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martinrosenberg
07-13-2004, 07:16 AM
Hi all,

What's the purpose of Aikiken and Aikijo?

OK, I know that this is about making some roots of aikido techniques clear. But as far as I know, this aren't "real" sword and stick techniques. So, what kind of roots are we talking about?

And besides, I don't get the point. I asked my teachers, what it is about and I never get any precise answer. Why is it practiced?

I also looked into the Saito tapes and books (the Saito sword and stick is very similar to what I had to learn, which was the kata that Asai (German Aikikai shihan) teaches). But there is also no answer for me. It is all so "artificial" and "constructed"; all this "that swordcut is the same as the movement in kote-gaeshi" and so on.

I showed the b/w "Traditional Aikido" tape by Saito to a friend who practices some kendo and esp. iaido (musojikiden eishin ryu) for some years and he started to cry and to laugh as he saw the swordwork, the kumitachi, the cuts and the footwork.Nearly the same reaction he showed as he saw the weapons class at my dojo.

So, again, I don't get the point of aikiken and aikijo. Why do we do this (besides a "tradition", because late O-Sensei did much with bokken and jo?

And if it is so important, why aren't there (much) sword and stick techniques in eg. Shodokan or Yoshinkan?

And, if the sword and stick art is very important to aikido (why ever), why don't just practice kendo, iaido and jodo for a while (ok, I find it not very tempting, because kendo is too much bamboo striking and iaido is good but for me in this strong fixation on single kata too boring, personally I need a little bit more parter practice). Or, maybe the better way, why is there no "real" sword and stick art incorporated into aikido (e.g. katori-shinto-ryu kumitachi etc.), if it is so important and vital?

Overall, it seems to be a unsatisfying problem, because there are some local dojo here in Germany, where the teacher try to get into katori-shinto-ryu (sugino line) for weapons work (which is fascinating for itself).

But where is then a connection to aikido?
So, the questions about weapons and aikido remain ...

Martin

MikeE
07-13-2004, 08:44 AM
Not sure if you are a troll or not...but, I'll respond anyway.

You know it's funny... Just the other day I was watching musojikiden eishin ryu taijutsu, and I laughed my butt off.

Point is, we do not train to be master swordsman or weapons masters of any kind in Aikido. Having a familiarity with them, be able to use them in a competent fashion, but usually to compliment our taijutsu (which is our focus). Chances are (no offense intended) you probably have no clue what you are looking for in Aikiken or Aikijo to understand the underpinnings of the "why".

Also, as a sideline to your "friend": He obviously must be a grandmaster in his art to be able to say that there are no sword cuts in Aikiken ;). Just because something is different from the way you do it, doesn't invalidate it. I'd bet there are other sword arts out there that would scoff at what he does.

As for weapons in Yoshinkan: From what I've gathered from my Yoshinkan buddies, Shioda Kancho wasn't much for weapons.

If trolling: please disregard all of my response.

jxa127
07-13-2004, 08:57 AM
Martin,

The short answer is to train with weapons and see what connections you can find. [:)]

The longer answer has been covered pretty extensively by people with much more learning and experience than me. Check out "Aikido and Weapons: The Last Word? (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=31&highlight=Last+word)" by Stanly Prannin, the editor of Aikido Journal (click on the title of the article to view it).

Regards,

SeiserL
07-13-2004, 09:16 AM
I always find it interesting and somewhat sad when one system laughs at another. IMHO, each system has its strengths and weaknesses.

For me, weapons work is a practice in extending the principles from the hands into the weapons. Makes one work ma-ai (distance) and to experience the similarities between all executions of waza.

Like many things in Aikido, unfortunately, there are very few satisfactory explanations, only the experience and benefits of training. Trust the curriculum and just train. Things become more evident further down the road.

