Re: weapons training
All I know of weapons is what Mr. Kenji Kumagai taught us, out of what he learned at Iwama. Jo awase, as he taught it, was a six count kata where both sides did the exact same movements (choku tsuki, mamote, men uchi, step back, gedan gaeshi, etc) simultaneously. It was an exercise in learning to blend with the partner's movement, picking up his energy and his "breath", while learning to move smoothly, solidly and with a stable center. The next higher step are the kumijo, which are also exercises in learning to blend, but tori and uke are doing different movements, one attacking, the other defending then counter attacking and on. The next level after the kumijo was the 31 count kata where there was both a tori and uke; tori does the regular 31 step movements, uke does a different sequence that fits (blends) in perfectly with the 31 kata that we know.
At each level, there is supposed to be awase and "intention," so that its not just sticks flailing at each other, but movements with meaning that express aiki principles. Attacks are really attacks with intent that seek out the opponent's centerline. Defenses are supposed to avoid just knocking the other jo away wildly; instead there has to be a feeling of centeredness, economy of movement and smoothness, even as you defend yourself. Awase, in other words. "You have to put meaning in the movement" was what we were often told.
We've done less work in the ken kata and ki musubi no tachi, so perhaps someone else can explain the sword side of this equation better.
Last edited by raul rodrigo : 06-22-2009 at 01:00 AM.