“The Founder often said aikido includes not only empty-handed techniques
but also the ken and jo. Thus, in our aikido practice we always train to
be able to immediately to use the ken or jo from any technique according
to the individual situation…”
~ Shoji Nishio shihan
Nishio Aikido is distinguished by the profound practice with weapons (ken
and jo) that aids the deep understanding of the aikido techniques. Shoji
Nishio sensei (1927-2005) preserves the spirit of aikido, and the basic
principles of aikido, bequeathed by O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba.
Nishio Aikido unites the vast experience of Shoji Nishio sensei in different
Japanese martial arts like judo, karate, iaido, jodo in a unique system,
the basis of which is aikido. Shoji Nishio sensei was one of the most devoted
O-Sensei's students, and one of the most devoted followers of aikido principles.
Nishio sensei often used to say that aikido cannot be fully understood
without studying the katana practice, the understanding of which is directly
connected with the taijutsu techniques in aikido.
Additional comprehension can be achieved by practicing the same technique
in its variants – ken-no-tebiki and jo-no-tebiki. Furthermore, the same
aikido technique is studied in its ken-tai-ken and ken-tai-jo variations.
In each of these variations, the very same aikido technique is performed.
“In judo there are throws, karate involves kicking and punching and in
iaido we cut with sword. All of these are contained in aikido. The essence
of all Japanese martial arts is contained in the movements of aikido. The
difference is that in aikido there is no winner and there is no loser.
We come to understood through aikido what it means to win and lose. But
in fact, there are no winners or losers. This is how the world should look,
this is what aikido can teach people.”
~ Shoji Nishio, shihan
Nishio sensei develops a new iaido style, called Toho Iaido, which explains
the deep relationaship between the katana practice and techniques in aikido.
For example, the practice with katana in Nishio Aikido is “otonashi” (音無し)
or silent, which means that the contact between the blades is reduced to
the minimum, and the movements are performed in the intervening spaces
in the opponent's attack.
Toho Iaido is composed by 15 kata forms, and 13 of these forms correspond
to aikido techniques.
This is the reason why in Nishio sensei iaido often there are more movements,
compared to the traditional iaido, and that is why it becomes dynamic and
challenging as his aikido. This is how Toho Iaido becomes a mirror of Nishio
Toho Iaido continues its development in the hands of the Nishio sensei
heir Koji Yoshida sensei.
*Toho – "Sword principle"
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