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Old 05-24-2004, 05:32 PM   #1
GrazZ
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkai Canada
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Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

i think thats what they are called, its the smaller one. Like what are they used for?
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:37 PM   #2
Jordan Steele
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

I think what you call a shoto bokken is what I call a wakasahsi. It is smaller than bokken, but larger than tanto. I believe they were occasionally used in unison with bokken. One hand holds bokken or (katana) and the other used wakasashi. In my dojo we use them in a similar fashion to tanto dori, but the added length gives a better understanding or ma-ai(distancing) and zenshin(presence of mind). Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:06 PM   #3
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Andrew Lang wrote:
i think thats what they are called, its the smaller one. Like what are they used for?
They're for practicing short sword waza.

Or was this some sort of trick question?

Kentokuseisei
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:12 PM   #4
Bronson
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Andrew Lang wrote:
Whats the point of a shoto bokken?
It's the end opposite the handle

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-25-2004, 04:35 AM   #5
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Shoto and wakizashi are both good names for the short sword. Technically, the wooden one would be moku-shoto or moku-wakizashi, I guess, but I've never seen that configuration used.

I understand Saotome does some two-sword stuyff, but don't know if it's dai-sho (long and short sword) or not. I have seem some video of him swinging two standard bokken/bokuto.

Many sword systems include shoto kata (even the kendo no kata and Muso Jikishin Eishin Ryu Iaido), and Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo includes some sets that have the attacker using long and short swords.

Chuck

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Old 05-25-2004, 05:00 AM   #6
ian
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Yep - as far as I was aware it is for two sword schools (as Musahi says, the short sword is essential when taking hostages). Rather than buy them I've found broken bokkens can easily be converted into a shoto (although I ended up giving the one I made to a young child as a 'practise sword')

Ian

P.S. Musashi also says to practice with two long-swords to develop strength, then the short sword will seem very easy.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:41 AM   #7
Robert Townson
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

I was under the impression that the Wakizashi were support swords, there just in case your Katana was broken or lost.
So it make sense that there is a wooden/practice version so that you can practice the appropriate Kata's (if there are such things)

Robert
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:08 AM   #8
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Shoto served as backup and as personal weapon while (for instance, indoors) your long sword was put away.

Some systems of budo use the short sword in conjunction in grappling (imagine ikkyo with a blade at uke's elbow rather than your hand). Takenouchi Ryu has an extensive set of grappling techniques used in conjunction with a modified shoto (about halfway tween a shoto and tanto), for one.

As stated below, a short sword is also handier in close-quarters than a long sword.

Insofar as Niten Ichi Ryu, the system that is the legacy of Musashi Miyamoto, according to some NIR folks I know, it's mostly a one-sword system, with some two-sword kata in the mix.

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu and the SHinto Ryu subset of Muso Shinto Ryu Jodo all include two-sword kata as well.

Using broken bokuto to make shoto is a good idea. I once got a lovely tanto and shoto from one!

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Old 05-25-2004, 10:20 AM   #9
akiy
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
I understand Saotome does some two-sword stuyff, but don't know if it's dai-sho (long and short sword) or not.
Yes, the two sword stuff he does is with one regular-sized bokuto and one shoto. Fun stuff.

-- Jun

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Old 05-25-2004, 10:42 AM   #10
zachbiesanz
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
It's the end opposite the handle

Bronson
Very nicely done. Almost fell out of my chair when it set in.

Aikido is the art of hitting an assailant with the planet.
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:58 AM   #11
Bronson
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Zach Biesanz wrote:
Very nicely done. Almost fell out of my chair when it set in.
Thank you. I'll be here all week and don't forget to tip your waitress

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-25-2004, 04:31 PM   #12
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Like what are they used for?
Ritual Disembowlment to reclaim your honor. = P

I can't believe no one else said this yet.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:28 AM   #13
Januz
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Acturaly the Tantoo is used for Seppuku.

An interesting note on Niten Ichi Ryu was that Musashi used the old standards of shortsword and longsword, so that his shortsword was actualy the Katana and his longsword was the somewhat longer sword Tachi.

I have not heard of the use of shoto (or Wakisashi) in Aikido. I practice Iwama Ryu and in our club we only use three weapons; Jo, Tanto and Bokken.
I have heard of an Aikido club utulising the two weapons principle, but since they don't use wakisashi, they used Bokken and Tanto instead.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:10 AM   #14
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Actually, when given the formal ritual seppuku, there was a specific blade, not the wakizashi, used.

As for Niten Ichi Ryu, from what I've seen and had a taste of (via Kim Taylor in Gueph, Ontario, Canada), the weapons we used were a fairly standard, but somewhat thin bokuto and shoto.

