Aikido training incorporates the use of two primary weapons: bokken (wood training sword) and jo (staff, about four feet long). A third weapon, tanto (dagger), is used primarily for learning to defend against knife attacks.
Weapon training (buki waza) is incorporated into Aikido because the body movements of unarmed techniques were developed in the same system as the weapons techniques. Therefore, the body movements and principles of weapon techniques are the same as unarmed techniques. Training with weapons builds fundamental skills and improves core strength and stability.
Solo weapon training gives students the ability to practice alone and focus on proper body movement without the added stress of an attacker. Paired partner practice is excellent for judging timing, distance, and visualizing lines of attack and defense.