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Mihaly Dobroka
07-23-2014, 12:49 AM
Two Swords Practice in Daito-ryu and Aikido.

It is known that Takeda Sokaku sensei practiced Two Swords(Nito-ryu) besides sword, spear and many other weapons. Among the Daito-ryu transmission scrolls there is one titled Daito-ryu Aiki Nito-ryu. It is also said that Sagawa Yukiyoshi sensei was taught the secrets of Aiki Nito-ryu by Takeda sensei.
Here is a picture of Sagawa sensei demonstrating a two swords technique:

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/images/2013-03/sagawa-two-sword.jpeg

If I know well among the many Aikido teachers only Saotome Mitsugi sensei practices two swords techniques. He said that the Founder taught him this kind of movements once. So I suppose the Founder also had learned two swords techniques maybe from Takeda sensei!?

On this video we are practicing Two Swords against multiple attackers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnLskMxM7Wg&list=PLt1xfFYBuQbDJ5D4PCYP-TqJbe88XLFjQ&index=2

We just started to research it a few weeks ago. I use the blade of the swords to push and throw the Ukes. The movements are the same as the Taninzu-dori usualy practiced in Aikido from two shoulder grab against multiple attackers.We demonstrate the basic movements one to one and apply it against two and three attackers.

What are your thoughts on this video?

If you have any information please teach me more about the origin of Nito-ryu(Two Swords) especially in Daito-ryu and Aikido.

Mihaly

Garth Jones
07-24-2014, 12:35 AM
Saotome Sensei's use of two sword is rather different. If you are interested, he has a video. It's still available from aiki.com and has, unfortunately been ripped to YouTube. I've done some of it and it has a similar feel and intensity to his pair sword forms (kumitachi).

kewms
07-24-2014, 01:02 AM
My dojo requires Saotome Sensei's two-sword forms for sandan. So there's video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu7jyUzyBxM

Maybe not up to Saotome Sensei's personal standard, but doesn't infringe on his copyright, either.

Katherine

PeterR
07-24-2014, 01:36 AM
I always enjoyed the lessons where Nariyama Shihan (Shodokan) would teach the atemi waza using two bokken. I have no idea if you could call that two-sword technique per se but it integrated well.

jonreading
07-24-2014, 07:40 AM
Saotome sensei's two-sword kata are a good place for aiki ken. I think, nage should focus on the aiki principles of the sword. Uke should work very hard not to let either sword touch, let alone be pushed with one.

Cliff Judge
07-24-2014, 09:20 AM
Saotome Sensei's two sword system is his own innovation. There are some good combative principles that can be explored with it, for me it is largely an exploration of hitting myself in the face with my own bokken. :)

Matt Fisher
07-24-2014, 02:48 PM
One comment and one question...

The comment is in regards to Saotome Sensei's two-sword practices. Several people have already pointed out that this is very different from what was in your video; one of the strongest memories I have from when I have practiced Sensei's two-sword techniques is that very often the two swords (long and short) are following different trajectories. I saw almost no evidence of that in the video clip.

In the Two Swords of Aikido video mentioned by some others on this thread, there is a section where Saotome Sensei talks about some of the ideas behind his two-sword system. As I recall, he was very explicit in saying that he developed these practices to illustrate aikido principles. They were not practices that he learned from another teacher.

My question is in regard to the comment in the OP that "It is known that Takeda Sokaku sensei practiced Two Swords(Nito-ryu) besides sword, spear and many other weapons. Among the Daito-ryu transmission scrolls there is one titled Daito-ryu Aiki Nito-ryu." Could you provide us with a fuller explanation of where that information comes from? While several Daito ryu organizations (particularly the Takumakai) include the scroll you mention in a list of techniques, there is NO other mention of two-sword that I have been able to find...anywhere. So I'm curious as to your source(s).

Matt

Andrew S
07-24-2014, 03:17 PM
I used to have a copy of Hiden from 1992 or 1993, back when it was a quarterly magazine, and there was an ad calling for uchideshi to Saigo-Ha Daito Ryu. Included in the syllabus it claimed to teach was Saigo-Ha Daito Ryu Nito.
Usual caveats apply, but here is one example of nito in a (purportedly) Daito Ryu organization.

With regards to the video by the OP, that looks to be an extension of yokomen uchi - tori's atemi should continue down to uke's wrist in a taijutsu form, and the use of two bokuto emphasizes this. I would consider the content of the video a valid training exercise.

kewms
07-24-2014, 05:52 PM
The comment is in regards to Saotome Sensei's two-sword practices. Several people have already pointed out that this is very different from what was in your video; one of the strongest memories I have from when I have practiced Sensei's two-sword techniques is that very often the two swords (long and short) are following different trajectories.

