Weapons Practice in Aikido

The primary goal of weapons training in Aikido is designed to help students develop a strong sense of timing, spatial and angular awareness, and connection with a partner. Below lists Southland Aikido’s weapons curriculum derived from Morihiro Saito Sensei.

Jo Suburi Detail

Tsuki no bu. The first series contains five movements. The first three begin from hidari jō no kamae (left jō stance), a neutral, prepared starting posture: the jō is held out vertically by the left hand, resting on the ground in front of the large toe of the front (left) foot, with the hand holding the jō approximately one-third of the way down. The final two begin from hidari tsuki no kamae (left thrust stance): the same as hidari jō no kamae, except the jō is held pointing towards uke, as in the end of the first three movements.

  1. Chokuzuki (straight thrust). A thrust is made straight forwards.
  2. Kaeshizuki (counter thrust). A thrust to parry an incoming tsuki attack and counter.
  3. Ushirozuki (rear thrust). A thrust to a person standing behind.
  4. Tsuki gedan gaeshi (thrust, low counter). A straight tsuki, followed by an attack to the side of the knee.
  5. Tsuki jōdan gaeshi (thrust, high counter). A straight tsuki, followed by an attack to the side of the head.

Uchikomi no bu. The second series contains strikes to the head. All movements begin from migi ken no kamae (right sword stance): right-foot forwards, holding the jō as you would a sword.

  1. Shomen uchikomi (strike to the top of the face). A straight downwards strike to the forehead.
  2. Renzoku uchikomi (continuous strike). Shomen uchikomi, followed by a strike to the side of the head.
  3. Menuchi gedan gaeshi (face-strike, low counter). Shomen uchikomi, followed by gedan gaeshi as seen in tsuki gedan gaeshi.
  4. Menuchi jōdan gaeshi (face-strike, high counter). Shomen uchikomi, followed by jōdan gaeshi, as seen in tsuki jōodan gaeshi.
  5. Gyaku yokomen ushirozuki (opposite side of face, rear thrust). Attack as in the second part of renzoku uchikomi, followed by a tsuki to the rear.

Katate no bu. The katate series consists of three movements, each executed as a strike using one hand on the jō. The first two begin from hidari tsuki no kamae, and the final one from migi jō no kamae.

  1. Katate gedan gaeshi (one-handed low counter).
  2. Katate toma uchi (one-handed long-distance strike).
  3. Katate hachi no jigaeshi (one-handed figure of eight).

Hassōgaeshi no bu. All the hassōgaeshi suburi begin from migi ken no kamae and end in hassō no kamae.

  1. Hassōgaeshi uchi (hassō-return strike).
  2. Hassōgaeshi tsuki (hassō-return thrust).
  3. Hassōgaeshi ushirozuki (hassō-return rear thrust).
  4. Hassōgaeshi ushiro uchi (hassō-return rear strike).
  5. Hassōgaeshi ushiro barai (hassō-return rear sweep).

Nagare no bu. Both of the nagare suburi begin from migi ken no kamae.

  1. Hidari nagare gaeshi uchi (left flowing counter strike).
  2. Migi nagare gaeshi uchi (right flowing counter strike).

Ken Suburi Detail

There are seven aiki-ken suburi and are named as follows:

  1. Ichi-no: A simple downward vertical cut.
  2. Ni-no: Step back into jōdan-no-kamae, then a downward vertical cut.
  3. San-no: Step back into waki-gamae, then a downward vertical cut.
  4. Yon-no: Step forward with a downward vertical cut; repeat.
  5. Go-no: Step forward while guarding, then a 70 degree downward cut; repeat.
  6. Roku-no: Step forward with a downward vertical cut, then shuffle forward and thrust.
  7. Shichi-no: Step forward while guarding, then a 70 degree downward cut, then step forward and thrust.
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