be a more generic term, as it covers a variety of styles, from the slim varieties of Niten Ichi Ryu and Yagyu Ryu to the thick and straight varieties used in Kashima Shinryu.

    HTH.
    Raymond Sosnowski

    "Setsunintoh, Katsuninken, Shinmyohken."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    606
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    I agree with the others...bokken and bokuto refer to the same thing, despite minor variatons in weight, etc. Of course there is the suburito, which is a lot heavier than a standard bokken and belongs in a class by itself.

    I wouldn't recommend a heavy bokken to a beginner...at that stage you are supposed to be developing finesse and 'feel', not muscle, and a regular bokken will develop sufficient strength to be going on with anyway. I don't know anything about your paired practice...my group is strongly discouraged from any blade-to-blade contact. If you think you will be too hard on your training partners' equipment...well, let your conscience be your guide.

    I've got a nice hickory bokken from Sei Do Kai, but after playing with it a bit I realized that it gives me nothing that my refinished red oak cheapie bokken doesn't...and I like the red oak better now that I've thoroughly soaked it in linseed oil as a toughening treatment. Mark me down as a skeptic on the merits of high-priced, exotic wood bokuto.
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Ken & To

    Hi,

    According to the original Chinese kanji, "ken" implies a "double-edged" sword while "to" implies a "single-edged" sword.

    That distinction isn't a big deal in the Japanese language because the double-edged sword has kinda faded out in Japanese culture, making the distinction more academic than anything else.

    However, if you see Japanese literature addressing weapons of other cultures, the use of those sword are still distinct and not mixed.

    Also, the kanji for "shinai" is "shi (bamboo)" and "nai (with the kanji for toh or katana)".

    So, the distinction is still there.

    I try to say only bokuto now in my vocab, but that's just me.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Re: More sori?

    Hi,

    Originally posted by stevemcgee99
    Is it OK, then, to deviate from the "normal" bokken in the kendo kata? Or do you use it for other things?
    While I'd assume your sensei has the final say on this, it would appear to me that if you use a bokuto on non-standard length, it would distort the maai for your practice partner.

    There's a great thread somewhere on the forum about how one sensei of SMR Jojutsu is so short that when he performs hikiotoshi, the jo would strike the ground even though it is not part of the kata. Some taller students would imitate that because the sensei does it. The point of the story is that the practitioner adapts to the weapon, not the other way around (for koryu).
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Of course, I'm not a beginner (not a master or anything either) so the feel of the thing doesn't bother me - in fact, I like the weight.

    Had this discussion at another forum about how bokken get banged up. There is some blade to blade contact in the kendo kata and in various kumitachi I have been shown in Muso Shinden Ryu. I mean, in one pairing, you assume hasso and slam your blade down on your partner's chudan-level position, then cut him across the middle. There's some dings here and there. Also, every once in a while you go to suri-age and catch your partner's bokken right on the tip or edge. I mean, it happens. I myself wouldn't want to pay a lot of money to then destroy the weapon.
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Dymondwood

    Hi,

    Get a kingfisher/Dymondwood, and it'll never happen again, though your dojomates will hate you for destorying their weapons.

    Honestly though, I don't see why the weapons would get destroyed under practice with reasonable force unless it is made of less than desirable material.

    Mr. Relnick's Jo has lasted him 30+ years now (Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo)? It is just plain white oak.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Posts
    1,526
    Likes (received)
    58

    Default

    My bokken is maybe a quarter-inch longer than standard. The difference is mainly in the sori and the width. It's originally meant for iai, so it has more of a sword feel to it. I've never had anybody criticise me for using it, in fact I passed my last exam using it.

    I only do the kendo kata and I've never broken any bokken doing those. There's no hard contact unless you really screw up.

    "Ken" and "to" are fairly interchangeable in modern use, although to is the more generic term (shoto, daito etc). Even a term like "tachi" which to us connotates a specific type of sword can be used generically (uchidachi, shidachi, motodachi). Most of the kendo people I've met used "bokken".

    It's like "kenshi" or "kendoka". My sensei says "kendoka". Others say "kenshi". Either works, neither is wrong.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Kanji

    Originally posted by gendzwil

    "Ken" and "to" are fairly interchangeable in modern use, although to is the more generic term (shoto, daito etc). Even a term like "tachi" which to us connotates a specific type of sword can be used generically (uchidachi, shidachi, motodachi). Most of the kendo people I've met used "bokken".
    Yeah, but the kanji for "tachi, shoto, daito, uchidachi, shidachi" is the kanji for "boku-TO" as in katana. So, the usage of those kanjis are internally consistent.

    The kanji for moto-'dachi' is the kanji for "standing".
    Last edited by DCPan; 7th January 2003 at 18:11.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Posts
    1,526
    Likes (received)
    58

    Default Re: Kanji

    Originally posted by DCPan
    Yeah, but the kanji for "tachi, shoto, daito, uchidachi, shidachi" is the kanji for "boku-TO" as in katana. So, those kanjis are internally consistent.
    So just the ol' Chinese/Japanese pronunciation thing. Isn't katana a different kanji? The "to" used for those just means sword whereas katana definitely implies a particular style of sword.

    The kanji for moto-'dachi' is the kanji for "standing".
    Never knew that. Durn homonyms.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Kanji sounds

    Hello again,

    The kanji in caps are all the same:

    Boku-TO
    Ta-CHI
    Ko-da-CHI
    Dai-TO
    Sho-TO
    KATANA
    Uchi-da-CHI
    Shi-da-CHI

    All the same kanji. Different sounds, same kanji.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    740
    Likes (received)
    0

    Talking Moto-dachi keiko

    Afterthought,

    So, "moto-dachi" geiko has the implication of "we're standing here, have at it!" huh?

    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,654
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    To clarify, I didn't wreck my bokken over night. I've been in kendo for 4+ years, and have been doing iaido for, I guess it must be the past 2 years now. Had the same $10 red oak bokken for all that time, and it has only begun to come apart. A small divot in the ha has opened up, and the tip is a bit battered.
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular. Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Some confusion about bokken material and prices
    By Shindai in forum Clothing and Supplies
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 11th February 2007, 22:06
  2. Kurama-ryu kenjutsu
    By sven beulke in forum Koryu Bujutsu Forum: Ryuha Archive
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 6th December 2006, 13:27
  3. Need tsuba for Stylized bokken
    By Fred27 in forum Clothing and Supplies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12th September 2006, 11:22
  4. ki lecture - "Letting Go"
    By TLR in forum Aikido
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21st August 2006, 22:29
  5. Best alternate material for a bokuto / bokken?
    By A. M. Jauregui in forum Sword Arts
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 19th June 2003, 18:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •