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Aikido And Weapons
Aikido is an art practiced to a great extent “open-handed” i.e. without weapons. For this reason it is possible to train in Aikido to a certain level without the use of weapons. However in order to develop a higher level of understanding and proficiencey some degree of weapons is required. As previously indicated Aikido was developed from weapons art so the movements are intrinsically linked. For higher grade assessments weapon disarming is required.
In part Aikido is designed to take into account that an opponent maybe armed thus disarming techniques are elements of training. It is important to learn what parts of a weapons should be handled and how to avoid being “cut”.
A tanto (短刀, “short sword”) is one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.
The tanto dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate. Tanto were used in traditional martial arts (tantojutsu). The term has seen a resurgence in the West since the 1980s as a point style of modern tactical knives, designed for piercing or stabbing.
This is the art of knife disarming and covers a number of techniques.
Gokyo is perticular to weapon disarming and is prominently featured in senior gradings. However varitions of Kote gaishi and sankyo are also common, Shiho nage and rokkyo less so.
This is the art of sword disarming and covers a number of techniques.
Weapon disarming and is prominently featured in senior gradings. However variations of Shi ho nage and a number of ko kyu ho and nage techniques. This helps a practitioner learn better control and spacial awareness as well as the change in timing and mae from open hand. Being a bladed technique it also hones a persons level of care and accuracy.
This is the art of staff disarming and covers a number of techniques. It is perticular to weapon disarming and is prominently featured in very senior gradings. However varitions of Katami Waza and Nage Waza are common. It promotes good timing from an extreme range and the ability to enter proficiently.
Part of Aikido training this discipline was designed by O Sensei then later developed by Saito Sensei. The system works by applying the principles of Aikido and thus is dissimilar to other sword arts. Its intention is to help counteract it limitations of pure open hand practices. The practices are split into Solo suburi (素振り, Solo Practice) and Kumitachi (組太刀, Partner Practice ).
Iaido started in the mid-1500s. Hayashizaki Jinsuke Shigenobu (1542 – 1621) is generally acknowledged as the organizer of Iaido. There were a lot of schools, almost every one concentrated on the school created amid 16th-17th century. After the collapse of the Japanese feudal system in 1868 the founders of the modern disciplines borrowed from the theory and the practice of classical disciplines as they had studied or practiced
This is the art of sword drawing an in many ways compliments aikido.
It is concerned with drawing, cutting and sheathing a sword with leathal intent. The exercises are aesetic in nature and designed to hone perfection.
“Iai” (居合) roughly translates as alert mind state, thus there is an importance to train the mind to be aware and alert. This benefits aikido training.
Mostly Iaido is performed as solo katas starting and finishing with the sword sheathed.
Part of Aikido training this discipline was designed by O Sensei then later developed by Saito Sensei.
The system works by applying the principles of Aikido and thus is dissimilar to other staff arts however is more similar to Jukendo (銃剣道, bayonet art). Its intention is to help counteract the limitations of pure open hand practices. The practices are split into suburi (素振り, solo practices) and kumijo (組杖, partnered practices).
In the aiki-jo curriculum, there are three primary kata (形, Forms). The first is called “Sanjūichi no Jo“, generally referred to in English as the “Thirty-one Point Jo Kata“, and was taught by Ueshiba. The second one is “Jusan no Jo“; “Thirteen Point Jo Kata“. The third one is “Roku no jo“. There are also well known partnered versions of these forms, called bunkai (分解).
There are two branches of Jodo. One is koryu (古流, old school) jodo. This branch is further subdivided into a number of different schools which include jodo or jojutsu in their curriculum. These schools also teach the use of other weapons such as the sword, the naginata, the short staff , the kusarigama, the truncheon (jutte), knife and open hand. Most practitioners specialise in only one school.
The other branch is called Seitei Jodo and is practiced by the All Japan Kendo Federation (全日本剣道連盟 Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei). Seitei Jodo starts with 12 kata, which are drawn from Shinto Muso-ryu. In addition to these 12 kata the student will also study their koryu.
Jojutsu has also been adapted for use in the Japanese police force, who refer to the art as keijō-jutsu (警杖術), or police stick art.
This is the art of the staff emphasizing defence against a sword and in many ways compliments aikido training. Because the staff is short and has an unbladed body it makes a very veratile weapon with many sets of movements. Once again accuracey and flexiability are increased with this training, as well as timing and distancing.