Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Aikido and the Blade

My study of Aikido began with my first visit to Sutrisno Sensei’s dojo, His students were practicing an 8 drill aikido exercise.  I watched them do it for 15 minutes or so and then Tristan turned to me and asked me to give it a try, I was able to do them, and I never forgot. They became instrumental drills we use at brown belt level, both for their aikido skill and their use to learn how to merge into an attack.

Years later when Trisatan visited us in Derry, he was surprised to see my students working on them.  He offered corrections and changed one aikido drill, I suspect because it was too easy for the uke to assist the thrower and the right skill would not develop, so the substitution on another technique. While they don’t comprise all our aikido skills from this origin, they are more interesting as they were selected for their use against hard attacks.

Of course later studies get into the aikido art in greater depth though it does not make us aikido-ka by any sense, just a tool used to develop other application studies.

Several years later Michael Cassidy developed the theory that they may have originally been used against Japanese style knife thrust attacks. Research showed that the grasping hand was force multiplier using the grab for pain to augment the defense.

Later I obtained a copy of Genwa Nakasone’s 1937 “Karate-Do Taiken” ,  which contains an article by Otsuka  Hironouri on Wado Ryu knife self defense ( Tanken Dori Nana-Hon No Kata) and saw similar techniques. I am sharing these photos from the book,  In our studies this would be aikido drill No. 9.

To read this in English I would add it is akso translated by Mario McKenna

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