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Daniel Ranger-Holt
08-27-2007, 02:22 PM
Just an honest question, of course ive asked my Sensei, Higher grades and would be interested to hear people views on this. Besides the entering at the beginning of the technique, i dont see another reason to train with the Bokken, as opposed to empty handed. I dont enjoy weapons training, all the time my pea brain is telling me "this isn't of much use" but of course i respectfully continue. But when i hear we have a whole lesson of weapons ahead i become uninterested. It feels pointlss, and im very stubborn :)

Im not talking about wrist excersices of course i understand the relevance there. I just want to understand more and hear other explinations, as to why we learn sword techniques, how does this effect our Aikido (i assume most dojos do??). I will share my senseis views on this once i hear some other peoples. Personally i still have a hard time seeing (besides where i said) how training to disarms someone with a sword, or how to cut them, slash them, is really helping my Aikido. Bear in mind i am a year and a bit newbie. :straightf

Chuck Clark
08-27-2007, 02:31 PM
One reason, Daniel, is that any problems with posture, movement, and, for example, hand - foot coordination is improved because of the exageration caused by the longer lever in your hands affecting your center of gravity. Your ability to deal with the aspects of target, distance, and timing fundamentals can also improve by training with bokken and jo. Of course, this all depends on whether the fundamentals you're doing with bokken and jo are sound in theory. If so you'll improve your tai jitsu. I have seen many students with problems in empty handed training improve through good weapons training. The fundamentals, of course, are the same.

Shany
08-27-2007, 03:19 PM
Apart from the fact that weapons improves your balance and put your body in the correct posture, balance..etc, sometimes it is better and easier to understand a tai-jutsu (with hands) techniques when using a weapon.

for example:
Technique: Shio-Nage.
Weapon: Bokken.

Stand in a standard Bokken holding posture, (gyaku-hanmi, if there is other person infront of you), raise your sword as if you were doing yoko-men-uchi (side-head-inner strike) with your jo, and turn with ur bokken and body 180 to the right and lower your bokken as to finish the strike.

this is nicely done, and would help understand shio-nage with much faster understanding than just trying to do it with brute-force tryings mantra until the brain goes "ahhhhhh now I get it...".

SeiserL
08-27-2007, 05:17 PM
IMHO, if you move as if you have a sword (cut don't pull), your technique will improve.

John Ruhl
08-27-2007, 07:41 PM
For what it's worth, I find that paired weapons kata really highlight those moments when your concentration fails. Nothing like a wooden stick coming at your head to make you confront the fact that your brain just hiccuped.

As such, I think they are great tools for developing concentration and focus, in addition to the good things already mentioned.

-John

asiawide
08-27-2007, 08:38 PM
Well... there are many different styles in aikido. But anyone can practice aikido(especially taijutsu) with other people from the different styles. For aiki-ken or -jo, is it possible? The basic kamae of aiki weapon is different. 11(foot position) style(like mondern kendo), 1 style(like koryu kenjutsu). Which one is right and help you to improve aikido taijutsu? Shihonage is a typical example for aikiweapon and taijutsu connection. But is it REALLY necessary to learn aiki weapon to do or improve proper shihonage? Is it a TOOL or OBJECT itself?

Janet Rosen
08-27-2007, 09:15 PM
Shihonage is a typical example for aikiweapon and taijutsu connection. But is it REALLY necessary to learn aiki weapon to do or improve proper shihonage?
Um....for some of us, yes.
I have used the bokken to demo shihonage to kohei and it has served for them as the same AHA! moment it did for me.
So, in that sense, it is very much a learning tool....and while I realize not all dojo include weapons, for those that do, I do not see that "learning tool" is something separate/distinct from the whole art.
The original poster was not asking "is training w/ the bokken an integral part of aikido" but "how does it help improve my aikido?" and I think many of us are providing specifics.

Karen Wolek
08-27-2007, 09:32 PM
All I know is that after 5 years of aikido, if my Sensei tells me to cut like a sword when we are doing empty-handed practice and I do just that.....man, does the technique work so much better!

