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Old 01-27-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
kokyu
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Saito Sensei's weapons

Hi,

After attending an excellent weapons seminar recently, I was thinking of improving my library on Saito Sensei's weapons system

I already own Guerri Sensei's DVD on weapons. Although it's very comprehensive, there is very little explanation or advice on techniques - e.g. common mistakes, pointers on improving technique

A search through the web has yielded 2 double volume sets - one by Hoa Newens Sensei of Aikido Insititute Davis and another featuring Saito Sensei from Aikido Journal.

Has anyone viewed both sets? I would like to purchase one of the sets but am not sure which provides more explanation. Also, if there are other DVDs you would recommend, I would be grateful.

Thanks very much
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:24 AM   #2
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Well if you would like to get to know Saito's weapons through DVD I would recomend going straight to the source. You can by Saito's own DVD's over at Aikidojournal.com. Otherwise I would recomend the two books "Bukiwaza, Aikiken and Aikijo" by Ethan Weisgard. Probably the most comprehensive and "correct" material on Saito's bukiwaza legacy.

/J

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #3
PeterKang
Dojo: YMCA aikido club KL
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

SK,
I second getting Ethan Weisgard's books " Bukiwaza." I have seen them and they are written very clearly. I really would like to buy a set but I feel that they are prohibitively expensive.

My understanding is that the Saito sensei set from aikido journal is a re-release or later edition of an earlier work. The earlier book set is said to be a classic. I have only seen the newer edition and its pretty detailed.

If you can get your hands on Aiki Friendship demonstration DVDs, there are classic displays of Saito sensei performing the kumitachis and kumijo practices on there.

TTYL

Regards

Peter
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:10 AM   #4
kokyu
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Well... I took aikilove's advice and received the books today.They are very comprehensive and quite descriptive too. Thanks!

The Aikijo volume is much thicker than the Aikiken volume... I guess this goes to show the jo is a more complex weapon than the ken

While writing this post, two thoughts struck me:
1) Does the Yoshinkan have weapons training (besides empty hand against weapons)? I've seen a few photos showing high-ranking Sensei demonstrating waza as sword movements... but these have been far and few between
2) Although Saito Sensei has done a beautiful job integrating weapons into Aikido practice... I know other Sensei such as Kobayashi Sensei, Chiba Sensei, Saotome Sensei and Homma Sensei have strong weapons background... Would anyone know the key differences in their styles?
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:07 AM   #5
Aikilove
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Kobayashi's weapons are Saito's weapons. Kobayashi's student K. Igarashi (now head of his own organization) helped M. Saito when he wrote the first books. Since then the aikiken and aikijo (with minor differences) were included as curricula at Kobayashi dojo.

Chiba sensei used M. Saito's weapon as a template (he was also in Iwama for a period of time) and has since developed his own set from these together with his training in iaido.

Homma sensei's weapons are essentially Saito senseis weapon. He was an uchi deshi in Iwama in the end of the 60's.

Saotome sensei's weapon I would say is the most unique and if I understood relatively self created.

/J

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:13 AM   #6
kokyu
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Thanks for the explanation
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Another Aikido shihan with a unique approach to weapons was Nishio Sensei. His ken and jo techniques are derived from his training in iaido and jojutsu.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:13 AM   #8
raul rodrigo
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

The late Seigo Yamaguchi and some of his students like Sekiya, Tissier, Inaba, Gleason, etc, have a background in Kashima Shin Ryu kenjutsu rather than the more common Iwama style sword. It helps give their aikido a very different flavor.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
David Yap
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Jakob Blomquist wrote: View Post
...Saotome sensei's weapon I would say is the most unique and if I understood relatively self created.
Hi Jakob,

I would say that this (creation) isn't difficult to do in this modern age. In the confine of our small aikido community in Malaysia, we have quite a number of "sensei" who have their own systems of "aiki ken" and "aiki jo", In the same context, I would say they are unique

R

David Y
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:48 PM   #10
David Yap
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
The late Seigo Yamaguchi and some of his students like Sekiya, Tissier, Inaba, Gleason, etc, have a background in Kashima Shin Ryu kenjutsu rather than the more common Iwama style sword. It helps give their aikido a very different flavor.
Hi Raul,

I would say the same with Tetsutaka Sugawara shihan who has a background in Iwama weapons (as a deshi) and teaching qualification in Katori Shinto Ryu.

