07-23-2011, 10:41 PM
The bokken and jo staff are excellent tools for training correct feeling. When doing solo work with the bokken or jo my aim is to connect with the weapon so that instead of "moving it" I move me and let the weapon trace a path through space that arises naturally from my motion. Strikes, blocks, slices, thrusts and the transitions in-between are executed with a minimum of hand and arm movements. My movements are continuous and I look to avoid retracing arcs with the weapon.
The weapons work I do is employed strictly for Ki development and physical conditioning. I decided many years ago that the probability of my getting into an altercation involving bokkens or jo staffs was reasonably minuscule and that perhaps alternative forms of weapons training would better suit me. Consequently I derived my method of practice and have abandoned conflict based scenario training. In addition, all the forms I employ are "off the cuff" in that none of them are worked out before hand. I never cared for fixed katas that had to be memorized like multiplication tables. I want my Aikido to be spontaneous and feel that long sequences of prearranged movements stifle spontaneity.
Below are a couple of short clips of some free form movement.
Bokken free movement (http://youtu.be/op8eTQcz99E)
Jo staff free movement (http://youtu.be/jc8sxodywVo)
(Original blog post may be found here (http://ron-aikidothoughts.blogspot.com/2011/07/one-hundred-and-ninety-eight.html).)