Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Should Weapons be a Part of Aikido Training?” published yesterday has stimulated a great deal of discussion on this controversial topic on Facebook. The prevailing opinion seems to be that weapons form an important part of aikido training. Here is a sampling of the comments appearing there from aikido practitioners across the globe:
Ana Carolina Souto Maior
In my opinion, weapons training is as essential as training taijutsu for the development of Aikido. After I started training weapons seriously, I noticed the improvement of my taijutsu techniques. They are becoming stronger, more precise, true empowered with kokyu instead of strength. For me, there is no Aikido training without weapons.
Ken J. Good
Well done. Enjoyed the video and your presentation of the material.
You can tell if someone has done weapons in the way the execute the techs and strikes.
Great video Pranin Sensei. However, Shoji Nishio Sensei also studied Shintō Musō-ryū jōjutsu (jo) and Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu (yari).
Yes, it’s true that he did. What I gave was a quick summary.
As you mentioned in the video, people will probably do what their teacher does and it is a loosing battle if one were going to try and change that. However, in my personal experience training at an Iwama dojo for 5 years (Aikido of Reno), weapons do a lot for developing body alignment, etc… Everyone I’ve seen that has good weapons has good taijutsu and everyone I’ve seen that has bad weapons has bad taijutsu.
Mark Lipsinic @Todd Ward:
I would second your statement for the most part if the Aikido practitioner had no other martial arts experience before they studied Aikido. However, I have seen Aikidoka who studied Judo or Jujitsu before they studied Aikido who have good Aikido technique.
Thanks for the perspective. I’ve been training for about 23 years now and I’ve never had anybody say to me that weapons are not central to aikido training. Of course for the last 15 years I’ve been in the ASU and Saotome and Ikeda Senseis… take weapons training very seriously. I mean no disrespect to the current Doshu, but my teachers have all been training longer than him and I see my lineage going straight back to O’Sensei. I guess that whatever is happening today in Tokyo just doesn’t seem that relevant.See More
The stance of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and the current Doshu is that the aikido core curriculum consists of taijutsu with weapons only being an optional, adjunct study.
It’s hard to accept that explanation of Aikikai Hombu Dojo and the current Doshu’s stance when followers of Nishio Aikido are told that they can no longer give out rank in weapons or they will no longer be promoted by Aikikai.
Many people who tested under Nishio Aikido here in the states have had their yudansha certificates held “hostage” by hombu due to this over the last several years. It has only just recently been resolved due to the administrative foresight by Nishio Sensei before he died. They never denied promotions from Nishio Sensei when he was alive.
Yep, that’s what I understood from the video blog. For me, weapons have always been an essential part of my training and understanding of the art.
Truth is there is always a need to understand the fundamentals of body movement with weapons to be able to consider defending against weapons. End of story, why try to tie a knot with one hand when you don’t have to. Weapons were always a part of the art for very good reason.
Aiki-Elements of Time & Space cannot be explained without weapons. Weapons are a major part of the world we live in today, so why leave it out of your training?…I concur with LarryC
Ananga Manjari Devi Dasi
Yes, although many practitioners who run or own schools omit this important discipline, which is a shame. I had to travel over 40 miles away from home to train with a school, which was the only one in Wales to offer weapons training.