"One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train." The Art Of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba
Shobu Aikido follows O Sensei's methods of incorporating weapons training with empty hand practice. Weapons training enhances our understanding of timing, balance, intuition, body positioning, distancing and the consequences of careless and aggressive behavior. Practicing with weapons also increases concentration, alertness, precision, and decisiveness. In addition, weapons are a wonderful equalizer- precision, not strength, is the key.
It is important to your Aikido training to be aware of the relationship between Aikido's movements and weapons. Thus, posture, hand movements, body movements, defense, awareness and extension of energy so essential to Aikido understanding are best studied in relation to weapons training.
In addition to incorporating weapons into the general classes, Shobu Aikido also schedules special weapons only training classes. Kumitachi (sword forms) and Kumijo (Jo forms) are an important part of the Black Belt curriculum.
We like to keep O Sensei's words in our minds when we pursue our own training with weapons:
"Aikido trains the human spirit and invokes the great spirit of peace. Holding the Bokken in my hand I absorb the energy of the universe. I gather this Ki unto my self and with my Bokken cut through all evil. You must be able to show the light of love and wisdom in your surface, else you have not grasped the true spirit of budo." - Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei