Re: Weapons training leads to good aikido.
Outside of the reasons I gave for why I consider weapons training to be unique from body art and thus conducive to body art, for those things like maai, power, and/or the "sword spirit," etc., two things remain:
1. Such things, as folks have said, stem from the added intensity that weapons bring to training. Folks offered that this intensity comes from the weapons themselves and/or from the likelihood that they are kata-based, etc. Regardless of the source of this intensity, it is not sound reasoning to say that weapons are the only way that we can bring intensity to our training. Toward this, we can see that many other activities that that make use of maai (or maai-like concepts), power, and "sword spirit," develop these things without a sword (e.g. boxing). We can also note: outside of weapons work, within the martial arts that do not make use of sword work, competition allows for the development of such things. Some of us may not want to make ourselves partial to competition, but regardless, this example still shows that our practice is quite open to other means of opening up toward intensity and thus toward developing keening versions of maai, power, and a "sword spirit," etc. Training within spontaneous environments is also another means of bringing intensity to our practice. Etc.
2. Some have mentioned that while it is possible to gain all of these things while not doing weapons, it is not very likely, etc. With this reasoning, it is implied that somehow one will keep their body art less intense while they make their weapons work intense. Personally, I just do not see it. As folks strike weakly with shomenuchi, requiring little skill at maai, little power, and no "sword spirit" of Nage, so too will these folks strike weakly with shomen-giri and again require little in terms of maai, power, and "sword spirit."
I am not so sure I would call my view "balanced." I think I am only "yes and no" according to certain things. I am a firm believer that to take body art to the level of relating to the unseen and the unfelt, paired weapons practice is THE way. I consider this a higher level of training/practice, and the place we should all (my students and myself) be heading toward. My thing, however, is that I do not believe that weapons practice is the only way to bring intensity to our training and/or the only way to develop those things that are born of intensity (e.g. proper maai, power, "sword spirit," etc.). I am for weapons (as THE way of making ourselves sensitive to the Ki of a given martial environment), and so in this way (of say "yes" to weapons) I am on the side of folks that say we should do weapons. However, I am on the side of those folks that say we do not need to do weapons to learn about maai, power, or a "sword spirit," etc.
Last edited by senshincenter : 07-05-2005 at 08:53 PM.