Daniel Ranger-Holt
08-28-2007, 02:51 AM
Brilliant, thanks everyone, appreciated. It has put the weapons training into a different light. I don't think i've asked enough questions about it.I was always told mainly for entering and posture, not much else. Interesting.

odudog
08-28-2007, 12:29 PM
Just practicing a shomen cut {suburi} with the bokken will tell you many things about your Aikido such as:

shoulders are burning - not relaxed enough
stiff movement - not relaxed enough
out of breath - not breathing properly
bokken tip pointed down after cut - not in control
can't move hips well - not relaxed enough
can't move hips well - using arms instead of hips to provide energy
hands are tired - gripping bokken too tightly {not relaxed}
can't move hips well - kamae is too narrow or too wide
etc.....

wildaikido
08-29-2007, 03:34 AM
Simple, if you can strike, or take a sword from, a kendoka, you will have no problem dealing with any one else, eg a boxer.

Regards,

Daniel Ranger-Holt
08-29-2007, 04:05 AM
Simple, if you can strike, or take a sword from, a kendoka, you will have no problem dealing with any one else, eg a boxer.

Regards,

I don't really understand how one translates to the other in this instance, can you explain further. If i can take a sword from my opponent, i will have no problem dealing with for example, a boxer?

Aristeia
08-29-2007, 04:06 AM
What everyone else said. Great for awareness - even better once the blade becomes shiny rather than wooden. I'll also add a couple (which may have been mentioned as I just did a quick skim of responses).

1. Centering. I can remember very clearly one particular student I had who I was struggling to get him to sink his weight. His movements were all up and a bit too floaty. I got him to start doing lots of jo kata work and his center started to drop.

2. Footwork. Particularly beginners sometimes are not as precise with their foot work as they could be. Usually this takes the form of extra steps, and just kind of walking around the mat as they do their waza as opposed to moving simply, strongly and with intent. Weapons practice is great for instilling that ability.

Aristeia
08-29-2007, 04:10 AM
oops double post

wildaikido
08-29-2007, 04:15 AM
I don't really understand how one translates to the other in this instance, can you explain further. If i can take a sword from my opponent, i will have no problem dealing with for example, a boxer?

I am not talking about a normal opponent, but if you can take a sword from a kendoka (someone who does kendo) then I honestly think you would have no problem dealing with someone like a boxer. Simply because the sward is moving faster then a punch, and you have to cover a longer distance (the length of the sword) to get in and disarm the person.

Even if you just have effective Tai Sabaki (body movements) against a swordsman, you will have no problems moving out of the way of a normal attack, eg a punch.

Regards,

Gonçalo Alves
08-29-2007, 04:45 AM
for me weapon training is just fundamental!!

learning proper maai, tai sabaki and difficult kamae like hitoemi!!

Aikibu
08-29-2007, 03:17 PM
for me weapon training is just fundamental!!

learning proper maai, tai sabaki and difficult kamae like hitoemi!!

Exactly..."Aikido is the Sword"

To students of Shoji Nishio Shihan; A Bokken is the hub in which the wheel of practice revolves around. :)

William Hazen

CitoMaramba
08-29-2007, 06:08 PM
Exactly..."Aikido is the Sword"

To students of Shoji Nishio Shihan; A Bokken is the hub in which the wheel of practice revolves around. :)

William Hazen

Yes, and the jo is hub of the other wheel :D

Time for a new thread.. "How does training with the Jo help to improve my Aikido?"

Eric Webber
08-29-2007, 08:38 PM
I find that training with bokken significantly improves:
1. ma-ai
2. martial awareness
3. whole body coordination
4. mindfulness
5. physical power focus/concentration/delivery
6. ki extension (if you're into that sort of thing...)
7. ki-ai practice
8. awareness of hanmi and balance
9. understanding of empty hand techniques
10. overall mental health

Additionally, it gives me something to do at home when I cannot make it to the dojo for a class.

I specified "bokken" rather than "weapons" as I am partial to the bokken and tend to gravitate toward it in my practice. I'm sure there area folks who find these same things and more in practicing with the jo or another weapon. I should also specify that my practice includes basic suburi, solo kata, as well as paired practice (generally in the form of whatever was shown at the previous year's summer camp, plus our standard kumitachi).

Karen Wolek
08-29-2007, 09:44 PM
One of the classes tonight turned out to be just me and another 1st kyu. And Sensei, of course.

He had us do 500 bokken cuts first. Then we did freestyle for the rest of the class. He does not like my shihonage so I worked on that A LOT tonight. He mentioned while correcting my shihonage that this is why he had us doing all those bokken cuts, and that instead of pulling in and pushing down (two things we are never supposed to do, pull and push, and there I was doing them both in one technique, ha ha)...I needed to cut and extend, just like with the bokken.

