The Aikido Bokken and other equipment that you use in your training says a lot about you. You'll need a bokken, and Aikido supplies that are good quality, and will survive the heaviest type of training.
If you buy cheap training aids, they will not stand up to hard consistent practise, so it is vital to get well made equipment.
I suggest you use good quality bokken, jo staff, tanto, hakama, gi, and other equipment for both traditional and modern martial arts.
A bokken is a Japanese wooden sword used for training, usually the size and shape of a Japanese katana (sword). Used as a cheaper and safer substitute for a real sword in kendo, aikido, kenjutsu, etc.
Heavier bokken are designed to develop strength and technique, often used in suburi (solo cutting exercises). The heavier weight of suburi bokken make them less suitable for paired practice or kata.
Historically, bokken are as old as Japanese swords, and were used for the training of warriors. The bokken is a wooden training tool for those martial artists interested in learning the use of a sword.
In Japan, the sword and the art of its use goes back before written history. It was during the Muromachi Period 1336-1600 A.D. that the use of the bokken became popular.
This was when warriors began dueling against single opponents instead of fighting in a battlefield situation. The 'Ryu' speciality styles began, which gave birth to skilled samurai.
Miyamoto Musashi, a kenjutsu master, was well known for fighting armed enemies with one or two bokken. In a famous legend, he defeated Sasaki Kojiro with a bokken that he had carved from an oar while travelling on a boat to the arranged island for the duel.
The aikido bokken that can be purchased today hasn't changed much from those used centuries ago in feudal Japan. Although there are some made in various parts of the world, the most popular ones are made of Japanese red or white oak.
White oak bokken and Jo staff are a little stronger, so are less likely to be damaged if you use them in contact training.
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