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Old 02-26-2009, 11:02 AM   #26
sorokod
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

The discussion following the "Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10" column ( http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15066 ) is quite relevant here.

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Old 03-20-2009, 10:12 AM   #27
Russell Davis
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Not being an expert on forms, but not to bad at the sparring game.
weapons forms most likely vary because every weapon has its optimum effective range E.g. close range=knife and empty hand
Middle range= Stick or sword
Long Range= Bo, Jo, Spear.
also each weapon will have slightly different methods of parrying/blocking.

Forms are all to often fixed and not enough time or effort is given to a more flexible free form format for EFFECTIVE training.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:39 AM   #28
raul rodrigo
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Russell Davis wrote: View Post
Not being an expert on forms, but not to bad at the sparring game.
weapons forms most likely vary because every weapon has its optimum effective range E.g. close range=knife and empty hand
Middle range= Stick or sword
Long Range= Bo, Jo, Spear.
also each weapon will have slightly different methods of parrying/blocking.

Forms are all to often fixed and not enough time or effort is given to a more flexible free form format for EFFECTIVE training.
Actually, I think we were discussing why different shihan have different forms for the same weapon, eg, why Saito's jo work is different from Chiba's. The same goes for their sword forms. Optimum effective range doesn't come into the equation.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:58 AM   #29
Russell Davis
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

add onthanks for that little bit of enlightenment. people like weapons have their strengths and weaknesses, they also come in all shapes and sizes, maybe one was a little guy and the other was really tall with very long arms?
I thought that would have been obvious, dont you have a fav tech that is not everyone elses fav tech?

PS as for Optimum effective range yes it does! Eg I have a 20inch reach combined with my sword it reaches 58inches, my training partner has a reach of 30inches and with a sword it becomes about 70inches. thats a lot of inches to overcome in a fight!

Last edited by Russell Davis : 03-20-2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: add on
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:20 AM   #30
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Actually, I think we were discussing why different shihan have different forms for the same weapon, eg, why Saito's jo work is different from Chiba's. The same goes for their sword forms. Optimum effective range doesn't come into the equation.
I have considered this for some time. I have trained in all three systems, although my short time with Chiba in 1994-1995 did not permit much weapons exposure. It is my belief that at least in the case of Saito's and Saotome's kumitachi and awase exercises, that these are essentially compilations of ShoChikuBai sword combinations that were O Sensei's personal "flavor of the era" for the the deshi that were training at the time.

John Stevens has used the basic set in seminars. Sho (pine) shomenuchi -- Chiku (bamboo) yokomen, and Bai (plum) tsuki. Stevens used them in a progression in which you essentially "ring the changes" on the attack/response matrix in two-fold combinations:

sho/sho, sho/chiku, sho/bai,
chiku/sho, chiku/chiku - chiku/bai .
bai/sho, bai/chiku, bai/bai.

From there, of course, one would work from doing that progression as isolated 1-2 count engagements to flowing progression in the same series. Then, with ki no nagare in the basic exchanges established, begin to work the engagements in threefold and fourfold combinations and larger sets. Saito's and Saotome's kumitachi seem like instances of these larger sets.

I liken it to learning reading and writing (bun bu ichi)-- whole-language versus phonics -- Saito and Saotome seem to have faithfully taken down the major sequences that O Sensei happened to be teaching in their eras and taught them like whole-language as complete words. However, the basic sequences can also be approached more like phonics, like building up from basic two and three "letter" words into any arbitrary combinations of more complex four, five or eight letter words. That seems to be the source of the differences -- O Sensei changed the sword "words" he was contemplating from time to time. Another way of looking at the "word-spirit" of kotodama, perhaps.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #31
raul rodrigo
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

And what would be your response if two shihan were the same height and yet their sword work varied? Eg, Sekiya shihan and his son in law Chiba. One was Kashima shin ryu influenced, the other much more eclectic.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:50 PM   #32
Russell Davis
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Thank you Erick Mead, a very informative post. with respect how many of you have fought a duel?
Training is one thing, when your life is on the line its something else.
From my own experience (Sabre) I think that any flow of more than 3/4 cuts is unrealistic, most real sword fights are of that nature, as you want to disengage from your opponent to see what damage you might have inflicted. Its a bit like boxing
jab, to see his defence Cross or Hook when you see an opening or create one.

