Recommended reading: “Interview with Tokimune Takeda (1)” by Stanley Pranin

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Sokaku’s sword came from the traditional Onoha Itto-ryu. The first short sword technique in this art is the same as the first technique in Daito-ryu where you pin your opponent then thrust at and cut him. This technique was used only during the age of civil strife but Sokaku taught it as an important technique. Since he had practiced kenjutsu, he could easily turn his wrists. In order to cut your opponent, you need to set the blade of your sword in a specific position; you need to turn your sword this way. You receive your opponent’s sword with the back of your sword and then you turn your sword to cut him. This is not how you hit your opponent with a bokken, you know. Since a real sword has a sharp blade, you need to receive your opponent’s blade with the back of your sword.

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