There is no value in learning techniques period unless you learn the principles behind them well enough to apply them to appropriate situations. That is the point or learning anything in martial arts.
>Everything that is learnt with weapons can be learnt equally as well without them.
"learnt equally well"?! I agree that weapons training is not absolutely necessary to learn aikido, but aikido is difficult to learn, and any teaching aid is welcome as far as I'm concerned.
>So we now think weapons training teaches us principles that empty hand techniques don't? Such as...what exactly??
Just how long are the arms of the attackers in your dojo?!!! By that same logic: Why do baseball player's swing two bats? You only will only be allowed to bring one to the plate...
>aren't we in danger of turning martial arts into some kind of historical preservation society
SOMEthings should be preserved. If you cannot see the value in something maybe we should drop it but maybe you need to look a little deeper first.
My notes on the benifits of training weapons from this thread are:
-You have to get inside of a clubs arc.
3)they are great equalisers
-they hurt when they hit you
Someone picked on holding your arms out at the end of the punch. I used to think this was odd too. I recently got to hit full force against a federal martial wearing one of those red suits where you can go all out. I find that you need to leave your arm straightened just a little longer than I had been to really get a driving impact. Comments?
Lastly, someone said they have never seen anyone grab a persons opposite wrist in a fight. One of my favorite ways to get in on someone is to use a cross grab to grab their lead arm and bring it down while you hit them with your other hand. If someone tried that on you - you can move that lead hand and your lead leg (assuming same side) laterally away as they commit their weight and you'll find that they fall into ushiro position. You can even strike back with your other elbow and bait them to grab that wrist too!
[This message has been edited by rob_liberti (edited 11-17-2004).]