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Old 05-07-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: O' Sensei's View on Sword Training

Yanir Hirshberg wrote: View Post
That makes sense. I'm curious to know about how sword work was incorporated into aikido. The hanmi used for aikido and it's sword work is unlike the stance in kendo. Are there any other styles of sword work that use the Aikido stance, or is it that the stance used in aikido unique to it? What are the other differences in Aikido sword work to kendo and other kenjutsu styles?
My betters will likely correct me. But I reconcile both the study of varying forms of weapons, as well as O Sensei's fundamental dismissal of those forms in terms of how aikido is intended to function.

In aikido the kihon waza are intended to be transcended in favor of takemusu aiki (creative, lively and engaged budo). Stance is to be obliterated. Kamae is just a snapshot of a whole, integrated process, and any given form has no real meaning except in its process of development in an engaged encounter.

Outside of or isolated from that process and the "life" of that development in contact with a partner, it is essentially an empty vessel. It is without the real content that we are studying to achieve.

Dissecting a dead frog can give on useful insights into the elements of a frog's structure -- but it does not really give you the reality of what a frog is. Dissection can only tell you how the frog is structured when it is dead. It cannot disclose to you how the frog structures itself when alive.

Glimpsing the structure of "liveness" is the beginning of this art. At least as I see it. And weapons work is invaluable to that, alone and with others, with attention to your own living structure as well as the life in the structure of your partner(s).


Erick Mead
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