Who put the quarter in Allen Beebe? I didn't.....
II'm ready to get behind "it's not about the sword work," but only because I am ready to get behind "it's not about the taijutsu either."
If we are on the mat to learn aiki, then ok. But aiki can be used in partner dance as much as it can in martial arts. If we are going to use it in a martial setting, then why should we settle for less than correct martial practices? I'm in favor of aikiken being critiqued by kenjutsu folks and being made correct kenjutsu.
If we are going to teach sword, we should teach sword.
Sometimes I think people jump into a discussion without gettiing a sense for the flow of the whole thread..........
Do you believe Ueshiba intended aikido to include authentic kenjutsu training?
Are you suggesting all aikido instructors should be teaching aiki-ken that is the same as authentic kenjutsu?
If you are, I believe you are on pretty shaky ground.
As far as I know Ueshiba never represented aikido as including actual kenjutsu training. Ueshiba himself was not a competent kenjutsuka and never formally studied kenjutsu in any depth. Did Ueshiba draw or employ a shinken regularly? If not, I propose he was uninterested in kenjutsu beyond employing a bokken to demonstrate and emphasize complimentary principles to those utilized in aikido taijutsu waza. If that's the case then it IS predominantly about taijutsu. Face it, aikido like Daito ryu is a taijutsu based art. It is not a sogo bujutsu.
If you want to be a aikidoka who is also a competent swordsman, thats fine and dandy...... Train in kenjutsu in addition to aikido. But what if you just want to be an exceptional aikidoka and could care less about kenjutsu? Aiki-ken can be an important training aid. Correct me if you think you have evidence to the contrary, but from everything I've read, I would conclude that those who trained closest with Ueshiba in aikido do not believe he demanded his creation include actual kenjutsu training....hence the existence of aiki-ken as a distinct area of study separate from kenjutsu.
I know cross country skiers who train on specialized roller skates to improve their endurance and skiing technique. They are not interested in roller skating per se. Roller skates are just a tool uitilized in pursuit of a different end. It can be the same with aiki-ken. Aiki-ken can be an indispensable tool utilized to create an exceptional aikidoka. There's also nothing wrong with kenjutsu being employed in the same way, but the claim that for aikido to be used in a martial setting, it must include authentic kenjutsu seems unsupportable. I simply see no evidence that kenjutsu is mandatory in the creation of an exceptional aikidoka.
I feel like a broken record.....
Toby Threadgill / TSYR