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Old 12-13-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
JoelLM
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Aikido sword.

Hello. I'm sure this has been discussed or asked, I've searched and haven't found what I was looking for. At one point I stumbled on a style of aikido that practiced a lot of its unarmed techniques with a sword(bokken) in hand. I'd like to find out who developed the style and what the style is called. I have search and haven't been able to find the video again.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-13-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
unarmed techniques with a sword(bokken) in hand.
That's a contradiction, isn't it?
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:48 AM   #3
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
Joel Martel wrote: View Post
I'd like to find out who developed the style and what the style is called.
It was Nishio Shoji sensei who develpped those forms. So the style sometimes is called "Nishio Aikido".

It is important to notice, that he created these forms to teach and improve the body movement. They are not meant to teach how to actually use the japanese sword in an effective way. These forms are just learning tools for the tai jutsu. But you have to take into account that the way Nishio sensei teaches the forms is often somehow different from other teachers or lines of aikidō.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:06 AM   #4
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Re: Aikido sword.

Don't all forms of aikido practice a lot of techniques with a bokken at some point? Ie when the student is advanced enough to do so. Or am I misunderstanding Nishio Aikido as using a bokken at all times during training?

Chris Sawyer
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
JoelLM
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Re: Aikido sword.

Perfecl thank you Carsten that is who I was looking for.
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Old 12-15-2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
It was Nishio Shoji sensei who develpped those forms. So the style sometimes is called "Nishio Aikido".

It is important to notice, that he created these forms to teach and improve the body movement. They are not meant to teach how to actually use the japanese sword in an effective way. These forms are just learning tools for the tai jutsu. But you have to take into account that the way Nishio sensei teaches the forms is often somehow different from other teachers or lines of aikidō.
Good call, Carsten. This is the first thing that came to mind as I read the original post. Nishio Sensei was a huge proponent of how movement with the sword translates into movement without it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:38 PM   #7
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Re: Aikido sword.

Both aikikai and yoshinkan schools I attend practice basic technique and tai sabaki with sword. Here is one example of basic body movements, most call tai sabaki, but we term "kihon dosa." This is nice as it shows the basic empty hand form next to a guy doing sotai bokken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PvwB9klxtc

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:53 AM   #8
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido sword.

Just to add to the chorus a bit. While Nishio was clearly a highly visible and famous advocate for such things, I've seen similar training in any number of variety of places. Frankly I'd say that in many places it isn't so much about the style itself, but the person teaching. There are few absolutely standardized teaching methods out there and, in my experience at least, some sensei find using bokken (or jo) useful as tools for teaching basic tai sabaki. In other words, it's not exclusively something done by Nishio style although Nishio was certainly a high profile example and he made it an integral aspect of his style.

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Old 12-19-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
KEM
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Re: Aikido sword.

Carsten it is true that Nishio Sensei developed an iaido to be an enhancement to Aikido learning. The sword is the 'Teacher' as Stephi Varjan Sensei commented last week at a seminar.
But can Aiki Toho Iai be used effectively 'as a sword?" Nishio Sensei was an accomplished/gifted swordsman before he developed Aiki Toho iaido. Being always concerned that his teachings be budo he made sure what he taught would work so I'm suggesting that Nishio Aiki Toho Iai can be used effectively 'as a sword.'
How does one test it? On tatami wara of course!
Yes, one can 'cut' with Aiki Toho effectively though I don't know how common battoh is in the style.
Tom Huffman 4° Nishio Aikido/Aiki Toho iaido was a direct student of Nishio Sensei in Japan for six years. He also is a 3° Toyama ryu hon iaido-battoh of the Morinaga line via Tasaburo Tokutomi 10°. Tom Sensei has been applying his expertise in battoh to Aiki toho and successfully 'cutting the kata' so to speak. If there is interest we have discussed making video for the Aikido community showing how the Aiki Toho can cut effectively.
Why is that important rather than just intriguing?
It is important because Aiki Toho is further validated by being shown to work for actual cutting. It is important because the teachings of Nishio Sensei included Aiki Toho and those who have done it know that the parameters of precision in Iaido are very tight. This tight, precise attention to detail translates to the 'empty hand' Aikido. Cutting requires greater precision than iaido kata. THe slightest rotation of the wrist will change the angle of the blade and cause the cut to 'scoop' or not make it through at all. There is a high demand on proprioception placed by Iaido and Batto that is hard to replicate any other way.


