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Old 04-17-2005, 11:56 PM   #1
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
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aikido bokken / kenjutsu

I'm generally curious how aikido bokken techniques are different from kenjutsu. Feel free to point me in any direction you wish.

Quote:
JAPANESE SWORD ARTS FAQ VERSION 2.9

1.2 Isn't bokken technique taught in aikido?

Yes, with qualifications. Not every aikido dojo offers qualified instruction in actual sword techniques. Many of them use bokken practice only as a way of better understanding the empty-handed techniques, as these techniques are grounded in kenjutsu.

Ueshiba-sensei was trained in many styles of bujutsu, including kenjutsu, jojutsu and aikijutsu. He distilled and modified the myriad of techniques he knew into modern aikido. Most modern students do not have the time or inclination to learn the empty handed curriculum as well as bokken and jo, so the concentration tends to be on the aiki techniques. Even among those dojos which emphasise bokken, the techniques are somewhat different from kenjutsu. Ueshiba-sensei's swordsmanship was excellent, incidentally. Should you ever get an opportunity to watch film of him with a bokken, take it.

Last edited by ESimmons : 04-17-2005 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:39 AM   #2
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Aiki-ken is generally used as a tool to improve empty-hand technique, rather than as a 'sword' art in its own right. Some variations exist.

Kenjutsu is a generic term applied to a number of sword-based martial arts that center around use of the sword as primary component of the art, but may also include pole arms, small arms, empty-hand, esoterica, religious practice, etc.

What's the diff? Sometimes not much. Sometimes world of difference. Not much of an answer, I know, but there's lots of variation in how aiki-ken is taught.

For info about kenjutsu schools, take a look at www.koryu.com, among others. Koryu.com is an excellent site and there are, IIRC, a couple of articles there about the difference in aiki-ken and kenjutsu (from a particular individual's point of view).

I also highly recommend the Koryu Books trilogy, available from that website.

Other Japanese swrod resources include the iaido-l mailing list (http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/archives/iaido-l.html). EJMAS (http://ejmas.com) is another good online resource.

Chuck

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Old 05-04-2005, 06:19 PM   #3
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

well, I've sparred a few times (with Aikido shinai available from bujin), but other than that, it is mostly to improve hand-to-hand techniques. If you want kenjitsu you'd be better off with kendo or iaido

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:33 PM   #4
thomas_dixon
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
well, I've sparred a few times (with Aikido shinai available from bujin), but other than that, it is mostly to improve hand-to-hand techniques. If you want kenjitsu you'd be better off with kendo or iaido
Or Kenjutsu.
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:55 AM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
well, I've sparred a few times (with Aikido shinai available from bujin), but other than that, it is mostly to improve hand-to-hand techniques. If you want kenjitsu you'd be better off with kendo or iaido
This really isn't quite on... None of these arts are kenjutsu but if one is looking for a practice that has the feeling of kenjutsu in the sense that the practice is paired kata based and the manor in which the weapon is used is most similiar to kenjutsu then certain styles of aiki sword would be the thing for you.

Kendo is a sport and has little or nothing to do with using a blade. Iaido is solo and done slowly.

The gentleman who pointed out that if you want kenjutsu you'd be better off with... "kenjutsu" was spot on. There is very little authentic kenjutsu available in the US but the first place to start to find someone qualified is the koryubooks.com site. It is something of a clearing house for publizations by the small koryu community in the US,

As for Aikido,,, Nishio, Saotome, Saito, and Obata Senseis all have their own styles of sword work which, while not kenjutsu could keep you interested and challenged for many years. Chiba Sensei also puts a strong emphasis on weapons competency.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:10 AM   #6
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Quote:
Thomas Dixon wrote:
Or Kenjutsu.
well, that too

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:13 AM   #7
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Actually, as long as you don't go with some bogus "ninja" school, you ought to be fine. There's probably plenty of iaido, kendo, or other sword art around you. If not, you're out of luck, unless you want to move.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:30 AM   #8
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

My teacher was Iwama trained. We always used the bokken as a bokken, meaning we never tried to slice with it as if it were sharp. We always strike with the bokken, not much different then a stick. It's a nice heavy stick. Also we never pretend to draw the bokken like a sword, it's a bokken, and we use it that way.

