You must have heard of a martial arts training called Aikido. In fact, even kids today start to learn it. But when it comes to Bokken Aikido, have you heard of it before? If not, it’s still a form of Aikido training. Its main difference from the general Aikido is the use of a wooden sword.
So, what actually is Bokken Aikido?
Take note that bokken or a wooden sword is not only used in Aikido but in other martial arts training as well. The user of the sword is called the Aikidoka and it only uses wood material for safety purposes. One who uses a real sword or the katana for training increases the risk of injury such as cutting himself.
Using the Wooden Sword in Aikido
Compared to using a katana or a real sword, the bokken requires less maintenance and care. Moreover, it doesn’t carry the kind of “mortal” risk compared to the real one.
However, just because the use of a bokken is less risky compared to that of a katana, it doesn’t mean that it won’t inflict injury. In fact, being too reckless in using the weapon can be deadly and may even cause wounds. There have also been cases wherein bokken users suffered cases like ruptured organs, multiple fractures and other types of blunt force injuries. These are similar cases to users of sharp swords and clubs.
With these risks, it’s still highly recommended to use the bokken carefully. First time users are encouraged to only use it under the supervision of a bokken expert. The bokken should not also be used in sparring but merely to enable the user to feel what it’s like to hold a real sword. For sparring, it’s best to use a bamboo shinai, instead of a bokken.
Types of Bokken You Can Use
The good news is that bokken comes in various forms and it depends on which type you will find comfortable to use. Again, always use and handle it with care. The most commonly used types include:
- Tachi or the long sword
- Kodachi or the short sword
- Tanto bokken
However, other forms of Japanese martial arts have their own types of bokken. It can vary on the tip shape or the length of the weapon.
While Aikido Bokken techniques definitely improve both physical and mental capacity of the user, it’s very important to observe safety reminders, both for the user and to other surrounding people. It’s highly recommended to buy a weapons bag to safely store the weapon. This will ensure that the weapon does not fright other people who might see it.