That I just cut with a few minutes ago. 500 times in a row.

Heh.

Now, if only I remember that lesson the next time I do shihonage.

It was an awesome class...

ChrisHein
08-29-2007, 10:40 PM
When you wish to hit someone with a bokken, you will do it better.

CitoMaramba
08-29-2007, 11:32 PM
When you wish to hit someone with a bokken, you will do it better.

Yeah! Like this guy:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/15/Sasaki_kojiro_2.gif

Walker
08-29-2007, 11:47 PM
"If we swing the stick for 1000 years we will become like Musashi. When we become like Musashi we will rule the world!" :hypno:

CitoMaramba
08-30-2007, 12:11 AM
"If we swing the stick for 1000 years we will become like Musashi. When we become like Musashi we will rule the world!" :hypno:

Ummm.. can I pass on the never taking a bath part? :D

Bronson
08-30-2007, 01:35 AM
Well, after a lifetime of arduous training and personal sacrifice you'll be able to do stuff like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBe0BG4OlTA&mode=user&search= and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJyqZKehn5s&mode=user&search=

And let's not forget that you're probably also learning to use the staff as well so we should take a look at the skill that years, nay, decades of dedication and living your life on the martial path can bring you ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc336q361N0&mode=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqx-bjdvNGY&mode=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsl015alMP4&mode=user&search=

And here's a link for all the folks in the above clips: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec19/ch222/ch222e.html

Bronson :D :p

ChrisHein
08-30-2007, 05:56 PM
That chick really has a scary scream.

philippe willaume
08-31-2007, 12:26 PM
We practices weapons from the beginning in the institute.

For me it has 4 functions
The first one is organic to the techniques: I.e. does this technique as if you had a weapon
So in that respect there is movement you do in the saburis that you find as such in technique.

Second.
Speed with weapon is coming from relaxation. So weapons do help you to flow.
As well it makes to top bit of your body becoming independent from the bottom
The cuts promotes irimi and hips engagement and movements

Third
There is tactical consideration when we use weapons that are directly and indirectly transposable to use of open hand. Awasai, <weapon>dori and kumi<weapon>
How to control the opponent and creates opening

4th
When you train you can say stuff like
- set to boken to “bonk” and shoot to kill.
- ktchuuuuuuuu your power grow weak, old man ktchuuuuuuuu
to which it is polite to reply
- yes but when you strike me down, I will grow more powerful that you can ever imagine.
- There can be only one
- My name is indigo Motoya, you killed my father prepare to die. (best with a Spanish accent)
- And of course Crom (odin or wodan woks as well)
- Blood and souls for my lord Arioch (not as popular yet fashionable)

phil

CitoMaramba
08-31-2007, 01:29 PM
- Blood and souls for my lord Arioch (not as popular yet fashionable)

phil

An albino Melnibonean with a black soul-stealing bokken.. scary.. :D

Aikibu
08-31-2007, 01:56 PM
We practices weapons from the beginning in the institute.

For me it has 4 functions
The first one is organic to the techniques: I.e. does this technique as if you had a weapon
So in that respect there is movement you do in the saburis that you find as such in technique.

Second.
Speed with weapon is coming from relaxation. So weapons do help you to flow.
As well it makes to top bit of your body becoming independent from the bottom
The cuts promotes irimi and hips engagement and movements

Third
There is tactical consideration when we use weapons that are directly and indirectly transposable to use of open hand. Awasai, <weapon>dori and kumi<weapon>
How to control the opponent and creates opening

4th
When you train you can say stuff like
- set to boken to "bonk" and shoot to kill.
- ktchuuuuuuuu your power grow weak, old man ktchuuuuuuuu
to which it is polite to reply
- yes but when you strike me down, I will grow more powerful that you can ever imagine.
- There can be only one
- My name is indigo Motoya, you killed my father prepare to die. (best with a Spanish accent)
- And of course Crom (odin or wodan woks as well)
- Blood and souls for my lord Arioch (not as popular yet fashionable)

phil

Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side kid...

At this point pull out squirt gun from inside hakama shoot Nage in Face run like heck laughing your a** off.