Yes. In fact, my understanding is that the pedagogical reason for studying them is that they force the two sides to act separately. I've found that training valuable in my empty hand practice as well.

Regarding the OP's comments, I'm deeply skeptical of any form that is described as "using the blade of the sword to push uke." If it were actually a sword, rather than a sword-shaped piece of wood, "pushing" with the blade would be the last thing nage would want.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
07-24-2014, 11:31 PM
It is really about learning how to nonverbally communicate to someone that you are going to kill them so hard the gods will spank the ghosts of their dead ancestors for begetting such an embarrassment.

So of course you spend a lot of time hitting your own face with your own swords.

kewms
07-25-2014, 12:50 AM
It is really about learning how to nonverbally communicate to someone that you are going to kill them so hard the gods will spank the ghosts of their dead ancestors for begetting such an embarrassment.

So of course you spend a lot of time hitting your own face with your own swords.

I usually miss my face, in favor of my own hands. :(

Katherine

phitruong
07-25-2014, 07:21 AM
I usually miss my face, in favor of my own hands. :(

Katherine

you folks are a bunch of amateurs! we, the professional nito who, would never make that sort of mistakes. we follows the army standard of shoot yourself in the foot, so we stab ourselves in the foot. wonder if anyone makes steel-toe tabi. :)

George S. Ledyard
07-27-2014, 03:37 AM
Saotome Sensei's use of two sword is rather different. If you are interested, he has a video. It's still available from aiki.com and has, unfortunately been ripped to YouTube. I've done some of it and it has a similar feel and intensity to his pair sword forms (kumitachi).

Watch the YouTube video as saotome Sensei receives nothing from the sales of those videos.

George S. Ledyard
07-27-2014, 04:11 AM
Saotome Sensei did not learn two sword from O-Sensei or any other teacher. It was something he was interested in and asked the Founder about. O-Sensei told him that if he was interested in two sword work he should research it himself. While I am sure that Sensei was aware of the various movie depictions of two sword and may have seen two sword done at various embus in public demonstrations, his two sword forms are really his own development. While he did experiment with two sword while he was still in Japan (according to my understanding) he didn't create what is now the full repertoire, which is quite extensive until the 1980's. I have over 25 forms written down from video taken back in the 90's. While I think these cover the main principles and movements, there are many more variations of these forms on that video. At the first Aiki Expo i was invited to do a demo and Sensei asked me to do two sword as part of what I did. I distilled the forms down to a set of twelve that I thought were representative of the most important principles. These are the forms my students perform on their San Dan exams although that is just my dojo and not an organizational requirement. I do not believe they are widely known or practiced outside of the dojos of a few direct students.

Unlike regular sword or staff work in which the hands largely move together, two sword is a bit more like we use our hands in empty hand. They can be used separately, offensive and defense are simultaneous but can be done separately. Anyone familiar with Saotome Sensei's empty hand can easily see the connection with his two sword work. In fact, at the Aiki Expo demo, I did ten two sword forms and then did the equivalent empty hand techniques.

Like most practice, Sensei's two sword goes through a progression. Initially the forms are done in a way that emphasizes good structure and proper geometry. A fair amount of bokken to bokken contact is made. Later on, the same movements can be done with increasingly less contact focusing more on changes in timing and spacing. There are even a few forms in which one initiates an attack and then executes a technique off the response.

Here's a video clip of two of my seniors practicing for a San Dan test. It's a less formal presentation than the clip Katherine posted which was from an actual test. Two Sword Practice (http://youtu.be/rSwZddLPDos)

Robert A. Wilkins
02-09-2015, 01:15 PM
I remember Pete Trimmer Sensei being quite adept with two swords.

George S. Ledyard
07-21-2015, 07:41 PM
This is listed in the marketplace section but since it is directly relevant to the thread here, I am posting it.

Back in 1988 in Chicago Saotome Sensei conducted a seminar entirely devoted to his Two Sword system. It was filmed in VHS and later converted to DVD. That DVD was only made available to a small group of Saotome Sensei's most senior students. A small portion appeared in the later commercially produced video Saotome Sensei id on two sword.

Saotome Sensei has now given permission for AikidoDvds.Com to release to the Aikido public. It has been color corrected and cleaned up somewhat and he sound cleaned up as well. White it is clearly archival footage and not up to today's quality standards, it is better than my own original copy at this point. This seminar was only held once and this video is by far the most complete presentation of Sensei's Two Sword system available. It is available only in downloadable form in .m2ts format.

The 1988 Chicago Two sword Seminar (http://aikidodvds.com/?product=mitsugi-saotome-the-1988-chicago-two-sword-seminar)