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Weapons training is an essiantial part of Black Sword Aikido. 
The three main weapons for training are the Ken, the Jo, and 
the Tanto

Naginata instruction is also available upon request. 


Ken
The Japanese mastered the metallurgic arts essential for the crafting of superior swords as early as the second century B.C.E., with a curved, single-edged blade, as designed by Amakuni in the eighth century, eventually becoming the standard design.

To a bushi, as to warriors in other cultures, the ken or sword was considered far more than a mere weapon. Swords were considered to possess magical force, some swords even being considered immensely powerful sentient beings, the very soul of the samurai.


Training with the ken develops ma-ai or distance-spacing-timing; suki or the ability to perceive weakness in an opponent; and zanshin or physical and mental domination of the enemy.

Training with the ken utilizes bokkens or wooden swords and shinai or bamboo swords. Body armor is also utilized.

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Jo
Muse Gonnosuke, a master of the bo or long staff, was defeated in his famous match against the master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in the seventeenth century.

Thrown into the depths of despair Muso sought refuge on a mountain top in Kyushu in Southern Japan and for years led a life of meditation and asceticism. Achieving enlightenment, he devised a new weapon by shortening the bo, thus creating the jo. He reasoned that a shorter staff would enable him to get closer to his opponent and to deliver more blows to vital points. Within the movements of this weapon, Muso combined the tsuki or thrust of the spear, the utsu or strike of the sword and staff and the harai or sweep of the naginata. Because of its shorter length, combat with the jo is characterized by its speed and high frequency of reversals of the weapon. Seeking out Musashi, Muso's jo proved superior to the sword, the instrument of Musashi's only defeat.

Techniques of the jo are taught primarily through solo kata and kata opponents armed with another jo or bokken.

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Tanto
The knife is by far the most likely weapon one might encounter anyplace on earth. Although the gun is only a thrusting weapon, the knife is both a thrusting and a slashing weapon. Consequently, at close range, it is more dangerous. Both armed and unarmed techniques are taught using wooden practice knives.

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Naginata
The naginata is a Japanese weapon consisting of a long wooden staff at the end of which is attached a sword blade. Originally a weapon of the warrior monks, by the twelfth century it was adopted by the warring Minamoto and Taira clans, where it became an early favorite with the bushi or classical warriors. When the Mongols invaded Japan the following century, the naginata was a major factor in their replusion.

By the seventeenth century, the naginata had become almost exclusively a woman's weapon with such famous women warriors as Kesa Gozen gaining fame in its use.

The blade, shaft and butt of the naginata are all utilized in combat. Skill in ha-kaishi, the ability to change the position of the blade rapidly, enables the user to cut as with a sword, but with powerful sweeping arcs at a much greater range due to the length of the shaft.

In training, naginatas with bamboo blades are used, students often wearing protective body armor, as well. Practice consists of kata or choreographed exercises and sparring.

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