Michael Mackenzie wrote:
I guess most people's first reaction would be to say Saito's Iwama Ryu.
I hate to keep admitting that I'm a halfwit, but while looking through my DVD's last night I found a copy of Saito's "Aiki Ken" with the suburi on them (I think I mistakenly ordered it with "Aiki Jo" and put it away since I didn't really want it). So I sat down and watched the seven suburi a couple of times and then I started slashing air. I used to do a little suburi in the past... damned little... but over the past year or so, I've done some more. However, I do it primarily as an exercise with certain exercise criteria that I set for myself and which have almost nothing to do with real ken usage or "correct" suburi.
That being said, it's fun to look at something that is not orthodox (in whatever your idea of the orthodox is) and approach it in terms not of "this isn't orthodox so it must be wrong or inferior" but in terms of "there may be a solid reason for why it's done this way... I wonder what that could be?". I have no idea why someone would swing that far, but perhaps is serves a purpose.
Regardless, those are pretty good suburi, it looks like to my amateur sword eyes, and Saito does things that I don't see noted in some of the online descriptions I find of the seven suburi. He looks pretty powerful, as in the kind of power you develop from doing something correctly many, many times. Pretty impressive.