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Old 01-04-2001, 02:01 AM   #1
Gerardo A Torres
Dojo: Aikido West
Location: SF Bay Area, California
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I am very interested in learning Saotome Sensei's aiki-ken and aiki-jo, specially the two-sword forms.

Do you think his instructional videos are a good start for learning this?

Also, where can I obtain a short bokken? I know I could always modify a regular-sized bokken, but that seems like a waste. And does the tip of the short bokken need to be of the "pointy" kind, or does the blunt tip (like in the bu-jin and Iwama-style bokkens) work?

Any suggestions are apreciated.
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Old 01-04-2001, 06:24 AM   #2
PRapoza
Dojo: Cape Cod Aikido Kenkyukai 541 Thomas Landers Rd., East Falmouth
Location: Cape Cod, MA
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Gerardo,

Obviously, the best way to learn aiki-ken and aiki-jo is by learning directly from Saotome sensei or one of his students. I think there must be someone in your area that has a firm grasp of these arts. I think without some frame of reference (having studied with someone who understands) the tapes may be confusing and could be counter productive. I studied both for six or seven years and found them valuable to my understanding of aikido. However, I don't think they are necessary for learning aikido.
___________
Paul
http://www.aikidokenkyukai.org/usa/ma/ma.index.html
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Old 01-04-2001, 09:19 AM   #3
akiy
 
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Hi Gerardo,

I agree with Paul (hi Paul!) that the best way to learn Saotome sensei's weapons stuff, just like in the rest of aikido, is to find someone qualified in teaching it and learn from them. His videos are good for people who have some foundation in the kumitachi, kumijo, or nito systems that Saotome sensei does but probably wouldn't be very useful to those who haven't.

As far as getting a shoto, you could just take a normal sized bokuto and cut it down. I'm sure you can find someone at the dojo who has a "bad" (ie cracked or splintering) bokuto and make it shorter. The tip can be either pointy or not; it doesn't really matter in doing the nito stuff as far as I can tell...

Hope that helps,

-- Jun

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Old 01-04-2001, 09:28 AM   #4
Wakasensei
Dojo: Savannah Aikikai
Location: Savannah, GA
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ATM sells a Daisho set in thier marketplace, haven't checked them out yet, I use a standard daisho, yet Saotome is using a "cheaters" short sword as it is not 22 inches long like a standard wazikashi. but hey it is his system he can do what he wants. His system is interesting but it lacks any base in koryu ken, but once again it is his made up stuff so he can do as he sees fit. becasue it is really no different than how o'sensei made stuff up.

of course that's my opinion I could be wrong

Dan Hover
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Old 01-04-2001, 12:29 PM   #5
Gerardo A Torres
Dojo: Aikido West
Location: SF Bay Area, California
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Thank you all!

I had a hunch that the nito forms where far too complex to learn by myself... but now I know from people who have actually done this. I guess the next step would be to find a seminar/event to get me started on this. Any ideas?

Akiy, now that you mentioned it, I think I have seen one or two abandoned bokken in my dojo...

Thanks again
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Old 01-04-2001, 12:41 PM   #6
Guest5678
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gerardo,

If you don't mind traveling say....... TO THE OTHER COAST, there is going to be just such a seminar at USF (University of Southern Florida) in Tampa the second weekend in Feb ( I believe thats currently the date).

I realize thats a long way from where you are but......... you asked.

Sorry I have no information on any in your area......

- Dan P.
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Old 01-04-2001, 01:19 PM   #7
Gene McGloin
Dojo: Bond St. Dojo
Location: Bronx, NY
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Hi Gerardo,

I don't believe that there are too many aikido sensei in the Bay area who are familiar enough with Saotome sensei's weapons system to teach them. Ther was a long time Bond St. Dojo guy named John Lewis who used to teach in Mountainview but has since left the dojo space he was using. He was living in that area for many years and if you can track him down, he might be your best bet in that area. Otherwise, head out to the Boulder Summer Camp in August to catch Saotome sensei. I'm not sure if he is now doing nito as a regular thing as he stopped doing it for a number of years. Two years ago he did do a little during a camp I attended, but I don't recall hearing that he's been doing it regularly again. If you go the video route w/out someone who knows that "system", you're likely to gain bad habits & form which may later become difficult to "unlearn"!

Good Luck,

Gene
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Old 01-04-2001, 01:46 PM   #8
BC
Location: Chicago, IL
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Ai symbol

Quote:
gerardo wrote:
Also, where can I obtain a short bokken? I know I could always modify a regular-sized bokken, but that seems like a waste. And does the tip of the short bokken need to be of the "pointy" kind, or does the blunt tip (like in the bu-jin and Iwama-style bokkens) work?

Any suggestions are apreciated.
Check out Kingfisher Woodworks. They offer a short sword, and do great work. I bought a beautiful custom jo from them last year and am very pleased with it. They might be a little bit pricier than what you're looking for, but I thought it was worth it. They're at:

http://www.kingfisherwoodworks.com

Good luck,

Robert Cronin
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Old 01-05-2001, 01:49 AM   #9
Gerardo A Torres
Dojo: Aikido West
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Mongo, thanks for the information, but those coast-to-coast weekend trips are out of my budget. I'm thinking of waiting for the Boulder Summer camp and seeking help there.

