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Old 04-16-2013, 04:20 PM   #21
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 795
Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Allow me to clarify. I agree that Aikido is not a swordart but that is not necessarily the same as to say that it can not be an important part of our Aikido.

What I do not agree upon is the statement that something called 'an aikido sword' does not exist. Of course it dosen't in the literal sense of a specific type of sword for aikido. The typical curved Japanese style sword is what we deal with here.

I believe some people have quoted o-sensei for saying that Aikido is based on the movement of the sword. He also said many other things, but this specific quote makes sense to some Aikido-ka Including me. So we train in more traditional sword arts to complement our training, and our late master did so to the level of 7th dan in the national Iaido federation. He also incorporated the sword into our aikido pracitce as a learning tool. Of course we use bokken instead of iaito for safety reasons, but we occasionally do almost all techniques either with one person wielding a sword or a jo, or both persons doing a kata based on sword against sword or sword against jo.

It's not part of every aikido teachers curriculum. Neither is hip throws which I have been told was primarily researched by Nishio sensei and Kuroiwa sensei. Each sensei have their own interpretation of what constitutes Aikido. I happen to be inspired primarily by one who incorporated the sword a lot - and who used the term 'sword of aikido'. Hence my comment. I agree that not all sensei teach it. But that is not reason enough to discard the thought entirely in my opinion.

Another example: I have a hard time seeing the valuable purpose of the competition aspect in Tomiki Aikido since my path is different. But I would never claim that competition does not exist in Aikido simply because most sensei don't incorporate it into what they do. It does - and it serves a purpose for some.

So. I stick to my opinion that such a thing as an 'Aikido sword' does exist as well as playing a vital role in some approaches to Aikido.


- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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