obviously I'm not skillful enough to try using a real sword. But lately I spent some time visiting plenty of museums, particularly on the "Arms and Armours" section. I was just wondering... what is the difference between using a real sward and a bamboo one?
bokken is a closer replica of a real sword. at least it is not round, and it has a curve. eg. consider kendo kata No.3 & No.5 --the mechanism of using the slides of a sword. when we use shinai to practice, will the same mechanism be lost? and is that why we use bokken for kata? In kata No.10 there is a sliding motion for the kodachi, which i think is very hard to perform with a round shinai...
same for the reverse side of the blade (sorry I don't know the proper name), or the black part. Since japanese swords have blades on one side only, I believe there must be some use for the other side. would be useful for defence? like dodging/deflecting? May be someone doing koryu or iaido can tell me more?