So Its all guess work, but I'm thinking one has fought for real, the other ain't.

Russell.

For those interested, my fight was stopped because of a cut across the top of the nose between the eyebrows, I could not see for the blood, but fought on for a bit, the other guy called it a day (lucky for me) he didnt want to take advantage of the situation.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #33
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Rusell, with all due respect, they're not talking about duels, but form. Also... have you ever had a look at the length of Katori Shinto Ryu katas? There are a number of reassons to train long sequences.

Now, back on track...
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #34
Russell Davis
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Thanks for that, I do know what they are talking about, but its something that is really annoying, when it is explored into the minutest of detail.

Yes I do agree with "long form" katas, this is basically to build up your endurance, as on the battlefield you go from one fight to the next, and the next, and the next etc etc.
and if your sword breaks (as it often did in them days) you pick up whatever else is lying around. which brings me back to my other question "all weapons are one and the same"

here we go again.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:57 PM   #35
patf
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

FWIW I don't particularly care for weapons in Aikido much anymore. After some exposure to Iaido from a very capable sensei, Aiki bokken just didn't make a lot of sense any more, at least from an attack/kata point of view. I consider that there are merits of bokken in aikido only from the nage point of view, in disarming the uke. Almost everything I was taught in Aikido bokken got thrown out the window when I started Iaido, but that is to be expected somewhat as Iaido is focused solely on the sword .
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:07 AM   #36
Flintstone
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Patrick Fitzpatrick wrote: View Post
FWIW I don't particularly care for weapons in Aikido much anymore. After some exposure to Iaido from a very capable sensei, Aiki bokken just didn't make a lot of sense any more, at least from an attack/kata point of view. I consider that there are merits of bokken in aikido only from the nage point of view, in disarming the uke. Almost everything I was taught in Aikido bokken got thrown out the window when I started Iaido, but that is to be expected somewhat as Iaido is focused solely on the sword .
Depends in your "aiki bokken"... and moreover it depends on you. How long have you been exposed to Saito or Chiba or Mochizuki?
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:59 AM   #37
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Well it's not only different kata of the same weapon, but it's also different weapons:

Hikitsuchi Michio hast been taught a bo kata by O Sensei.
The only style of aikido which uses the bo as I know?

Well, in our style we do aiki ken and also a little ken jutsu which is derived from kashima shin ryu. (I know, I know: That's why I wrote "derived from".)
So we have two sorts of swordworkin one style of aikido aikikai.
(Katori shinto ryu also is very popular, but not taught in aikido lessons.)

Carsten
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:04 AM   #38
Flintstone
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
(Katori shinto ryu also is very popular, but not taught in aikido lessons.)
Yoseikan...
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:24 AM   #39
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
(Katori shinto ryu also is very popular, but not taught in aikido lessons.)
Yoseikan...
Oh sorry:
I meant in our aikido, our dojo: In our aikido we train aiki ken and the ken jutsu kata derived from kashima shin ryu. Both are part of our aikido.

My aikido teacher also teaches katori (his dojo is the german shibu of the sugino dojo) and some of our aikido practioners are also doing katori with him.
But katori is not part of our aikido.

Carsten
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:31 AM   #40
Flintstone
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I meant in our aikido, our dojo: In our aikido we train aiki ken and the ken jutsu kata derived from kashima shin ryu. Both are part of our aikido.
Sorry, my mistake!

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
My aikido teacher also teaches katori (his dojo is the german shibu of the sugino dojo) and some of our aikido practioners are also doing katori with him.
You're very lucky then, if you have the chance to train with them!! Give it a try! Nothing wrong with your derivative of Kashima Shin Ryu, of course......
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:10 PM   #41
patf
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Depends in your "aiki bokken"... and moreover it depends on you. How long have you been exposed to Saito or Chiba or Mochizuki?
I think you'll find that most of those instructors have an Iaido background. I think that finding Aikido instructors with an Iaido background is more the exception than the rule. In retrospect the whole concept of attacking with bokken is an art form itself and I don't expect Aikido instructors to train their students to that level. What I'm saying is Aiki bokken attack/kata are often taught "robotically" (perhaps not the best word, but best I can think of at the moment) with very little understanding of the real sword fighting principles involved.
Perhaps it boils down to practicality for me (though I don't know how much practical use anyone would get out of wielding a sword correctly), but in terms of the pure art form, the weapons usage in Aikido don't seem practical to me. However, I do understand there are other benefits than can be gained, like proper defense, muscle relaxation techniques, moving from center etc.

