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Old 11-23-2007, 08:02 AM   #1
Jon Shickel
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Weapon forms vary?

I was wondering how much Weapon forms vary across different styles of Aikido? If I get a DVD of weapon forms from a different style, would its Jo 1 be the same as my Jo 1?
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:11 AM   #2
aikidoc
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Not likely. I have seen the weapons forms of Saotome and Saito, have practiced some of Saito's and now practice the forms of Kato. They are aikikai and yet all different. Some have more weapons material than others, some little if any. Kato sensei for example has kumitachi and kumijo sets for ikkyo through rokyo, omote, ura parts 1-3 .
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:52 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

It seems like each very high level instructor has developed his own preferred katas based on what weapons arts he trained in and principles he wants to impart. So, no, instructional tapes would really only have value within the style you are learning.

Janet Rosen
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:17 AM   #4
aikispike
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Even within Yoshinkan dojo they vary considerably. The factor to consider is how close your dojo was to Kushida Sensei. For those in Canada and the Eastern US, if you do weapons they are probably fairly close to what Kushida taught.

If there is no connection to Kushida Sensei there is a good chance no weapons are done at all. If there is no connection to Kushida Sensei and weapons are done they are probably stolen from Saito Sensei.

At AYC, Kimeda Sensei ( a.k.a. Dad, not referring to myself in the 3rd person) had redone all his weapons forms over the past 10 years or so as a result of his studies in Jodo and Iaido.

Spike

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:36 AM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
It seems like each very high level instructor has developed his own preferred katas based on what weapons arts he trained in and principles he wants to impart. So, no, instructional tapes would really only have value within the style you are learning.
You have to realize that there is no "official" weapons work in Aikido. O-Sensei did not teach anything systematic at all (weapons or empty hand).

Certain students of the Founder, notably Shirata, Hikitsuchi, and Mochizuki of the pre-war group, and Nishio, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Saotome, Chiba, Kani, Imaizumi, etc got exposure to some degree or other to various koryu plus iaido and kendo. Each had his own version of aiki waepons work. Some have managed to pass on that work to larger communities of students but others did not and what they knew / know isn't commonly seen.

Saito Sensei appointed himself as the great systematizer of O-Sensei's weapons work. He tried to take all of the material he got from O-Sensei while training at Iwama and make something organized and teachable out of it. Much to the chagrin of the folks in Tokyo at Headquarters, his teachings morphed into what is now called Iwama Ryu, which included this systematic presentation of weapons training. To the extent that many of the post-war Shihan do weapons work, for most it was learned on their trips to Iwama and this was due to Saito's structuring of the curriculum. This went directly in the face of the direction taken by Headquarters which decided to de-emphasize weapons training completely. So the Aikido as presented by the current Doshu is devoid of any systematic weapons as part of the system. It's all being kept alive outside Hombu.

A few teachers like Nishio and Saotome went beyond and made up their own systems. Nishio's sword and jo work is entirely his own and he even took his training in Iaido and created a set of iai forms for Aikido folks. Chiba Sensei's efforts were especially notable in the area of the jo where he created a unique form called Sansho which is quite different than anyone else's work.

Saotome Sensei uses Saito's jo forms as the core of the jo training but created a number of other jo forms in addition (his Patrol Kata). His sword work is entirely his own. The sword forms used in the ASU are Saotome Sensei's and you won't see them anywhere else. In addition Sensei created a whole body of two sword technique which is unique in Aikido.

So, to my way of thinking, there isn't anything that can be called "official" weapons work in Aikido; it all depends on who you train with. However, one thing should be clear, if it can be legitimately considered aiki-sword or aiki-jo, then the weapons work should be using the same principles of aiki as the empty hand ones does. Since there is an issue with people understanding what aiki is or should be in their empty hand, it is even more true of their weapons work. Most folks would have a very hard time telling you exactly why their sword work utilizes the same principles of aiki as their empty hand work. This is because it largely doesn't.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:02 PM   #6
Jon Shickel
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Thank you all for the resonses! As my icon may suggest, I train in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido ("Ki Aikido") style.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

I believe Tohei Sensei's jogi 1-3 and kengi 1 & 2 were from his training with O' Sensei. Being originally Aikikai (post-Tohei obviously), and then jumping the fence to Tohei lingeage (through Bill Sosa Sensei) I see commonality between the ken and jo taught. The 31 step jo kata taught in (most) Aikikai dojos resembles in many ways Tohei's jogi 1. Since Saito Sensei was a student of Tohei and of course, O'Sensei, it seems logical that there are more similarities than differences.

