Can I start training kendo with a bokken instead of a shinai?

by Wara

There are no dojos to learn Kendo where I live, and since I do not have a credit card, it is really difficult for me to buy things online (like a Shinai, for example.

A good friend, who practices Aikido and Iaido, heard about my interest in practicing Kendo and sold me a bokken. Right now, I'm going through reading and learning, before beginning to practice with it.

But when that time comes, can I use the bokken straight from the beginning? Are there any precautions I should take?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry for the delay of my answer. I personally prefer bokuto (bokken) when I teach beginners. That is because they can learn the proper grip and also with bokuto they can learn how to treat their sword.

One thing that I have to tell you is that there are many different kinds of bokuto out there. And I am sure that the bokuto you have got from your friend is not made for kendo. And I strongly suggest that you should get a bokuto for kendo.

Sometimes the handle of a bokuto is too thick if it is not made for kendo or the balance of the sword is not proper for kendo.

If you think your bokuto is too heavy, please don't use it. You can practice your form without using anything. Have nothing in your hands and practice the form of kendo. That way you will less likely to develop bad habits but still you can learn good forms of kendo.

Hope this helps.

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