Gene McGloin, your're right in that not many people in the Bay Area are qualified to teach Saotome sensei's weapons (but we have all the Iwama-ryu you want). Even though Saotome sensei has a large following here, the only person (who can teach his weapons) that I was told about is somebody from Aikido of Tamalpais. Definitely nobody from the Shobukan dojo around here. I'll also look about the John Lewis you say.

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2001, 09:11 AM   #10
akiy
 
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Quote:
Gene McGloin wrote:
I don't believe that there are too many aikido sensei in the Bay area who are familiar enough with Saotome sensei's weapons system to teach them. Ther was a long time Bond St. Dojo guy named John Lewis who used to teach in Mountainview but has since left the dojo space he was using.
I'm not too sure how active Jon (or Jonathan) is these days in aikido. He got married about a year ago. Nice guy -- wicked with a knife, and fun to spar against...

George Bevins from Indianapolis who has done quite a fair amount of Saotome sensei's weapons stuff is now at Aikido of Tamalpais.
Quote:
Otherwise, head out to the Boulder Summer Camp in August to catch Saotome sensei. I'm not sure if he is now doing nito as a regular thing as he stopped doing it for a number of years. Two years ago he did do a little during a camp I attended, but I don't recall hearing that he's been doing it regularly again.
He's actually been doing it more regularly in the past two years from my experience. At the Summer Camp in the Rockies (which, although hosted by Boulder Aikikai is held down in Glenwood Springs, CO) two summers ago, he focused pretty much all of his weapons stuff on nito. (He didn't do any this last summer, though.)

At Claremont last year in November, the whole weekend was pretty much devoted to nito. (Fun seminar, too; as I wrote earlier in another thread, I was fortunate to be one of five uke (with bokuto) for Saotome sensei's nito randori...)

Hope to see people at the next Summer Camp in the Rockies! (I'll be at the Mount Madonna Retreat in about a week, too...)

-- Jun

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Old 01-05-2001, 08:55 PM   #11
Gene McGloin
Dojo: Bond St. Dojo
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Hi,

Didn't know the George Bevins was in California these days. He'd be someone to check out for Sensei's weapons katas for sure!

Sorry to hear that John may be on sabattical, again. Yeah, sparring with him was interesting.

Gene
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Old 01-10-2001, 03:45 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Weapons

Quote:
gerardo wrote:
Mongo, thanks for the information, but those coast-to-coast weekend trips are out of my budget. I'm thinking of waiting for the Boulder Summer camp and seeking help there.

Gene McGloin, your're right in that not many people in the Bay Area are qualified to teach Saotome sensei's weapons (but we have all the Iwama-ryu you want). Even though Saotome sensei has a large following here, the only person (who can teach his weapons) that I was told about is somebody from Aikido of Tamalpais. Definitely nobody from the Shobukan dojo around here. I'll also look about the John Lewis you say.

Thanks
If you can make it up to Seattle you might find it helpful. We have an array of events that feature weapons training. You can check them out at http://www.aikieast.com
We're closer than the East coast anyway.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-11-2001, 01:16 PM   #13
Gerardo A Torres
Dojo: Aikido West
Location: SF Bay Area, California
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Thanks everybody for the help.

Now that I have all this information, I can plan visits to Aikido of Tamalpais (about 2 hour drive for me), or perhaps visit the Seattle area for a special event, like George S. Ledyard suggested.




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Old 01-11-2001, 04:09 PM   #14
Erik
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
gerardo wrote:
Thanks everybody for the help.

Now that I have all this information, I can plan visits to Aikido of Tamalpais (about 2 hour drive for me), or perhaps visit the Seattle area for a special event, like George S. Ledyard suggested.
I believe Aikido of Fremont is also ASU and presumably they would have some grasp of the ASU weapon system. I've come to value a shorter drive for my Aikido and from experience in watching the traffic in Marin, 2 hours might be conservative for you.

[Edited by Erik on January 11, 2001 at 04:12pm]
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Old 01-31-2001, 12:46 AM   #15
sceptoor
Dojo: http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/
Location: Tampa, Fl
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Talking USF Two Sword Seminar

Quote:
Mongo wrote:
gerardo,

If you don't mind traveling say....... TO THE OTHER COAST, there is going to be just such a seminar at USF (University of Southern Florida) in Tampa the second weekend in Feb ( I believe thats currently the date).

I realize thats a long way from where you are but......... you asked.

Sorry I have no information on any in your area......

- Dan P.
Mongo and Gerardo, I am a member at the above mentioned dojo at the University of South Florida. I plan on attending all three days of the seminar(Feb 2-4) and in order to do so, I have marked off my work schedule for Friday and Saturday, as I do not want to miss it. I already have every Sunday and Monday off. Many people are expected to attend, which is why we have moved it into a larger, more accomodating(sp?) room in the recreation center. Here is a link to the flyer about the seminar if you want to know who is teaching it and other info, even if you cannot attend. http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/dojo/images/LaskySeminar.pdf In preparation, the USF Aikido club got together last night and watch three videos, including "The Two Swords of Aikido" with Soatome Shihan. I'm looking forward to the seminar, and I'll be happy to post a review next week, if any one is interested.

C. Martin

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