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#353200 - 07/26/07 07:11 PM Bokken - With or Without the Guard?
MastaFighta Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 260
Loc: United States
I've noticed that a lot of practitioners seem to prefer the bokken without the guard. I was wondering what you prefer when training with a bokken; guard or no guard.

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#353201 - 07/26/07 07:16 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: MastaFighta]
JoshuaMonjin Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 427
Loc: Fallon, Nevada
I suppose it depends on what style of swordsmanship you are studying. I use a bokken with a guard for both solo and two person kata and there have been times when I am very glad that the guard is there.
_________________________
Jikishin kore dojo nari

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#353202 - 07/26/07 10:14 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I prefer the tsuba when doing kumitachi(paired practice). Kinda have to have one really. For solo stuff, suburi and what not, it doesn't seem to make much difference.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#353203 - 07/26/07 10:58 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: Charles Mahan]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
I prefer it, making it more like the sword.
In my experience, it's the Aikido schools that prefer to not use the guard.

Not using it changes the grip, so really it depends on what you are doing.

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#353204 - 07/27/07 12:25 AM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: MastaFighta]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Gotta have that tsuba. You get your fingers squashed too easily without it.

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#353205 - 07/27/07 08:15 AM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: JAMJTX]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:


Not using it changes the grip, so really it depends on what you are doing.




How does the presence or absence of a tsuba change your grip?

I agree absolutely for kumitachi that you need the tsuba. It's there to protect your fingers from harm, which it does remarkably well considering it's relatively small size.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#353206 - 07/27/07 05:01 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: Charles Mahan]
jpoor Offline
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Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
If you're doing any sort of sword defense that involves preventing the draw, a tsuba on the attackers sword is a good thing.
_________________________
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.

Best,
Jim

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#353207 - 07/27/07 06:00 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: Charles Mahan]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
Quote:


How does the presence or absence of a tsuba change your grip?




With the tsuba, you take the grip with your hand a few fingers distance back from the tsuba. The tsuba protects the hand, but it also stops the sword from sliding back if it gets jammed - the sword will slide back through your hands until the tsuba hits the hand. Without the tsuba it can keep sliding, so the rear hand needs to be adjusted so that the tsuka is firmly in the heel of the palm, adding that extra support. Although I will add this may be a stylistic preference

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#353208 - 07/27/07 08:27 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: JAMJTX]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Ok. I think I see what you are saying Jim. When performing a tsuki against a resisting target, the sword could slip within your grip and the tsuba would then come in handy to keep your hand from sliding. Of course, that would only be a problem during partner practice.

For solo practice, tsuba or no tsuba isn't really going to make a lot of difference for tenouchi.

For paired practice, the tsuba is a key part of protecting your hands. Given that most tsuba on bokuto are slid on from the kissaki(point), they aren't going to provide a lot of support for a thrust if your hands slip. On most bokuto, the tsuba will simply slide forward. That of course is not a problem with a shinken.

Now I can see that if you intend to use the bokuto itself as a weapon, rather than a training tool, then I can see more of a focus on keeping the left hand wrapped around the kashira(end of the tsuka) at least a little.


Edited by Charles Mahan (07/27/07 08:34 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#353209 - 07/27/07 09:43 PM Re: Bokken - With or Without the Guard? [Re: Charles Mahan]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
Yes. Exactly, and a much better explaination.
I actially never held a bokken until I started in Aikido. This idea was expressed by my Aikido teacher. I never thought to bounce it off an Iaido or Kenjutsu teacher. I just continued teaching the 2 different grips.

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