Weapons Programs

The armed weapons arts were an integral part of samurai society and culture.  Whether with the traditional weapon of the samurai, the katana, or with other bladed or blunt weapons, the samurai practiced ceaseless to be the master of these arts.  While in ancient history, this was a matter of sheer survival, with the passage of time these combat systems became transformed into “Do”, Ways or Paths of development.

At Aikido Canada, these weapons forms are taught for self-improvement, self-development, and self-enlightenment.  These are arts which allow our students to refine their spirits and technique, not combat systems to be used on opponents.

We teach two different weapon arts at Aikido Canada:

  • Aikibuki, the art of Aikido weaponry, and
  • Iaido, the art of quick drawing and cutting with the samurai sword.

Aikibuki

All movements and forms in Aikido are directly descended from the hand positions and moments a swordsman makes;  thus, Aikibuki allows students to deepen their understanding of Aikido technique by learning to use the sword, short staff and knife.  For safety, all students use wooden weapons:  the bokken, or wooden sword.  The jo, or short staff.  And the tanto, or wooden knife.

We need a good write-up for the Aikibuki program

Features

  • Physical and mental conditioning
  • Uses only wooden practice weapons
  • Knife, sword and short staff training
  • Weaponry program includes Iaido classes

Packages

  • One month introductory special
  • Monthly, six month and yearly payment plans
  • Belt programs
  • Private classes

Iaido

Iaido does not include direct competition or sparring of any kind. Because of this non-competitive aspect, and the emphasis on precise, controlled, fluid motion, it is sometimes referred to as “moving zen.”

Iaido teaches discipline, focus, concentration, balance and graceful movement. Iaido kata (forms) are taken from age-old, traditional schools of samurai combat; the branch of Iaido we practice is Shoshin Yama Ryu (Iai Tate Do), a form of Iaido which draws on age-old traditional systems of Iai such as Kashima Shinto-ryu and Suio-ryu. (For a full history of Iai Tate Do, please see our FLYER) .

Kata include both kneeling and standing poses. Iaido is non-competitive; each student works under the guidance of their teacher to learn and perfect their movements. Students will make a quick draw of the sword, perform one or more actions or cuts as part of the kata, and then re-sheath the blade. The essence of Iaido is to make each movement effective and powerful while at the same time remaining graceful and fluid.

This makes Iaido an excellent form of exercise for health, or for those seeking to retain or increase their flexibility. Iaido kata can be performed as quickly or as slowly as a student wishes; the only person you are in competition with is yourself.

While new students often start out using a bokken (wooden sword) for reasons of both safety and economy, they are encouraged to acquire the traditional “iaito” or Iaido practice sword, which has no sharp edge. Practicing with the iaito allows a student a better feel for the Samurai tradition and for how these historic warriors would have performed these kata.

Several times a year our dojo holds Tameshigiri classes for our Iaido students. Tameshigiri translates as “test-cutting”; in these sessions our students, under the watchful eyes of senior instructors, learn to cut modern and traditional targets (straw mats) with a real “live” (sharpened) blade.

Features

  • Physical and mental conditioning
  • Learn focus, control, balance
  • Improve flexibility and health
  • Includes the Aikibuki progam

Packages

  • One month introductory special
  • Monthly, six month and yearly payment plans
  • Belt programs
  • Private classes