The Aikidoka uses the bokken wooden sword for training because of safety purposes. If you use a real sharp samurai sword katana for training, chances are you will cut or injure yourself before you get better. Bokken should not be confused with shinai, practice swords made of flexible bamboo. The boken, bokken, or bokuto is not exclusive to Aikido, however, it is necessary for the practice of Aikido. Why use a wooden sword when practising Aikido? While its use has several advantages over the use of a live edged weapon, it can still be deadly, and any Aikido training with a bokken should be done with due care.
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This has led to many possible interpretations of the word. Aikido also derives much of its technical structure from the art of swordsmanship kenjutsu. It is unclear exactly when Ueshiba began using the name "aikido", but it became the official name of the art in when the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society Dai Nippon Butoku Kai was engaged in a government sponsored reorganization and centralization of Japanese martial arts. Aikido demonstrates this philosophy in its emphasis on mastering martial arts so that one may receive an attack and harmlessly redirect it.
In an ideal resolution, not only is the receiver unharmed, but so is the attacker. As a result of this exposure, he was able to attract not only financial backing but also gifted students. Several of these students would found their own styles of aikido. Kenji Tomiki toured with a delegation of various martial arts through 15 continental states of the United States in This trip was followed by several subsequent visits and is considered the formal introduction of aikido to the United States.
Seiichi Sugano was appointed to introduce aikido to Australia in Today there are aikido dojo throughout the world. Shodokan Aikido, however, was controversial, since it introduced a unique rule-based competition that some felt was contrary to the spirit of aikido.
Tohei left as a result of a disagreement with the son of the founder, Kisshomaru Ueshiba , who at that time headed the Aikikai Foundation. The disagreement was over the proper role of ki development in regular aikido training.
It is unofficially referred to as the " Iwama style ", and at one point a number of its followers formed a loose network of schools they called Iwama Ryu. The study of ki is an important component of aikido. The term does not specifically refer to either physical or mental training, as it encompasses both.
Ki has many meanings, including "ambience", "mind", "mood", and "intention", however, in traditional martial arts it is often used to refer to "life energy". This concept was known as Takemusu Aiki, and many of his later students teach about ki from this perspective. The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning , as well as specific techniques.
After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and techniques with weapons. In aikido, pushing or extending movements are much more common than pulling or contracting movements. This distinction can be applied to general fitness goals for the aikido practitioner. Aikido-related training emphasizes the use of coordinated whole-body movement and balance similar to yoga or pilates.
Tori learns to blend with and control attacking energy, while uke learns to become calm and flexible in the disadvantageous, off-balance positions in which tori places them.
This "receiving" of the technique is called ukemi. Good ukemi involves attention to the technique, the partner, and the immediate environment—it is considered an active part of the process of learning aikido. The method of falling itself is also important, and is a way for the practitioner to receive an aikido technique safely and minimize risk of injury. Initial attacks[ edit ] Aikido techniques are usually a defense against an attack, so students must learn to deliver various types of attacks to be able to practice aikido with a partner.
Although attacks are not studied as thoroughly as in striking-based arts, attacks with intent such as a strong strike or an immobilizing grab are needed to study correct and effective application of technique. Kicks are generally reserved for upper-level variations; reasons cited include that falls from kicks are especially dangerous, and that kicks high kicks in particular were uncommon during the types of combat prevalent in feudal Japan. In training, this is usually directed at the forehead or the crown for safety, but more dangerous versions of this attack target the bridge of the nose and the maxillary sinus.
Beginners in particular often practice techniques from grabs, both because they are safer and because it is easier to feel the energy and the direction of the movement of force of a hold than it is for a strike.
Some grabs are historically derived from being held while trying to draw a weapon , whereupon a technique could then be used to free oneself and immobilize or strike the attacker while they are grabbing the defender. The following are a sample of the basic or widely practiced throws and pins. The precise terminology for some may vary between organisations and styles; the following are the terms used by the Aikikai Foundation.
Note that despite the names of the first five techniques listed, they are not universally taught in numeric order. There is an adductive wristlock or Z-lock in the ura version. Common in knife and other weapon take-aways.
The classic form superficially resembles a "clothesline" technique. See text for more details. Aikido makes use of body movement tai sabaki to blend the movement of tori with the movement of uke.
Finally, most techniques can be performed while in a seated posture seiza. Some view atemi as attacks against " vital points " meant to cause damage in and of themselves.
Additionally, the target may also become unbalanced while attempting to avoid a strike by jerking the head back, for example which may allow for an easier throw. The founder developed many of the empty-handed techniques from traditional sword, spear and bayonet movements. For instance, an ura technique might be used to neutralise the current attacker while turning to face attackers approaching from behind.
In this respect it resembles judo randori. Testing requirements vary, so a particular rank in one organization is not comparable or interchangeable with the rank of another.
The Aikido FAQ
Aikido bokken kata by Julian Frost The purpose of the "kata" is to demonstrate the relationship between swordwork and the eight variations of shihonage that Chiba Sensei regularly teaches. Grab a partner, in Ai Hanmi or Gyaku Hanmi and see if you can see how it works! Which of the 8 techniques above is Ai Hanmi, and which is Gyaku Hanmi is left as an exercise for the reader! Starts in right posture, chudan kamae: Step back with the front right foot and shomen, then
Aikido Bokken for Daily Training