We practice weapons defence and weapons use.
As discussed on the page on domains we can look at martial arts from the perspectives of art, sport and self protection. This is important. Let's look at specific weapons.
In the UK knife crime remains significant and so, if we're going to practice pragmatic martial arts, that is martial arts looking at the reality of violence, then we'd be remiss in not consider knife defence. Depending on the drill and students we may use wooden, rubber or foam knives. Never live blades.
If we're going to consider knife from a pragmatic perspective then we need to consider short stick. We may use wood or foam.
This takes the form of the bokken, a wooden replacement of the Japanese curved katana. Of course this falls out of the remit of self protection and into the domain of art. Our primary martial art is Aiki-Jujitsu which has connections to Aiki-Do which itself has origins in the practice of the sword. It is the opinion of our founder that if we're going to practice an Aiki- art then we MUST do bokken. The bokken influences our unarmed methods although often in subtle ways. Students don't usually start learning the bokken until they're close to black belt.
Controversial. Enthusiastic junior members often ask if we teach firearms and the short answer is "no." The longer answer is "yes... but only to black belts and in a very limited way." As firearms aren't a significant threat in the UK they are a VERY small part of what we do. They're taught to black belts only so that students have the discipline, experience and understanding to learn this serious material. Students aiming for third dan black belt will learn the anatomy and working of firearms along with implications of defence. They will learn a very small amount of highly pragmatic material.
Having described all of the serious stuff above... we also like to have some fun. A tradition of our Christmas competition is lightsaber combat. Simple rules and no separation of age, grade or size. We find that six year olds can score points every bit as well as adults. And some of us get very competitive!
Black belt students will expected to undertake their own study into weapons of their choice. We also look at other weapons including nunchaku and the four-foot staff. This study may art, sport or self protection.
In various ways. We have set techniques and drills. We have free-form attack and defence. We have sport rules. Crucially we have assimilated methods found in the Filipino martial arts. Whereas in the UK the carrying of weapons is prohibited by law it is common in the Philippines and their martial arts (Kali, Eskrima and Arnis) have always accounted for this. As a result of this we train effective pragmatic weapons defence from the first day of training in Jujitsu and Karate. It is usually not obvious as students don't usually get introduced to weapons until at least two years of training but when they do they find they already have the methods and techniques as they're all the same as our unarmed methods and techniques! Many find it quite a revelation. You have to train in what we do to understand how it works but it is all logical.