It does seem that all the Shihan, mine included, put their own personality and spin on their weapons work.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:01 PM   #8
aikidoc
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Agreed there is a lot of interpretation out there. Kato sensei has a very extensive weapons system. Kumitachi/kumijo (72 patterns), misogi no jo, happo undo, etc. I saw the majority of it recently when he did a seminar at my dojo and was able to video it. His is as extensive as Saito's and then some. He uses the weapons to connect to the taijutsu.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:25 AM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
Agreed there is a lot of interpretation out there. Kato sensei has a very extensive weapons system. Kumitachi/kumijo (72 patterns), misogi no jo, happo undo, etc. I saw the majority of it recently when he did a seminar at my dojo and was able to video it. His is as extensive as Saito's and then some. He uses the weapons to connect to the taijutsu.
Kato Sensei is another "old timer". Do you know what his training background was?

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:12 AM   #10
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Michael Ellefson wrote: View Post
...Since Saito Sensei was a student of Tohei...
Did Koichi Tohei ever teach at Iwama?
Just curious..

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:11 AM   #11
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Kato Sensei is another "old timer". Do you know what his training background was?
My understanding it has only been aikido. He worked out against other arts only to make sure his aikido worked against them. He did do a lot of personal weapons training but I'd have to ask him if he has studied weapons arts other than aikido or with other aikidoka doing weapons.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:28 AM   #12
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Is there an old martial art O sensei learned where i can see the jo techniques of aikido coming from? like looking at daito ryu & seeing the connection.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:09 AM   #13
Aikilove
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

As for Tohei teaching in Iwama or not. He was apparently present when Saito started his training there 1946, but, he was not teaching. The founder did. He was a sempai, however, and of course acted as such vis a vi Saito in the beginning (i.e. Tohei wiping the floor with him rather than the reverse case).

Regarding the weapons of Tohei and Saito, I would say that the Jo kata are similar due to both of them being in Iwama at the time of the founder really teaching the stuff. O-sensei had a set of different movements and patterns that he incorporated repeatedly in his Jo-playing and misogi.
I believe he "faught" real, or otherwise, kami as he did these type of play. His long katas varied from time to time leading to the small variation in 13, 31 and 22 kata of Saito and Tohei respectively.
Normally, as he acually taught, he wouldn't teach the long kata, but rather various parries, simple strikes and cuts, and 1-3 movement variations. At most.
The one who experienced this type of training the most was, without a doubt, the late Saito sensei. He then formulized the various block, parry and strike/cuts sequences inte longer patterns - today called kumijo.

Several of the founders students, including Kisshomaru Ueshiba, stated that the founder would build upon old-school forms or sequences, but would aikify them - saying: This is how you do that with Aiki...
I believe, just like George says above, in that if you are going to incorporate bukiwaza in aikido training you better make sure it actually conforms with the way you perform your taijutsu. Otherwise you might as well just call it something else.

The origins of aikijo have been debated alot.
Ellis Amdur wrote some about it over at Aikidojournal.com There was also a fruitful discussion at their forum: Aiki jo revisited

/J

Last edited by Aikilove : 01-24-2009 at 09:13 AM.

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Old 01-25-2009, 05:48 PM   #14
Chris Farnham
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Duncan Macpherson wrote: View Post
Is there an old martial art O sensei learned where i can see the jo techniques of aikido coming from? like looking at daito ryu & seeing the connection.
The main Jo Koryu that I know of is Shinto Muso Ryu. I believe that Nishio sensei studied it quite a bit and incorporated it into his Aik-jo. As for O sensei, and I am no expert, I don't know if he ever trained in any classical Jo school. From what I have heard alot of his Jo work came from spear, and from bayonet work he learned while in the Army. However, I am sure that there are others here that know much more than me.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:22 AM   #15
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Chris Farnham wrote: View Post
The main Jo Koryu that I know of is Shinto Muso Ryu. I believe that Nishio sensei studied it quite a bit and incorporated it into his Aiki-jo.
Correct.

