O-Sensei’s weapons legacy: Morihiro Saito’s “Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo” Online Course in 20 modules!

I’m Stanley Pranin and it is my pleasure to announce the launch of our latest online course. This content-rich curriculum presented by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, covers all of the fundamentals of the aiki ken and aiki jo as practiced in Iwama for decades.

The world of aikido is divided on the subject of whether or not weapons practice belongs in the aikido curriculum. The official position of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo is that taijutsu or empty-handed techniques alone constitute the core of the art. This notwithstanding, aikido schools across many different styles have gradually adopted weapons training in some form or another in their training.


Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba spent many years studying and practicing weapons, mainly the aiki ken and aiki jo. Morihei studied the aiki ken and jo intensively during and after the war at his country residence in Iwama. Due to a series of historical circumstances, Morihiro Saito was the Founder’s main training partner during this period.

It was Saito Sensei who preserved, systematized, and disseminated these weapon forms that the Founder bequeathed. Saito Sensei’s rich curriculum consisting of a cohesive whole of empty-handed and ken and jo techniques attracted a worldwide audience due to his ground-breaking technical books and extensive international travels.

The “Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo Course” consists of 20 video modules available for online viewing and downloading. The first section of the course includes Saito Sensei’s subtitled instructional videos that cover the following material:

  • 7 Ken Suburi
  • Ki Musubi no Tachi
  • 5 Kumitachi – Henka no Tachi
  • 31 Jo Kata
  • 20 Jo Suburi
  • 31 Jo Kumijo
  • 10 Kumijo
  • 13 Jo Awase

The second section comprised of instructional and demonstration footage traces the evolution of Saito Sensei’s ken and jo forms over a 30-year period. You will see rare clips of weapons instruction and demonstrations beginning in 1964 through 1993…

Click here to watch video

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