Below you can see some specific styles and shapes of training tools to give you an idea of what we are capable of making. Nothing below is set in stone. You can request changes in sori depth, tsuka length, kissaki style, and more on a bokken. You can request blade shapes on our yari and naginata. If there's a type of tsuba you'd like to see that's not listed, let us know. We want to make your training tool, so please let us know if there's something you'd like to see.
Blade shape: At Shinbudo we offer two blade styles on our bokken. The first is our Traditional style bokken (fig c.). This style has a rounded shaped and is slightly more robust. While both styles are more than sturdy enough to train with under normal training conditions, we recommend this style if your primary use is kumitachi or other impact training. Also, the rounded shape of this bokken will be more forgiving to wooden weapons, and also adds a bit more thickness to the bokken.
Our second style is what we call our Shinbudo style (fig a. and b.). This style has beveled edges and more resembles the general shape of a shinken. Because of the beveling, this bokken will be slightly lighter than the traditional style, and is great for suburi. You can only get a bohi (blood groove) on the Shinbudo bokken.
Ultimately, while the traditional style is slightly thicker, both styles will hold up well for years of training. Your final decision should be based on what you prefer visually.
Bohi: The bohi, commonly and incorrectly called a blood groove, adds a great visual appearance to the bokken. Additionally, it makes the bokken slightly lighter and give it a great "swooshing" sound when swung. The removal of the material, while making it lighter, can also reduce the durability of the bokken when doing impact training. We recommend bokken with bohi used for koryu training or suburi.
Sori (curve): We offer two choices on the curvature of our bokken. Our “katana” style is meant to more closely resemble the curvature of a shinken, while our “Aiki” style is meant for our Aikido practitioners who are use to a bokken with slightly less curve. Our “katana” style have roughly a 0.75in. (1.9cm) sori, while our “Aiki” style has around a 0.5in. (1.27cm) sori. Again, we are not limited by these, so please contact if there's a custom sori depth you'd like such as a tachi.
Size: Our bokken are all roughly 39 in. (99cm) long, but we offer size options in the handle length and diameter. These measurements are approximate as each bokken is made by hand and we prefer not to sacrifice the balance and feel of our training tools to keep them within specifc size restrictions. If you’d like a modification made to the length of your handle, or you would like to add up to 3 in. (42 in. total length can be made at no extra charge), to your bokken, please contact us before or just after you place your order.
The following are our handle dimensions and they vary between Aiki and Katana Sori:
Medium: 11 in X 1 7/16 in. X 15/16 in (27.9cm X 3.65cm X 2.4cm)
Large: 11 1/2 in X 1 1/2 in X 1 1/16 in (29.2cm X 3.8cm X 2.7cm)
Medium: 12 in X 1 7/16 in. X 15/16 in (30.5cm X 3.65cm X 2.4cm)
Large: 12 1/2 in X 1 1/2 in X 1 1/16 in (31.75cm X 3.8cm X 2.7cm)
Our long weapons can be any length you choose but are generally made between 7 and 8 feet in length. Due to the many variations in style and personal preferences, we prefer to speak with customers via email or phone before an order is made. Long weapon shafts are available in octagonal, round, and oblong and are roughly 1 ¼ in. in diameter.
Bo, Jo and Hanbo
If you'd like a specific length on any of our staff weapons, please contact us.
Bo: Around 6 ft in length, our bo are roughly 1 1/8 in. - 1 ¼ in. inches diameter. You can choose between a round or octagonal shaped shaft.
Jo: Around 5 ft in length, our Jo are roughly 1 in. - 1 1/16 in. in diameter. You can choose between a round or octagonal shaped shaft.
Hanbo: Around 3 ft in length, our hanbo are roughly 7/8 in. – 1 1/16 in. in diameter. You can choose between a round or octagonal shaped shaft.
Tsuba are essentially add-ons to our bokken. Each tsuba is handcrafted and fits the bokken it was made for specifically. Below you will find a few options that you can choose from. If you have a different style or shape that you’d like made, please write it in the notes when ordering, or get in touch before you order. Keep in mind that a bokken is larger than a shinken, so the holes in the below tsuba will be larger in order to accommodate a bokken.