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Old 05-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
Petar A
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O Sensei bokken

Hello Aikidoka's

For a long time I am looking for more information regarding this bokken (link below), but it seems that no one who has seen this bokken, or have some more photo.
I even sent two e-mails to the respected Stan Pranin from Aikido Journal, but there is no answer from him

I would be very grateful if anyone of you knows something more,

however, the first replica I made according to this picture, but I would like to know more detail, so that next be even better, and more accurate measures of the original bokken,

bokken is specific by one detail, which for me as a bokken maker quite intriguing.

Regards,

Petar

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg17/...pg&res=landing

Last edited by Petar A : 05-02-2012 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Hello Petar, hope you are well.

Here is a photo of a weapons rack in Iwama, it is from "Traditional Aikido Vol. 4" by Saito Morihiro Sensei which was published in October 1974. The original is split over two pages and I "glued" them together.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-f...apons-grey.jpg

Hope this helps.

-- david
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:57 PM   #3
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Interestingly in both images (for all I know, the bokken in the first is also present in the second) the swords don't have the distinct Iwama kissaki. I'd be interested to know when and why it was introduced.

-- david
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Petar Antunovic wrote: View Post
Hello Aikidoka's

For a long time I am looking for more information regarding this bokken (link below), but it seems that no one who has seen this bokken, or have some more photo.
I even sent two e-mails to the respected Stan Pranin from Aikido Journal, but there is no answer from him

I would be very grateful if anyone of you knows something more,

however, the first replica I made according to this picture, but I would like to know more detail, so that next be even better, and more accurate measures of the original bokken,

bokken is specific by one detail, which for me as a bokken maker quite intriguing.

Regards,

Petar

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg17/...pg&res=landing
Hello Petar,
The photo was taken at the 2008 10th international Aikido congress, where there was also an exhibition in Tanabe with relics and photo's of O Sensei's life. Most of what was shown came from the Kumano Juku Dojo. This bokken was unusual big and heavy, more like a suburito.

What is the specific detail that you are looking for?

Tom
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
Gerardo Torres
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
I'd be interested to know when and why it was introduced.
Perhaps when they decided that a sword was for hitting, not cutting? *ducks*
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #6
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Perhaps when they decided that a sword was for hitting, not cutting? *ducks*
That's interesting. Can you expand on this?

-- david
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
Gerardo Torres
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
That's interesting. Can you expand on this?
I recently read in this post/thread

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...0&postcount=38
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=20982&page=2

that in Iwama aikiken they don't treat the sword as a cutting instrument. Perhaps this is just one practitioner's opinion and it's not the general, more authoritative opinion -- I don't know since I'm not an expert in that style. From an "outside" perspective though, I can agree with it seeing how they use the weapon, and how having a "kissaki" (mimicking the real sword) is not that critical. I also read somewhere that the kissaki was removed after a training accident involving somebody's eye...
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
I recently read in this post/thread

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...0&postcount=38
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=20982&page=2

that in Iwama aikiken they don't treat the sword as a cutting instrument. Perhaps this is just one practitioner's opinion and it's not the general, more authoritative opinion -- I don't know since I'm not an expert in that style. From an "outside" perspective though, I can agree with it seeing how they use the weapon, and how having a "kissaki" (mimicking the real sword) is not that critical. I also read somewhere that the kissaki was removed after a training accident involving somebody's eye...
It is true that in the Iwama weapons system the bokken is generally considered to be a striking weapon. Do you have a reason to believe that at some point, the founder held a different view (say, that the bokken is just an approximation if a shinken) and the change of shape reflects a change in the attitude?

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
hughrbeyer
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Re: O Sensei bokken

I have never heard of a koryu that didn't treat practice with a bokken as a safer substitute for practice with a shinken--i.e. you treat it as a shinken in every way, including drawing, using the edge to slice not strike, not putting your hand on the edge, and not using the edge to block. Absent evidence to the contrary, I would assume O-Sensei had the same attitude. My experience with koryu is very limited tho, so I'm open to correction.

The story I heard about Iwama bokken is that they asked O-Sensei one day about a sword technique and he picked up a handy ax handle to demonstrate. So they made their bokken like ax handles.

