Daisho - Aikido Knowledge Base - Aikido Glossary
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The daishō (大小?), lit. "big and small", is a Japanese term referring to the traditional weapons of the samurai. The daishō is composed of the katana and the wakizashi. The etymology of this word becomes apparent when the terms daitō, meaning big sword, and shōtō, meaning small sword, are used; daitō + shōtō = daishō. The katana, the longer of the two swords, was typically employed in man-to-man combat. The wakizashi made an effective main-gauche or close-combat weapon. A daisho allows for defense while fighting or the fighting of two enemies. Also, the daisho allows the fighter to have a longer or more widespread fighting range.
The daishō were limited exclusively to the samurai class and were a symbol of their rank. They came into fashion during the Muromachi period. Prior to this, the bow and horse were considered marks of the samurai class and the sword of lesser consequence. It was during this period, too, that the katana switched from a slung weapon with edge down (known as a tachi) to one thrust into the sash with the edge up. This change allowed for a much faster overhead draw while on foot.
In addition to the pair suggesting status, they were occasionally used in tandem. Miyamoto Musashi, author of The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho), became one of the more well-known founders of a two-sword style. Musashi's Niten-ryū, or "Two Heavens School" (Also known as "Nitō-ryū", or "Two Sword School"), used the daishō in combination. Nitō-ryu is currently employed in the modern Japanese sport of kendo as a variant style of fighting. While seemingly highly effective, the use of only one hand on each blade reduces speed, and forces the swordsman to compensate through technique and strength training. Nitō-ryū was and remains an uncommon form of swordfighting.
The daishō was not normally worn on the battle field, where the wakizashi was replaced by the shorter and more practical tantō (dagger) when the samurai wore armor. The daishō was worn as a symbol by members of the samurai class. The use of the weapons individually or in tandem was a matter of individual taste and training.
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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.
Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.
Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the Aikido Alliance.
Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.
Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.
You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.
Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.