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Old 02-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #1
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
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bokken vs bokken?

(This may belong in the technique forum, but as it relates primarily to the bokken, I'm posting it here.)

I just observed testing for the first time at my dojo this evening. I noticed that some of the higher ranks were doing bokken-vs-bokken techniques, where the uke was armed as well as the nage. As a beginner typically in a class for beginners, I've only seen the bokken used in solo kata or with an armed uke and unarmed nage where the technique ended in typical aiki fashion. However, these techniques, as I recall, usually ended with a strike to the neck or shoulder, which of course would hypothetically kill the uke.

As the testing session was going on late, I left during 10-minute recess and held my questions for later, so now I pose this inquiry to you all. Is this typical in an aikido cirriculum or is this some element of kenjutsu or iado that my dojo has incorporated into the bokken cirriculum? If it is typical in an aikido cirriculum, what is the purpose? I would guess simply to build a foundation in bokken use but I'm curious what you think/know. If there is any reading on this, feel free to redirect me. I'm very curious!
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:16 PM   #2
Keith_k
Dojo: Kim's Hapkido
Location: California
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

I don't practice Aikido so I can't comment on how normal this sort of thing is, but I can say this for sure: swords are made to kill.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:17 PM   #3
Larry John
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Arlington VA
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Eric,

Several aikido styles, including but not limited to Saotome sensei's Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) include paired weapons kata (bokken and jo) as integral parts of their teaching syllabus from day one. In fact, Saotome sensei made a big point of stressing the importance of weapons work to the folks who attended ASU Winter Camp in DC this year. The official ASU Student Handbook has testing requirements for these kata beginning with the test for shodan.

As I understand it (I hope someone like Ledyard sensei will clarify anything I get wrong), weapons are a great way to magnify what students are doing so one can more readily see errors in distance, timing, footwork and center-to-center geometry more clearly. They also help to encourage the development of center, smoothness and the requisite martial spirit.

Larry

Larry
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:18 PM   #4
Don_Modesto
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote:
....these techniques, as I recall, usually ended with a strike to the neck or shoulder, which of course would hypothetically kill the uke....Is this typical in an aikido cirriculum or is this some element of kenjutsu or iado that my dojo has incorporated into the bokken cirriculum?
Depends on your dojo.

ASU BOKKEN KATA typically end with the point of the BOKKEN at one individual's throat who then drops his weapon to one side. Don't know about others.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
------------------------
http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:15 AM   #5
senshincenter
 
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Eric,

Weapons training is not universal to Aikido - though all of Aikido has its roots connected to or even located within weapons training. Some federations practice weapons, some do not. Some dojo do, some do not. Even within those that do, as it is the same within those that don't, reasons and understandings for training with or in weapons are often quite varied (same for reasons not to train in weapons).

If I may suggest, perhaps what you saw in weapons training should not have you doubt or question weapons training itself. Perhaps such an experience is better spent having you reflect further upon what you thought or may be thinking body art is or should be or can't be, etc. Sounds more to me like a chance for horizons to be broadened - and that's a good thing in my opinion. Sounds like you are heading in that direction, so I say, "keep going." (for what it's worth)

In our dojo we practice weapons. Aside from Iaido we also do weapons training similar to what I understand you to be describing. I have some writings on our web site - which might address your request for being pointed toward more information, etc. If you have time, please check them out. There are also videos of such practice. On those video pages you will find descriptions that might also prove to be informative - granting we are just one dojo of the many that train in weapons. What you will read is our take on things, but I imagine there is some universal stuff in there as well.

Here are the links to the writings and the videos:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/w...straining.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/w...backagain.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/w...dasshield.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/w...hyweapons.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/jobokken1.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/jobokken2.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/weapons1.html

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...ikikenone.html

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:40 AM   #6
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

In Korindo Aikido we have weapons training, which even includes Weapons Randori:
Boken Vs Boken,
Jo Vs Jo (Though that is non traditional)
Jo Vs Boken
Bo (RokShakuBo) VS Bo
Wakizashi Vs Wakizashi
etc.

But then again in Korindo Aikido the philosophical content does not object so strongly to killing as you seem too (at least to my best understanding) and the weapon work comes from the collection of Koryu learnt by Korindo Aikido founder and his senior students.

Amir
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:30 AM   #7
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Hi

Yes this is pretty standard practice in many aikido dojo.

What you are describing is Awase work.

This practice develops blending or timing. This is the harmony of aikido. As uke cuts tori evades (tenkan) then replies (irimi)

Move too soon...and uke will not cut where you were but will follow you and cut where you are.

Move too late...bang!

