View Full Version : Weapons training for beginners

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Kung Fu Liane
02-18-2003, 02:49 AM

if weapons are used as an extension of the human body, through which your energy is extended, surely weapns training is more difficult than barehand techniques?

In many styles; kung fu, karate, ju jitsu etc weapons training is left to more advanced students. Whereas in styles like Kali Escrima, and some aikido, weapons training is encouraged right from the start. i understand that some sword work in aikido may help to explain certain principles, but is it really suitable for beginners? or will it just distract from the importance of barehand techniques?

how common is early weapons training in aikido clubs?

Ta Kung
02-18-2003, 03:19 AM
My personal opinion is that weapons training is not for beginners. Where I practise, weapons traning starts after the first 6 months. Weapons training is a great tool for learning Aikido, but I don't think it's wise to add it too early.


02-18-2003, 08:38 AM
I have done weapons work from my first month of study. I find that many things I was having trounble with empty hand instantly made sence with a weapon. Then going back to empty hand there was a great improvment.

02-18-2003, 04:23 PM
In our Dojo we practice weapons from day one. Our sensei firmly believes that the unarmed techniques go hand in hand with the weapons work and I have to say that I totally agree with him.

John Boswell
02-18-2003, 04:30 PM
Ditto to what Scott and Mike said. I've been in weapons training since my first week in the Dojo. Granted, we don't work the weapons every day, but every minute of time with a Jo or Bokken has been of tremendous value to me.

In addition to being an extension of the body, the weapon has a "cool" factor that creates interest and also enables you to better see techniques like Shionage.

Do what your Sensei says to do, but I for one will never go without weapons training of some sort.

Kevin Wilbanks
02-18-2003, 06:19 PM
As with other aspects of training or practice, I think it depends upon the quality of the instruction and training partners. In traveling around, I have seen some weapons practice that seemed just like so much misconceived, inattentive stick-swinging. In this case, training weapons is wasting time that could be spent training productively. The peculiar thing about weapons is that one seems to be more dependent upon detailed conventions/traditions and elaborate teacher feedback than open hand training, in which there is plenty of room to experiment and rely on one's own judgement. Unless you and your training partners are willing to kill or maim one another, it's difficult to do much 'reality testing' with weapons. In any case, the purpose is not to prepare for real sword fights anyway, but to learn movement principles - the feedback is mostly by knowledgeable analysis/observation of the outward form.

Paul Klembeck
02-18-2003, 06:41 PM
It depends.

With the Iwama weapons system, start from day one. It teachs good body language in a simpler setting than body arts.

Some of the other systems immediately plunge into complex patterns that leave even experienced students scratching their heads. I doubt these would do a new student much good.

Paul Klembeck

02-18-2003, 09:49 PM
i heard that Aikido empty hand movements were derived from sword movements, and what better way to understand the movements better than through the use of a sword.

it really improved my movements a lot when i learned to move with weapons.