NagaBaba
07-13-2004, 09:29 AM
Hi all,

What's the purpose of Aikiken and Aikijo?
Martin
If you talk about Saito sensei Aikiken and Aikijo, it is not weapons system.In fact, it has nothing to do with weapons.

martinrosenberg
07-13-2004, 10:52 AM
Hi,

Thank you all for the answers, esp. for that interesting article by Stan Pranin.

I don't think my friend had laughed at aikido, but on the execution of the sword techniques, like a karateka comments at roundhouse kicks by students of a non-kicking martial-art.

So, it seems, that I have had this idea of aikiken and -jo being (or proclaiming) a "real" weapons-system. So I expected the techiques being "authentical".

So, then, working with the ken and jo has not much to do with the weapons itself, nor has it a real connection to kenjutsu. It is then mearly a tool for training (like a puching bag for a boxer). But then it's puzzling me, why many teachers behave, like they are teaching real ancient deadly dangerous sword techniques? From my standpoint, it would be better, if they just *explain* more of the idea, meaning and purpose of what they're doing.

One more point I could expect (and at the beginning, I had hoped for) is, that esp. weapons teach to have no opening (suki) and teach to be aware of those vulnerable points, so that would be a purpose of the practice. But whether in weapons training nor in taijutsu unfortuantely this is practiced consequently, or if so, also a bit "artificial" and "constructed" with nonsensical reactions of uke.

So, I have to see, what the future brings.


Martin


P.S.: I'm not trolling, just have some difficulties in expressing my thoughts in English, which is not my native language.

NagaBaba
07-13-2004, 11:03 AM
Hi,

But then it's puzzling me, why many teachers behave, like they are teaching real ancient deadly dangerous sword techniques?
Martin
.
They have not enough training and they dreaming.

Ron Tisdale
07-13-2004, 11:14 AM
So, again, I don't get the point of aikiken and aikijo. Why do we do this (besides a "tradition", because late O-Sensei did much with bokken and jo?

Well, for some, 'its a tradition' is enough.

And if it is so important, why aren't there (much) sword and stick techniques in eg. Shodokan or Yoshinkan?

Well, some yoshinkan schools (Doshinkan, Yoshokai, some others) do quite a bit of buki waza (my particular teacher gives me a funny look when I call buki waza 'weapons').


{1}And, if the sword and stick art is very important to aikido (why ever), why don't just practice kendo, iaido and jodo for a while (ok, I find it not very tempting, because kendo is too much bamboo striking and iaido is good but for me in this strong fixation on single kata too boring, personally I need a little bit more parter practice).

{2}Or, maybe the better way, why is there no "real" sword and stick art incorporated into aikido (e.g. katori-shinto-ryu kumitachi etc.), if it is so important and vital?

{1} Well, kendo has its own objectives, as does iaido, or koryu swords arts, or jodo. So practicing those arts, while probably beneficial, might very well introduce and develop principles contradictory to your aikido. Of course, if you choose to do that and are able to keep them separate, no problem. Others might not like it though.

{2} Well, there are some branches of aikido that have done just that, for instance, the yoshinkan has modified the kendo no kata for use in aikido, and other branches have taken kata from katori shinryu and other koryu. But usually proponants from those koryu have noted that the true principles of their art are lost when that happens.

Overall, it seems to be a unsatisfying problem, because there are some local dojo here in Germany, where the teacher try to get into katori-shinto-ryu (sugino line) for weapons work (which is fascinating for itself).

The Sugino line should be a good match, since he was quite adept at aikido as well.

As for your overall question, I don't think there is an easy answer. The best one I have been able to come up with is this:

John Stevens teaches the aikido taught to him by Rinjiro Shirata Sensei. It is one part body art, one part ken, and one part jo. It seems to hang together as a complete system to me...the sword kata are used directly as empty hand kata. The riai (underlying principles) are the same throughout the system. I saw Stevens Sensei teach parts of this in a dojo this past weekend that has a lot of exposure to sword technqiue. I saw no one laughing. In fact, they seemed to appreciate it and have asked for Stevens Sensei to return and teach again.

