Before practice, it is important to mention that ken, jo, and
taijutsu techniques are not intended to be done with just the hands.
Therefore, one should not use the hands too much but practice as the
basis of technique body movements that will turn, throw, or upset the
balance of an opponent.
Generally, it is said that the main aspect of Aikido is "empty
handed" technique. Instead the idea is advanced here that the main
aspect is body movement. "Empty handed" means literally not to be
holding anything. However "empty handed" may perhaps also mean that even
while holding a ken or jo one should not rely only upon the weapon. The
person who can use a ken or jo as a part of his body will be able to do
"empty handed" technique. For, in Aikido, it does not matter if the
techniques are empty handed or if one is actually holding something.
It is hoped that the concept of Riai as presented in the first
volume has been understood. That is, ken jo, and tiajutsu movements
have been combined from three parts into a single body. If this book is
read completely, it is felt that one will develop another relationship
--- control of the opponent through body movement. For instance, when
holding a jo and facing an opponent who strikes with a ken, one must be
able to control him. Conversely, when one holds a ken and faces an
opponent with a jo the same is true. If both are without weapons, the
attacker still must be controlled. If one bears in mind the above
concepts, inconsistencies will not arise. One will be able to control
an opponent without fail regardless of whether a weapon is involved or
not providing the idea of boy movement is grasped and understood.
Emphasis on body movement unifes ken, jo, and taijutsu techniues into a
It must be pointed out one more that too much dependence upon jo or
ken is not a good idea and is to be avoided.
Because jo movements are more varied than those of ken, the tendency
is to think they are more difficult and different. Therefore, one must
practice basic techniques [as outlined in Volume I] until the jo and ken
are felt to be part of the body. A minimum of two years practice of the
basic suburi is recommended. One should by all means practice the
tanren uchi exercise. Those practices will develop a stability of the
hips that is most necessary in taijutsu. Body movement must be
accomplished from the hips.