The article below by researcher Meik Skoss 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.
Although systematic training in the use of weapons, and methods for employing them in warfare existed long before, it is generally believed that the development of martial traditions, schools, or styles (ryu-ha) did not arise until after the end of the Heian period (794-1185). Central to this training was study of the bow (yumi), the sword (tachi), and the spear (yari). Initially, these weapons were not studied in separate arts. Rather, since the need was to prepare for battlefield combat, many different weapons and strategic and tactical skills were taught as part of comprehensive systems (sogo bujutsu).
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