Mark Walsh wrote:
This needn't be a theoretical debate. Acid test: Are there any outstanding aikido teachers who have done little or no weapons? I would suspect there to be at least some, but maybe not that many. Names please anyone - Daren?
Pierre Chassang doesn't do a great deal of weapons, Michel Narey has also gone through phases of not using weapons regularly.
Both are highly experienced and long time aikido men of Europe.
But I wouldn't dream of saying either had little or no weapons.
I've only known them for 15 years - everything else I know about their history is only hearsay.
My view which I think is shared by many here it that you can still learn Aikido without weapons.
My original post said 'aikidoka' ...names of aikidoka that produce what I consider to be high level aikido would be my great friends John Dinsdale and David Strong. On this forum I could just as easily say Postman Pat since neither is famous or desires to be.
But those that have trained with them will know what I mean.
Weapons are fine tools to teach aikido. They complement the teaching of Tai Jutsu.
As an instructor they broaden the platform on which you can deliver your aikido lesson.
If someone is saying that it is not possible to teach aikido without weapons I would have to disagree. If this were the case then no one would ever be able to construct a lesson that did not include weapons.
Personally I find challenges in the weapons work that I enjoy. In someways the lack of physical contact makes it seem less 'personal' and it seems easier to remain mentally centred than when one is being worked over.
Szepan had previously mentioned this.
So they can and do provide variation - this can definitely enhance practice for all but the most anti-stick wavers.
However...my opinion is yes - weapons training is good for aikido practice but it is possible to achieve good aikido practice without it.
I dont think this is a positive Acid test result either way.
Perhaps a better one would be..
Can you teach kamae without weapons?
Can you teach irimi without weapons?
Can you teach atemi without weapons?
Can you teach maai without weapons?
Can you teach shisei without weapons?
I'll leave it there....anyone got any no's?