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Old 11-12-2015, 07:22 AM   #29
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 381
United Kingdom
Re: The use of weapons

David Soroko wrote: View Post
I am sure that is the case.

It is pretty clear to me how developing solid striking is applicable to taijitsu and developing cutting/slicing skills, using bokken as a shinken substitute, is applicable to kenjitsu, My question to you Alex is how, in your opinion, does developing cutting/slicing skills, using bokken as a shinken substitute contributes to taijitsu?
Hi David,

For many years, my teacher assiduously studied Saito Sensei's books and taught Aiki-ken and jo. In the late 1970s he took a left turn and started practising and teaching the kesagiri style of cutting from the Kashima-shinryu, which he himself learned from Minoru Sekiya. I believe that this was much more helpful for him in understanding the aikido of his teacher (Gozo Shioda) and of Seigo Yamaguchi: it certainly made is body much softer and improved his kuzushi skills. This way of cutting is not obviously "stopped", as I understand the Iwama shomen and yokomen cuts are, even though I have vivid memories of him making strong and clean shomen cuts that made the wooden tsuba on his heavy Kashima bokken rattle.

My understanding is that cutting, as a kind of metaphor for hand/arm movement in taijutsu, is through the partner, rather than into or onto them. I currently teach both shomenuchi and kesagiri (a diagonal cut through uke's torso from shoulder to hip) with bokken, but the kesagiri movement, which ends with the sword tip at ground level, feels much more relevant to the way my aikido is going. In particular, it emphasises the spiral use of the body I am learning from my internal power teacher. And, as I said earlier, ukemi feels very different in the two cases.

I'm not sure how well that answers your question.

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