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Old 04-12-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
alselec
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Bokken, Jo, Sword?

What length Jo staff is most popular for Aikido practice? Also, what to look for if looking at buying a metal sword? All around, to display, maybe practice some.. etc. Not a real high dollar one, something mid range.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:37 PM   #2
Andrew S
 
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

I would hazzard a guess that the most popular jo size is the standard for Shinto-Muso Ryu (and therefore Japan Kendo Federation) jodo - approx 127 cm long and a diameter of 24 mm. 27mm and 30 mm diameters are also made, but not as common.

Metal sword? I have never used them. My only advice is: if you absolutely *must* get a metal sword, buy an iaido mogito. But if you're not going to study iai or kenjutsu seriously, I feel the money would be better spent on bokuto and suburito of varying lengths and weights.
There are dozens of members who are much better informed on the subject, but that's my ¥2's worth.

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


合気道研心会 Aikido Kenshinkai
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Your instructor is going to be your best guide on size of jo (some want the SMR standard, some want you to have it to your armpit so 50 - 55" can be the range); ditto bokken as some dojo have a standard shape (Iwama) others don't, w/ or w/o tsuba....if you are not training in iaido or similar art why spend the money on iaito?

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
alselec
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Thanks for your info, I would guess height would make a difference on which size Jo, I'm 6'. Ours Jo's look to be about 5', (not sure on thickness), should ask my sensei.
Getting a Bokken, for practice too.
Not sure about a metal sword, probably mostly display, so would like it to look Aikido-ish.. if I get one :-).
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:14 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

There is no such thing as an Aikido sword. Aikido is not a sword art.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:23 PM   #6
alselec
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Kinda figured that, That's why I said Aikido-ish, but it does have sword-like movements. I'm still learning.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
Michael Varin
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Aikido is not a sword art.
Ooooh...

While I can see why you might say that, I fear that in making such an unequivocal statement you may be missing some very important things about the art.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #8
Michael Varin
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Allan,

Don't get any crap dull aluminum iaido sword. Why would you?

Take a look a the Paul Chen Practical Plus. It's price has gone up a bit, but it is still a good value. It is by no means a fine sword, but I have never had any problems cutting with it and most average people who see it are very impressed.

I think a sword can only be considered beautiful if it can cut.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Ooooh...

While I can see why you might say that, I fear that in making such an unequivocal statement you may be missing some very important things about the art.
Ooooh... do feel free to ignore subject of thread and hence my context.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
alselec
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Ooooh... do feel free to ignore subject of thread and hence my context.
This is a humble art.. remember? But I do kinda agree with Michael, anyway, it doesn't matter, I've been on gun, motorcycle, drummers, etc, forums in the past.. we all have opinions, thats ok, that's how we learn.
Thanks for everyones input.
"Aikido, a great martial art".
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
JJF
 
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

If you are about regular size then a standard jo from say Tozando would do fine for the first many hours of practice in relation to aikido. If you are a strong mang buy a heavy one. I prefer around 2,5-2,7 cm in diameter.

I have heard sayings like "it should be the same length as the distance between the ground and your nipple (for a man)" or "it should go from the ground to your armpit". The best thing would probably be to use different sizes.

In my opinion the surface of the jo is very important. I don't like those that have been lackered. But they must be sanded down very nicely and they must be from a type of wood that dosen't splinter.

Regarding a sword.. well see my point of views in a different tread about a live sword. Don't get that... really.. don't.

We have as a rule that people train with bokken for a few years before I incourage them to buy an iaito. It might not be sharp, but it's still a piece of metal that could be really dangerous if you don't know what you do. Especially to those around you.. Apart from that I find Tozando.com make excellent Iaito. I am very happy about the balance and quality of mine.

