View Full Version : Some Aikido taught with weapons some not?

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Boris Spassky
02-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Hi folks!

In my research I have noticed many Aikido dojos that teach Aikido and incourage weapons study as well (Batto Ho or another iaido based art), some even have back to back classes and students are "expected" to attend both.

How is this determined? I know they complement each other and the movements are similar, or can be similar but, is this a "style" thing? Maybe an instructor preference thing?

I am looking to get back training in Iaido but this would be completely separate from my Aikido classes.



Garth Jones
02-17-2010, 06:03 AM
I think it depends mostly on the instructor and their teachers. For instance Saotome Sensei is very serious about the connection between weapons and empty hand so the ASU has a strong focus on paired sword and jo practice, along a few solo kata and weapon taking techniques.

Chiba Sensei developed his own series of kata as well, and Saito Sensei (senior) gave separate rank certificates for weapons practice.

Others focus less on weapons but I've never met a really senior instructor who was not very aware of the connection between weapons and empty hand.

02-17-2010, 11:06 AM
At my dojo, we do a lot of weapons work (we have two classes dedicated to it a week, but it can also be in any class), but my sensei was a student of Chiba sensei and also trained with Saito sensei for a time. We also have iaido (really iai batto-ho) that is done twice a week. We only have a few aikido students who train in this and we have a couple people who train in iaido and not in aikido. I really think it depends on both the teacher and the style that you take. I personally like training in both (I also do tai chi as well). I see a lot of simularities, but there are also some differences in footwork that I had to get used to. In iaido we use a parallel stance instead of hanmi like we do with the bokken in aikido.

02-17-2010, 05:28 PM
This question gets complicated fast.

Each style of Aikido is different. The major styles of Aikido coming from direct students of Ueshiba, who each had their own ideas an interests. Each individual instructors style reflects his personal interestes. There is however a recognizable core set of techniques, and theme to all styles of Aikido, this influence is Ueshiba's.

To add to the complication, there is a recognizable theme between many koryu jujutsu styles and Aikido. This is the influence of koryu jujutsu on Ueshiba. Koryu jujutsu is considerd by many to be "unarmed" fighting techniques. But most often deals with armed grappling situations, and not as much unarmed v.s. unarmed fighting. Most koryu jujutsu is part of a ryu-ha that teaches many skills, not just jujutsu. So armed grappling in the context of a system that also teaches weapon skills makes sense. But armed grappling is hard to get a handle on if you don't also train in a weapon system.

Most of the core technical work shared in all Aikido systems (for whatever reasons) is jujutsu(ish). So we (the different styles) are bound together by the jujutsu, but not a weapon system.

Shannon Frye
02-17-2010, 07:52 PM
When I started, I trained aiki at one dojo, and iai at a different dojo. Each highly complimented the other. I liked that they were complimentary, yet separate.

We haven't done much iai at my current dojo (due to low ceilings), but we are working on adding it as an additional (and separate) class in the near future. I expect that some of my aiki student will attend, as will students who want only iaido.

In short, one is good - the other is good - together they are just as good.