#87 Unstated manners - 暗黙の約束事


In Aikido Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) training, there are different commitments from Kendo and Iaido. In other words, it is not Kenjutsu manners for Kenjutsu's sake, but manners for learning non-weapon techniques from sword handling. These are basic knowledge to practice, so I will explain some of them.

1. Where to point the Bokken tip:
The posture of holding a sword in the middle position is called "Seigan no kamae". In Kendo and Kenjutsu, it is common to point the tip of the sword at the opponent's left eye. The opponent can only see the point of the tip of the sword, which makes it difficult to measure the length of the sword. In Kendo, the face is protected by a protective gear, so there is no risk of being hit in the face even if you misjudge the situation, but in Aikido practice, no protective gear is worn.
Therefore, when practising Kumitachi (weapon to weapon) or Bukitori (weapon taking), the tip of the Bokken should be pointed at the opponent's throat for safety. In this way, the opponent will be able to correctly recognise the length of the Bokken and prevent accidents. In Suburi practice you imagine your opponent at the same height as you and point the tip of the Bokken at his eyes, and in Kumitachi and Bukitori practice you point the tip of the Bokken at his throat.

2. Position at the end of the swing down:
In Kendo, the image of cutting down is from the top of the opponent's head to the chin, so when you cut down, your arms should be extended at shoulder height to make a finish called "Kime".
In Aikido Kenjutsu, you practice Kumitachi and Bukitori, so the finish point “Kime” is at the level of the belly button when you cut down. Draw a circular arc with the tip of the Bokken and extend the arms at the level of the belly button to make the finish "Kime" clear. In NZ, the word "Kime" is not used, so it is often referred to as "Zanshin".

3. Stance:
"Hanmi" is the stance of Aikido. When you cut up, you cut from the hips and go from Hanmi to square, and when you cut down, you go from square back to Hanmi. By using the knees to cut the hips, kinetic energy is generated and the movement is a natural and smooth cut up and down. Hanmi stance also makes sense for circular movements.
On the other hand, in Kendo stance, the body always faces the front (square). Both feet should be shoulder-width apart, and both toes should be pointing forward. You can see that Kendo stance focuses on speed and strength to step into the opponent's space. The fencing that you saw at Tokyo Olympics was almost about how fast and when you step into the opponent's space. Kendo is also straight forward and the moment you cross the opponent, the game is over.

4. Ashi-sabaki and Tai-sabaki:
In Suburi practice, you should strike straight on the attack line without stepping off the line (Ashi-sabaki). In Kumitachi and Bukitori, you step off the attack line, moving left and right (Tai-sabaki).

5. Controlled environment:
Aikido is always practised in a controlled environment, where each person is assigned the role of Tori and Uke. The aim is not to win, but to move in a very honest way and to be in harmony with others. In other words, you lose as an Aikido person when you seek to win. It is very embarrassing to try to win or to be arrogant to your Uke whose freedom is tied up. Therefore, Aikido is clearly different from Kendo or Jujutsu, where you have to take advantage of your opponent's carelessness and weak points in order to win.

As is obvious, Bokken is a two-handed sword. Holding Bokken with both hands is enough to give it power of leverage. The more leverage you use in one movement, the slower the movement becomes. You should try to convert the kinetic energy generated by cutting the hips into energy for cutting up and down movements. This movement is also necessary for techniques without weapons.

Related article: "Tanto" and Knife

[ 暗黙の約束事 ]








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テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ



初心者にも分かりやすく、理論的に基礎知識を説明します。なんとなく他人の動きを真似るのではなく、普段から考える力を育てていくことを目的としています。In this blog, I explain the basics in a theoretical way that is easy to understand for beginners. The aim is to help you to develop your ability to think, not to copy the movements somehow. Aikido is not magic. I will explain things that are not so clear, such as Ki and O-Sensei's philosophy.