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Old 04-18-2005, 02:39 AM   #2
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Aiki-ken is generally used as a tool to improve empty-hand technique, rather than as a 'sword' art in its own right. Some variations exist.

Kenjutsu is a generic term applied to a number of sword-based martial arts that center around use of the sword as primary component of the art, but may also include pole arms, small arms, empty-hand, esoterica, religious practice, etc.

What's the diff? Sometimes not much. Sometimes world of difference. Not much of an answer, I know, but there's lots of variation in how aiki-ken is taught.

For info about kenjutsu schools, take a look at, among others. is an excellent site and there are, IIRC, a couple of articles there about the difference in aiki-ken and kenjutsu (from a particular individual's point of view).

I also highly recommend the Koryu Books trilogy, available from that website.

Other Japanese swrod resources include the iaido-l mailing list ( EJMAS ( is another good online resource.


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