IMO Iaido and Aikido are complementary in a lot of respects, except perhaps one, the end goal in Iaido, once the sword is drawn, is the killing/maiming of your opponent.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #42
Ed Shockley
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Everything that we do in any dojo is simply an exercise to improve ourselves and prepare ourselves to adapt to the unique reality of a martial confrontation. The validity of each practice approach and weapons style lies in the reverence of the instructor and the diligence of the student.

Ed Shockley
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:07 PM   #43
Abasan
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Patrick,

at the expense of being called a cheapo , would you mind terribly to explain a bit about the differences in Iaido and aikiken? Maybe for the 3 different basic moves say:

1. Our ready stance
2. Men
3. Barai

I would love to learn the art (actually no , I don't have the time) but since there's no Iaido teachers here in my country I really don't have the chance.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:01 AM   #44
Michael Varin
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Ahmad,

I know it's not quite the same, but you could always get James Williams' DVD. It will introduce you to the basics of what he teaches, but believe me, it's stuff you can work on for years.

James is one of the very best with a sword. And I feel that what he teaches is much more practical than what you see in most iaido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS2YcBbubs8

Can you own real swords in your country?

By the way, I found my aikido training (Iwama) with bokken was a great foundation for using a katana. There is a different feel to each weapon that you have to get used to, but I was able to do very nice tameshigiri almost right away. One handed cuts took more getting used to, especially off the draw.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:28 PM   #45
patf
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Patrick,

at the expense of being called a cheapo , would you mind terribly to explain a bit about the differences in Iaido and aikiken? Maybe for the 3 different basic moves say:

1. Our ready stance
2. Men
3. Barai

I would love to learn the art (actually no , I don't have the time) but since there's no Iaido teachers here in my country I really don't have the chance.
Hi Ahmad,
I only practiced Iaido for about 6 months, the class schedule conflicted too much with daily life and I was already overloading my free time with Aikido, so I was getting a lot of complaints from the family. In the end I decided to cut back on the Iaido because I felt I couldn't really give it all the time and attention it deserved.

As I say my experience is fairly limited, so
1. Ready stance. The way i was taught is that ready stance is both feet pointing forward which differs from the hanmi stance in aikido. The reason for this is that it is easier/quicker to move in any direction from this stance.

2. Men, I presume you mean moving forward by this. In Iaido we practiced moving in all directions and there was definitely a lot of focus on footwork, ayumi-ashi, tsugi-ashi,okuri-ashi, crab-ashi ( I can't remember the correct term for this but it is basically moving and drawing the sword while facing forward but stepping sideways crosslegged, apparently useful when moving/attacking in confined spaces like stairwells). The footwork involved moving then drawing, and moving/drawing/moving, and variations of moving/drawing/sheathing etc.
A lot of emphasis was put on keeping the head level as bobbing the head makes it harder to track the target.

3. Barai, a lot parrying exercises, from standing and seiza. A lot of emphasis on the fact that the sword is both weapon and shield and correct parry location on the back edge of the blade. Parrys were generally followed by strikes and there were multiple strike types, high, mid, low etc. Plenty of multiple person attacks and a lot of emphasis on timing and waiting for the attacker to commit.

There was so much stuff in Iaido that I never came across in aiki weapons, just in terms of pure practicality of using the weapon, but as I mentioned in a previous post, Iaido is purely focused on the sword and one should expect that level of detail/attention. What I particularly remember was the slow-fast-slow style where the pace in katas would change depending on the particular action. Other little things like the sword was pointed towards the enemy's face at all times and the emphasis on speed/precision of cuts.
The sensei was also a very interesting character, he knew much about the history of samurai and ninja and had many interesting stories to tell. This included the history of the sword and sword makers.
He had this one move where he would be sitting seiza and in one move would hop into the air, draw his sword and perform a downward cut on an attacker about 3 mat widths away, it was pretty amazing.

I hope you get a chance to try it out some day.
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