Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?
Having trained in shinkendo for a number of years, a modern form of kenjutsu, I think I would say that O Sensei was not a swordsman in the koryu or bujutsu sense. That he used weapons as a part of his power development and his own misogi I believe, having seen the same in the system of my teacher Hiroshi Kato Shihan. I can handle a live blade as a weapon, but the bokken in his hands comes alive and is strongly reminiscent of O Sensei's movements.
It is clear from many sources that Takeda was a swordsman, but peculiarly he also used two swords. Whether this was the Nitoken attributed to Musashi, (doubtful) or something he designed himself (more likely) to develop cutting hands i cannot source properly. Undoubtedly Ellis has more historical data on this.
It has also been stated a number of times that Ueshiba was a genius thief, capable of watching a demonstration and then introducing his version a few days later as a training tool in his dojo, "in aikido we do it this way"One aspect of weapon training that is important is that by extending the mind towards the end of the weapon your body follows a kind of rearrangement in internal organization. This is most keenly felt in the long pole exercises of CMA. A 2 meter pole is difficult a 3 meter pole almost impossible unless the arms are almost anchored to the the central body mass.
Traditional swordsmanship enforces a 2 hands joined together approach to body movement, often stressed in Aikido and yet Takeda split the hands and maintained, I believe, a 2 handed connection to his center. Thoughts anyone?