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11

Although I have not practiced aikido, I have some experience in kendo and can tentatively offer an answer. In the school I was in, we used to practice a multitude of suburi (sword swings). In most of them, the jodan-no-kamae stance is assumed prior to striking. This sounds a lot like the stance your teacher is using. In this stance, your sword is placed in ...


6

This is largely going to be a matter of training – Since aikido stems from daito-ryu aikijujutsu, which in turn took its aiki from the leverage of sword work, you will see the technique of bringing the sword to parallel with the spine taught often. There's a nice technique from the the hiden mokuroku that counters a rear lapel grab by raising the arms into ...


5

I'm very pleased with Autrelle Holland's Aiki-jo manual, which contains the Suburi and Kihon (I believe those are what you refer to as "small kata". I've also been impressed with Stanford Aikido's discussion of the Jo Suburi, which contains some very precise, practical advice and a wonderful sense of humor. Of course for video the Saito Aiki-Ken and ...


5

There are a number of video resources available. As was pointed out in the comments depending on your style (and even instructor) there may be small changes. I included most of the ones I've been taught over the years. My instructors were generally influenced by Saito Sensei. For Jo: 31 Count Jo Kata 13 Count Jo Kata (Saito) 20 Jo Suburi (basic attacks) ...


5

I don't think there are any major umbrella iaijutsu organizations. The All United States Kendo Federation also supports iaido and you'll sometimes find (for instance) Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu or Muso Shinden Ryu instructors among the local kendo sensei. I used to study kendo and iaido in the Pacific Northwest and I thought the quality of the instruction ...


4

Generally, there are a few points in which the sword will differ between arts. The history and mythology (or oral tradition) of the evolution of the Japanese sword (from ken or tsurugi to tachi to katana) spans thousands of years. Generally, differences may be caused by: Locality – The available material sources at the time may have led to a design out of ...


4

To clarify a couple of points in other answers: Weight: lighter bokken feel rather different to a katana. As already noted, you can do techniques with a kendo shinai that are not possible with a katana unless you are Conan the Barbarian! This is due to the light weight of the shinai vs a katana. A heavier bokken will be closer to the weight of a katana and ...


3

Dave Lowry wrote a book each on bokken and jo work: Bokken, Art of the Sword and Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Staff These go through basics as well as single and partner kata. Lowry has also written many books on Japanese martial arts that explore philosophy, culture, and experience, all of which you can easily find on Amazon. He has a polished written ...


2

Bokken are both training tools and weapons in their own right. The suburi bokken comes from the legend of Musashi. As the story goes, he was crossing a river on a boat to go to the duel of his life when he realized he didn't have his katana. He fashioned one of the oars into a sword. It was heavy, but Musashi was well renowned for his strength. He, of ...


2

I use the bokuto touching the spine as an exercise to make sure that the bokuto is straight and my hand and arm position is correct. But that is it. Otherwise, I do all the techniques with the bokuto never going beyond horizontal. For weight training, I tend to use a suburi bokuto or a tire. Although, do make sure there is no bounce as your bokuto hits ...


2

Touching the spine when the sword is raised is basic kihon waza. It insures alignment and helps practice the full arc and art of kokyu. We were always encouraged to do so to feel the effortless swing and affects of gravity that is halted by the lower body, not entirely by the arms. It is basic form. For true swordsmanship one would not strike this way as one ...


2

My Aikido instructor has explained that the position you are referring to, if I'm not mistaken, is the most effective position to be in before doing any kind of forward strike with a bokken. It is called Jodan and it is a compromise between having the bokken far behind your head creating an offensive-focused power attack (being more strength oriented), and ...


1

Start with big movement. End with small movement. And keep your elbows in.


1

Swords come in different shapes and sizes. Bokken, to represent them as facsimile, should follow. This is sufficient explanation for variation in curvature, thickness, edging, grooves, or any other variables. In addition, different styles demand different weights, shapes and styles for their bokken due to personal or organizational preferences that are ...


1

Morihiro Saito's Traditional Aikido Volume One (ISBN: 0870402668) includes jo and bokken kata and suburi. It seems to be out of print, but you can find used copies for (as of this writing) around $80-$150. As far as I can tell, his newer Takemusu Aikido series doesn't include the basic jo and bokken techniques at all, but there are some weapon-related ...



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