Aiki Weapons (Iwama Style)
O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido, was skillful with both sword and
staff, frequently demonstrating the same movements to be effective even
while empty-handed. Aiki-weapons are taught as shown by Saito Sensei.
Characteristics of Aiki-weapons are the bigger movements used to teach
hip rotation and body movement, moving off the line of attack, as well
as ki extension.
Sugawara Sensei's Partner Practices
Sugawara Sensei developed his partner practices to introduce movements
found in the Katori style of weapons, which are very different than
Aiki-weapons. The movements are much faster and much more direct when
compared to Aiki-weapons. These katas teach the basic principals of
Katori style weaponry. There are 8 kumi-jo (bokken v. jo) and 5 jo-ai
(jo v. jo) practices. Video of these weapons katas can be viewed on
page on the Santa
Rosa Aikido website
The first four katas in the kumi-jo are practiced as if wearing armor.
The strikes are harder and target weak points in the armor that would
be worn by a warrior swordsman. The second four (5-8) are practiced
as if without armor and are softer, closer and even faster than the
first four. There are five jo-ai katas, which are practiced with the
same distance and speed of the 5-8 katas of the kumijo.
Learning these katas not only provides a foundation for Katori training,
but is required before a student may be invited to train Katori. Learning
Sugawara Sensei's kumi-jo and jo-ai also allows the instructor to gauge
the character of an individual, which is the basis for admission into
the advanced weapons style of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.
Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu
Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is a 600-year-old sword style, considered
to be the most distinguished of all Japanese martial traditions, and
as such was designated an intangible cultural treasure by the Japanese
government in April 1960.
Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is trained with the utmost seriousness
and is not to be taken lightly. There are expectations of those who
train Katori far and above normal expectations.
Iai-Jutsu (sword drawing)
Tachi-Jutsu (sword fighting)