William Hazen

Dewey
09-01-2007, 07:22 AM
Well, after a lifetime of arduous training and personal sacrifice you'll be able to do stuff like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBe0BG4OlTA&mode=user&search= and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJyqZKehn5s&mode=user&search=

And let's not forget that you're probably also learning to use the staff as well so we should take a look at the skill that years, nay, decades of dedication and living your life on the martial path can bring you ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc336q361N0&mode=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqx-bjdvNGY&mode=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsl015alMP4&mode=user&search=

And here's a link for all the folks in the above clips: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec19/ch222/ch222e.html

Bronson :D :p

Wow.:straightf Loved the, um...kiaijutsu goin' on there. Yeah, I hate in when Karateka get a hold of swords & staffs. It seems to turn into XMA crap. My Shotokan instructor was fond of doing demonstrations with the bo. The twirling, twirling, twirling made me nauseous. When I demonstrated Saito's 31 count aiki-jo kata, the tsukis impressed him as being more martially effective. Go figure.

wildaikido
09-01-2007, 09:46 AM
Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side kid...

At this point pull out squirt gun from inside hakama shoot Nage in Face run like heck laughing your a** off.

William Hazen

Ah, but who shot first? :D

Tijani1150
09-03-2007, 12:31 AM
sometimes it helps in understanding a technique better

PeterR
09-03-2007, 12:49 AM
"If we swing the stick for 1000 years we will become like Musashi. When we become like Musashi we will rule the world!" :hypno:
Did Musahi rule the world - I think he got to rule a cave.

PeterR
09-03-2007, 01:06 AM
Hmmm those videos - well their goals are different.

One thing I have noticed is that weapons work is where many aikidoists begin to learn how to attack. More to the point, there seems to be a clear distinction between those that do weapons and those that dont with regards to the speed, power and balance of empty hand attacks.

Bronson
09-03-2007, 10:09 AM
One thing I have noticed is that weapons work is where many aikidoists begin to learn how to attack. More to the point, there seems to be a clear distinction between those that do weapons and those that dont with regards to the speed, power and balance of empty hand attacks.

I'll second that.

Bronson

philippe willaume
09-03-2007, 11:09 AM
Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side kid...

At this point pull out squirt gun from inside hakama shoot Nage in Face run like heck laughing your a** off.

William Hazen
captain Hazen, i find your lack of faith disturbing.

beside technically should not you throw a few credits to the cleaning leady before laughing your arse of....



phil the force (obviously)

Karen Wolek
09-03-2007, 02:23 PM
Heh.

Now, if only I remember that lesson the next time I do shihonage.



Update:

I did not.

"DON'T DO THAT!!!!" yelled at me from across the mat, so that everyone stopped to see who he was yelling at. :o

If I do shihonage slowly, I don't do this torquing of uke's arm thing. That apparently hurts. But if I speed it up, I do. And it is NOT deliberate, since I'm not even exactly sure what it is that I'm doing.

I guess I had better just do shihonage slowly for now...and practice the daily bokken cuts that Sensei strongly recommended .

Erik Calderon
09-05-2007, 01:56 AM
I've thought about the sword as an extension of myself. When I left the sword, it is the same as lifting uke.

Stefan Hultberg
09-06-2007, 02:31 AM
Hi

I'm a bit of a newbie to this forum and not particularly advanced in my training (3rd kyu), but here goes.

I don't quite understand the question, aikido consists of Tai Jutsu as well as Buki Waza. If you take away one of the parts it's not aikido but perhaps "partial aikido". This integration of weapons practice and practise without weapons seems to have been central in O-sensei's teaching as well as in Saito sensei's teaching.

Therefore - bokken training does improve your aikido because it IS aikido.

Apart from that I find that for example practicing shiho-nage together with shiho-giri really brings home the unity of aikido and provides for a much deeper understanding of both techniques.

And finally - Buki-waza is fun!!!!!

Regards
Stefan

mriehle
09-10-2007, 10:56 AM
Did Musahi rule the world - I think he got to rule a cave.

And there are some people who will argue that this demonstrates that he was the only one alive fit to rule the world.

Gerry Magee
09-11-2007, 06:48 AM
This video shows the relation between sword principles and empty hand techniques.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mIO6BX_b53k

If anyone can link you to clips of Saito Sensei that would also be of great value to you.

