Kenjutsu sword combat training

March 25, 2012 in Allgemein by Aikido Dojo Südstern

Our Aikido training also includes exercises with different weapons: Bokken (wooden sword), Tanto (wooden knife), and Jo (wooden staff). These tend to complement and widen the partner training

SONY DSCIn the class “Kenjutsu – sword combat training” primarily Katas are practiced. Katas are established sequential movements of attack and defense, similar to a choreography. They’re comprised of various techniques for attacking, protecting and defending oneself, whereby at the end of each Kata the energy is again gathered and then released in one final blow. It’s not only about learning the technique for handling a sword; training Kenjutsu is also about developing a martial spirit and the ability to build and focus the energy that is exerted at the right time and place. This energy or Chi originates primarily in one’s center or belly and is developed with proper breathing and concentration.

With continual practice of the Katas the training becomes intensified and one’s awareness for danger sharpened. A further relevance of training with the the Bokken – and Tanto – for practicing Aikido is that many of its techniques were developed from the movements of sword combat and have their logic without swords being wielded.

FiExecution of the Katas demands considerable concentration and precision. Kata practice is less about developing muscular strength or great speed. The training here, as with Aikido, has more to do with harmonizing with the partner, with using the energy that he or she brings to the partner exercise for one’s own defense. When the Katas are very slowly executed, the full Chi-energy can also be released. The quickness or the ability to react spontaneously to an unexpected attack emerges by itself.

Weapons training helps to make clear the origin of the Aikido techniques in the old Japanese combat disciplines of the Samarai. It also helps to further our understanding of Aikido principles such as concentration, centering and harmonizing with one’s partner or partners.