Ikkyo Complete 9

Ikkyo compared to Aikiken. Many more aikido videos on my YouTube Channel.

Ikkyo and Aikiken - the Aikido Technique Compared to Sword Moves

Ikkyo and Aikiken

Aikiken is the word used for sword art practice in aikido. The aikido techniques have many similarities to sword art moves, which is quite evident in ikkyo. In this video clip a bokken, the wooden sword, is used for obvious safety reasons. Explanations are below. For sword art basics, see here: aikibatto

       Aikido is closely related to the samurai sword arts. In the video above, the basic aikido technique ikkyo is compared to equally basic sword moves.

       The sword technique uke nagashi is a parry, which is quite similar to the initial step of the ikkyo aikido technique – an irimi entrance right beside the line of attack, together with a warding off of the strike. In aikiken, it is followed by a counter strike such as kesagiri, the diagonal cut. In ikkyo a similar move brings the attacker down.

       The above applies to ikkyo omote. For ikkyo ura, there are a few more steps, as can be seen in the video. But the sword techniques are the same.

Sword Attacks

The similarities between aikido and aikiken are evident in attacks like shomen uchi and tsuki. Of course, both these attacks exist in the sword arts. So, the similarities can come as no surprise.

       As for yokomen uchi, the strike to the side of the head, the same defense moves can be used. But even more suitable is a hasso parry, where the sword is raised towards the shoulder, followed by a do (yokogiri) cut under the arms of the attacker – if done like ikkyo omote. In ura, kesagiri is the natural choice.

Grab Attacks

The video also contains the sword equivalent to katatedori, when the attacker grabs your wrist. This is done to prevent tori from drawing the sword. The aikido technique ikkyo is used to draw the sword in spite of the grip, and follow up with a cutting move.

       Drawing and cutting is called nukiuchi in the sword arts (not to be confused with nukitsuke, which is a draw before the attacker has reached you).

Many Benefits

There are many benefits with practicing the similarities between aikido and the sword arts. Mainly, the aikiken applications explain details in the aikido techniques and their necessity. Also, sword practice increases your precision, your sense of proper distance and timing. Furthermore, sword practice develops your center and brings this ability to your aikido.

Stefan Stenudd

My Aikido Books

Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art. The basic principles, philosophy and traditional budo concepts in aikido. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
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Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd.

Attacks in Aikido

How to do kogeki, the attack techniques. All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
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Aikibatto, by Stefan Stenudd.


Aikiken Sword Exercises for Aikido. The aikibatto exercises, practical and spiritual aspects of the sword arts, advice on equipment for training. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
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