So you look to move at the instance that uke attacks. In his attack there is an opening for you to seize.

As has been mentioned ...the larger moves associated with weapons are easier to see and understand.

Also the increase in distance between uke and Tori means that an understanding of the influence of 'Maai' - distance can be incorporated into practice.

In essence this paired weapons work should be identical to unarmed tai jutsu. This makes it ai ki do.

If there are special moves just for weapons then this would make it technique orientated and more of a jutsu. Not any less effective but just not aikido.

aikido weapons are aiki-ken, aiki-jo or even aiki-club! If aiki is not present it becomes for instance kenjutsu.

Cheers

D
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:48 PM   #8
Solarius
 
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Eric, I don't see anything strange in the fact that what you saw was training twin-bokken and that the katta ended with a kill-strike. First of all, a sword is meant to fight against another sword. If you train with a sword only against unarmed oponents, it's harder to understand many things, including distancing and timing. Secondly, kata ends with a kill-strike, because no matter what senseis or anyone tell you, no matter what beautiful words any arguments about peace, self-betterment, etc. are wrapped in, the art of the sword is the art of killing. A sword is a deadly weapon. Otherwise it's a stick. All twin-katas I've seen end with a killing strike. Because it's a logical ending of a sword-fight which the kata to some degree imitates (Well it sure doesn't imitate sandwich eating...). I wouldn't see the point of learning to fight with a bokken without learning how to fight against another bokken.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:42 AM   #9
John Boswell
 
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

To put it as simply as I can, from what I know:

Much of the basis for Aikido's unarmed movements are based on movements with weapons. The tai-sabaki of aikido as determined by the founder, is all based around weapons work.

Not all dojo use weapons. Not all dojo use weapons in the same way. BUT... if you can do the weapons work, then you should know the hand-to-hand work as well.

That's an over simplification, but I hope it drives the main point home.

MAN! I wish Patricia Hendricks Sensei posted on Aiki-web! Direct student of Saito Shihan with regard to weapons? SHE is the authority in this as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 02-04-2005, 12:12 PM   #10
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote:
(This may belong in the technique forum, but as it relates primarily to the bokken, I'm posting it here.)
Is this typical in an aikido cirriculum or is this some element of kenjutsu or iado that my dojo has incorporated into the bokken cirriculum? If it is typical in an aikido cirriculum, what is the purpose? I would guess simply to build a foundation in bokken use but I'm curious what you think/know. If there is any reading on this, feel free to redirect me. I'm very curious!
My opinion:
Typical is not something I would necessarily connect with all the various styles of aikido. Common may be a better choice of words. Weapons practice in some form is common in certain styles/organizations and rare in others. The depth of weapons training also varies considerable from a few patterns to extensive systems.

What do you get? Again in my opinion:
1. Weapons help train footwork, distancing and appreciation for angles during attack situations.
2. They also help understand the derivation of many techniques.
3. I also feel weapons help with body/arm coordination and timing as well.
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Old 02-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #11
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
To put it as simply as I can, from what I know:

Much of the basis for Aikido's unarmed movements are based on movements with weapons. The tai-sabaki of aikido as determined by the founder, is all based around weapons work.

Not all dojo use weapons. Not all dojo use weapons in the same way. BUT... if you can do the weapons work, then you should know the hand-to-hand work as well.

That's an over simplification, but I hope it drives the main point home.

MAN! I wish Patricia Hendricks Sensei posted on Aiki-web! Direct student of Saito Shihan with regard to weapons? SHE is the authority in this as far as I'm concerned.
That's the way I've been taught it...As for Hendricks Sensei posting on Aikiweb...that'd be awesome...someone should get her on here....

Bryce
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Old 02-19-2005, 07:43 PM   #12
kaihei
Dojo: Great Falls Budokai
Location: Dumfries, Virginia
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote:
If it is typical in an aikido curriculum, what is the purpose?
Bokken on Bokken in Aiki is usually (IMHO) used to teach a theory not a technique. Next time you do a Bokken on Bokken technique ask yourself how does it relate to an Aiki technique.
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:42 PM   #13
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
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Re: bokken vs bokken?

Yoshokai aikido has weapons work from 7th kyu up. (Bokken, jo, tanto.) I think it's awesome.

I don't know anything about kenjutsu. However, I do recall hearing that the setsuninto katsujinken concept of the Yagyu school was put into practice with controlling rather than killing cuts. I remember hearing that O-sensei's own swordwork tended towards this method.

That said, most of what we practice would be pretty lethal. I think part of the point is to find a way to make a study of slashing people up and getting slashed up into a study of harmony.
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