Style: Medium Aikiken
40″ long
11″ tsuka (handle) w/ 4″ circumference
Grade 7 Appalachian Hickory
Janka Hardness Rating: 1820
Kingfisher Finish Oil, straight grain- no knots

Hickory is an interesting wood… it gets tougher and more dense the more you use it.  Most kinds of wood fibers will break apart as you use it, weakening the structure.  With hickory, the grain becomes tighter and less likely to split apart.  I have intentionally tried to break this bokken on three different occasions, and have been unsuccessful.  I have heard that hickory (in particular Appalachian Hickory) is the best wood for bokken.  After testing this bokken, I am beginning to agree.  But as I have many more types of wood to test, I am reserving judgment. This type of bokken needs a “break-in” period to be most effective (to compact the wood fibers), so it should only be used for light work in the beginning.

The above picture shows the tip of the bokken.  It has broken apart after several smashes against concrete.  However, it shows no structural damage and is still completely usable.

This shot is looking at the top of the bokken from the butt end.  Notice the lack of any curvature to the left or right.

The kanji reads “mental power”.  I picked this name for the bokken, as I see destruction testing as more of a destruction of the ego and letting go of attachment.  A constant reminder that this is still just a stick.

This picture shows the edge of the bokken.  After two months of heavy testing, you can see that there are very few dents and the structural integrity remains very strong.