View Single Post
Old 09-04-2003, 04:13 PM   #16
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 104
Kent Enfield wrote: That's a pretty big assumption. Did other students of Ueshiba sensei who do different weapons systems or no weapons just decide, "Ah, screw it. I'm making up something different?"
As I understand it, Ueshiba decreed that only Saito was to teach his weapons style, even at Hombu. One senior teacher, who asked to remain nameless, told me that Osensei also arranged for at least two senior instructors from other ryus to teach at Hombu. This would account for the variety of styles, strategies, and tactics that are labelled Aiki weapons (for instance, compare Saotome's with Saito's).
Kent Enfield wrote: I always was under the impression that "non-bruising atemi" was a concession for the durability of our training partners, just like not actually striking people in the head with our bokuto.

The discussion of whether atemi are techniques or not deserves its own thread, and I'm sure it's gotten it.
Yup, but for what it's worth, I believe that the most effective atemis are usually the ones that don't -- quite -- land.
Kent Enfield wrote: No, there doesn't have to be a killing. A severe maiming will often suffice. Since I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons work, how do the kumitachi end? Do they end with the "loser" side just giving up, or do they end with the "winner" side striking a decisive blow? If it's the latter, which I suspect, what are you practicing, and what are you practicing for? Are you only training for friendly training matches? If you're not training to kill using the sword, are you actually training to use the sword?
Every kumitachi of Saito's that I know of ends with the attacker unable to strike, but unharmed. Every kumitachi of Saito's that I know of tells a story of recovering one's center, without destroying the aggressor. It would seem that Osensei meant to transform the sword, without beating it into something as mundane as a plowshare. The kumijos, by contrast, end either with a decisive strike throw, or pin, perhaps because it's a bit harder to kill someone with a jo, and harder to immobilize them, as you can with a sword in their face.

As for why I'm training with the sword, it's to practice embodying Aiki principles and techniques. And it's a dangerous practice, as swords are seductive; they tempt one to kill, instead of to draw a distinction, or to extend one's energy. What I'm after at this point is to find the logic behind the exercises, so that I might know them more fully, and your responses have helped wonderfully in this. Thanks for the persistent pressure.


Brion Toss
  Reply With Quote