Probably a legend, but too good to check.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
Cliff Judge
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
It is true that in the Iwama weapons system the bokken is generally considered to be a striking weapon. Do you have a reason to believe that at some point, the founder held a different view (say, that the bokken is just an approximation if a shinken) and the change of shape reflects a change in the attitude?
The idea that aikiken training as conceived by Ueshiba ever used the bokken as a striking implement and not a sword is really the more outlandish claim. Ueshiba was a swordsman. His primary teacher was certainly a swordsman. An aikiken system that treats the bokken as a club or staff instead of a blade seems deprived and deranged to me.

There are two things that the blunt kissaki of the Iwama bokken shape brings to mind for me:

1) Much safer if you accidentally thrust into your partner's body while training.
2) The bokken they use in Kashima Shinto ryu these days has the same tip, though it is not curved. I assume they have been using that form of bokken for some time.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #11
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Another picture of the founder with same/similar bokken.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...YmyPJy0liipFm0

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
The idea that aikiken training as conceived by Ueshiba ever used the bokken as a striking implement and not a sword is really the more outlandish claim. Ueshiba was a swordsman. His primary teacher was certainly a swordsman. An aikiken system that treats the bokken as a club or staff instead of a blade seems deprived and deranged to me.
I have a little collection of photos here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/sorokod...baWithWeapons#

of the founder with weapons. Currently I have only one with something which looks like a shinken. I'd be interested to see more photos of founder with a steel sword.

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
phitruong
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
An aikiken system that treats the bokken as a club or staff instead of a blade seems deprived and deranged to me.
.
it's the Conan school of aikiken. i have extensive knowledge on such style. it's a very popular style. although i have not quite master the Arnold speech that accompanied the style.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:55 AM   #14
Cliff Judge
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
I have a little collection of photos here:

https://picasaweb.google.com/sorokod...baWithWeapons#

of the founder with weapons. Currently I have only one with something which looks like a shinken. I'd be interested to see more photos of founder with a steel sword.
In the post-WWII period from whence we get most of our photographs of Ueshiba, swords were not the kind of thing you would carry around or display in public. I imagine if you were trying to maintain your ability to do your work to harmonize the heavens and the earth you would not pose for a lot of photos with a sword....if you had a more down-to-earth, college-educated son trying to build a martial arts organization around your teachings he might find a way to keep your sword off camera in those days as well.

That's just speculation but regardless, I can't credit the lack of photographic evidence of Ueshiba wielding a sword as proof that Aikiken is a system that uses a short staff or club to explore the principles of aiki.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #15
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
In the post-WWII period from whence we get most of our photographs of Ueshiba, swords were not the kind of thing you would carry around or display in public.
The one photo of the founder I have with shinken is definitely post war

Quote:
I imagine if you were trying to maintain your ability to do your work to harmonize the heavens and the earth you would not pose for a lot of photos with a sword....if you had a more down-to-earth, college-educated son trying to build a martial arts organization around your teachings he might find a way to keep your sword off camera in those days as well.
Well it is a theory. Do have you any evidence to its correctness? Questions come to mind such as why hide photos with shinken while allowing photos with bokken?

Quote:
That's just speculation but regardless, I can't credit the lack of photographic evidence of Ueshiba wielding a sword as proof that Aikiken is a system that uses a short staff or club to explore the principles of aiki.
In Iwama bukiwaza, the bokken is not used used as a short stuff or club. There are plenty of videos of Saito Morihiro doing ken suburi and kumitachi, have a look.

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:38 AM   #16
Cliff Judge
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
In Iwama bukiwaza, the bokken is not used used as a short stuff or club. There are plenty of videos of Saito Morihiro doing ken suburi and kumitachi, have a look.
Could you clarify your previous statement a bit?

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
It is true that in the Iwama weapons system the bokken is generally considered to be a striking weapon. Do you have a reason to believe that at some point, the founder held a different view (say, that the bokken is just an approximation if a shinken) and the change of shape reflects a change in the attitude?
It's a striking weapon, not "an approximation of a shinken," and it is also not a short staff or club. Can you clarify what the bokken is in Saito Sensei's Aikiken system?
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #17
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Petar Antunovic wrote: View Post
Hello Aikidoka's

For a long time I am looking for more information regarding this bokken (link below), but it seems that no one who has seen this bokken, or have some more photo.
I even sent two e-mails to the respected Stan Pranin from Aikido Journal, but there is no answer from him

I would be very grateful if anyone of you knows something more,

however, the first replica I made according to this picture, but I would like to know more detail, so that next be even better, and more accurate measures of the original bokken,

bokken is specific by one detail, which for me as a bokken maker quite intriguing.

