Si Wilson (siwilson) wrote:
....The sword teaches center, hip power, focus, etc... and with a partner adds timing and maai (fighting distance). Jo is different. ...but these teach us a flexability in our movement. It is all extra to what we do, but it must all approache from the way we approach all our Aikido...
I would agree with Mr Wilson. I would add that at the dojos that I train at (both aikikai) weapons training is incorporated into the overall class. Separate weapons classes are not used because the Senseis believe that movements and principles remain the same regardless of whether weapons are used or not.
The underlying principle that is taught at the dojos that I train at is that the use of Jo and Ken are a training aid to reinforce Maai, Movement, Balance/Posture/Centre, "hip power" and timing (awase and kumitachi timing).
IMHO, the use of ken and jo is not necessary but ken and jo do provide a valuable training tool to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of aikido.
Happy training all