Thread: Aikido Weapons
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #6
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Aikido Weapons

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I hate to be negative... but this simply doesn't make sense...

A sword has everything a jo has and more, except the switching the grip from end to end. There are basically four "actions" with a sword. There is cutting (and a couple manifestations of that), slicing, thrusting, and striking (with the tsuka). Add to that "trapping", both with the tsuka the blade, and you have a very versatile weapon. Each of these actions corresponds directly with an empty hand principle. The sword is certainly no more dimensionally limited than jo and has some principles operating which jo doesn't have.

The jo has thrusting... It also has an action that is the same as one of the two cutting actions of the sword (like a cut in kendo with the shinai) but does not have the other (the cut of the live blade in tameshigiri). Certainly it has "trapping" but not really more than the sword... There is some action with a jo that could be considered "slicing" but largely in jo nage but not as striking too much.

Anyway, in talking about spear, you really didn't come close to describing what is there. First, it depends on how long a yari you are talking about. Some are like a jo but with sharpened tip. Some are 12 or more feet long. The shorter spears have everything a jo has plus the ability to slash with the tip and pierce rather than break. Striking with the butt end is standard in yari and naginata, as is striking with the shaft. In many styles of koryu, the bo work is really meant to be what you'd do if the tip of your sword were to come off... most of what you do with a bo, you do with a spear plus some.

So, I am sorry. It makes a nice, tidy presentation to describe the weapons this way but it simply is wrong. Each of these weapons is used multi dimensionally and your distinctions simply ignore that.
Thank you George your view is always welcome. I know each weapon is USED multidimentionally but the main purpose of a blade is to cut and the main purpose of a point is to pierce, thus the differenciation.

When samurai used to test their blades it was through the action of cutting was it not? Need I explain what spears are mainly used for as their primary purpose, just ask a masai warrior.

Now of course I could use a chair like a table but thats not it's primary function. O.k. Having said that I expect a person to extrapolate for themselves the other ways you could use a sword ie: thrusting it like a spear etc. and also look at the slashing of the point of a spear but what is that slashing? Is it not cutting as with the point of a sword for the end portion of a sword is the cutting part.

The point of this thread is to differenciate first and then to see how and when you can use one weapon like another even though they have their primary functions.

When you do a good Nikkyo it is more like a sword cut than any of the other two weapons is it not?

When you do ikkyo it is more like turning a jo and then thrusting it like a spear is it not? Or you could do ikkyo taking the opponents arm back over their head and cutting down with tegatana in which case it would be a cut like a sword would it not? Thus there are two ways to differenciate on the same technique and thus gain a better understanding not so?

I can do shihonage from the viewpoint of the sword and thus do two cuts and get the understanding of it conceptually as well as practically but I can also do it from the way of the jo in a more cicular fashion and I can do it from the way of the spear where I am leading straight out taking their balance stepping through and turning it back to them but this time like a stabbing motion as in psycho. Once again three ways all related to different weapons, they all work as long as the Aiki motion is correct and yet they all have different feelings to both the nage and the uke.

So I put it to you my ideas are not wrong for I pointed out that from the basic differenciation aperson can learn many things. If I had said they were the whole of all there is to weapons then I would indeed be wrong.

As I've said before your views are welcome and respected. However I only say things on this forum that I can personally see and do and demonstrate, otherwise I say nothing. How anyone can criticise when they can't personally do it themselves is what I find strange. If a person doesn't believe what is being said he can always ask for clarification and then agree or not. This does mean I don't look foreward to constructive criticism but the truth of the matter is only those who can already do what is being said can criticise constructively, the rest are on another mission.

Now I believe you already know most of what I've said and so I wonder why you put it down. Or am I wrong?

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