Ron Tisdale wrote:
On jo waza/kata being an add-on to aikido, as opposed to ken or tachi waza...I'm not sure. The history of the jo techniques does seem fuzzier than the ken or tachi waza (Meik Skoss has some good points on this on fa.iaido). Aiki-taiso and Taisbaki as kata...well, typically, kata refers to two man sets of waza in japanese martial art (as opposed to Okinawan). I don't know that I'd refer to them as kata at all. But they do indeed have a high place in keiko.
I'm not sure about the jo kata, either, Ron, but it seems anomalous... so my inclination is simply to leave it alone as an indicator of Aikido practice. "Kata" means simply a form for practice and in that sense I point out Aiki-taiso and Taisabaki because they are the body-training "forms" that are so important.
When I took Uechi-ryu karate on Okinawa, I learned Sanchin as a first "kata".... it's a kata that goes across several styles. I missed the fact (as has just about every other westerner, if you'll check all the writings by the western "experts") that Sanchin is primarily not only a tension and breathing exercise, it's also a ki and kokyu exercise. I didn't know enough to see it... now it's obvious. When I took Aikido, I didn't really know how to do the Aiki-Taiso and the Taisabaki (the principles are immutable, BTW, so this isn't an "impression")... now I do. And for the most part, those form exercises are quite comparable to the purpose that Sanchin kata serves in karate. That's why I gave my opinion about Aiki-Taiso and Taisabaki being equivalent to kata.