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Old 09-06-2005, 05:06 PM   #1
Brandon Shatley
Location: Knoxville, TN
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7
Relation to sword?

I've read alot about Aikido being based on kenjutsu movements. How strong is the relation between the two? Would a background in Iaido have any effect on learning Aikido? Would practicing basic cuts and footwork (in addition to plenty of time in a dojo of course) be a worthwhile form of solo training? I am interested in taking up Aikido, but I am after a hobby that will give me something to do with my spare time more often than a few times a week. With other arts, kata fills that role nicely. Is there any Aikido equivalent?
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,902
Re: Relation to sword?

IMHO, Aikido is based on the ken and rpovides an excellent from of solo practice in your spare time.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:54 PM   #3
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Relation to sword?

This must have been discussed before. You should really do a search on aikiweb. However, I'll respond right here. I think this really depends on your teacher. I've seen aikido teachers who teacher horrific swordwork, and I wish they'd stick to aikido. I've also had some incredible breakthroughs from teachers who explained things in terms of sword and jo.

The problem is that you have to be careful to try to understand what the pupose of a weapons training session is (or any training session for that matter). For instance, I've seen people raise the sword over their head in a way that would totally get their wrist cut off if they were facing a skilled opponent - with their left hand arcing out and away around their right hand. However, the point of lifting that way gets people to open up their mid section in a really helpful way. If you try to lift someone like that for shihonage you will get jammed big time. I've seen a lot of people trying to force this kind of lifting because "it's supposed to be just like sword" - when the mid-section feeling would be the same, but the mechanics would have to be fundimentally different to have any degree of success.

Another good example that comes to mind in my training experience was when Sugano sensei did a really nice weapons class - which was primarily kendo as far as I could tell. I don't actually see much relationship between kendo and aikido (besides the taking the center line type training). However, the message of his class was break the distance (with tsuki) and then cut. I found that to be quite helpful in my taijitsu.

Saito sensei, Gleason sensei, Saotome sensei, Nishio sensei to name a few all teach aikido in terms of weapons.

As far as suburi goes, you can always practice happo undo (8 direction cutting with and without thrusting). Keisagiri and shomen unchi are really good ones. But again, it really depends on the quality of your instruction in class.

Good luck. - Rob
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:33 AM   #4
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 803
Re: Relation to sword?

There is absolutely no harm in learning about the japanese sword no matter what style of Aikido you want to do. However some styles tend to emphasize the connection more than other. In Nishio style Aikido we learn aiki-to ho. Somewhat like iaido - yet different. It is excellent solo-practice. We also do jo and bokken solo practice so get cracking. Iwama ryu also have some interesting weapons solo practices as far as I know.

If you find a dojo with no weapons work, then just go to an iaido or jodo-dojo as well. If you are focused in your training it will allmost surely be beneficial for you.

Have fun

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:11 AM   #5
Peter Seth
Dojo: Zanshin. Sunderland University
Location: Sunderland
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
Smile Re: Relation to sword?

Hi all.
Aikido is based on the sword in the respect that it was one of osensei's main arts. It would be correct to assume he incorporated parts of all his previous (japanese) arts to form a synthesis of sorts which he developed into the physical (aikido). But I also feel he included arts which he 'picked up' on his travels in China etc.
I was once told by Master Ma Boa Gao (hope the spellings ok), a Chinese chen style kung fu master that my 'kung fu was too big' - (I was demonstrating aikido at the time)?
I was invited to train with him and found, would you believe, 'small aikido'! There are obviously commonalities across all of the arts, but I was surprised at the great similarities between the two - especially the leading, dispersal of energy, flow, form and movements. The amazing ki/chi energy at the masters disposal was something else - I thought I was progressing after 25 -30years but it made me reassess my whole outlook on aikido. I hope I now flow a little better, but my Kung(aikido)fu is still too big??
The techniques translate well also.
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