ContactKimbal Anderson, Sensei Komyozan@gmail.com 208-407-7590 1922 N 21st St., Boise ID, 83702
May Peace Prevail on Earth
I think for us, because we study sword seriously, understanding Form and Emptiness through the sword is a very, very special thing. Some people may be cutting to develop strength and endurance and center and all that, but to feel the nature of movement itself yin and yang, in and yo, is a very, very essential thing. When the sword is floating – a sword of “heaven” – it’s completely different than picking the sword up and beating on something. Even though, often, you have to start off by beating on things.
So, for instance, we have a very specific way to hold a sword which is, I guess, a sort of secret teaching of our ryu but really is very practical and works, but it also… if you hold a sword that way… it grounds you, connects you… it does all the physicality that you need: connects the hips, et cetera…
Also, it’s not an ambitious sword: you cut a thousand cuts not to make a thousand cuts but to experience each cut: smoothly, clearly… and soon your jodan cut becomes shomen-uchi: it’s like you see everything begins to fuse together, and you understand the nature of shomen-uchi. Because while sometimes people think that, in aikido, the forms are kind of contrived… “no-one hits that way…” you hear all kinds of criticism… well, the truth is they don’t know what we’re studying, really,
You’ve got to remember when you’re thinking about the idea of te-gatana, that there’s a scroll tengu transmitting this idea of the sword-hand. And you’re not going to be truly studying the sword-hand unless you use it like a sword. And you’re not going to understand a sword till you pick up the sword and use it. A sword is made for cutting. You have to know how to use the sword and feel it interacting with its environment, particularly its target. So I think that’s pretty essential stuff.
– – – Kimbal Anderson Sensei
– – – by Peter John Still
“In aiki keiko, the most important things are practising ki-gata, and doing tanren-ho…”…
A few months ago I renewed my practice of doing a hundred cuts a day, because I was beginning to suspect that the way my jo seemed to float upwards on the up-swing might be relevant to my practice of aikido (!)…
I’m talking here about a hundred jo-dan to chu-dan cuts with a jo or an iai-to (thus: shomen-uchi), and in reality I’m talking about two-hundred cuts: a hundred stepping forward alternating with a hundred stepping back. More recently I determined to – one time in a week – do 500 cuts (actually 1,000), or even 1,000 (actually 2,000): because historically that was the practice of our ryu and I was curious as to what I would learn from that…
…and I think I should set down some effects that I noticed – and benefits that I would recommend – that I have not seen mentioned in print elsewhere.
When you thrust forward the edge portion of your Tegatana without bending your arm, the arm will naturally form an arc permitting your ‘Ki‘ power to issue forth. Tegatana, in itself, is not intended for aggressive purposes. It rather is used in a great number of techniques to make better use of consolidated ‘Ki‘ power.
– – – Aikido its Heart and Appearance, p.24
[in Suburi #3: 1)] Point the sword vertically at the heaven above your head and breathe in deeply. Inhale the spirits of the Universe thoroughly into your body through the tip of the sword, integrate yourself with Nature and fill every part of your body with ‘Ki‘ power…
– – – Aikido its Heart and Appearance, p. 40
[Suburi #3: ] This is one of the kokyu, or breath, techniques. As the right foot steps back, the sword is raised directly overhead. This alignment allows the universal ki [ten-no-kokyu] to enter the tip of the sword and fill your whole body…
– – – Traditional Aikido, vol 1, p.26-7
In the compound of the Kyoto Botanical Garden, there is a place halfway up the hill where it is said that…Yoshitsune Minamoto trained. It forms a basin and is a perfect spot for outdoor Aikido training. About 50 yards away, there was a small house with about three rooms which was…the house where the famous Confucian scholar Razan Hayashi Sensei was born in the Edo period. Ueshiba Sensei rented that house and lived and trained there for 20 days with…Rinjiro Shirata…Tenryu…and myself….
….after cleaning the house, Ueshiba Sensei admonished us…”We are going to lead an ascetic life…we will eat meals consisting of one kind of soup and a serving of fish or vegetables and rice. We are also going to train at night. ……During the 20-day period of training….we got up at five in the morning, swung our bokken…five hundred times, and then practiced how to move our bodies….Ueshiba Sensei showed us how to move and told us to practice our skills and bring our minds into oneness with nature…
– – – Gozo Shioda Shihan, Aikido Shinsei – Aiki News translation – issue 79, p. 58; issue 80, p. 65
Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan: Saito Sensei thought up the heavy bokken that is named for Iwama. O’Sensei usually used a magnificent, ebony bokken [that was] on the thin side, and more a Yagyu [bokken.] ….
When he was younger, I’m sure O’Sensei used something different, but when I was an uchideshi, he usually used only light bokken. He would use whatever was at hand, but his favorite bokken was long and thin – a Yagyu Shinkage, or a Jiki Shinkage [bokken]. Except for tanren, when he used a heavy, thick bokken….
There’s a famous photograph of O’Sensei with a kake full of bokken behind him. It was like that when I became an uchideshi. We used to use the dozen weapons that are there [on that kake].
– – – French language interview on the Budo no Nayami website