Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi Fred, Chris,
Thanks for your replies. We're hoping to get a copy of the original "full" tape from the Chicago Aikikai seminar; Chris, now that I've seen pictures of you from the front, I'll see if I can spot you from behind!
One thing that certainly came to mind while practicing this morning was that two sword certainly emphasizes that concept of "koubou ichi"...
The original Chicago Two Sword Seminar tape is the most complete reference for Saotome Sensei's two sword forms. I have worked through it and have about 25 forms noted down but there is more on the tape, although I think I have all of the main principles contained in the 25. The tape available from ATM on Two sword is the only generally available source for these asides from the few Camp tapes which show sensei doing a class or two on two sword.
In some way two sword is closer to empty hand than single sword in that you can actually use each hand separately which is of course how we use or actual hands. Single sword teaches us to keep our hands in front of our centers and gets us to utilize the hands in a unified way but this is somewhat restrictive compared to how we really use our hands.
Two sword work does a lot to even out left and right hand dominance. I found that after I had been doing two sword for some time, technqiues which I used to only do well on one side got much more even.
Saotome Sensei's two sword is, as Chris noted, completely tied in with his empty hand technique.