Regards,

Petar

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg17/...pg&res=landing
I don't know much about weapons, but the particular thing I notice about this bokken, is that it's center of curvature is nearer to the hilt than usual (koshi-zori or bizen-zori). Is that the feature you are looking for?

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #18
Gerardo Torres
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
It is true that in the Iwama weapons system the bokken is generally considered to be a striking weapon. Do you have a reason to believe that at some point, the founder held a different view (say, that the bokken is just an approximation if a shinken) and the change of shape reflects a change in the attitude?
Haven't really reflected much on this, but my understanding is that Ueshiba studied actual sword arts albeit in short stints, not mastering any one in particular but absorbing and changing things (in aiki we do it this way...) as he learned them. Despite his take of martial movement with weapons, I have very little reason to believe he treated his aikiken -- technically -- as anything other than... a katana. Did any of the ryu-ha he studied treat the sword as a hitting instrument, and did he treat it that way at some point in his aikido development? Maybe, but I just don't see it. As for change of shape and attitude carrying to today, it wouldn't surprise me as it's not uncommon for somebody to start something and for generations to copy it down to the little mannerisms without ever questioning or thinking. But I leave the question of if/when/how to the historians.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #19
Gerardo Torres
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I don't know much about weapons, but the particular thing I notice about this bokken, is that it's center of curvature is nearer to the hilt than usual (koshi-zori or bizen-zori). Is that the feature you are looking for?

Koshi sori makes for better, more leveraged cutting, but more difficult drawing.
Torii sori (3/4" to 1") makes for easier drawing.

http://meiboku.info/guide/form/sori/index.htm
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #20
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Quote:
David Soroko wrote:
In Iwama bukiwaza, the bokken is not used used as a short stuff or club. There are plenty of videos of Saito Morihiro doing ken suburi and kumitachi, have a look.
Could you clarify your previous statement a bit?
Have a look at this ken tai jo video, it demonstrates some of the different aspects of the sword and the staff : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA_0_Zwo6uw

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #21
sorokod
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
It's a striking weapon, not "an approximation of a shinken," and it is also not a short staff or club. Can you clarify what the bokken is in Saito Sensei's Aikiken system?
My personal view is that both jo and bokken are tools for the study and development of power and its application. Aikiken and Aikijo are not self contained kenjitsu and jojitsu system.

-- david
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #22
Gerardo Torres
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
it's the Conan school of aikiken. i have extensive knowledge on such style. it's a very popular style. although i have not quite master the Arnold speech that accompanied the style.
And ironically enough, Conan learned the sword from a Japanese swordsman!

Kiyoshi Yamazaki and Arnold.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:42 AM   #23
Petar A
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Smile Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Hello Petar, hope you are well.

Here is a photo of a weapons rack in Iwama, it is from "Traditional Aikido Vol. 4" by Saito Morihiro Sensei which was published in October 1974. The original is split over two pages and I "glued" them together.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-f...apons-grey.jpg

Hope this helps.
Hello David,

thank you so much you win one free bokken ,
very nice picture, it will help,

long time I didn't visit this forum, work on some new weapons, weapons for the exhibition, etc.

also if you look on my aikido blog I make first replica of O Sensei bokken

send me mail for your new free bokken
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #24
Petar A
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Hello Petar,
The photo was taken at the 2008 10th international Aikido congress, where there was also an exhibition in Tanabe with relics and photo's of O Sensei's life. Most of what was shown came from the Kumano Juku Dojo. This bokken was unusual big and heavy, more like a suburito.

What is the specific detail that you are looking for?

Tom
Hi Tom,

Sorry I'm late with the response,
I'm very glad that someone still knows more about this bokken, and thank you for share that information with me and others.
Somehow I felt that was a little bigger bokken, because that I make my replica a bit "gained" in relation to other aikido bokken that I usually make, you could see more pic. on my aikido buki blog, if you interested I could send you this replica, just live me PM

ah yes, about details we could discuss also on PM

Regards,

Petar
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:05 AM   #25
Petar A
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Re: O Sensei bokken

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I don't know much about weapons, but the particular thing I notice about this bokken, is that it's center of curvature is nearer to the hilt than usual (koshi-zori or bizen-zori). Is that the feature you are looking for?

Hi,

Well done you have a very good "eye" for detail, this is it
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