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Whetstone Cutlery Solid Wood Practice Samurai Bokken
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- Bokken is a training sword, used as a relatively safe and inexpensive substitute for a real blade in several martial arts.
- This classic hardwood sword is perfect for the martial art trainee to the professional.
- Sword is made of Red Oak and is 40" in length.
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Bokken is a training sword, used as a relatively safe and inexpensive substitute for a real blade in several martial arts. They are used in the early stages of iaido when a practitioner has not yet reached the level where use of a iaito would be safe. The exception would be when a certain kata involving two people is performed. Then the veteran iaidoka will use a bokken for safety reasons.
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WARNING / CON: The finish is TERRIBLE!!! THESE ARE NOT SAFE OR SUITABLE FOR USE IN TRAINING OR SPARING until they have been refinished. They are extremely rough-cut and have splinters, gouges, and very sharp corners. Even for solitary use in the practice of forms or katas, the user risks splinters and scrapes at the very least.
Con: Also, while the wood IS better than other bokken of the same price, and it is oak, it is NOT a premium cut. One of the swords had visible knots in the grain (though no splits, yet). While for katas this is not a major issue, I have doubts as to the durability of the bokken should it be used in sparring or contact demonstrations.
PRO: These are much higher quality wood than other bokken of the same price (at $14 you usually find "toys" made of pine). The basic shape and weight are very good, though they may be a little long for some, they are great for taller practitioners.
Overall: If you're willing to do a little sanding and oiling, you can get an excellently shaped and well-weighted bokken at about 1/3 the price of other options. And if it does break, you can replace it for under $20 (including sandpaper and oil/finish) and you aren't out $50-70 for a higher quality bokken. Since I happened to have sandpaper and tru-oil laying around the house, I am quite pleased with my purchase and actually plan to order more. They really are excellent if you think of them as purely disposable.
A friend and I started to practice with the swords. As each round of practice concluded, we noticed the lighter Bokken was getting heavily dented. Indicating that it was make of a softer wood. Well, we shrugged it off and continued. Well, we probably should have stopped and returned it. Because what happened next was pretty bad. Third strike in and Half Bokken swung one way and the other half went into a wall.
The other one that is denser is holding up perfectly fine. So, it is actually hard to rate this. One of them is great, while the other is in half.
UPDATE:: I broke the last one as I am pretty rough on my equipment so I purchased 2 more. One came with a vertically split handle that was glued, I would have returned it, however I had planned to cut off the handle on that one anyway. The other one was great. Overall 4.9 Stars. (I did not contact the seller for a replacement so don’t hold it against them, just ask for a replacement if the quality isn’t up to your standard... remember Trees don’t grow perfect branches )
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