Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Some historians have stated that the Ninja were created to defeat the undefeatable Samurai warriors of Feudal Japan. Since most of these Ninjas were Samurai, they understood how to counteract the superior sword fighting styles of the Samurai. Hence, the Ninja were the Ying to the Samurai’s Yang. The primary fighting tools of the Ninja were various sharp-edged weapons. Some of these weapons were halberds, throwing blades, and swords. The katana is a long-curved sword primarily used by Samurai, that eloquently capitalized on circular movements to cause significant damage to an aggressor. The ninja-to is a short straight sword that was used primarily by Ninja, to disrupt the circular movements akin to the Samurai’s movements with the katana.
Aiki-Karate students are required to train with both katana and ninja-to swords, in order to have a fundamental understanding of the remarkable disciplines analogous to the Samurai and the Ninja. Iaido is a samurai sword technique of simultaneously drawing a blade from the scabbard and cutting through a target. In practice, cutting through a one-gallon container of water is equivalent to cutting through a man’s abdomen. Aiki-Karate Brown-Belts are required to cut through a one-gallon container of water, and First-Degree Black-Belts, are required to cut through (2) one-gallon containers of water. If the lower half of the container does not move while the upper half is separated by a 45-degree cut, the student has demonstrated proper technique. 5th Degree Black-Belt, Dr. David Jackson, demonstrates this iaido technique in the following video:
Many of the swords that Aiki-Karate students train with are available on Amazon: