The bokken (or bokuto) is a wooden sword which is used to practise Aikiken techniques.
The bokken is about 102 cm long and weighs ca. 600 g; it can be made of a variety of hard wood. In form, length and weight, the bokken closely resembles the Japanese sharp katana sword which makes it a suitable weapon for practice.
The bokken is always treated as if it were a sharp weapon: you only touch the handle or the blunt backside of the blade. The bokken is handled with utmost care and put down carefully (the sharp edge of the blade never touches the ground). When bowing to the kamiza or handing over the bokken, the blunt backside of the blade faces to the front, handle to the left, signifying peaceful intentions. If the bokken is put down, the blunt side faces to the kamiza. In seiza, the bokken is on the right-hand side with the blunt edge facing to the outside - this shows that you cannot attack quickly.
You may use the bokken with a hand guard (tsuba) to protect your fingers during partner exercises.
Find out more on our Wooden Weapons page.