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Old 01-26-2010, 01:08 PM   #24
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,559
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Re: Where Did Ueshiba Morihei's Training Go?

Well, I think you are maybe overthinking this. I suppose what you'd want to do is find a koryu that does this sort of single handed hold and switches hands in kata with a bokken. Again, the question would be whether the idea is the development of "aiki" (as a term for internal skills) or whether this was some sort of swordsmanship thing.

So first you'd need to find this sort of thing in koryu if you're going to make a connection to that.

If it was something that Takeda developed since he was pretty renouned for "doing his own thing", then it isn't exactly inconceivable that Ueshiba picked it up from him. Maybe it was part of their means of developing "aiki" but if you want to link it to koryu... You need to find it there as well. I've not seen it.

I'll also add that most sogo bujutsu (in my limited experience) tend to have common threads linking their empty hand arts to their sword (and other weapon) work. They tend to want to have their empty hand stuff working like their sword stuff and vice versa. Consistency across the range is key. So I could see aspects trained in either hand to illustrate the empty hand. As an example, I've seen one handed things done holding a bokken but usually presented in the context of someone grabbing your tsuka (to ideally prevent you from using it). You throw them from there. And in some of my training we'll switch hands/sides to work both sides. Then put the swords down and do a similar art on both sides to illustrate the connection between empty and and with the sword. I've also seen nikyo taught holding a bokken to illustrate the way the "ki" flows in the application of the technique. And so on.

The point here, however, is that this doesn't mean one would *ever* want to hold a sword in one hand or use it left-handed. It was just a part of an overall "big picture" in the training methodology. Tennis players spend a lot of time returning balls shot at them from tennis ball machines. They'll never play one in a real game, however...

But I'll admit to being a bit lost in what you're trying to get at. What is the importance as you see it of training single handed with a katana length bokken and doing it in both hands? Is it the only way to develop certain sensitivities and skills? Or is it one way of many?

Last edited by Keith Larman : 01-26-2010 at 01:10 PM.

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