View Full Version : Left and Right

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Rupert Atkinson
11-23-2006, 06:08 PM
I always do techniques on both sides and I am sure many here do the same. I often train by myself and also do bokken and jo work on both sides. I would say my left sided bokken work is obviously weaker, but for jo, I can no longer tell the differnece between R and L. When I went to Iaido (a long time ago now) the single sidedness irked me no end. When I did Tomiki I always did it on both sides though many do not. Actually, that was one of the main reasons I gave it up - it hinders development no end. The Aikikai constant L/R changes suit me.

Anyway, I have long since noticed that some Aikdio schools only do bokken and jo on one side. Bokken is understandable, but jo, no. I want both sides. To me, it is totally unthinkable to practise the jo on only one side. How is it in your school and what do you think about it?

11-24-2006, 10:12 AM
Since most people are either left or right handed, they are being taught to use the hand with more power in the back for the person is more likely to grab the jo in that particular fashion out of nature. We train on both sides in my dojo for you never know when one are will be hurt for some reason or you got stuck holding the weapon on the opposite side and are unable to switch sides.

Dirk Hanss
11-24-2006, 10:14 PM
Fighting systems tend to train the strong side. Traditional military fighting systems train the strong side for majority. Both for good reasons.
That is why bokken and jo (as substitute for spear) are traditionally trained only one side.

A DO is designed for completeness (IMHO). To be complete, you have to train, what you are weak in. In many bukido they train only traditional side, but complete the technical part.

Many aikido dojo tend more and more to train both sides for the purpose of outlining the hands-free techniques. Not really in kata and kumitachi/kumijo, but in suburi and aikdio techniques with or against weapons.

I like the idea of training the weak side, so I am with you. And it is healthier, especially if you do a lot of weapon training.

Bets regards


Michael Varin
11-25-2006, 01:57 AM
It is my understanding that the Japanese do not allow left-handedness. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but traditionally I think it was. Swords were always worn (on the left, blade up) so they could be drawn and used quickly by a right-hander. With the exception of overhead strikes, I haven't encountered any similar conventions with jo. That said, I'm sure training both sides will only make you more well rounded. With small weapons like hanbo and tanto it's always a good idea to train both sides.


Amir Krause
11-27-2006, 02:26 AM
The way we learn the Jo and Empty-hand are different then the Ken. Ken is only practiced one sided, empty-hand and Jo are practiced both sides.

The reasoning is the traditional way of work for the Ken and the lack of side changes in the techniques. While in the Jo, the hands slide and the side changes constantly, after our basic Jo "strike" (to the head or leg) one finds himself in the opposite stance to the one he started with. In Ken, the Jo retraction with side changes is impossible, hence no point to changing sides ...