Black Sword Aikido is solidly based on the Aikido of O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba.
However, techniques of Chin Na have been incorporated ino the Black Sword Teachings.
Aikido is a modern Japanese budo or martial way created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969).
Although the technical roots of Aikido are primarily Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu of Sokaku Takeda
(1860-1943), its spiritual roots are quite different. Whereas Takeda was an old-style martial artist
who viewed life as a battlefield where a moment of carelessness could result in death, Ueshiba,
greatly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi (1871-1948) conceived of Aikido as a veritable dance of
the kami, or divine beings, and misogi, or purification, and a way to promote social harmony and
world peace. Aikido techniques originate from a low center of gravity and focusing of the body’s
power in the hips. From this center, through body movement and extended power, the attacker’s
balance is broken, permitting him or her to be either thrown or pinned. Partners train by taking
turns throwing and being thrown, pinning and being pinned. Learning to protect yourself and fall
correctly is just as important as learning to throw and pin correctly. Aikido can be practiced as
gently or as vigorously as one desires and therefore increases flexibility, promotes relaxation, and
provides a good workout. Accordingly, men, women, children, and senior citizens all benefit
greatly from this art.
Chin Na is the Chinese martial art of seizing and controlling an attacker. It is the root of the
Japanese arts of Jujutsu and Aikido. Generally, Chin Na techniques attack pressure points and
lock joints to render an attacker helpless. Techniques can be classified in five categories: fen gin
or jua gin (dividing or grabbing the muscle/tendon); tsuoh guu (misplacing the bone); bih chi
(sealing the breath); dim mak or duann mie (pressing or sealing the vein/artery); and, dim mak or
tien hsueh (meridian or cavity press). Although Chin Na techniques are believed to have existed
for several thousand years, it was not until 527 C.E. that these techniques were systematically
researched and catagorized by the Shaolin Temple, leading to the creation of many non-lethal
techniques. By the late Ching Dynasty, in the nineteenth century, Chin Na techniques were taught
to the general population contained within the various martial styles developed at the Temple.
Training in Chin Na is through partner practice with emphasis on developing the control and
sensitivity necessary to render an attacker helpless but uninjured. As this is primarily a
pain/compliance art, students must be willing to accept some pain in order to learn the art. The
techniques taught mainly originate from White Crane and Long Fist Kung Fu.
Sensei Joseph Caulfield is one of the few qualified instructors in Chin
Na certified by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming head of the YMAA.