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Old 08-27-2007, 02:22 PM   #1
Daniel Ranger-Holt
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How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Just an honest question, of course ive asked my Sensei, Higher grades and would be interested to hear people views on this. Besides the entering at the beginning of the technique, i dont see another reason to train with the Bokken, as opposed to empty handed. I dont enjoy weapons training, all the time my pea brain is telling me "this isn't of much use" but of course i respectfully continue. But when i hear we have a whole lesson of weapons ahead i become uninterested. It feels pointlss, and im very stubborn

Im not talking about wrist excersices of course i understand the relevance there. I just want to understand more and hear other explinations, as to why we learn sword techniques, how does this effect our Aikido (i assume most dojos do??). I will share my senseis views on this once i hear some other peoples. Personally i still have a hard time seeing (besides where i said) how training to disarms someone with a sword, or how to cut them, slash them, is really helping my Aikido. Bear in mind i am a year and a bit newbie.
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:31 PM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

One reason, Daniel, is that any problems with posture, movement, and, for example, hand - foot coordination is improved because of the exageration caused by the longer lever in your hands affecting your center of gravity. Your ability to deal with the aspects of target, distance, and timing fundamentals can also improve by training with bokken and jo. Of course, this all depends on whether the fundamentals you're doing with bokken and jo are sound in theory. If so you'll improve your tai jitsu. I have seen many students with problems in empty handed training improve through good weapons training. The fundamentals, of course, are the same.

Chuck Clark
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #3
Shany
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Apart from the fact that weapons improves your balance and put your body in the correct posture, balance..etc, sometimes it is better and easier to understand a tai-jutsu (with hands) techniques when using a weapon.

for example:
Technique: Shio-Nage.
Weapon: Bokken.

Stand in a standard Bokken holding posture, (gyaku-hanmi, if there is other person infront of you), raise your sword as if you were doing yoko-men-uchi (side-head-inner strike) with your jo, and turn with ur bokken and body 180 to the right and lower your bokken as to finish the strike.

this is nicely done, and would help understand shio-nage with much faster understanding than just trying to do it with brute-force tryings mantra until the brain goes "ahhhhhh now I get it...".
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:17 PM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

IMHO, if you move as if you have a sword (cut don't pull), your technique will improve.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
John Ruhl
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

For what it's worth, I find that paired weapons kata really highlight those moments when your concentration fails. Nothing like a wooden stick coming at your head to make you confront the fact that your brain just hiccuped.

As such, I think they are great tools for developing concentration and focus, in addition to the good things already mentioned.

-John
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
asiawide
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Well... there are many different styles in aikido. But anyone can practice aikido(especially taijutsu) with other people from the different styles. For aiki-ken or -jo, is it possible? The basic kamae of aiki weapon is different. 11(foot position) style(like mondern kendo), 1 style(like koryu kenjutsu). Which one is right and help you to improve aikido taijutsu? Shihonage is a typical example for aikiweapon and taijutsu connection. But is it REALLY necessary to learn aiki weapon to do or improve proper shihonage? Is it a TOOL or OBJECT itself?
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:15 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Jaemin Yu wrote: View Post
Shihonage is a typical example for aikiweapon and taijutsu connection. But is it REALLY necessary to learn aiki weapon to do or improve proper shihonage?
Um....for some of us, yes.
I have used the bokken to demo shihonage to kohei and it has served for them as the same AHA! moment it did for me.
So, in that sense, it is very much a learning tool....and while I realize not all dojo include weapons, for those that do, I do not see that "learning tool" is something separate/distinct from the whole art.
The original poster was not asking "is training w/ the bokken an integral part of aikido" but "how does it help improve my aikido?" and I think many of us are providing specifics.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:32 PM   #8
Karen Wolek
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

All I know is that after 5 years of aikido, if my Sensei tells me to cut like a sword when we are doing empty-handed practice and I do just that.....man, does the technique work so much better!

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:51 AM   #9
Daniel Ranger-Holt
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Brilliant, thanks everyone, appreciated. It has put the weapons training into a different light. I don't think i've asked enough questions about it.I was always told mainly for entering and posture, not much else. Interesting.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:29 PM   #10
odudog
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Just practicing a shomen cut {suburi} with the bokken will tell you many things about your Aikido such as:

shoulders are burning - not relaxed enough
stiff movement - not relaxed enough
out of breath - not breathing properly
bokken tip pointed down after cut - not in control
can't move hips well - not relaxed enough
can't move hips well - using arms instead of hips to provide energy
hands are tired - gripping bokken too tightly {not relaxed}
can't move hips well - kamae is too narrow or too wide
etc.....
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:34 AM   #11
wildaikido
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Simple, if you can strike, or take a sword from, a kendoka, you will have no problem dealing with any one else, eg a boxer.

Regards,

Graham Wild
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:05 AM   #12
Daniel Ranger-Holt
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Graham Wild wrote: View Post
Simple, if you can strike, or take a sword from, a kendoka, you will have no problem dealing with any one else, eg a boxer.

