View Single Post
Old 05-21-2010, 11:56 AM   #24
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: The purpose of Aikido?

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Did you read what I wrote about weapons training?

Then was then, and now it's now. If you want to live "then", you want to live in a fantasy world.
I did. I was trying to limit my post for length.

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
By the way, I have nothing against training to deal with imaginary threats -- I do it all the time. It's called "weapons work" I enjoy it a whole lot, but my understanding of it as "martially effective" requires a complete shift of context. I can't get hung up on what is likely to happen as I walk down Mass Ave on a warm summer night, because whatever it is, it's unlikely to be someone attacking me with a sword. If the meaningfulness of my weapons practice depended on modern-day applications, it would be a complete bust. Aikido isn't that extreme, but like any martial technique you will ever learn, it is also situational, and it's harder to pull off than a lot of other styles.
How many top kendo people trained under Ueshiba? So, historically, even kendo people found Ueshiba's aikido worth studying/learning. Ueshiba's "weapons" work was not kendo, yet it applied to kendo. How many can state this today? Which high ranking person in the kendo world trains under a top ranked aikido shihan to learn "taisabaki"?

Shioda went out to fight with what he was learning from Ueshiba. Modern day applications from Ueshiba's teachings. Shall we turn a blind eye to all the greats who used their training this way?

What does history say about their training and how applicable it was in their modern day? The military men who jumped Ueshiba to test him?

Long after the sword was gone, just why was Ueshiba still practicing with a bokken? a spear?

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If the meaningfulness of my weapons practice depended on modern-day applications, it would be a complete bust.
I am unsure what weapons training you are doing, but the weapons training I have done, am doing, and will do is very meaningful in modern day applications. Just because I hold a sword in my hand and practice a cut does not mean that all I am training is to hold a Japanese sword of bygone days and pretend that I'm cutting some thing or some one -- or that someone will attack me using a sword.

I would imagine that the cut is probably the least important factor in weapons training. The rest, in even the simplest of movements such as a basic shomen cut, is more important and more applicable to modern-day applications. Or has no one ever really pondered why top ranked kendo people wanted to learn from Ueshiba. Do you really think they wanted to know how to move their feet? How to step off the line of attack? How to make a shomen cut? a yokomen cut?

In the aikido world specifically, weapons training holds the potential for building a stronger level of aiki. Capturing center on contact when you touch someone's center is easier than if you grab the shoulder. Grabbing the shoulder and getting center on contact is easier than if you grabbed their wrist. This is all much easier than if the other person grabs you. Now try center on contact at the end of a bokken where it is very far from anyone's center, there is no grabbing for holding, and it is through an object.

How about control through a sword? Being sticky with weapons? Able to send power through a weapon without a wind up?

Try doing that through a piece of paper or a handkerchief. You know, I think Takeda and Ueshiba used to demo doing that. I wonder if working with the sword helped them do that?

Does it really matter at that point if it is a bokken, a katana, a knife, a tire iron, a bat, an article of clothing, etc? Just what should we really be working on when we practice weapons in aikido?

Borrowing a phrase from kali, Bokken trains Jo trains Tanto trains Empty Hand. The applicability of training for modern-day applications is infinite.
  Reply With Quote