I myself practice regularly in the yoshinkan. There the methods are slightly different, but I think the overall perspective is much the same. The idea is a connection with the tradition of the founder, a connection between the way aikido uses the sword and the body, and the jo as well. It is NOT a classical system like the koryu. At their best, aiki ken and aiki jo function as part of a whole that is as much misogi as budo. They function very well in this context in the right hands. It would be better probably if aikidoka had more exposure to both competitive systems like kendo and classical systems like katori shinto ryu for a feel of how systems like that work. It would be a good informational base, and teach good understanding of some principles that we often miss without even knowing it.

I might also add that most of the early students of the founder HAD that kind of experience already when they came to aikido. That probably is one of the biggest factors in their success.

senshincenter
07-13-2004, 11:57 AM
Do folks that practice Iwama ken and jo believe or hold that their weapons practice is not a weapons system and/or has nothing to do with weapons at all? (as someone suggested in this thread already)

And if so, don't we have to ask the following question concerning Osensei's own weapons practice, since there are undoubtedly stylistic similarities (to say the least) between the two: "Did the Founder also believe this to be the case concerning his own weapons practice - did it have nothing to do with weapons?"

OTHER TOPIC:

Also - it is very interesting to see the following line in the article by Stanley Pranin:

"It is, however, a historical fact that the founder prohibited the practice of the ken and jo at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, EXCEPT for Saito Sensei's classes."

This line in the article was used to give weight to the fact that many folks that are voicing opinions concerning the legitimacy of weapons training have had little exposure to training in weapons, etc. However, in my opinion, it seems a bit "off" to be using the Founder's life as a reason to study weapons while citing a factual prohibition that Osensei had against weapons practice in Hombu.

I get that we can dismiss parts of this "off-ness" by stating the obvious - that weapons training requires certain levels of expertise in order to prove fruitful, etc. However, more than asking if Osensei thought weapons practice was so important to weapons training, should we not ask by this quote, "Isn't this prohibition evidence that even the Founder thought that one can study Aikido without weapons?" Or did he believe that such folks were only doing Aikido on Sunday, when weapons were practiced? Or did he feel that one day a week of weapons training was enough to give folks the Aikido he himself practiced?

By Stanley Pranin's position, which I agree with, one day a week can hardly be considered sufficing. One way of guaranteeing that you will not learn weapons, other than not picking them up at all, is to pick them up only one day a week.

dmv

Ron Tisdale
07-13-2004, 12:12 PM
It is interesting to note that Ueshiba (and Takeda before him) often taught different things to different people, stressed different parts of the art in different places...

John Stevens mentioned this weekend that he has seen the differences himself in dojo in different locations, wakayama vs what was taught in Iwama or at the asahi dojo or other places. Its not strange to me at least that there would then be different emphasis placed on the training in different styles. As to what Ueshiba considered his buki keiko to be...I gather he viewed the whole of his aikido (buki waza included) to be both misogi and budo...though he's not exactly around anymore to confirm that for me. I can say that Shirata Sensei's technique (taisabaki and buki waza) was considered superb by many.

RT

Tharis
07-13-2004, 06:39 PM
My sensei has always said that a weapon is an amplifier. Nothing says "Get off the line!" quite as loudly as a wooden stick accelerating towards your forehead;)

senshincenter
07-13-2004, 08:59 PM
Perhaps then it is not reasonably possible to use the Founder's life as a legitimating factor for weapons training or its absence. I would imagine that even Mr. Pranin would agree with that – within some qualifying parameters. I think the article, while historically accurate in its position, may not be contemporarily relevant in its argument. While I can respect Mr. Pranin’s research, and as I have often said, while I can attest to the fact that said research is at the top of the field, it seems a bit “off” to ask within Budo training, “What would Osensei do?,” like some do with the bumper stickers that say, “What would Jesus do?” (This is not to say that Mr. Pranin is doing this in the article, but rather to suggest that the argument contained therein does indeed lend itself to this type of reading.)

