Weapons training at Athens Aikido strictly follows the style and guidelines set out by Chiba Shihan. Training is carried out primarily with the use of boken (wooden sword), jo (wooden staff), tanto (wooden knife), wakasashi and shinai. Aikido training and weapons practice go hand in hand and students are strongly encouraged to give both forms of training the same attention and effort. Through weapons training students practice the essential concepts of mai ai (correct distancing) timing and positioning and the handling and immediate danger of weapons encounter brings these essential concepts to the fore much quicker than in body arts where such details can easily be lost or overlooked. Starting with basic forms of attack and exercises to familiarize oneself with the weapon the student goes on to partner practice in the form of katas and with years of repeated practice the ideal is to give such polish to the perception and handling of the weapon as to go beyond the katas themselves, the weapons simply become an extension of the body. Weapons practice is carried out weapon to weapon and weapon attack against empty hand and the same principles apply both in body arts and in weapons work, thus they are entirely complimentary.