Re: Satome's Two Sword Practice
I can't claim any great in-depth understanding of the two-sword exercises developed by Saotome Sensei, beyond a limited amount of seminar time, some in classes taught by Saotome Sensei and some taught by students who've worked directly with him on this material.
But at this very, very, very basic level, I've noted a number of benefits that translate back into both empty-hand and single-sword practice.
1. Enforced awareness of what both sides of the body are doing and improved posture. Narrowly, this translates into a reduction in the frequency and seriousness of the typical problem of having the "inactive" hand go dead. More broadly, it encourages full body movement from center, and better use of the internal musculature of the torso to effect changes in position, range, and level of pressure at the point of contact (as opposed to simple arm movement and upper body strength.
2. Better awareness of multiple ma-ai in a single situation, simply because the number of
combinations set up by two practitioners, each with two swords of different lengths, is geometrically higher in obvious ways. This translates into a different, somewhat softer and more inclusive mental/perceptual focus that is, again, useful in both armed and unarmed technique.
If Robert Deppe is lurking anywhere nearby, he knows the material far better than I and could likely provide a more substantive response. There are other folks who could do so too, but I haven't seen them on this board and thus, I'm not mentioning them by name.
Hope this helps,