I have always sided myself with the position, even concerning the other aspects of training, that the Founder’s practice should not legitimate anything in our own practice. It is one thing to be informed concerning the Founder’s life, it's another thing to throw away the doctrine of self-reliance for the social or cultural assurances of facsimile. Art is not about tracing or copying.

As with all things, it seems that we can remain civil in this debate to do weapons or not to do weapons - even remain civil in accurately describing something as "faulty" according to a given and fully subjective perspective. Therefore, I am not one to say that we shouldn’t take sides or that we should withhold all reasonable judgments concerning any of this for fear that they may lead to exclusion one way or the other. Instead, maybe we can measure the utility of weapons training according to the locally specific results of weapons training. That is to say, maybe we can, as with all things, simply look at the specific situations where weapons training is taking place, or not taking place, and see if such a presence or absence is truly producing what is being sought for within the ideals held by that place.

In that way, we can of course wonder about the things that Mr. Rosenberg has wondered. We can even wonder if making a weapons system just about body movement truly does excuse it from tactical critiques since tactics themselves are housed in proper body mechanics. And we can also wonder why in some dojo it takes a piece of wood to get one to truly move in their Angle of Deviation – why can’t the handsword that just spilt your forehead open do the same, or why aren’t handswords that can split your forehead open ever being thrown at dojo that do weapons. Etc.

dmv

Note: I was trained in weapons. I do weapons. I have often said the same thing about weapons being a great amplifier (which is one of the titles of our dvds and an essay I had posted a few years ago).

Brion Toss
08-10-2004, 06:57 PM
Hello,
I consider the original posting as just a weapons version of the "Does Aikido really work?" question; for answers, you might want to look at the range of opinions on that subject.
As for the kendo friend, I would be reluctant to put much credence on the opinion of someone who "....started to cry and to laugh as he saw the swordwork..." done by someone like Saito, who I believe was pretty well-regarded by his peers. As Lynn Seiser noted, it is all too easy to laugh at how other arts do things. Said laughter is generally rooted in insecurity/ignorance.
In terms of personal experience, I've seen some truly laughable renderings of buki waza, and not only in Aikido. By laughable I mean exhibiting a disregard for leaving openings, ineffective parries, mutual-death-assuring distances, etc. -- the kind of things that are not about style per se, but about the practicalities of dealing with a 3-foot razor blade or a 5-foot long hardwood dowel. It seems important to draw a distinction between style (the system of coherent, interrelated details and concepts that characterize an art) and effectiveness ( the degree to which a style successfully informs our actions).
It's a little harder to gather anecdotes about the effectiveness of weapons styles, inasmuch as swordfights aren't as common as they used to be, but dojo training can still reveal much, if it is proper training. Again, in terms of personal experience, I've had some wonderfully revealing and stimulating encounters with other Japanese styles, as well as Chinese, European, and Louisville Sluggerdo. So far, I cling to the notion that sound Aikido-style sword and jo work can qualify as a valid martial system. Having said that, if I really wanted to gain a battlefield competency, I would look to some ryu that specializes in that; in my life, Aikiken and Aikijo are tools for understanding Aikido.
I agree with several respondents who indicated that you shouldn't necessarily need weapons to comprehend Aikido, but if you are really looking for a purpose for Aikiken and Aikijo, then it might be that it can, for many people, complement and inform and amplify their empty-hand practice.
Yours,
Brion Toss

shadow
08-11-2004, 01:44 AM
weapons training are for learning about ma'ai, much more useful to learn about it at many different distances, the distance between two unarmed is different than between one sword one unarmed, one jo one unarmed, both with ken, both with jo, one with ken one with jo and so on.
weapons are also to learn about body shapes used in aikido, the hips are emphasised in every cut or tsuki, all taijitsu techniques are derived from weapons and pretty much all tiajitsu techniques can be demonstrated fairly similarly with the weapons.
Teachers 'pretend' or tell us to train as if the weapon is real to emphasize the commitment required in training. Without a commited attack a technique cannot work, and without commitment in your personality budo doesnt exist.
I train iwama style and we learn weapons right from the beginning, we spend as much time training weapons as we do training taijitsu, it wasn't that way when i first begun but since we changed to training like this I have definately felt the connection.