We hosted him in our dojo last December; his aikido indeed has a different flavor. We hope to host him again in 2008. If any of your "KLiens" are interested, please do PM me.

Regards

David Y
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:10 AM   #11
Aikilove
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

I agree... I was just responding regarding the names brought up by the poster.

/J

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:18 AM   #12
David Yap
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Jakob Blomquist wrote: View Post
I agree... I was just responding regarding the names brought up by the poster.

/J
Hi Jakob,

I wasn't belittling Saotome shihan in anyway. I am convinced that he is a fantastic and wonderful teacher. I am sure somewhere/sometime he did have some significant exposure to traditional Japanese weaponry. He was one of the longest serving uchi deshi at hombu.

I was complimenting our unique local sensei who are equally talented.

David Y
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:14 AM   #13
kokyu
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Cito Maramba wrote: View Post
Another Aikido shihan with a unique approach to weapons was Nishio Sensei. His ken and jo techniques are derived from his training in iaido and jojutsu.
That's true...but my impression of Nishio Sensei (and Saotome Sensei) was their focus on training with live blades (wonder whether that's true in their dojos?)
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
kokyu
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
The late Seigo Yamaguchi and some of his students like Sekiya, Tissier, Inaba, Gleason, etc, have a background in Kashima Shin Ryu kenjutsu rather than the more common Iwama style sword. It helps give their aikido a very different flavor.
Interesting... however, in an interview with Yamaguchi Sensei's famous student, i.e. Endo Sensei, I did recall a strong preference for empty-handed techniques... I remember the interviewer asking him about weapons training, and Endo Sensei replied there was still so much to be done with taijutsu... maybe he wasn't part of the group that took to weapons in a big way?
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:39 AM   #15
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
That's true...but my impression of Nishio Sensei (and Saotome Sensei) was their focus on training with live blades (wonder whether that's true in their dojos?)
Nishio Sensei developed an Iaido system called Aiki Toho Iaido, where most of the kata illustrate the principles of a specific empty-handed Aikido waza. The grading system for Aiki Toho Iaido is separate from Aikido.
Each empty-handed Aikido waza also has equivalent ken-tai-ken (bokken vs. bokken) and ken-tai-jo (jo vs. bokken) form.
In an article I read, Meik Skoss called Nishio Sensei's taijutsu and buki-waza a "true expression of Riai (union of principles) in Aikido".

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:55 AM   #16
raul rodrigo
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
Interesting... however, in an interview with Yamaguchi Sensei's famous student, i.e. Endo Sensei, I did recall a strong preference for empty-handed techniques... I remember the interviewer asking him about weapons training, and Endo Sensei replied there was still so much to be done with taijutsu... maybe he wasn't part of the group that took to weapons in a big way?
I know the interview you mean. Yes, Endo is an exception among the Yamaguchi deshi in that he doesn't emphasize the sword or show that his taijutsu derive from the sword. (Unlike a Gleason or a Yasuno, for instance.) I don't really know why Endo is different, though of course we know that Endo is a relative latecomer to the group, in that he only chose to follow Yamaguchi after spending ten years in Hombu Dojo following other teachers like K. Ozawa. As opposed to a Yoshinobu Takeda or Yasuno, who were with Yamaguchi since almost the beginning of their aikido careers.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:10 AM   #17
Aikilove
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Re: Saito Sensei's weapons

Well Endo sensei has influences from Yamaguchi, but it is clear that he has developed a style very much his own for a long time.

/J

Jakob Blomquist
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