Keith
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:10 PM   #10
crbateman
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
Keith McInnis wrote: View Post
Nishio Sensei was an accomplished/gifted swordsman before he developed Aiki Toho iaido. Being always concerned that his teachings be budo he made sure what he taught would work so I'm suggesting that Nishio Aiki Toho Iai can be used effectively 'as a sword.'
How does one test it? On tatami wara of course!
Yes, one can 'cut' with Aiki Toho effectively though I don't know how common battoh is in the style.
Tom Huffman 4° Nishio Aikido/Aiki Toho iaido was a direct student of Nishio Sensei in Japan for six years.
Michael Russ has written an excellent book on this subject. More info here.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:04 AM   #11
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Re: Aikido sword.

@ Keith McInnis: I was not talking about Aikiod Toho Iai.

@ Clark: Yes, the book of Michael Russ indeed is excellent in regard of Aikido Toho Iai.
But it does not cover the use of the sword in the tai jutsu I was refering to.

@ Adam: Thank you! I only knew the this use of the sword in tai jutsu from Nishio aikidō. I had never seen that in another way of aikidō.
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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Re: Aikido sword.

Carsten,

Glad you enjoyed the video. There are many things we do both sword and open hand. We even practice rolling with weapons to help train balance and awareness. I posted a second link but the website must have kicked me off when I was editing my post or not let the post go through for some reason. In our sword class, as well as aikido, we practice defense from someone trying to disarm us.

All in we somewhere around 216 weapon set movements. Most of that is kumibuki (jo v jo; jo v sword; sword v sword; knife v knife; knife v jo, knife v sword) and solo kata form (I think seven jo, five knife, three sword kata) not including renshu/renzoku solo forms (we have continuation drills where you are practicing various hang changes, positions, and strikes, etc...while technically you could call them kata we don't include those in our kata list, we just consider them drills).

Last edited by Adam Huss : 12-20-2014 at 11:26 AM.

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Old 12-21-2014, 04:47 AM   #13
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
@ Clark: Yes, the book of Michael Russ indeed is excellent in regard of Aikido Toho Iai. But it does not cover the use of the sword in the tai jutsu I was refering to.
Agreed. But whether a book covers everything only matters if you're only gonna read one book...
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:09 AM   #14
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Re: Aikido sword.

I just tried to relate to OP's question.

Because when I bought this book years ago I expected to find the mentioned "tai jutsu sword forms" of NIshio sensei in it.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:01 AM   #15
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Re: Aikido sword.

I've done some swords too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_BT7lScNqo
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:37 PM   #16
Cliff Judge
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
John Robinson wrote: View Post
Hi John,

Looks good! Please be careful. The best training is safe training.

Thanks,
Cliff Judge
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:25 PM   #17
sakumeikan
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
John Robinson wrote: View Post
Dear John,
I maybe wrong but I think your pulling our legs. Your sword cuts are to put it mildly are rubbish.Still the video did raise a chortle. I present you with the Worse Swordsman of the Decade Trophy.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:48 AM   #18
nikyu62
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Ai symbol Re: Aikido sword.

John is working with some limitations, please be kind.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:38 AM   #19
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Re: Aikido sword.

Thanks Steven. This is a real sword, and i have done Bokken in my old club over a year ago. I have also been shown these eight cuts from another blackbelt, however i have never done iaedo, except for watching dvds, and never done any kendo at all. I do however, sometimes take my bokken out on to the park, to practise these cuts. And isn't the secret to most aikido grips (Nishio) and cuts, the sword? Who knows! namaste john
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:40 AM   #20
Cliff Judge
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Re: Aikido sword.

Hi John

In your video, I am curious what you placed the camera on, as the point of view is a bit shaky.

I also wonder what that sound is. Did you record in slow motion or something?

Thanks,
Cliff Judge
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:57 AM   #21
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Re: Aikido sword.

Hi Cliff, i placed the phone on my seat. And the breathing was my noise. it makes that sound. as to the slow motion, no i just do the cuts slowly, because i am not very confident with them okay. thanks. i will do another video at some point, with my new sword, when i think that i and the world are ready for it.

John
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:50 PM   #22
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Re: Aikido sword.

Also Joe this isn't a Bokken i am holding you know? metal kantana are actually something like twice as heavy!
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:21 PM   #23
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
John Robinson wrote: View Post
Also Joe this isn't a Bokken i am holding you know? metal kantana are actually something like twice as heavy!
Joe is a kind hearted Shihan who has lots of fun with us beginners. He has told people on this forum to take up knitting, which made me laugh or as Joe would say Chortle.

Motto tsuyoku
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:58 PM   #24
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Re: Aikido sword.

I guess so. It may supposed to be acrimonious, but her did award me a trophy after all! lol
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:29 PM   #25
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Re: Aikido sword.

Quote:
John Robinson wrote: View Post
I guess so. It may supposed to be acrimonious, but her did award me a trophy after all! lol
Yes he did, and I would rather have your trophy than a set of knitting needles.

Motto tsuyoku
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