The weapons training system of Aikido at Hikari Dojo is a direct transmission from the Founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba, O’Sensei , through Morihiro Saito Shihan 9th Dan. Saito Shihan, was taught directly and privately by O’sensei over a period of 23 years in Iwama, Japan. The weapons system is referred to as Aiki-Ken (bokken), and Aiki-Jo (staff), which has a direct relationship to tai sabaki (the empty handed movements of the body). This relationship between empty hands practice and weapons training is called ken tai jitsu riai which is unique to Aikido practice. Students learn the relationship between the body (tai), mind (shin), and spirit (ki). Takemusu Aiki, the spontaneous expression of truth that reflects the founder’s highest ideals of harmony between mind and matter, spirit and form.
At Hikari Dojo the weapons training includes the entire repetoire of practices that O’sensei taught to Saito Shihan. Beginning students learn solo practices of suburi (strikes), and katas to develop mastery of the bokken, and jo. Next, intermediate students learn one step partner exercise (awase) and more advanced partner practices of kumitachi, kumijo, and the more advanced ken tai jo. Advanced students of the art of Aikido practice bukidori, which is the art of disarming an armed attacker. Students learns to disarm a sword wielding attacker (tachi dori), a staff wielding attacker (jo dori), and a knife wielding attacker (tanto dori).
All students of Hikari Dojo are invited to participate and gain the skills, understanding, and the many benefits that weapons training (buki waza) provides. It is the perspective of Hikari Dojo that all students should have the opportunity to practice and receive instruction in all three aspects of the art: weapons training (bukiwaza), empty hands (tai jitsu), and meditation and purification (shugyo) to fully understand and develop in the art of Aikido.