Recommended reading: “O-Sensei’s Weapons Legacy” 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.

The reasons no other high-ranking teacher had attempted to broach the subject of Aiki weapons were little understood at the time. Still today a great deal of confusion persists over what emphasis the Founder Morihei Ueshiba actually placed on weapons and when and whom he taught. In fact, many instructors and advanced students the world over practice iaido (live-sword drawing) thinking that there exists a historical relationship between Aikido and Iaido or that the use of the sword in the two arts is similar or complementary. In some dojos, proficiency in the use of the live blade is required on examinations for dan rankings.

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 800 articles in twenty different languages and numerous video clips. We are constantly adding new articles and translations in our effort to document aikido and related disciplines past and present. If you would like to support us in this effort by taking out a subscription to the Online Aikido Journal we welcome you to do so by clicking this link. Remember that if you subscribe or renew for two years you will now receive both the Aiki News / Aikido Journal Archival DVD and Stanley Pranin’s latest book Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era absolutely free of charge. Don’t pass up this special offer!

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  1. Took an iaido class from Chiba sensei once upon a time. He said it was different… and it was! Saotome sensei, in the same era, taught an iai form. Because I practice with bokken anyway, sometimes I fool around with sword drawing, but that’s the extent of it.

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