View Full Version : Aikikai Bokken

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FeW PseudoSKIV
09-04-2005, 01:04 PM
Does the Aikikai use the same style of bokken as Iwama Ryu?

09-09-2005, 07:48 PM
I'm not an expert by any standard, but I'm gonna guess, no, because when people visit our dojo, they're a bit perplexed by the bokken we use.

09-10-2005, 05:20 AM
Hi there, good question, hard to answer fully and maybe a liitle contravercial. ill give a try though.
basically the aikikai bokken is a typical bokken used in traditional sword schools, its very light and the purpose is to use as in iai, the long casting style of cutting( most commenly used i believe). the Iwama bokken is very different, its used more as a striking weapon the cuting action appears more like a strike with an extending or stabbing feelling at the end. its a way to learn kokyu in the arms and body. its much heavier so to produce good strong arms for kokyu training and good strong wrists. the aikikai style bokken is to light to benifit the body in these ways. the difference is down to what osensei taught in Iwama and never taught elsewhere ie- weapons. although there was a short period of time in the honbu when he allowed saito to introduce it on a sunday. because of this most aikikai students where mosty instructed by the doshu, who as we know dropped a lot of his fathers aikido when he got the chance to leave Iwama and head back to tokyo,( from what i heard in japan, doshu could not get out of iwama quick enough as he hated the level of training in his fathers dojo). so when the doshu reopened the honbu he never really taught weapons.( maybe he was not allowed not sure) he also removed other important parts like strong kihon training and kiai both of which the founder so as the most important parts of aikido -buki, kiai and kihon practice everyday. so back to the bokkens, as many of the honbu students brought there own weapons training from other schools into there taijustu(also another reason why 1 aikikai style looks so different from another aikikai style and vey different to the aikido taught byu the foundeer in his dojo in iwama, as some had weapons training from the founder some had a lot, some had none and some had kendo and kenjutsu,) so everyones taijustu and body form look so different, hardley ever so any honbu guys standing in proper hanmi( but thats my opinion)
this is why the bokkens are different as the aikikai are influenced by not the founders weapons and form but the doshu's and other weapons. the only 2 students to really reciveve proper regular daily training taijustu and weapons" after the war" was saito and isoyama.

sorry ive typed to quickly might read as a mess.

John Boswell
09-10-2005, 10:35 AM
I've heard that they do not really train with weapons at Hombu anymore. Is that true at all?

I can't imagine aikido without weapons training. To me, they go hand in hand.

Just asking...

09-10-2005, 11:25 AM
well my understanding from what i was told in Iwama was the the first doshu never taught weapons in the honbu, hell there's people in the honbu who no so little about the founder that they truely believe there is no weapons in aikido, but that is down to the doshu. :crazy:

09-30-2005, 06:22 PM
I can't imagine aikido without weapons training. To me, they go hand in hand.

That's exactly how it's supposed to feel (in Iwama style, anyway), or at least says sensei. In the dojo I go to, we use weapons as a way to better our taijitsu. We learn better kokyu and ki extention from using weapons. If yo look closely, you'll find that many Aikido techniques refer directly back to the sword.

Charles Hill
09-30-2005, 06:37 PM

Two points.
1. At the back of the dojo at Honbu there is a weapons rack with a wide variety of bokken, many different kinds including a huge tanren bo.

2. At the recent anniversay koushukai at the I wama dojo, Isoyama Shihan said over and over, "Doshu is the center of Aikido, we must protect the Doshu and follow him."

Charles Hill

09-30-2005, 06:48 PM
the aikikai style bokken is to light to benifit the body in these ways.

Hi Stefen,
Isn't the point of the lighter weapon to teach form, not to build up strength?

My brother and sister-in-law practice Iwama-style Aikido, my wife and I Aikikai. The weapons themselves are markedly different as is the style, however there are many parallels in the way the weapons is used to teach movement and position of the hands, feet and body.

One of the biggest differences I've seen in the two styles is the perceived amount of strength in each; the Iwama style seems to value strong technique and the body that goes along with that, whereas the Aikikai style seems to be more blending and a distinct lack of strength.

I'm not suggesting this is an exhaustive explanation, but it seems the two weapons and styles more reflect the point of view of the different schools...


Walter Wong
10-05-2005, 06:50 AM
One of my Eishin Ryu classmates makes and sells bokkens.


I'm sure he can customize you a nice Aikiken bokken or whatever style of bokken you choose. Just drop him an email.