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Old 04-14-2013, 08:20 PM   #12
lbb
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Allan Davis wrote: View Post
Thanks for your info, I would guess height would make a difference on which size Jo, I'm 6'. Ours Jo's look to be about 5', (not sure on thickness), should ask my sensei.
5' = 60 inches, which is a very long jo indeed -- I don't think I've ever seen one that long. I have a SMR jo which is 48 1/2" long (about), from my SMR days; my aikido sensei loves to tease me about it. For aikido I use a 51" jo which is also a good bit thicker than my SMR jo. Bokken, I've got a white oak bokken I've had for a long time (again from SMR days) which is non-Iwama and typical of those used at the aikido dojo where I train. At another dojo, it could be totally different. The internet is really the last place I'd ask for advice on what type of weapons to get. Find out what to get from your sensei, who will probably also have a good idea of where to get it. If not, that's where the internet can help.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #13
phitruong
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
There is no such thing as an Aikido sword. Aikido is not a sword art.
nooooo say it isn't so! (isn't there a song with that?) you meant i can't go and swing my aikido sword and not getting laugh at by the real sword schools? sooo sad....so so sad

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:02 AM   #14
JJF
 
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
There is no such thing as an Aikido sword. Aikido is not a sword art.
I humbly beg to differ. I know the current doshu has been known to express something along these lines, but for some of us practicing "the sword of aikido" makes perfect sense on our road towards what we perceive to be Aikido.

I guess it just underlines the vast array of interpretations of what Aikido is.

JJ

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
phitruong
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
I humbly beg to differ. I know the current doshu has been known to express something along these lines, but for some of us practicing "the sword of aikido" makes perfect sense on our road towards what we perceive to be Aikido.

I guess it just underlines the vast array of interpretations of what Aikido is.

JJ
methink, Janet was referred to the fact that sword isn't a primary focus of the art as compare to Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū or Kashima Shinryū or Jigen-ryu and so on. aikido might express the principles using the sword or might borrow principles from the sword, but face it, if you go and demo it to the aforementioned ryuha, and tell them that this is real sword stuffs, you are going to get a pretty good laugh by those ryuha.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #16
Janet Rosen
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Thank you, Phi. The specific focus of the OP was an "aikido sword" NOT the sword roots of the art. Is it not possible to reply simply and consisely without having it taken out of context? We generalky do not wear iaito or katana on the mat while doing aikido waza.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
Cliff Judge
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
methink, Janet was referred to the fact that sword isn't a primary focus of the art as compare to Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū or Kashima Shinryū or Jigen-ryu and so on. aikido might express the principles using the sword or might borrow principles from the sword, but face it, if you go and demo it to the aforementioned ryuha, and tell them that this is real sword stuffs, you are going to get a pretty good laugh by those ryuha.
Honestly....any of those groups will find that the others do things strangely, and there is likely to be - perhaps not laughter but at least bemusement - when they see a different set of principals on display than that which they have invested years into training.

There is a lot of swordwork in Aikido, some of it is very good, most of it is just as worthy of demonstration - in general - as any koryu sword art if the practitioners train hard.

The reason why Aikido swordwork is not real and why Aikido is not truly a "sword art" is that it was not developed by true professional swordsmen for the purpose of teaching people to win swordfights. This is not a bad thing. if you are concerned with training people to survive a real sword fight you are going to throw things like aiki out the window in a heartbeat if it is not efficient. You certainly wouldn't want to focus your art on something that most of your students aren't going to understand or put into practice for over a decade.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:51 AM   #18
sakumeikan
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
There is no such thing as an Aikido sword. Aikido is not a sword art.
Dear Janet,
If aikido is not a sword related art why then have so many aikidoka including deceased well known shihan,such as Saito, Yamaguchi, Nishio, Kanai Sensei and Tamura Sensei Sensei, along with other shihan such as Chiba Sensei, Shibata Sensei and many others studying/teaching sword/jo/tanto waza?O Sensei himself used the sword/jo. Please let our dear readers what is the basis for your statement .
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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Smile Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Janet,
If aikido is not a sword related art why then have so many aikidoka including deceased well known shihan,such as Saito, Yamaguchi, Nishio, Kanai Sensei and Tamura Sensei Sensei, along with other shihan such as Chiba Sensei, Shibata Sensei and many others studying/teaching sword/jo/tanto waza?O Sensei himself used the sword/jo. Please let our dear readers what is the basis for your statement .
Cheers, Joe.
Dear All,
Note my little error in above blog.Obviously the deceased Shihan listed above are no longer training in sword work , neither are they teaching swordwork.Silly bllly me, Joe.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:18 PM   #20
grondahl
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

If Aikido is a sword art, how come there are shihan that doesnt train or teach the sword?

