We practice an extensive range of Aiki weapons techniques using the jo (short staff), bokken (wooden practice sword) and the tanto (knife).
The basic principles of Aikido movement can be more easily mastered through the practice of weapons kata and weapons suburi.
Our main emphasis is on the weapons systems of Saito Sensei and also Chiba Sensei.
Practice with Jo and Bokken improves our posture, position and the alignment of our centre. This in turn transfers to our Tai Jitsu (empty handed techniques – literally “body technique” or “body skill) practice.
Defending against attacks from the jo, bokken or tanto immediately teaches us the necessity to move off the line of attack, which is one of the most basic principles in Aikido whether dealing with single or multiple attacks.
The Harmony of Principles – Riai; a term literally meaning “the blending of truths” is the common denominator relating to the mutual principles of the movements in Aikido weapons and empty handed techniques. This is the harmonisation of the principles found in Aiki Ken, Aiki Jo and Tai Jitsu. Therefore, empty handed and weapon techniques are linked in Aikido through the concept of riai.
Aikido weapons provide a very interesting form of training and some of the kata and suburi have the added advantage of providing opportunity to practice without the necessity of a training partner.
We utilise various methods of weapons practice including
- Jo Suburi (solo exercises of jo techniques)
- Jo Kata (solo exercises in a set sequence of jo techniques)
- Jo Awase (partnered exercises of set jo attack and defence)
- Kumi Jo (partnered exercises of set jo attack and defence)
- Jo Dori (staff-taking: partnered defences from attacks with a jo)
- Ken Suburi (solo exercises of bokken cuts)
- Ken Awase (partnered exercises of set bokken attack and defence)
- Kumi Tachi (partnered exercises of set bokken attack and defence)
- Ken Dori (sword-taking: partnered defences from attacks with a bokken)
- Tanto Dori (knife-taking: partnered defences from attacks with a tanto)