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Old 10-06-2015, 09:08 AM   #31
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Striking all along ( Wrong. Apologies.)

I think the idea of tegatana and the concept of matching a weapons strike to an empty-hand strike is fairly complex. I want to be careful not to imply a couple of classes get you straightened out on that issue. This is actually pretty tough to accomplish, requires significant training just in that aspect and there are still weapons people who struggle to do this. Most aikido is even more removed from that practice.

Most of us are not competent at "cutting" in a practical sense. Applied cutting, waza with shinken and all the other aspects of weapons-based work are not in our wheel house. We can individualize our training to include that extra-curricular activity, but I generally believe that we could use a little more practice understanding what "tegatana" really means and where the power of our dojo strikes is generated. It becomes pretty obvious when you work out with someone skilled with weapons. After all, "move like you're cutting with a sword" is a staple response right up there with "relax."

As an interesting point removed from the effect of cutting, I think the idea of aiki-weapons is to generate aiki through a conduit (the weapon). Aiki sword does not contend with the cutting effect of sword arts, it contends with the ability to express aiki, even through a weapon, to disrupt your partner on contact. To express aiki with a weapon would be a high-level accomplishment. It wasn't that O Sensei was a better swordsman than other good swordsmen, it was that he could express aiki through his sword and that was something his opponents couldn't work around. To think about the effect of "cutting" with your hand may not be the best way to think about the exercise. Maybe, its better to think about expressing aiki into your hands, from there working on the ability to express aiki into weapon in your hand. The path of your movement mimics an effective path of a weapon. The argument being that if you can't put aiki in your hands (or feet or whatever), you certainly aren't putting it into a weapon. If you don't have aiki in your weapon, you're not doing aiki-weapons. Of course, if you have aiki in your hands and feet (or elbows, or knees), you can strike with aiki.

Last edited by jonreading : 10-06-2015 at 09:12 AM.

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