Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
We don't use a tsuba generally, though one person prefers to and I don't have a problem with that. My worry is, that someone may get used to using the tsuba to trap or block the other's weapon. Whereas this would be realistically possible, I see much of the purpose of kenjutsu within aikido to develop a feel for the others sword and a responsiveness through the blade. If the tsuba is hit, it suggests blending has not occurred.
Actually, I would disagree with that. Using the tsuba I can do an entry into a tsuki which is very steep and allows the attacker's blade to slide right along my own onto the tsuba. I end with my tip at his throat. My own understanding of aiki ken isn't some particular set of techniques but rather the use of the sword to end a conflict in such a way that the opponent is completely controlled and is unable to attack further. Just as Ushiro Sensei went into at great length during the Expo last year, one should have complete control of the attacker on the entry; there should be no possibility of a second strike. The tsuba just makes some moves easier to accomplish in this regard.