Jason Wotherspoon — “An Aikidoka cross trains in knife combat”

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This is the 28 step knife Form that we practice as a way of learning and remembering the many different types of cuts, strikes parries and other particular movements of the system. We treat these movements not as absolute techniques, but as a guide to what’s possible among the full range of movements.

Jason Wotherspoon — “An Aikidoka cross trains in knife combat”

This is the 28 step knife Form that we practice as a way of learning and remembering the many different types of cuts, strikes parries and other particular movements of the system. We treat these movements not as absolute techniques, but as a guide to what’s possible among the full range of movements.

The form can be practiced slow to a count, to develop precision, or fast and flowing to develop deftness of movement.

Every movement in the form has a functional purpose, even if it may not be readily apparent. There are no aesthetic or non-functional movements in the form. Explanation of the movements and their applications will become clear with oral instruction.

The instructor, Jason Wotherspoon, has over 25 years of formal and informal training in various martial arts, including Shotokan Karate, Iwama style Aikido, Hatsumi-den Ninjutsu, Yang style Tai Chi Chuan, Kali and Escrima knife fighting, Silat and Shuriken-jutsu.

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2 Comments
  1. Very interesting!

    How did this affect the evolution of your taijutsu practice?

    Thank you.

    Patrick Augé

  2. Jason says:
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    In answer to your question, Patrick…it didn’t affect the evolution of my tai jutsu at all. By evolution, I take it that you mean my study of Aikido under my sensei. I learned the knife stuff separately to Aikido, from primarily Filipino sources, sporadically over the years since I started in MA over 25 years ago, but Iwama Aikido was always my main art.

    In terms of how one’s tai jutsu evolves in application, that is a personal thing according to how one perceives and decides how the basic techniques will be used in a situation that requires a response. Everyone would have their particular way, mine would be nothing more than do whatever to get the job done at minimum effort and injury to myself and minimum injury to the attacker. Working in the security industry, I am aware of the force continuum and legal ramifications of excessive use of force etc., so that also influences my tactical choices when I am required to use force.

    The knife techniques are a whole different kettle of fish. The beauty that I find in the Filipino arts is that a lot of it knits perfectly with Aikido technique…easy to flow from a technique of one art into a technique of the other. I incorporated Filipino knife techniques into my Aikido because I felt that the way present day Aikido handles knife is grossly insufficient and has little basis in the reality of a street knife attack. The reality and seriousness of a knife attack compared to an empty handed attack requires a much more practical, easy and quick-to-learn set of techniques than the principle-based, essential techniques of Aikido that only become useful after long term training.

    The problem with learning knife defense however, is the fact that in order to know how to defend against knife, one must first learn how knife attacks and knife fighting works. Therefore, on the surface, it appears that knife fighting training is philosophically and morally opposed to the ideals of Aikido. I would argue that it isn’t, because once armed with the knowledge of how to fight with a knife, and how to defend against knife with either empty-hand or with a knife yourself, the moralistic principles of Aikido would step in and take over. You will simply have more tools at your disposal.

    cheers,
    Jason


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