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Sven Groot
10-25-2002, 01:00 PM
When should one start training with weapons? Right away? After a certain amount of time? At a certain rank?

I ask this because I discussed this with a few sempai at my dojo recently. I was discussing buying a keiko-gi (as I don't have one yet, but I'll need one once I finish my introductory course and join the dojo) from the dojo (they can order it for me). During the course of the conversation I looked at the sempai's weapons and remarked "I assume I won't need those anytime soon".
They basically replied "Why not?". Apparently, my dojo allows you to attend any class as soon as you're a member, although I might find some beyond my abilities. According to the sempai, starting off with weapons right away would not be a problem, although I would probably come home with blue fingers the first few times.

What are your personal views on this, and how do your dojo's deal with it?

SeiserL
10-25-2002, 01:08 PM
When should one start training with weapons?
IMHO, train when your Sensei tells you to.

Until again,

Lynn

G DiPierro
10-25-2002, 02:48 PM
During the course of the conversation I looked at the sempai's weapons and remarked "I assume I won't need those anytime soon".

They basically replied "Why not?". Apparently, my dojo allows you to attend any class as soon as you're a member, although I might find some beyond my abilities. According to the sempai, starting off with weapons right away would not be a problem,Sven, you have two questions here. The first is should you take the weapons class. The second is should you buy weapons. If you stick around Aikido you will want to get weapons eventually, but you probably don't need them to take the class. Your dojo should have weapons you can borrow. OTOH, if you want to practice suburi, etc. at home then you will need your own. Go to the class if you want to do, but you probably don't need to buy weapons now unless you want to practice at home.

Jucas
10-25-2002, 03:41 PM
Never? The question could be posed as, should on practiced weapons training?

On a similar note, what does weapons training specifically add to Aikido, not strengthen, that hand to hand training does not?

When I bring up this point, I don't think one way or the other, and I am not saying "forgo all weapons training", rather could the incorperation of weapons into hand training be and equal to the seperate training methods we have now.

-j

xaj
10-30-2002, 03:03 AM
The association where im from, weapon training starts from 6th kyu. Only at the larger classes though.

ian
10-30-2002, 03:41 AM
Apparently Ueshiba stopped teaching weapons training to most of the students because he felt that they started to focus on it too much.

In our club I don't advertise the weapons side of it, but when people have come a couple of WEEKS I tell them we have a weapons training session.

After only a few sessions of bokken training I find the students unarmed aikido improves immensely. Sometimes unarmed aikido can seem confusing, however bokken work makes things much simpler. Almost every move is a clear movement off centre line, the hands are always in the centre line (since they have to grip the bokken). It improves extension, distance, timing and hip mobility - and this is all through doing only very basic movements.

I think bokken work improves unarmed aikido immensely (and if you think - these techniques will have originally been taught to people who were used to fighting with swords). However the solid foundations of bokken work are the most important (the suburi). As for jo work, I've never thought it adds too much except maybe hand-eye coordination.

Ian

Ali B
10-30-2002, 04:00 AM
Buenas dias,

In my dojo we practice with real swords, as well as wooden boken. There is something about the glint of metal which seems to drive the guys. As to why - Maybe something to do with that testosterone? I don`t know. It definately helps us to move our bodies in the correct way and for this reason, I think it is good for students to get used to handling them straight way, under supervision of course.

erikmenzel
10-30-2002, 06:24 AM
Sven, you have two questions here. The first is should you take the weapons class. The second is should you buy weapons. If you stick around Aikido you will want to get weapons eventually, but you probably don't need them to take the class. Your dojo should have weapons you can borrow. OTOH, if you want to practice suburi, etc. at home then you will need your own. Go to the class if you want to do, but you probably don't need to buy weapons now unless you want to practice at home.
We at our dojo expect people to have their own weapons as quickly as possible. People are definitly expected to bring their weapons to every class. We do have a special weapons class but also during all other classes it is possible sensei might deside we are gonna use some weapon, either as technique or as exercise.

Rules and customs can vary from dojo to dojo. Take this into consideration when giving advice.

MaylandL
10-30-2002, 07:54 AM
...

After only a few sessions of bokken training I find the students unarmed aikido improves immensely. Sometimes unarmed aikido can seem confusing, however bokken work makes things much simpler. Almost every move is a clear movement off centre line, the hands are always in the centre line (since they have to grip the bokken). It improves extension, distance, timing and hip mobility - and this is all through doing only very basic movements.

.... As for jo work, I've never thought it adds too much except maybe hand-eye coordination.

...
It has been my experience that kumitachi and awase training is excellent for unarmed aikido techniques for all the reasons that you have noted. The Senseis at the two dojos that I train at regularly show how the unarmed aikido techniques and movements are closely related to sword technique.

I would beg to differ on Jo though. I found that the paired Jo (eg Roku jo and others) and Jo/Bokken katas are equally effective in teaching the principles that you mentioned.

At the dojos that I train at, the weapons work is done for all grades. Our senseis tell us that there are very distinct differences between using Jo and bokken in Jojutsu and Kenjutsu and its use in Aikido. Not having done Jo and Bokken as a martial art in itself, I can't comment on that. Perhaps those that have can make some comment on the differences and similarities.

We use Jo and Bokken for all the reasons and benefits that you mentioned.

Happy training :)

Ta Kung
10-30-2002, 08:15 AM
At our dojo we start weapons practise after about 6 months. My experience is that, appart from being usefull to your taijutsu, weapons practise also offers some variation to the aikido practise.

I'm not saying that taijutsu is repedative, as I enjoy it even more then weapons. But it still offers a bit more to the aikido experiense.

/Patrik

Arianah
10-30-2002, 07:04 PM
I think bokken work improves unarmed aikido immensely . . . As for jo work, I've never thought it adds too much except maybe hand-eye coordination.
At a recent seminar, Glen Matsuda Sensei said, "The bokken teaches focus; the jo teaches extension."

They're both useful, just for different things.

Sarah

MaylandL
10-30-2002, 08:55 PM
At a recent seminar, Glen Matsuda Sensei said, "The bokken teaches focus; the jo teaches extension."

...
Nicely put...I like that :)

Edward
10-31-2002, 02:12 AM
IMHO, weapons are very useful but not a necessary part of aikido. Aikido is primarily an empty handed art. Weapons do help a lot in learning Maai, footwork and the principles behind empty hand techniques. However, there are excellent high-ranking teachers who never learned nor taught any weapons.

On this subject, I think just follow dojo rules.

At our dojo, we used to have 3 weapons classes per week, but Sensei noticed that many students came only to weapons classes and neglected Taijutsu classes. He then decided to reduce weapons to just one class per week, which is on Saturdays 9:00 PM, so that only hard-core students would attend.

gasman
10-31-2002, 06:53 AM
we can start training weapons at 6th kyu in my club. but my sensei stresses that we should train at least two sessions of unarmed aikido for each weapons class (i.e. nobody is allowed to train only weapons)

ian
10-31-2002, 07:00 AM
Anybody ever used a fan in aikido? Ueshiba seemed to use it quite a bit; I wonder if anyone was actually taught to use it at an aikido class?

Ian

Edward
10-31-2002, 10:19 AM
Anybody ever used a fan in aikido? Ueshiba seemed to use it quite a bit; I wonder if anyone was actually taught to use it at an aikido class?

Ian
We actually did learn it during one full hour. The principles however are the same. Our Sensei, who was a student at Hombu in the early 60's and attended some of Osensei's classes, told us that the fan was Osensei's favourite weapon at his old age.