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Old 05-02-2005, 01:41 AM   #1
Dojo: Budo Kai, Ki-Aikido
Location: Ístersund
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 61
Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

Just out of curiosity, does any aikido style and/or technique use a real iaito/katana, (for some form of aikido-kata),or is it all bokken?

The only time I remember seeing an aikidoka (on film) using a iaito/katana was during an aikido-show of some sort, but the aikidoka was actually doing a iaido-kata as it was also in the show.

Anyone have any info bout this?

Last edited by Fred26 : 05-02-2005 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:51 AM   #2
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

Some dojo's do, some dont. Its just down to personal preference. Many dojo use live blades (shinken, ken, katana or iaito) for sword taking techniques. The same with Live tanto for knife taking. The use of live blades in most places is restriced to senior students and dan grades.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-07-2005, 02:19 AM   #3
samurai_kenshin's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro
Location: Oakland, Ca
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 209
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

never heard of live swords or even iaito used in aikido, bit sensei does keep swords on her weapons racks, so maybe there is some use, though I have yet to see it.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 05-07-2005, 08:28 AM   #4
Dojo: Aikido of Marin
Location: California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 73
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

Only weapons i have ever used are wooden samurai swords... (I'm only yellow tho, no experiences)

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Old 05-07-2005, 11:07 AM   #5
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 208
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

Fredrik Hall wrote:
Just out of curiosity, does any aikido style and/or technique use a real iaito/katana, (for some form of aikido-kata),or is it all bokken?
Under special circumstances a student is allow to test with a live blade while doing suburi in my dojo.

I used a live blade for the suburi during my sandan test, but that was a personal preference on my part. A bokken would have been completely acceptable to use as well.

The dojo were I train also teaches Shinkendo, and at that time I was active in both arts, so I was used to practicing suburi with a live blade.

I got permission from my sensei to make that substitution, which he probably would not have granted if I were not also in his Shinkendo class. So, I guess that I was the exception to the rule!


Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 05-08-2005, 02:50 AM   #6
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 661
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

Korindo Aikido has an Iai section in it's curriculum, with it's own Kata. When practicing this section we use Iaito. I have seen a senior (8 dan) use a live blade for this practice visiting Japan. I also hope we would be able to afford the purchase of live blades here and practice our cutting work.

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Old 05-18-2005, 08:12 AM   #7
Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd's Avatar
Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 531
Iaito/katana solo, otherwise bokken

I would say that iaito or katana can be used in solo exercises, and bokken whenever a partner is involved. That is common practice in the sword arts, as well.

In tachidori, defense against sword, some dojos do use a iaito (sometimes even katana) in demonstrations and gradings. Don't try this at home!

In Sweden, Ichimura sensei had this habit, so it is inherited by his former home dojo KFUM Uppsala Aikikai. They still often do it at demonstrations and gradings. The same for tantodori.

Although I was a student of Ichimura sensei, I am inclined to recommend the use of bokken and wooden tanto - so that students without the proper training don't hurt each other. No need to increase the risk.
On the other hand, it is good to try it, if you are an advanced student, so that you get familiar with the difference in awarenes. But don't tell anyone I said so

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:58 AM   #8
James Davis
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 716
Re: Iaitos/Katanas in Aikido?

A few years ago, one of our dojo's senior students was practicing shiho-nage against a yokomen strike with bokken. She was executing technique nicely except for the bokken brushing against her shin almost every time. She didn't seem too concerned with this small detail. Sensei took down a live blade from the dojo wall and handed it to me. Her attitude changed completely.
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