The essentials of weapons – footwork.
Over the years of seminars, I have explained that the weapons have a slightly different footwork; in weapons, the feet are in a smaller stance. A top student of Saito Sensei once told me in 1983, that when working with weapons one should think they are walking on the hand rail of a bridge, keeping one’s balance while zanshin is maintained. To have this in mind one needs to keep feet very small and body weight balanced, but if the mind is disturbed so will the feet be. Many students forget that a calm mind will bring natural depth in one’s body, thus grounding the whole. Saito Sensei once on a seminar, talked about weapons and how one should think of the foot work. He said, ‘think of how the Japanese work in the rice fields, they have to walk in between the rows of rice hoeing out the weeds - without stepping on the rice. This would become natural to them, the same must be for the dedicated Aikidoka’.