William Hazen
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:44 PM   #16
Andrew S
 
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Duncan Macpherson wrote: View Post
Is there an old martial art O sensei learned where i can see the jo techniques of aikido coming from? like looking at daito ryu & seeing the connection.
Perhaps Hozo-in Ryu. I'm not sure which ryu of sojutsu O-Sensei studied, but there is some Hozo-in Ryu in Takeda's background prior to the formulation of Daito Ryu.

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Old 02-04-2009, 05:08 PM   #17
James Edwards
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Another note on Chiba sensei's weapons work, other than the sansho he also has the 36 partnered jo basics, his 8 bokken suburi and some other additions on top of Saito sensei's weapons syllabus (e.g. 7 bokken suburi and 20 jo suburi). If you look though, his movements look different compared to Saito sensei's as well. For example, from my own observations, there is more emphasis on twisting the jo and having a solid support in jo choku tsuki. The cuts with Chiba sensei's bokken style also seem to more resemble cuts with a live sword. I guess this is just modifying what he had learnt with his own philosophies.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:27 PM   #18
Chris Farnham
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

I studied Chiba Sensei's style of weapons for about five years in the US and now I am learning Iwama weapons here in Japan. The jo tsuki is very different between the two styles, and Chiba sensei's jo work generally seems a bit more circular than Saito's to me, but as I have started to become a bit more familliar with Iwama style, I can definitely see how the two are connected.

As for Chiba sensei's Aiki-ken, I have often heard that his way of handling a boken comes from his Iaido experience. Having done a bit of Muso Shinden Ryu at home, and currently studying Katayam Hoki Ryu Iaido in Japan, I can definitely see a connection to the cutting done in Iaido, but the cuts done in Iaido and the cuts I learned for Chiba style Aiki-ken are not identical. My old sensei who taught me both Muso Shinden Ryu and Chiba sensei's Aiki-ken once told me that Chiba sensei changed his Aiki-ken technique to better illustrate principles found in his empty handed technique.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #19
Chris Farnham
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

I studied Chiba Sensei's style of weapons for about five years in the US and now I am learning Iwama weapons here in Japan. The jo tsuki is very different between the two styles, and Chiba sensei's jo work generally seems a bit more circular than Saito's to me, but as I have started to become a bit more familliar with Iwama style, I can definitely see how the two are connected. I am beginning to see how some of the 36 jo basics and even some sections from Sansho could be adaptations of what Chiba learned in Iwama from O sensei and Saito sensei.

As for Chiba sensei's Aiki-ken, I have often heard that his way of handling a boken comes from his Iaido experience. Having done a bit of Muso Shinden Ryu at home, and currently studying Katayam Hoki Ryu Iaido in Japan, I can definitely see a connection to the cutting done in Iaido, but the cuts done in Iaido and the cuts I learned for Chiba style Aiki-ken are not identical. My old sensei who taught me both Muso Shinden Ryu and Chiba sensei's Aiki-ken once told me that Chiba sensei changed his Aiki-ken technique to better illustrate principles found in his empty handed technique.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:51 PM   #20
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

I personally don't understand why weapons training varies or why folks make up their own stuff. How credible is that in relation to Aikido? They were established by O'Sensei. O'Sensei sent Saito Sensei to the Hombu dojo to continue that aspect of his art. And after O'Sensei passed Saito Sensei was told he was no longer needed. Fortunately for us Saito Sensei continued on his own to train others in O'Sensei's Buki Waza. I wouldn't describe Saito Sensei as appointing himself. O'Sensei instructed him to do so when he was alive and it looks like nobody else wanted to.

I think the root of the problem is - do you agree with the fact that weapons training is an important aspect of training in Aikido, and - do you understand how weapons training will improve your Tai-jutsu? If you agree and understand then your on the right path. If you don't then it doesn't matter, do your on thing as others have.

If you want one of the best ways to train in O'Sensei's Buki Waza pick up the video series "Aikido in Training." You'll learn Iwama style Buki Waza, demonstrated properly.

