Weapons training is an integral part of the syllabus at Athens Aikido and students are encouraged to take up weapons practice as soon as they are familiar with the basic Aikido stance. Students learn how to master the bokken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden staff). Practice begins with katas to learn the main strikes before progressing to partner practice and dealing with encounters. The work of Birankai Founder, T.K Chiba, provides us with a rich and highly developed weapons system through which students can truly learn to bring life to their weapons encounters. There is a level of danger when facing a potentially lethal strike from an opponents weapon that necessitates an entirely different level of focus and through regular practice this level of focus becomes increasingly accessible.