Aikido weapons

Training notes: Jo nage shiho nage

saito osenseiThe below video was recorded at a recent class at our dojo where we studied a form of Aikido practice referred to as jo nage.  In this type of practice the nage (i.e. the person applying the technique) is armed with a wooden staff (a jo).

The jo nage technique being explored is the traditional version of shiho nage (4 directions throw).  Both the omote and ura forms are demonstrated.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES

  • Jo nage shiho nage – more detailed look

saito_seiza_260For more detailed instruction the traditional form of jo nage shiho nage see the below a video of  Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) providing instruction on the technique.

Saito Sensei’s practice of Aikido spanned 56 years and he is one of the most important teachers in Aikido history.  Saito Sensei was a live-in student of O’sensei for more than 20 years at his home dojo in Iwama, Japan.

 

Have a great weekend.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

 

“Free Wielding Sword” (Bokken Kata 2) – Aikido Yuishinkai

In the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, gives a demonstration of one of the three major bokken katas practised in Aikido Yuishinkai  – “Free Wielding Sword” (Bokken Kata 2).  For further detail on key aspects of the kata see videos in the “Detailed Notes” below.

 

DETAILED NOTES

  • Overview of kata

 

  • The first four cuts

 

  • Kyu and ju cuts

 

  • Ju san and ju hachi cuts

 

  • Ju roku cut 

 

All the best

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

Hitotsu no tachi – Aikido Yuishinkai

Bokken practice - partnered.In the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, provides instruction for the partnered bokken kata – Hitotsu no tachi as practiced in Aikido Yuishinkai.

Hitotsu no tachi (like all partnered bokken practice in our school) is choreographed with both participants having predetermined movements and roles.

Skills developed through 2 person bokken kata directly transferable to unarmed training include those related to:

  • blending and parrying;
  • timing;
  • using small body movements to generate power and move off-line (this is achieved through correct use of the hips and moving the body as a single entity);
  • Entering and related footwork; and
  • Stillness of mind.

 

The video was recorded in 2012 in Rotterdam as part of an Aikido Yuishinkai International Seminar.  It was made available courtesy of Aikido Yuishinkai International Instructor, Martijn van Hemmen Sensei.

Have a great week.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

“Four Gods” Bokken Kata – Aikido Yuishinkai

4 GodsIn the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, provides instruction on one of the three major bokken katas practised in Aikido Yuishinkai – “The Four Gods” kata (Shishin no ken).

The video was recorded in 2012 in Rotterdam.  In addition to instruction by Maruyama Sensei, it includes a demonstration of the kata by Aikido Yuishinkai International Instructor, Martijn van Hemmen Sensei.

 

  • Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Martjin Sensei for both making available and giving me permission to publish his video recordings of the 2012 International Aikido Yuishinkai Seminar.

Have a great long weekend.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

Bokken exercises: Kiri age

kiriageThe practice of bokken (wooden sword) arts is an integral part of Aikido training in Aikido Yuishinkai.  Amongst other things, solo and paired bokken practice plays an important role in helping develop key skills for unarmed arts.  These skills include foot work, distance, timing, centred movement, relaxed power and correct posture.

In the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder, Aikido Yuishinkai demonstrates the fundamental foot work and cutting movements for the solo bokken exercise kiri age (vertical upper cut).

Aikido Warrior Dojo - Bokken kataOne of the key benefits of this exercise is that it facilitates internalisation of moving the body as a single entity rather than moving the arms disconnected from the body.  Those interested in studying advanced internal principles (e.g. yin  yang) in Aikido movement will also find the exercise of interest, particularly if they use a heavier bokken such as a “Musashi oar”.

From a purely mechanical and physical perspective, kiri age also helps develop powerful upper cut atemi (age tsuki) and is a great workout for the thighs and “glutes”.

 

Other bokken exercises

For other Aikido related bokken exercises see – Bokken arts library.

Have a great week.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

 

 

Bokken exercise – Mawashi uchi

Morihei-Ueshiba-Bokken-211x300The practice of bokken (wooden sword) arts is an integral part of Aikido training in Aikido Yuishinkai.  Amongst other things, solo and paired bokken practice plays an important role in helping develop key skills for unarmed arts.  These skills include foot work, distance, timing, centred movement, correct posture and striking.

At our dojo we take an integrated  approach to the role of the bokken in our studies. For example, when we practice unarmed arts we look at the inherent bokken movements contained within the particular technique.  Conversely, when practising with the bokken, this is always done with a focus on the skill groups we are trying to develop to aid our unarmed practice.  The benefit of taking this approach is that it continually gives our training context.

In the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder, Aikido Yuishinkai provides instruction on the fundamental foot work and cutting movements for the bokken exercise mawashi uchi.  Also included  in the video is a demonstration by Peter Kelly Sensei (Chief Instructor Australia) and Alistair Williams Sensei of the paired practice application of the exercise.

Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

 

Training Notes: Jo nage kokyu nage

Jo nage throwIn the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama demonstrates and provides instruction for the Aikido technique kokyu nage where the nage is armed with a wooden staff (a jo).  This type of training is referred to as jo nage.

For instruction purposes, Maruyama Sensei demonstrates the key components of the technique from a static position. To illustrate how the technique looks from a dynamic perspective, archive footage of O’sensei (circa 1950’s) is also included. The uke in the  footage is a very young Morihiro Saito Shihan.

 

Technical notes

  • Don’t merge the foot work into one move

In the video Maruyama Sensei demonstrates the foot work in 3 separate segments – (1) enter with leading foot; (2) tenkan; and (3) moon-shadow the lead foot forward to enter into the uke’s space.  These 3 segments are performed as separate movements and should not be merged.  Further, the final projection is not executed by the nage until all 3 segments of the footwork are completed. The key parts of the technique (including footwork) are illustrated below.

jo nage 1ajo nage step 1Jo nage step 2Jo nage step 3

 

 

 

(1) Initial position           (2) Step in                   (3) Tenkan                    (4) Moon-shadow

Jo nage throw

 

 

 

(4) Complete technique

  • Don’t pitch back to “bow and arrow/sling-shot” the projection

There is a tendency when performing tenkan kokyu nage based projections for the nage to pitch back their upper torso after the tenkan movement, or to slide their rear foot an extra distance back. This is done in an effort to put extra power in the move and “sling shot” the uke.

This should be avoided. All it does is separate connection and give the uke an opportunity to counter attack. For further discussion of this point, including the correct way to enter and tenkan in kokyu nage techniques see Training Notes: Munetsuki kokyu nage (ura).

  • Use centre point of jo

saito osenseiMaruyama Sensei particularly emphasises in the video the importance of focusing on the centre point of the jo as measured between the distance of the uke‘s hands.  It is only by focussing movement of the jo at this point that the nage is able to not only retain control of the jo, but also move the uke’s centre so that the conditions for a successful throw are possible.

All the best for 2016.

Ian Grant
Do Jo Cho
 Aikido Warrior Dojo