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andrew 11-20-2000 04:13 AM

I was training with a french sensei over the weekend who offered the opinion that it was wrong to view aikiken and aikijo as in any way separated from normal empty hand training, which is as good a place as any to start a largely pointless argument.... (I for one am happy with his point, you see..)
Opinions, anybody?

Andrew O Byrne

George S. Ledyard 11-20-2000 06:26 AM

Weapons
 
Quote:

andrew wrote:
I was training with a french sensei over the weekend who offered the opinion that it was wrong to view aikiken and aikijo as in any way separated from normal empty hand training, which is as good a place as any to start a largely pointless argument.... (I for one am happy with his point, you see..)
Opinions, anybody?

Andrew O Byrne

That is exactly how Saotome sensei trained us. We never even knew what he'd do in class on a given night. Weapons work was integral and given equal weight with empty hand.

ian 11-20-2000 10:08 AM

Hi Andrew,
I was at the course you mention; hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I think its pretty indisputable about the relationship between weapons & empty hand tehnique, though I think I haven't done enough weapons practise such that it comes as natually as my empty handed technique. Saito sensei also does not distinguish the two - I think another important point is that, during weapons training there is always the option to use empty handed techniques to disarm your opponent.

I must say though, my bokken practise seems much more valuable than my jo practise, for developing empty handed technique.

andrew 11-20-2000 10:32 AM

Quote:

ian wrote:
[B
though I think I haven't done enough weapons practise such that it comes as natually as my empty handed technique. [/b]
I think that's why I brought it up, because I'm in the same situation, as are a lot of people I'm sure. Until last September, we did weapons maybe once every two months where I train. (Now it's weekly..) I think it's perhaps neglected by some people- I've met people who've done at least two years of Aikido before they ever laid hands on a bokken.

So, for the sake of discussion, does anybody think weapons are UNnecessary?
andrew

akiy 11-20-2000 11:01 AM

Quote:

andrew wrote:
So, for the sake of discussion, does anybody think weapons are UNnecessary?
Frankly, I don't think weapons training is absolutely necessary as I've met plenty of people who have wonderful aikido but can hardly swing a bokken without "cutting" off one of their arms, but I think that people should take advantage of the new and different angle that weapons training offers.

-- Jun

guest1234 11-26-2000 10:36 PM

my first sensei would admonish us---as have several since---that when we are holding a bokken we are practicing empty handed techniques, and when we are empty handed we are practicing weapons. i suppose there could be folks who have wonderful Aikido but can't hold a bokken, but i have trouble picturing them. they are so much one and the same, i can't see how it could exist.
i like the bokken for what it shows me about direction of foot movement and movement of hips (i heard a brown belt exclaim today he never knew why yokomen was done off the center line)... and the jo for making all those spiral movements big enough for even a beginner like me to see..

leefr 11-27-2000 03:32 AM

Quote:

ian wrote:

I must say though, my bokken practise seems much more valuable than my jo practise, for developing empty handed technique. [/b]
I don't disagree with the value of the bokken, but one aspect of jo work I find very interesting(but also quite frustrating) is the practice uke and nage can do with one jo. Obviously, one can't actually do bokken work with uke holding the blade and nage holding the hilt, but this is possible with the jo. Since the connection between uke and nage is solely through that slim wooden stick, effective movement is much more graphic; any "wrong" movement will immediately be felt as resistance, which can't be overcome by merely being stronger than your opponent. Maintaining the feeling of having your center and uke's center connected is quite difficult, but is a very good way of testing and improving empty-handed technique.

Frederick Lee

Richard Harnack 11-27-2000 10:42 AM

Bokken & Jo
 
I have always had difficulty with identifying Aikiken and Aikijo training as "weapons" training. I, like most others still call it such, but I am uncomfortable with it.

For my own personal perspective, the bokken and jo allow me to focus my ki beyond my body.

The bokken is used to "cut through" my illusions of myself. After 1,000 cuts, many illusions fall, the primary one is that I am getting younger.

The jo gives me the ability to "reach out" to others.

Forms are interesting and give me something to do while I am learning about the bokken and jo, ultimately the form is not what is important. "Piercing the center" and "reaching aiki" are the only things which count.

tedehara 12-17-2000 01:21 PM

Weapons - A Moving Experience
 
Quote:

andrew wrote:
I was training with a french sensei over the weekend who offered the opinion that it was wrong to view aikiken and aikijo as in any way separated from normal empty hand training, which is as good a place as any to start a largely pointless argument.... (I for one am happy with his point, you see..)
Opinions, anybody?
Andrew O Byrne
Historically, many of the ju-jitsu techniques came from the battlefield. They specifically addressed the posibility that a combatant would lose or break their weapon(s). Empty-handed techniques were devised to cope with those situations. Since these warriors were trained in weapons, they were also taught specific ways of movement. Aiki-jitsu and later Aikido, seems to take advantage of this fact.

Since these warriors moved a certain way, the empty-handed techniques utilized the movements of a weaponless warrior. David Lowry in his book Bokken mentioned riai (Ken-jitsu movement) was used by O Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba) in developing Aikido techniques.

Today, it appears that we have moved full circle. Empty-handed techniques were developed from the trained movements of weapon-using warriors. Now, Aikdoists have gone back to training in weapons to learn the movements for empty-handed techniques.


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