Chuck

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Old 09-13-2004, 07:19 PM   #15
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
Jan-Olof Helm wrote:
I have not heard of the use of shoto (or Wakisashi) in Aikido. I practice Iwama Ryu and in our club we only use three weapons; Jo, Tanto and Bokken.
I have heard of an Aikido club utulising the two weapons principle, but since they don't use wakisashi, they used Bokken and Tanto instead.
Saotome sensei did shoto technique this summer at bnoth the DC Summer camp and the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp. Quite a bit of the use of the hands in Aikido technique is easily related to shoto.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:28 AM   #16
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

The wakazashi is used as an indoor weapon and as a back up to the katana.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:51 PM   #17
Charles
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

I broke my left wrist a while back in a rather spectacular accident - a tree fell on me whilest I was bicycling down Saint Paul Street in Baltimore and on my way to the dojo. I've been studying two sword technique once a month for a while now, so I thought I'd do alright holding the long bokken against a two handed partner. It didn't work somehow. I couldn't make the thing move fast enough to compensate for half the strength. I took my sempai's council and used the shoto and was much happier.

So, when you lose your left hand in battle, draw your short sword.
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:20 AM   #18
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

"Kendo Kata

Almost all martial arts have a set of kata. Kendo is no exception. Kata are pre-set sequences of motions which illustrate very deeply one or more aspects of the art. Repetitive practice of kata internalizes the lessons of the kata.

Kendo kata are practiced with a solid wooden sword called a bokken. There are ten kendo kata specified by the All Japan Kendo Federation. Each kata studies a single set of concepts in a very pure setting allowing the practitioner to delve deeply into these concepts.

Kendo kata are practiced between two people, the Uchitachi and the Shidachi. In kendo kata, the Uchitachi attacks the Shidachi who in turn demonstrates a proper response to the attack. Seven of these kata are illustrations of the technique of the long sword against the long sword. The last three kata illustrate the short sword defending against attacks by the long sword."

From http://www.kendo-usa.org/abtken.htm

So the short bokken or bokuto is used for practicing the three short sword kata.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:44 AM   #19
Eric Webber
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Saotome sensei did shoto technique this summer at bnoth the DC Summer camp and the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp. Quite a bit of the use of the hands in Aikido technique is easily related to shoto.
I've also been at a seminar with a senior student of Saotome where we used both bokken and shoto in a randori situation (thankfully the three ukes only had one bokken each ). Really interesting correlation to empty hand randori.

The nito ryu can be used to show a wonderful correlation to most empty hand techniques, randori and otherwise.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:51 AM   #20
cguzik
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

There are also different lengths of shoto. I have one from Bujin Design that is about 18 inches long. This is considerably shorter than a wakizashi would be, and in my opinion is better used as a kodachi. I have also seen these used in training as a substitue for tessen.

The other one I have from Kiyota Company is about 30 inches and is much closer to a wakizashi length. This is more similar to what Saotome Sensei uses in his two sword forms.
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #21
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Can anyone speak to the terms kodachi and wakizashi, and their different meanings? I sometimes get the impression (probably false) that they are used interchangably.

Thanks,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:03 AM   #22
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

The foot work, body placement, response to attack and attacking with a Shoto is not the same as that of a katana. It is a serous and individual weapon and has its own unique requirements when engaging other weapons. A person competent with a long sword may not be as competent with a short sword when facing a longer weapon. The same goes for the tanto.

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Old 07-12-2006, 10:06 AM   #23
Amir Krause
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

In Korindo Aikido we have the Kodachi or Wakizashi as one of the weapons in the curriculum, thus we practice several Kata with this weapon. some of these Kata has well established Koryu origin while the origin for the rest is unknown (at least in my club). In addition, we also have some Nito based on several Koryu styles.

The Kodachi is a very interesting weapon since the practice with it often combines leverages and cuts, as well as captures done with the handle.

Amir
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:36 AM   #24
ChrisMoses
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

Takeda Yoshinobu Sensei also uses the shoto extensively for a series of connection exercises. They're not based on any real sword movements, but are more like the bastard child of shoto+ikkyo+sticky hands. Interesting practice though for developing soft connection and extension which are kind of the cornerstones of his stuff.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:56 AM   #25
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Whats the point of a shoto bokken?

It should also be pointed out that there is no historical data supporting warrior class samurai wearing the long sword while setting in seza. It was common however to wear the short sword. Even though we do MJERI kata with the katana I also do them with the wakazash. I prefer cutting with one from this position also.

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