Sword exercises help co-ordinate your hips and your hands, teaches you to always protect your centre line. I addition it helps build strong wrists and forearms and this in turn aids powerful strikes.
Hope this helps.
Gerry

JamesC
07-22-2008, 03:27 PM
My weapons training has helped me most in my footwork.

I was(am) one of those "dancers" when doing techniques. Especially tenkan.

For some reason, having the bokken in my hands keeps me from performing as many of those extra and unneeded steps.

Zolley
07-30-2008, 04:32 AM
I now understand how useful weapons are to improve my technique.

But can anyone suggest me some books, dvds or online videos from which I can learn about the direct relationship between empty handed training and weapons trainings? It is said aikido techniques come from weapons techniques (which seems to have some point)

For example, you do an ikkyo but there is a jo in your hands or something similar. I can see how the two types of training are related but I would also like to see them together. We had some similar techniques at trainings (and in some sense, I'd say tanto waza is very similar to what I'm looking for) but it would be nice to see from masters when an empty handed cut to throw uke is really the same as if a bokken was in my hands.

Thanks,
Zolley
http://onlineaikido.com

Stefan Hultberg
08-08-2008, 02:47 AM
Hi

I suppose this will be a sickeningly familiar example to all, but I have noticed a wonderful complimentarity when first performing zen go giri/ shiho giri with the bokken - while thinking about shiho nage. Afterwards, while training shiho nage - what a difference!!!

There are, of course, many more examples of complimentarity between buki waza and tai jutsu, e.g. 1'st awaze leading into many varieties of "weapon-taking".

Personally - I love weapons training for its meditation-like qualities and its link to the full spread of budo from ancient Japan.

On a more "chicken-like" note it provides an old man with a welcome break from the pain of osae waza.

All the best

Stefan

Stefan Stenudd
08-08-2008, 02:57 PM
I don't quite understand the question, aikido consists of Tai Jutsu as well as Buki Waza. If you take away one of the parts it's not aikido but perhaps "partial aikido".
Not necessarily. Lots of dojos have no or minimal training with bokken and jo, but what they do must still be regarded as aikido. Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo is one of them...

Stefan Stenudd
08-08-2008, 03:03 PM
But can anyone suggest me some books, dvds or online videos from which I can learn about the direct relationship between empty handed training and weapons trainings?
I guess that Nishio sensei's system would be an example of what you look for. He always showed his techniques empty-handed, as well as with bokken in hand, and with jo in hand.
You can see that clearly on the videos made from one of his seminars in my dojo, back in the 1990's, which I have on my YouTube account.
Here is the first one (of five):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEZWojpNnao

Stefan Stenudd
08-08-2008, 03:17 PM
I forgot to mention how I feel that bokken training improves my aikido.
It's a lot. I learn precision, timing, distance, for example. Also, bokken exercises help to develop one's center, and center breathing.

I do some iaido as well, and that is quite rewarding, too, for one's aikido. It is difficult to get really sharp and refined in one's bokken techniques without some training with a katana or iaito. That can't be done intensely with a partner, of course, so most of such training is done solo. Still, it is very useful.

I went through a lot of these things in my Aikibatto book, but I can't get that lengthy on the forum. Suffice to say that me personally, I believe that sword training has helped me tremendously in my aikido.

xuzen
08-08-2008, 11:14 PM
FWIW...

I recall training with uke empty handed and with their LOL!1!Wimpy Punch [TM] i just stand there and yawn.

When I was training with uke with bokken even with their LOL!1!Wimpy Swing [TM], I will not yawn but keep my eyes awake.

Boon.

Charles Hill
08-09-2008, 12:03 AM
Zoltan,

Haruo Matsuoka's DVD's show the relationship btwn hand and sword in an extremely clear, precise, powerful and beautiful way.

Charles

Stefan Hultberg
08-09-2008, 02:03 AM
Not necessarily. Lots of dojos have no or minimal training with bokken and jo, but what they do must still be regarded as aikido. Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo is one of them...

Point taken, and perhaps badly put by me. I do realize that many dojo's do little or no weapons practise. I have never been to the Hombu dojo (but am hoping to train there in april!!!) and it surprises me that they apparently do not do mch weapons training there. Is there a particular reason for this??

I suppose I was focussing on the founder's emphasis on the connection between tai jutsu and buki waza and I considered this to be "aikido". However, the founder, as I understand it, considered aikido to be eternally evolving and therefore did not expect future generations to practice aikido exactly like it was practised by the founder.

