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Aikido Weapons Techniques

Book Summary:

This is a basic aiki weapons primer, including background on the origins of weapons usage in Aikido training. The discussion is limited to the primary weapons; ken, jo, and tanto. Included in some detail are the spiritual implications of weapons training.

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Review by: Clark Bateman

This book is the third installment of the trilogy by these authors (Aikido Basics, Advanced Aikido). This volume is devoted to exploring the origins and methodology of training with the three basic Aikido weapons; boken (wooden sword), jo (wooden staff) and tanto (wooden knife).

Although technical in nature, the book can best be described as basic. Emphasis is not given to any particular methodology. Most of the technical details will not be illuminating to those who routinely train with aiki weapons, but the background about the development of aiki weapons, plus the concise description of the benefits of weapons training is interesting. There is even a chapter partially devoted to explaining the perceived disadvantages of weapons training. This is an example of the typically balanced and non-judgmental writing style we have come to expect from this writing duo.

The book is written in such a way so as to be interesting to students of other arts who might wish to become more familiar with aiki weapons work, or who are simply curious as to why such training exists in a supposedly non-confrontational art. Produced only in softcover, the paper and construction is good quality, as is usually seen with Tuttle publications. The b/w photos are clear, and photos and type are large enough for old eyes (like mine!). I found the book to be a good read, and availability is good from the usual sources. Pricing is quite reasonable, as well.

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