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Old 09-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #31
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Re: bokken strike style

Just a few comments. . .

My teacher trained in Iwama for about seven years. He insisted that they used the bokken as a weapon in its own right; a blunt impact weapon not a cutting weapon, obviously.

Aikido is the only art I have trained that uses weapons. At the time I first tried target cutting with a sword, I had been training very regularly in Iwama style aikido for about four years. After adjusting to the weight and balance of the sword, I cut the target on my first attempt easily and with no damage to the sword. Did it look like James Williams? No. But it was better than most of the first time tameshigiri videos I've seen. And that was after a number of people told me how bad it was going to end for me and the sword.

Watching Saito in the video today, I realize I have slightly tweaked my cut. It's still mostly Saito style, but not quite.

I'm not sure why Iwama bokken work couldn't be applied to cutting with a sword. I did it. I am in no way addressing koryu or any other sword styles. There are many reasons why they would want to rebuild someone's form that have nothing to do with cutting a target.

"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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