Good luck...
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:03 AM   #21
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Dennis Murray wrote: View Post
I personally don't understand why weapons training varies or why folks make up their own stuff. How credible is that in relation to Aikido?
How credible is Shoji Nishio in relation to aikido? Or Chiba, Saotome, Hikitsuchi or Shirata? All of these were deshi of Ueshiba, each with their own take on bukiwaza. The Yamaguchi aikido lineage tends to do ken with a strong Kashima Shin ryu flavor that looks nothing like Iwama aiki-ken. Of course, Iwama style folk will say that there is only one correct way to do weapons.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:15 AM   #22
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Dennis Murray wrote: View Post
I personally don't understand why weapons training varies or why folks make up their own stuff. How credible is that in relation to Aikido? They were established by O'Sensei. O'Sensei sent Saito Sensei to the Hombu dojo to continue that aspect of his art. And after O'Sensei passed Saito Sensei was told he was no longer needed. Fortunately for us Saito Sensei continued on his own to train others in O'Sensei's Buki Waza. I wouldn't describe Saito Sensei as appointing himself. O'Sensei instructed him to do so when he was alive and it looks like nobody else wanted to.

I think the root of the problem is - do you agree with the fact that weapons training is an important aspect of training in Aikido, and - do you understand how weapons training will improve your Tai-jutsu? If you agree and understand then your on the right path. If you don't then it doesn't matter, do your on thing as others have.

If you want one of the best ways to train in O'Sensei's Buki Waza pick up the video series "Aikido in Training." You'll learn Iwama style Buki Waza, demonstrated properly.

Good luck...
The whole idea that there is one way to do anything is completely mistaken. Saito Sensei froze in time what he had been doing with the Founder. he was a good systematizer of that work.

O-Sensei barely taught the same thing twice. He taught different things at different places based on the background and interests of the deshi he was working with.

He had students who already had good weapons skills. He didn't tell them "No, it's this way or that way" he just worked with them and they took whatever they could from it.

The idea that the Iwama Ryu stuff is more authentic, more correct, more orthodox is simply not the case. It's simply what O-Sensei was doing in the early fifties at Iwama. He did very different things with my teacher, Saotome Sensei.

What makes weapons work aiki weapons? Not some official external set of movements. Aiki Buki is weapons work done utilizing the principles of aiki. That can take any external form you wish. That's why each teacher worked things out on his own and they don't look the same. O-Sensei didn't want them to look the same, he wanted them to internalize the principles.

Some students had an interest in this and worked very hard at their weapons and others virtually ignored them completely. Its fairly obvious who is who. The idea that their weapons work is some how less valid than what Saito did is totally ridiculous. They created their weapons systems based on what they got from the Founder and then kept training, which is, I believe, the whole point.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:10 AM   #23
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The idea that the Iwama Ryu stuff is more authentic, more correct, more orthodox is simply not the case. It's simply what O-Sensei was doing in the early fifties at Iwama. He did very different things with my teacher, Saotome Sensei.

What makes weapons work aiki weapons? Not some official external set of movements. Aiki Buki is weapons work done utilizing the principles of aiki. That can take any external form you wish. That's why each teacher worked things out on his own and they don't look the same. O-Sensei didn't want them to look the same, he wanted them to internalize the principles.

Some students had an interest in this and worked very hard at their weapons and others virtually ignored them completely. Its fairly obvious who is who. The idea that their weapons work is some how less valid than what Saito did is totally ridiculous. They created their weapons systems based on what they got from the Founder and then kept training...
In my humble opinion much more should be written to make the first and the last sentence of the quote consistent.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:31 AM   #24
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

And what should that be?

Have you read Ellis Amdurs blogs about the origins of aiki weapons over at Aikidojournal.com?

Quote:
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In my humble opinion much more should be written to make the first and the last sentence of the quote consistent.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:57 AM   #25
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Re: Weapon forms vary?

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
And what should that be?

Have you read Ellis Amdurs blogs about the origins of aiki weapons over at Aikidojournal.com?
Well, if one creates a new weapons system which is different from the one developed by the founder, adjectives like "authentic" and "orthodox" do not describe it well (to put it mildly) without further explanation.
I always enjoy reading Ellis Amdur's stuff. Can you point me at the relevant content?

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