Regards,
I don't really understand how one translates to the other in this instance, can you explain further. If i can take a sword from my opponent, i will have no problem dealing with for example, a boxer?
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:06 AM   #13
Aristeia
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

What everyone else said. Great for awareness - even better once the blade becomes shiny rather than wooden. I'll also add a couple (which may have been mentioned as I just did a quick skim of responses).

1. Centering. I can remember very clearly one particular student I had who I was struggling to get him to sink his weight. His movements were all up and a bit too floaty. I got him to start doing lots of jo kata work and his center started to drop.

2. Footwork. Particularly beginners sometimes are not as precise with their foot work as they could be. Usually this takes the form of extra steps, and just kind of walking around the mat as they do their waza as opposed to moving simply, strongly and with intent. Weapons practice is great for instilling that ability.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:10 AM   #14
Aristeia
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

oops double post

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:15 AM   #15
wildaikido
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Daniel Ranger-Holt wrote: View Post
I don't really understand how one translates to the other in this instance, can you explain further. If i can take a sword from my opponent, i will have no problem dealing with for example, a boxer?
I am not talking about a normal opponent, but if you can take a sword from a kendoka (someone who does kendo) then I honestly think you would have no problem dealing with someone like a boxer. Simply because the sward is moving faster then a punch, and you have to cover a longer distance (the length of the sword) to get in and disarm the person.

Even if you just have effective Tai Sabaki (body movements) against a swordsman, you will have no problems moving out of the way of a normal attack, eg a punch.

Regards,

Graham Wild
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:45 AM   #16
Gonšalo Alves
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

for me weapon training is just fundamental!!

learning proper maai, tai sabaki and difficult kamae like hitoemi!!
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:17 PM   #17
Aikibu
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Gonšalo Alves wrote: View Post
for me weapon training is just fundamental!!

learning proper maai, tai sabaki and difficult kamae like hitoemi!!
Exactly..."Aikido is the Sword"

To students of Shoji Nishio Shihan; A Bokken is the hub in which the wheel of practice revolves around.

William Hazen
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:08 PM   #18
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Exactly..."Aikido is the Sword"

To students of Shoji Nishio Shihan; A Bokken is the hub in which the wheel of practice revolves around.

William Hazen
Yes, and the jo is hub of the other wheel

Time for a new thread.. "How does training with the Jo help to improve my Aikido?"

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:38 PM   #19
Eric Webber
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

I find that training with bokken significantly improves:
1. ma-ai
2. martial awareness
3. whole body coordination
4. mindfulness
5. physical power focus/concentration/delivery
6. ki extension (if you're into that sort of thing...)
7. ki-ai practice
8. awareness of hanmi and balance
9. understanding of empty hand techniques
10. overall mental health

Additionally, it gives me something to do at home when I cannot make it to the dojo for a class.

I specified "bokken" rather than "weapons" as I am partial to the bokken and tend to gravitate toward it in my practice. I'm sure there area folks who find these same things and more in practicing with the jo or another weapon. I should also specify that my practice includes basic suburi, solo kata, as well as paired practice (generally in the form of whatever was shown at the previous year's summer camp, plus our standard kumitachi).
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:44 PM   #20
Karen Wolek
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

One of the classes tonight turned out to be just me and another 1st kyu. And Sensei, of course.

He had us do 500 bokken cuts first. Then we did freestyle for the rest of the class. He does not like my shihonage so I worked on that A LOT tonight. He mentioned while correcting my shihonage that this is why he had us doing all those bokken cuts, and that instead of pulling in and pushing down (two things we are never supposed to do, pull and push, and there I was doing them both in one technique, ha ha)...I needed to cut and extend, just like with the bokken.

That I just cut with a few minutes ago. 500 times in a row.

Heh.

Now, if only I remember that lesson the next time I do shihonage.

It was an awesome class...

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:40 PM   #21
ChrisHein
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

When you wish to hit someone with a bokken, you will do it better.

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Old 08-29-2007, 11:32 PM   #22
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
When you wish to hit someone with a bokken, you will do it better.
Yeah! Like this guy:


Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:47 PM   #23
Walker
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

"If we swing the stick for 1000 years we will become like Musashi. When we become like Musashi we will rule the world!"

-Doug Walker
光道館 高村派新道楊心流
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:11 AM   #24
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
"If we swing the stick for 1000 years we will become like Musashi. When we become like Musashi we will rule the world!"
Ummm.. can I pass on the never taking a bath part?

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:35 AM   #25
Bronson
 
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Re: How does training with the Bokken Help to improve my Aikido?

Well, after a lifetime of arduous training and personal sacrifice you'll be able to do stuff like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBe0B...e=user&search= and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJyqZ...e=user&search=

And let's not forget that you're probably also learning to use the staff as well so we should take a look at the skill that years, nay, decades of dedication and living your life on the martial path can bring you ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc336...e=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqx-b...e=user&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsl01...e=user&search=

And here's a link for all the folks in the above clips: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec19/ch222/ch222e.html

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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