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Old 11-16-2000, 12:47 PM   #1
Zach Hudson
Dojo: Siskiyou Aikikai and Aikido Habatakukai
Location: Winchester, England
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 7
Does anybody know (or have a guess at) why O'Sensei made the jo and bokken the primary weapons used in Aikido. Why not any of the many other kobudo weapons?

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Old 11-17-2000, 11:04 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 563
the best reply I can give is that he studied sword and jo arts, and, if you really think about it, many of the techniques we do, say ikkyo, require to move the arm down, as if to cut it with a sword. Having good sword cuts leads to good "arm cuts", if you will.


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Old 11-17-2000, 12:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
do you think it could be what he knew and had studied?
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Old 11-17-2000, 02:11 PM   #4
George S. Ledyard
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670

Zach Hudson wrote:
Does anybody know (or have a guess at) why O'Sensei made the jo and bokken the primary weapons used in Aikido. Why not any of the many other kobudo weapons?

One answer is that O-Sensei didn't make these weapons the primary weapons of Aikido, later practitioners did. O-Sensei I am sure felt that sword work was core to understanding Budo which would put him in agreement with most Japanese martial artists. But after sword it was really spear in it's many variations that interested him. He avidly practiced Jukendo, used the Bo extensively and even gave separate rank in its use (ie Hikitsuchi Sensei), used jo in demonstrations and for teaching, and there are a number of well known pictures of him using a Boar Spear.

Why he felt that these weapons were important for Aikido students is due to the nature of technique and its relationship to hand technbique. Basically, sword is about cutting or slicing, (although you can certainly thrust) and relates closely to the turning body movements (Ura) of Aikido and the circular cutting movements of the throwing techniques. Spear relates most closely to the entering movements (omote) and the extension movements directly to the center of the partner (including atemi). While each weapon expresses these principles in a slightly different way and has its own "personality" the principles of Entering and Turning are really contained in both weapons as they are not separate principles anyway.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 11-17-2000, 11:08 PM   #5
Location: Edinburgh
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 46
I Don't Know

I have just read the aikiweb interview with Stanley Pranin,


which it is made clear that there is no real evidence to suggest that o'sensei studied any weapon arts in depth and the reason aikido can be thought of in terms of sword work, probably, was beacause Sokaku Takeda major arts were the sword arts and even though he didn't teach sword work often he must have used its principles.

As for the jo I don't know and so I will say so rather than tell you something which I am not sure about. If you have queations on aikido history Stan is the man.

Regards Paul Finn
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Old 11-18-2000, 03:28 PM   #6
IP Hash: d5d695b0
Anonymous User
Re: I Don't Know

Strange, but he did teach shuriken-jutsu at the Hombu Dojo for a while.

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