Solid Appalachian Hickory Enhanced With Resin
Enhanced Appalachian hickory is solid Appalachian hickory with resin drawn completely through the grain structure. The resulting wood is harder and heavier while maintaining the singular mechanical strength, resiliency and beauty of natural hickory. Solid, not laminated wood is used. The weight is increased 20 -30% (this wood sinks in water) and because of its high density, normal impact in paired practice will not cause denting. The resin has a stabilizing affect so the wood will not dry out, needs little maintenance and is less prone to warping than wood in it's natural state. The tactile feel is like smooth wood in its natural state. The enhanced weapons have an excellent grip/slip ratio ie, the weapon doesn't feel like it will fly away due to slipperiness but has an excellent slide for changes in hand position (jo techniques).
Enhanced Appalachian Hickory has superior mechanical properties to any other wood used for martial art weapons - including Japanese White Oak (Shiro Kashi) and any other exotic wood. With normal practice, these weapons should retain their beauty and last indefinitely.
Dome kashira with makers mark
The image below shows the hilt (kashira) of an enhanced bokken with makers mark. The domed shape shown is a compound curve that allows the left hand to fall slightly off of the end without a sharp 90 deg edge. This is common on fittings of high quality Japanese swords and done on all Kingfisher enhanced bokken.
The transition area shown below separates the handle (tsuka) from the blade section. According to the intended use of the weapon some bokken have transitions, some don't. Generally, the transition allows the use of a hand guard (tsuba) or simply serves as a designation for the distinction between handle and blade.
Transitionless bokken with inscription
Some bokken designs do not have transitions. This is because certain designs never used tsuba as the users training emphasize protective techniques and positioning without reliance on guards. On bokken without transitions, like the one shown below, the inscription is made slightly in front of the right hand position, on the left bevel as shown. (Also see the image at the top of the page which shows this bokken in full length.
Chisel Point (kissaki)
Different bokken have different points according to tradition. Shown below is the complex chisel style point of the aikiken and katori bokken. (Also see the image at the top of the page which shows this bokken in full length.
Sword style Point (kissaki)
Different bokken have different points according to tradition. Shown below is the sword style point of the shinto, yagyu and kenjutsu bokken.