-Chris Hein
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Old 05-07-2005, 04:22 AM   #9
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Iaido - kenjutsu: Actually, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu and a couple of other iai styles I'm familiar with DO have a kenjutsu component. In MJER and MSR, the Tachi Uchi no Kurai is taught fairly early on, and there are otehr sets of paired kata later.

Kendo is a cousin to kenjutsu, but has a different approach and methodology.

There is decent kenjutsu to be found in the USA ... but you have to know what you're looking for, know what kenjutsu isn't, and be prepared to do your research.

Right there in your neck of the woods, sort of, you can find the Kashima Shinryu folks at U. of Ga. at Athens. I don't know if they're accepting students who aren't uni-connected or not, but Karl Friday's one of the best and most knowledgeable teachers you'll find in the US.

As noted before, koryu.com, the iaido-l mailing list and e-budo.com (if it ever comes back online) are excellent resources.

Get your hands on the Koryu Books trilogy (see koryu.com for details), anything written by Karl Friday, Dave Lowry's stuff is pretty good, too.


Chuck

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Old 05-07-2005, 12:44 PM   #10
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

my dad does muso shinden ryu, maybe i'll ask him.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 10-08-2005, 06:23 AM   #11
Ed Shockley
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

There's an old cliche, "All roads lead to Rome." My experience has been that as long as I train diligently then the next step and instructor always appears. Training Aiki weapons with 6th dan Henry Smith, Sensei (Chiba influenced) I met guest instructor Nizam Taleb, Sensei, 5th dan (Saito influenced). Taleb sensei later encouraged me to study with Paul Manogue, Sensei, for the experience of Kenjutsu and to compare it to Saito Shihan katas. This is simply the path that my study is traveling. I say, "Practice and study, the rest takes care of itself." It does help to have a sensei who is not intimidated by inquisitive Aikidoka but I find that all good Sensei encourage exploration. Good luck. When you're in Philly come cross swords with us at Aikikai of Philadelphia.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #12
areshekeen
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

hai everybody,, i'm just started my kenjutsu class, i want to know about bokken. anybody can tell me, What they called in Japanese it's blade, handle and other part and also their case...
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:45 AM   #13
Bob Blackburn
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Quote:
Norashikin Abu Rashid wrote: View Post
hai everybody,, i'm just started my kenjutsu class, i want to know about bokken. anybody can tell me, What they called in Japanese it's blade, handle and other part and also their case...
Here is a long list of terminology: http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_glossary_1001.htm

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:06 AM   #14
judojo
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Hi to all Kenjutsu and Kendo Practitioners, Bokken on Aikido Waza is nice with Rubber on the whole sides, because the faults araise on any momentum. Kikan on Ukemi Atemi may be faster than the Nage, so the Acsidents is on this time with Hard woods or Hard Plastics. The Fall of this weapons is worth the wounds for both Ukemi and Nage, Especially on the Gedan Positions of both Jin and Bokken on Jodan Positions.

REYNALDO L. ALBAÑO
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #15
Anja Lampert
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Bob: Thanks so much for the link, it's really helpful!
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:31 AM   #16
NTT
 
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Re: aikido bokken / kenjutsu

Just a word to say I have recently put pictures of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu kenjutsu online.
See http://hyohonitenichiryu.wordpress.com/
It is really different from Aikido Tissier sensei bokken and Kinomichi Noro sensei bokken.
I feel that the energy or mind of the founder can be felt in the kata or seiho. More than technique, the ki of each practice is expressed in another way. But I kind of feel it is still ki, the same!
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