Therefore I also realize that dojo's that do little or no weapons practice still practice aikido and not "partial aikido". Does anybody know how one could judge if a dojo is really practising aikido or not - I mean, is there an outer limit??

Still, the commonality between tai jutsu and weapons practice is very real and therefore I am in no doubt - weapons practice really improves one's aikido!!

Thank you for your point, Stefan!!

Best regards

Stefan

Stefan Stenudd
08-09-2008, 07:28 AM
I have never been to the Hombu dojo (but am hoping to train there in april!!!) and it surprises me that they apparently do not do mch weapons training there. Is there a particular reason for this??
I have heard no official reason. I guess it would be something along the line that taijutsu is the core of aikido, and so that is what Hombu focuses on.

I have heard some gossip ;)
It seems that Osensei reacted when one of the instructors was teaching weapons...

Anyway, what is taught - sometimes - is defense against weapons. There's no "taboo" on Hombu against that. But as far as I know, aikiken (sword against sword) or aikijo (jo against jo or sword) is not taught.
They do have a lot of bokken and jo hanging on the walls, though. Students often practice with them between classes. What I have seen them do is usually (but not only) Saito sensei stuff.

Tkoyama
08-23-2008, 09:16 AM
My Personal opinion on weapons is that they are very important because most if not all Aikido movements are based on weapons techniques. In my opinion in order to understand the present one must understand the source and where it all came from. My Sensei highly recomends weapons training and actually requires them even in the kyu tests. Granted one probably won't use a sword in modern times (Although it would be awesome if we did) but it gives us a basic understanding on how a particular technique works and where it came from. I guess I just love weapons. lol

Stefan Stenudd
08-23-2008, 09:58 AM
My Personal opinion on weapons is that they are very important because most if not all Aikido movements are based on weapons techniques.
I have often heard this stated. Still, I am not sure that it is necessarily true that the aikido movements and techniques are based on weapons techniques. But traditionally the aikido movements surely were related to those of the weapons, at least so that armed attacks were also considered.

For example the sword: Some aikido movements seem based on sword movements. Even when that is not the case, it is safe to say that the aikido movements relate to sword attacks, and also to sword against sword relations.

Simply put: Even when the defender was not armed, the attacker was expected to be.

Tkoyama
08-24-2008, 02:48 PM
mmm... Well from what my Sensei have told me, and what they have demonstrated, most Aikido waza are applied back to old forms of budo where both people had a sword, staff or spear. Not saying that we use these weapons anymore but I believe that the foundation of a lot of the waza were from traditional Budo techniques that included weapons.

Andrew S
08-25-2008, 03:44 PM
I found that practicing kumitachi with a 3+ kg octagonal suburito really helped me focus on my centre and taisabaki, since there was no way I could move as fast as my partner armed with a lighter weapon. (The heavier weapon also helps aid technique because you must use your shoulders correctly and not over-extend the elbows... or else!)
Weapons are less forgiving of mistakes than empty-handed techniques and this is one reason training with them aids our progress.

I want a 5 kg suburito for Christmas:D

Stefan Stenudd
08-26-2008, 07:57 AM
I want a 5 kg suburito for Christmas:D
The normal bokken is lighter than a katana, which is around one kilo. Going as far as 5 kg, though, introduces the risk of starting to move the bokken in ways that are not very sword-like. It can even happen unawares. The body sort of tricks the mind, in order to spare itself from the heavy burden.
So, if you use a very heavy bokken, check out that you don't change the technique unawares, in order for your body to handle that much weight.

On the other hand, Musashi did fine with an oar...

Robert Cowham
09-10-2008, 04:29 PM
I like Diane Skoss's article on weapons:

http://www.koryu.com/library/dskoss4.html

(Plenty of other good articles on that site).

One other thing in addition to the many good points above, I used to find that I could practice on my own with a bokken much more easily than taijutsu - there was so much to work on (and it improved my taijutsu).

These days I have plenty of body work stuff to do as well - why I get strange looks sometimes while hanging around the playground watching my kids :)

Alexander Lee
09-23-2008, 10:11 AM
Aikido was drawn from sword movements, a great deal of our postures, grips and techniques come from holding swords. Weapon work improves one's co-ordination, distancing, strength and awareness. Be like water, learn all things; you never know when you might need it (and besides learning weapon work is usually very interesting).