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10-15-2004, 08:58 AM
'Lo all!

Recently I've been adding something a little extra to the classes I teach at our dojo: clubs.

We've got a couple nice ones - 12" wooden clubs with a 2" diameter and rubber handguard. They work quite well for the intended purposes.

I decided to try this; for these reasons: The set attacks we train for in aikido - shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, etc. are not very realistic; they're designed to teach nage to deal with an attack coming from a specific direction - in other words; in a specific vector. This makes them valuable; because by learning those vectors we learn to deal with anything that comes along that vector. Also; if in real-life conflict we see a hand coming at us in something like a yokomenuchi or shomenuchi; chances are there's gonna be something in it - a weapon, IOW.
The club reinforces both points - first; it amplifies the force coming at nage; so there's something real and tangible for him to work with. Second; it clarifies the attack - we all know what a newer person's shaky half-yoko, half-shomen wobbly strikes look like; using the club with its greater inertia reduces that. Third; it provides a tangible threat to nage - even done under close scrutiny and safety; the perception of threat is very real; requiring nage to perform with confidence. Fourth; it teaches uke the right way to do the attack empty-handed. (closely related, but different to #2.)
Fifth, of course; it's a lot of fun. :D
Our Sensei showed up late the other day and I wound up with the class. After working on fundamentals for a bit ('bout an hour); we worked on a basic shihonage; then on to a favourite of mine; yokomenuchi ude-oroshi tenkan. The technique (highly valuable for real-world engagement) requires nage to get inside the weapon; tenkan, blend with the attacking arm and bring uke down backside first.
We did it empty-handed first; then added in the clubs. Even familiar with their use as I am; I was impressed at how much more rapidly my charges began picking it up - they were sharper, quicker, and after the intimidation waned; a lot more confident in their defense. Quite impressive, really.

Does anyone else use clubs in this manner? Or have opinions on the matter?


10-15-2004, 10:02 AM
we dont use clubs in our dojo,just wooden swords and tantos,as well as the staff,but i think aikido can be very realistic in street combat,especially when handed any wooden weapon or empty handed strikes also. ;)

10-15-2004, 01:21 PM
Not specifically clubs, but I know that in the weapons bags of me and my friends you'll find baseball bats, escrima, chain, etc. While we have trained with these weapons on our own, we have never introduced them into the class environment. What you say here does give me pause to think, though.

Ron Tisdale
10-15-2004, 02:33 PM
Frankly, I'd prefer to learn defense against a banana! :) You can't eat a club!

Ron (sorry) :)

10-15-2004, 04:23 PM

I rather enjoy a good club (sandwich). Did I miss your point?

10-15-2004, 07:44 PM
I use clubs, ball bats, sticks, and other "real world" weapons. It does make the training take on a more serious mood due to the added threat. I would also agree that shomenuchi and yokomenuchi are for the most part not practical attacks, but they make sense when you add a weapon.

10-15-2004, 09:50 PM
We have a couple of padded baseball bats which we use occasionally, especially with the kids. It's easier to show a variety of angles of attack with one of these than open-handed.

Any kind of weapon really does up the intensity; if a student is inclined to get hasty and panicky under pressure, tanto-dori hightlights the problem nicely. The first time I got to try randori, the ukes had tanto. They were very gentle with me, but it was still a major adrenaline rush.

Mary Kaye

Lyle Laizure
10-16-2004, 01:07 PM
Why does adding a weapon to our practice take our practice to a higher level of seriousness? Shouldn't we be training in the same serious manner with or without a weapon? That being said I too use clubs, ball bats etc to further make the connection from mat to street.

Ron Tisdale
10-18-2004, 09:43 AM
Hi Daniel,

You just missed some of my (bad) humor...there was a Monty Python skit where the instructor is teaching the class to defend themselves from being attacked with a banana (as opposed to a pointy stick).

Ron (If ya have to expain it...) T :)

Richard Cardwell
10-18-2004, 10:52 AM
Yep, pointéd sticks should become more integral to practice, I think. Mind you, if sensei wheels out a tiger, I'm outta there.

Ron Tisdale
10-18-2004, 11:51 AM
Now see, *that* was funny! :)


10-18-2004, 01:46 PM
Frankly, I'd prefer to learn defense against a banana! :) You can't eat a club!

Ron (sorry) :)

Yeah but those 16 Ton weights are rather expensive equipment !