Weapons’ training in Aikido allows us to practice the principles in a clearer, more isolated way because you are unhampered by egotistical battles of strength.

Often I shall take up a bokuto adopt siegen or jodan kamae and ask that uke attack me empty handed. However spirited he may be there is always a pause, an uncertainty in facing the sword unarmed.And indeed should he attempt to close with me he is cut.

Placing the sword aside the explanation is given that little has changed since all of the principles and attitude of the sword remain. All that has gone is the sword and the tegatana shall act as a sword.

Our training we choose to call Aikido Riai (Aikido complete) in that we believe that the integration of the weapons and empty hand techniques give a more holistic and effective approach to Aikido.

I have been told many times "do not fight the opponent FENCE him".

Sen Sen No Sen irimi nage

Sen sen no sen is the pre-emptive principle of swordsmanship, as the opponent approaches or hesitates a shomen strike is made to his head as we enter triangularly to his right side - if he manages to block his right ribs are exposed these may be struck with a short punch (choku tsuki from jo waza),  passing on a kessa giri cuts the left side of his neck cutting him off balance backwards to the side.

Irrimi nage is executed with a shomen cut driving deeply through to throw the opponent. The complete technique may be executed using only tegatana with no need to grasp the attacker in any way.It has been applied using sword principles and sword cuts.

This manner of dynamic technique demands not only an understanding of sword principles but also sword technique.

In almost every dojo I have ever visited I have heard the command "raise your arms like a sword" or "at this point cut down like a sword." Sadly these commands are often given by "teachers" who have little or no training in sword to students who have no knowledge of sword.


SEIGAN KAMAE - sword held at the middle level kisaki (point) threatening the face.A very versatile posture since attack and defence to any area is possible.

YODAN KAMAE - sword held above the head in a very aggressive manner, an intimidating posture purely attack oriented.

CHOKU TSUKE - a short direct thrust with either sword jo or fist.

TEGATANA - Aikido handblade

SHOMEN - front of the head any blow directed here is called shomen.

SEN SEN NO SEN - is the act of initiating the attack giving the opponent no time or space in which to act.

BOKUTO - wooden sword. This is not an alternative to the sword, it is a weapon in its own right. Many samurai used it rather than the sword perhaps the most famous (infamous) being Musashi Minamoto.Hence when speaking of the bokuto sword is often used after it's introduction.

KESSA GIRI - diagonal cut from neck to hip (in this instance) .