Michael Cardwell
08-11-2004, 04:09 AM
My sensei says the exact same thing as most of you have been saying, weapons training in aikido is there to amplify attack and response. Weapons help to show holes in your techniques and force you to expand your skills. I know that if I try to do ikkyo on uke unarmed and then with a knife, then a sword, and then a jo, that a lot of things have to change for me to be successful.

I remember reading somewhere that Osensei included the jo in aikido training because he thought it helped teach students how to enter in. I also remember reading that Osensei was fond of spear techniques at some point in his life, yet you'll note that he choose not to include any of them in aikido.

I had the chance to attend one of Frank Duran sensei's seminars a couple of years ago and I remember that he showed several techniques first with a weapon then open handed, so we could see how the techniques originated. I throughly enjoyed it, especially the ura tenchi nage with a tanto. Anyway, I think that weapons in aikido is a essential part of understanding it and where it come from. Also weapons can be invaluable to your training in all of the techniques in aikido.

Just my thoughts on it...

PeterR
08-11-2004, 05:20 AM
I remember reading somewhere that Osensei included the jo in aikido training because he thought it helped teach students how to enter in. I also remember reading that Osensei was fond of spear techniques at some point in his life, yet you'll note that he choose not to include any of them in aikido. .
In Shodokan Aikido Sandan and up contain Yari and YariDori techniques. Generally we use a Jo for them but each of the kata assumes a bladed end.

Diane Skoss (who has practiced both Jukendo and Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido) suggests that the yari/jo techniques were heavily influenced by bayonet training which in turn was derived from French army manuals. The more I think about it though I feel that the influence extends only so far as the initial thrust and then, considering weapon shape, not so much.

ruthmc
08-11-2004, 05:33 AM
As I was telling my students last night - we do weapons training to learn how to use our hips instead of our arm muscles when doing taijutsu. If you use your arms and shoulders too much in weapons training you'll know - it hurts! Hopefully this will help to program a reaction of hips instead of biceps when they are practising their unarmed techniques.. I also make it crystal clear that they will not become weapons experts doing Aiki weapons, as that is not how or why they are taught.

I like to think of our weapons training as being the equivalent of the Yoshinkan kihon dosa. It will teach you basic posture, distance, timing, aim, correct use of the hips, correct angle of evasion, extension etc.

Personally I have always enjoyed doing weapons training in Aikido and I'm glad I learned in a style that incorporates them. Some folk hate doing weapons and train in a style that avoids them.

Horses for courses!

Ruth

Michael Cardwell
08-11-2004, 06:42 AM
Peter, thats kind of neat, do you, or anyone else for that matter, know about any other styles of aikido that practice yari techniques?

Tim Griffiths
08-11-2004, 06:59 AM
Hi,
I don't think my friend had laughed at aikido, but on the execution of the sword techniques, like a karateka comments at roundhouse kicks by students of a non-kicking martial-art.
I would say his iai side would also laugh at his kendo side, then. The aim of aikiken is not to become a swordsman, just as the 'tapping' of kendo isn't designed to cut as one would in kenjitsu or iai.

So, it seems, that I have had this idea of aikiken and -jo being (or proclaiming) a "real" weapons-system. So I expected the techiques being "authentical".
They're not a weapons system. People who say this just don't get out enough, its that simple, like those who say aikido (as commonly practiced) teaches groudwork.

But then it's puzzling me, why many teachers behave, like they are teaching real ancient deadly dangerous sword techniques? From my standpoint, it would be better, if they just *explain* more of the idea, meaning and purpose of what they're doing.
See above.

