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Old 04-13-2004, 06:28 PM   #1
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Discuss the article, "Weapons Training in Aikido" by George S. Ledyard here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2004_04.html
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:37 PM   #2
Charles Hill
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Mr. Ledyard,

Thank you for your excellent article. In it, you say that O`Sensei took various pieces to form his own style. You also say that various Aikido teacher`s weapons systems emphasize different things and have different feels. Do you think that we, as students, should do as O`Sensei did and look for bits and pieces? Or do you think we should chose one style, at least for a good length of time, and focus on it before exploring other systems?

Thank you,

Charles Hill
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Old 04-16-2004, 11:36 PM   #3
George S. Ledyard
 
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I don't know

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Mr. Ledyard,

Thank you for your excellent article. In it, you say that O`Sensei took various pieces to form his own style. You also say that various Aikido teacher`s weapons systems emphasize different things and have different feels. Do you think that we, as students, should do as O`Sensei did and look for bits and pieces? Or do you think we should chose one style, at least for a good length of time, and focus on it before exploring other systems?

Thank you,

Charles Hill
Frankly, I don't know. There are a number of weapons systems out there which were developed from within the Aikido umbrella. If you think of yourself primarily as an Aikidoka, as I do, then one or more of those systems may be enough.

On the other hand, if you want to really be a swordsman, it would be a good idea to do a real sword style like Katori Shinto Ryu or Kashima Ryu. There just aren't very many legitimate places to do this however.

I would rather do my own thing with a weapon, where at least I know that that is what I am doing, than get stuck training with some charlatan and spend a bunch of years learning garbage. While I have taken elements from the classical systems I studied briefly and have also incorprated ideas from various videos I have in my collection, I still use Saotome Sensei's sword forms as the basis for my practice but there is quite a bit of drift as I discover various things for myself and adjust my technique accordingly.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:32 PM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: I don't know

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
On the other hand, if you want to really be a swordsman, it would be a good idea to do a real sword style like Katori Shinto Ryu or Kashima Ryu. There just aren't very many legitimate places to do this however.
While it's not quite as sexy as Katori or Kashima, there's plenty of Iaido spread throughout the US and other countries outside of Japan. Not quite as comprehensive as the older schools, maybe, but certainly more than the average Aikido dojo has.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-17-2004, 10:51 PM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Re: I don't know

Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
While it's not quite as sexy as Katori or Kashima, there's plenty of Iaido spread throughout the US and other countries outside of Japan. Not quite as comprehensive as the older schools, maybe, but certainly more than the average Aikido dojo has.

Best,

Chris
Iaido is great. I did some for a while. I would recommend it to any Aikidoka! It gives you a very precise sense of cutting lines and creates excellent edge awareness. But it doesn't have the timing / spacing elements that a style that stresses paired work does. I don't consider someone who just does solo sword work to be a "swordsman" as I would define it. No more than I would a kendo practitioner. And certainly, most folks doing sword work within Aikido aren't swordsmen either (myself included). I have tried to incorporate lessons from classical sword into my Aikiken so that it isn't embarassing to do in front of people who really know what they are doing but that's about it.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-17-2004, 11:17 PM   #6
Chuck Clark
 
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George,

The points you make are interesting and I agree. Having students that are seriously training in Shinto Muso ryu and Katori Shinto ryu, I see a lot of improvement in their tai jutsu. Distancing, timing, and precision in the hasuji of their waza are some of the immediate things that come to mind. It just makes it so clear to me that aiki waza are truly based in cutting prinicples.

Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts on training.

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 04-17-2004 at 11:20 PM.

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Old 04-18-2004, 06:14 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Sword and Aikido

Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
George,

The points you make are interesting and I agree. Having students that are seriously training in Shinto Muso ryu and Katori Shinto ryu, I see a lot of improvement in their tai jutsu. Distancing, timing, and precision in the hasuji of their waza are some of the immediate things that come to mind. It just makes it so clear to me that aiki waza are truly based in cutting prinicples.

Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts on training.
Hi Chuck!

I'm still incorporating some of the stuff we did at your seminar in Woodinville. Thanks!

In another discussion (on the AJ site) I talked about the different ways in which one energizes a blade. You can put your energy primarily in the tip as in cutting, you can energize the blade as a whole as in slicing, or you can put most of your energy in the handle in order to do a slipping movement.

Each one of those possibilities has a direct empty hand equivalent relating to whether you put your energy in your hands, your forearm, or your elbow. In attempting to teach this I have found that students who have a decent sword background get it much more easily than those who don't.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:42 AM   #8
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Article: Weapons Training in Aikido by George S. Ledyard

I'm home now from a good time in the Indiana woods near Bloomington. We actually were working on some principles that you describe above. My experience is similar to yours as far as students that are learning proper sword work have an easier time picking up these often very subtle aspects of principle.

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:46 PM   #9
davoravo
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Re: Article: Weapons Training in Aikido by George S. Ledyard

Dear Senseis George and Chuck

I very much enjoyed the article. I would like to ask: If we train in the Omote aspect, how do we learn the ura? Is it a matter of years of training or do you think there is a built in expectation that the student will come to Aikido with training in another art eg karate??

Thank you

David McNamara
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:12 AM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Article: Weapons Training in Aikido by George S. Ledyard

Quote:
davoravo wrote:
Dear Senseis George and Chuck

I very much enjoyed the article. I would like to ask: If we train in the Omote aspect, how do we learn the ura? Is it a matter of years of training or do you think there is a built in expectation that the student will come to Aikido with training in another art eg karate??

Thank you
It is helpful to have a wide background for yourslef but I think that just going out of your way to train with the best Aikido teachers you can find will help a lot. Even getting as many videos as you can, of both Aikido and classicla styles, would also provide you with a vast amount for your inevstigations.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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