Throughout my somewhat short aikido experience, I have always been told the art was taught in a different order. Originally people would learn weapon arts, kneeling arts, and then to stand. It makes sense, when we learn bokken katas, why weapon arts was taught first. The way you hold yourself and your hands is the same with open handed attacks.
Yesterday I was introduced to the Free Wielding Sword kata. I love weapon arts. I have so much fun doing them! To spend most of the two-hour session on the bokken was like a form of Heaven to me. The best thing about it? Today I woke up and my shoulders weren’t sore. That indicates I must have been using the bokken correctly yesterday! Too much tension in weapon arts can be a strain on your muscles. At least I know I can relax when it comes to weapons. Now to make sure I can stay relaxed when it comes to open-handed techniques!