One more point I could expect (and at the beginning, I had hoped for) is, that esp. weapons teach to have no opening (suki) and teach to be aware of those vulnerable points, so that would be a purpose of the practice.
It is exactly this. Timing, accuracy, ma-ai, attention to uke, zanshin, awareness of suki and kaeshi, mental flexibility, nuderstanding of strategy - these are precisely the reasons to practice weapons.

[QUOTE]But whether in weapons training nor in taijutsu unfortuantely this is practiced consequently, or if so, also a bit "artificial" and "constructed" with nonsensical reactions of uke. [QUOTE]
I can't comment on how things are done in your dojo. Many sensei don't pay much attention to suki, atemi or kaeshi. But there are two things to consider:
1. a kumitachi kata is like a story, or a listing of the moves in a game of chess. The interplay between uke and tori is just one possible path and outcome. Uke could have reacted diffrently, but the tori would also have changed, and the outcome would be different.
2. Uke's response to most taijitsu techniques is not "nonsensical", its most likely that you haven't been shown why he does it. In general, uke will move in suck a way that they can a) protect themselves and b) have a chance to continue the attack. Ideally, tori should guide uke's response, such that anything the uke does differently makes things worse for uke.

An example of this is holding a wrist during a technique...it may seem logical for uke at some point to let go and try to hit tori. Then they should discover (if you're training well) that holding that hand was the only thing stopping tori from smacking them in the face with it.

Its usual to be unhappy with aikido training, in one way or another. In general you're learning something good from training - just not always what you expectd to be learning.

Train well,

Tim

ian
08-11-2004, 07:27 AM
I showed the b/w "Traditional Aikido" tape by Saito to a friend who practices some kendo and esp. iaido (musojikiden eishin ryu) for some years and he started to cry and to laugh as he saw the swordwork, the kumitachi, the cuts and the footwork.

...And, if the sword and stick art is very important to aikido (why ever), why don't just practice kendo, iaido and jodo for a while
Martin

I would not trust your friends judgement - the kumitachi in aikiken are very similar to those found in many schools of iado; this suggests he has less experience than he claims. Ueshiba did train (and actually have real combat) with a sword. Iaido is no less superficial in training, and the precise details of kumitachi in iado seem to be more a question of form which has been handed down than of any particular reason; realstic training with swords is difficult. Read 'a book of 5 rings' (Musashi) & you'll realise sword schools are always criticising each other.

Although many aikidoka do practise kendo, iado and jodo it is different in aikido since there is a greater emphasis on blending and response. I'm not sure about aikijo - in my opinion it has little benefit for aikido (other than hand-eye coordination). However the basic cutting, moving off centre line and blending exercise gained from aikiken, as well as developing the ability to enter deeply, is a very important for the unarmed aikido. I notice a rapid progression in students who do bokken work.

So if bokken work is just to help the unarmed work why is it done, why not just do more unarmed work? For several reasons:

1. many of the techniques of jujitsu (and aikido) were developed for swordsmen and thus are effective for people conditioned to doing lots of cuts with a sword. Thus practise builds up the correct muscles for technique.
2. The sword enables an understanding of the hand/hip connection i.e. it is quite difficult to cut well without using your centre. Students who do no bokken work are notoriously poor at doing shomen uchi/ yokomen uchi attacks. Also, pulling some one down by dropping your hips rather than by pulling with the arms is easy to understand once you have held someone down with a sword.
3. The movements are very much simplified because your hands are attatched to an object (thus you tend to keep your hands in your centre). Thus it is a "training aid."

kironin
08-11-2004, 07:30 AM
So, it seems, that I have had this idea of aikiken and -jo being (or proclaiming) a "real" weapons-system. So I expected the techiques being "authentical".


That is not the purpose of aiki-ken and aiki-jo. Never was.
In the right context they can teach you a lot about aikido.