(I figure that the number of shihan in kendo or iaido that doesnt train or teach the sword is non existent).
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #21
JJF
 
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Allow me to clarify. I agree that Aikido is not a swordart but that is not necessarily the same as to say that it can not be an important part of our Aikido.

What I do not agree upon is the statement that something called 'an aikido sword' does not exist. Of course it dosen't in the literal sense of a specific type of sword for aikido. The typical curved Japanese style sword is what we deal with here.

I believe some people have quoted o-sensei for saying that Aikido is based on the movement of the sword. He also said many other things, but this specific quote makes sense to some Aikido-ka Including me. So we train in more traditional sword arts to complement our training, and our late master did so to the level of 7th dan in the national Iaido federation. He also incorporated the sword into our aikido pracitce as a learning tool. Of course we use bokken instead of iaito for safety reasons, but we occasionally do almost all techniques either with one person wielding a sword or a jo, or both persons doing a kata based on sword against sword or sword against jo.

It's not part of every aikido teachers curriculum. Neither is hip throws which I have been told was primarily researched by Nishio sensei and Kuroiwa sensei. Each sensei have their own interpretation of what constitutes Aikido. I happen to be inspired primarily by one who incorporated the sword a lot - and who used the term 'sword of aikido'. Hence my comment. I agree that not all sensei teach it. But that is not reason enough to discard the thought entirely in my opinion.

Another example: I have a hard time seeing the valuable purpose of the competition aspect in Tomiki Aikido since my path is different. But I would never claim that competition does not exist in Aikido simply because most sensei don't incorporate it into what they do. It does - and it serves a purpose for some.

So. I stick to my opinion that such a thing as an 'Aikido sword' does exist as well as playing a vital role in some approaches to Aikido.

JJ

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Old 04-17-2013, 12:36 AM   #22
Michael Varin
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Probably out of context again...

Sorry, couldn't help but have these two pictures pop into my head.

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/1...sei-from-1922/

http://pinterest.com/pin/70720656620911659/

-Michael
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:56 AM   #23
JJF
 
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Nice pictures Michael. I especially enjoyed the one on pinterest.

Wether the swords in the pictures support my arguments or not is difficult to say. One could claim swords where often used for ornamental purposes at that time. On the other hand it seems unlikely from the stories we haven been told that O-sensei would pose in photos wielding a sword unless he felt it had some sort of relevance to his Aikido.

Interesting indeed.

Great day to you all

JJ

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #24
Cliff Judge
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
Nice pictures Michael. I especially enjoyed the one on pinterest.

Wether the swords in the pictures support my arguments or not is difficult to say. One could claim swords where often used for ornamental purposes at that time. On the other hand it seems unlikely from the stories we haven been told that O-sensei would pose in photos wielding a sword unless he felt it had some sort of relevance to his Aikido.

Interesting indeed.

Great day to you all

JJ
Do you see something in these pictures that you can identify as the defining characteristics of an "Aikido sword" though, as opposed to some other type of sword?
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:33 AM   #25
phitruong
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Re: Bokken, Jo, Sword?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Do you see something in these pictures that you can identify as the defining characteristics of an "Aikido sword" though, as opposed to some other type of sword?
i was thinking what if in the pictures there were meat cleaver, would that mean we have aikido cleaver too? would love to learn aikido cleaver. i am more comfortable with the cleaver than the sword. i can giving life with the cleaver, but seem to have a hard time giving life with the sword.

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