They are authentic in the context of aikdo.

ian
08-11-2004, 07:31 AM
P.S. you make a point about kendo and iaido not being suitable either - I think your only solution is to have some (unprotected) bokken sparring matches! Very exciting but almost always ends up with a very painful injury.

Read a book by John Stevens (Sword of No Sowrd - the life of sword master Tesshu). I found this very enlightening about sword work and aikido.

Ian

Ron Tisdale
08-11-2004, 07:34 AM
One of the main problems I find with buki waza is my own lack of understanding about why certain targets are chosen, why certain postures are adopted, what the real reasoning is behind some of the movements and flow. Generally, people don't notice that shite is supposed to purposely give an opening that makes a certain attack the ONLY attack that makes sense, and often shite doesn't really provide such an opening in their posture (knee being closer to uke than head for instance). First we learn the basic movement (put foot here) in the kata, then we progress to understanding the why. Problem is, we often never really get to the why.

Ron

Charles Hill
08-11-2004, 08:05 AM
I think that it is a big mistake made by most of the posters here to think that there is such a thing as a singular "aikiken" or "aikijo." These terms are used by the various shihan to describe the weapons systems they made up based on various sources. The sentence, "Aikiken is ...." is fundamentally flawed. The weapons systems refered to as aiki have major differences.

Charles Hill

acot
08-11-2004, 08:15 AM
Ever noticed how strong the grip is of someone who has been training for 3,5,10,20 years or more. Weapons work is great exercise. It also allows aikikai to practice techniques from a greater distance.

Ron Tisdale
08-11-2004, 11:15 AM
You are absolutely correct Charles. We really should be more specific in stating the tradition we are discussing...
Ron

kironin
08-11-2004, 01:36 PM
I think that it is a big mistake made by most of the posters here to think that there is such a thing as a singular "aikiken" or "aikijo." These terms are used by the various shihan to describe the weapons systems they made up based on various sources. The sentence, "Aikiken is ...." is fundamentally flawed. The weapons systems refered to as aiki have major differences.
Charles Hill


big mistake ? that's not the point - who came up with what.

Aiki-ken and Aiki-jo refer to various systems that have developed in the context of aikido, that relate to aikido and often meant to inform taijutsu.

major differences in form ? maybe
major differences in goals ? not really.

Ron Tisdale
08-11-2004, 02:27 PM
Well, in one form of aiki-ken aiki-jo that I'm familiar with, the idea of misogi seems to be prominant...strangley enough, its also very sound from a technical standpoint, as far as I can tell.

Another form would eshew the misogi aspects (at least as far as any shinto aspects go) and yet it still seems to carry quite a bit of martial umph.

Other systems I've had minimal exposure to so I really couldn't/shouldn't comment on them to any great length. But I do see a direct corolation between things like the kamae (hamni) both with and without buki in the respective systems. Those that have a harakami buki waza stance always seem to have a harakami hamni...those that prefer kamaimi kamae seem to do the same empty handed. So at least some of the goals seem to be the same.

Ron (please pardon any japanese mis-spellings...I'm out of practice...)

Charles Hill
08-11-2004, 05:17 PM
that's not the point - who came up with what.

That's not my point either. My point is that often when a person on these or other forums promotes or berates what they call Aikiken or Aikijo, they obviously have a particular style in mind or else are just repeating what they have read elsewhere.

The point of weapons practice being a supplementary practice to unarmed practice seems to have come from those who have felt a need to defend Saito Sensei's weapons system from negative comments, often by people who are involved in koryu. I have never heard or read Saito Sensei as having said that taijutsu is of more importance than the other stuff he did. (I could be wrong, so I'd be very interested in hearing evidence of such thinking.) Most of my Aikiken, Aikijo comes from Shirata Sensei via John Stevens Sensei. In this system, all three are of equal value.

As far as there not being a major difference in the goals of the various shihan in their teaching of weapons, I have to (respectfully) disagree. I think the various goals are reflected in the differing emphases, techniques, and verbal teachings.

Charles Hill