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Thread: Use of Sageo

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    glenneasley Guest

    Default Use of Sageo

    I saw demonstrations this weekend by two styles (Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu & Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu) where none of the demonstrators tied their sageo to their obi, instead they layed it behind their saya. This resulted in the demonstrators constantly having to re-adjust the sageo as it flipped around during each kata.

    Can anyone practicing these styles speak to the significance or reasoning for not tying in the sageo? It really seemed to get in the way of most of the practitioners - why use a sageo at all in this case?

    No disrespect is intended - just curiosity!

    Thanks

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    As far as MJER is concerned, some dojo tie it, others do as you described. When just thrown behind the scabbard, it does allow more freedom of scabbard movement during the draw. If you have one of the shorter sageo and tie it, you may not have enough room when pulling the saya forward.

    I've seen some methods that involve lashing the saya using the sageo. In this technique, the sageo is placed behind the saya, then is pulled under then forward, over the scabbard; repeated until sageo is too short. This method probably evolved from the way uchigatana and/or tanto were lashed over armor.

    Good question.

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

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    Originally posted by ghp
    As far as MJER is concerned, some dojo tie it, others do as you described. When just thrown behind the scabbard, it does allow more freedom of scabbard movement during the draw. If you have one of the shorter sageo and tie it, you may not have enough room when pulling the saya forward.

    ...
    Regards,
    Guy
    Yes I just throw it over the back of the saya. I used to tie it. The extra freedom of movement is good. I once broke the kurikata off my saya doing ganmen ate. Not sure just how I did it. It made a pretty loud noise when it broke. I didn't know swords could go bang, it kind of sounded like a .22 cal

    Ed Boyd

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    Out of curiosity, do remember who it was demonstrating Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu?
    Greg Ellis
    I like autumn best of all, because its tone is mellower, its colors are richer and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and it is content.

  5. #5
    glenneasley Guest

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    Originally posted by gmellis
    Out of curiosity, do remember who it was demonstrating Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu?
    Yes, the demonstration was by the Woodinville Martial Arts Dojo - Phil and Nobuko Relnick, and several of their students who were not named.

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    Thumbs up

    Phil and Nobuko Relnick,...
    Say no more! I understand Phil has been given official permission to teach. I'd love to see his waza one day.

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

  7. #7
    glenneasley Guest

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    Originally posted by ghp
    As far as MJER is concerned, some dojo tie it, others do as you described...
    Does this mean that the tying of the sageo or using one at all is not a formal part of the curriculum in MJER?

    Is this something that practitioners in the US have added to the style or is it treated in a similar way in Japan?

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    Hello all

    This question has been brought up with Iwata Norikazu Sensei (Now ninety years young) who has done a considerable amount of research.

    Its one of those grey areas as there are no hard and fast rules. But there are things to consider. One should not only try to do well but be good in appearance. Also if the sageo is tied it must facilitate smooth sayabiki action. Bearing this in mind he usually releases the sageo which has been held in a circular fashion to tuck it into the hakama himo (not Obi) and tie it in a slip knot for easy release.

    There is tying the sageo and also methods of binding the sageo around the saya so it does not move.

    My ryu makes no mention of tying in the makimono I have. The founder had considerable experience in Hokiryu so I use this method. The sageo is passed over the back of the saya but it is knotted. This ensures that the saya cannot be with withdrawn completely.

    So saying my movements are some what more dynamic than most iai and although I physically check at the end of each technique if the sageo is in place it rarely comes over. I think its all a question of not just the sageo but how you have tied the rest of your clothing such as hakama himo and obi. I also always wear two swords. This also has a different effect on everything all fitting in like a jigsaw puzzle.

    Hyakutake Colin

    Kageryu Hyoho - Niten Ichiryu

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    Originally posted by hyaku

    My ryu makes no mention of tying in the makimono I have. The founder had considerable experience in Hokiryu so I use this method. The sageo is passed over the back of the saya but it is knotted. This ensures that the saya cannot be with withdrawn completely.

    I would add here that even in Hoki ryu there is a wide range of methods used for dealing with the sageo and several of the more traditional Hoki ryu groups do not tie it at all, but just lay it behind the saya as mentioned above. Of course it varies greatly from group to group and lineage to lineage. My own sensei was flexible on the issue so I have experimented with both. I've personally found that tying it can sometimes greatly interfere with certain techniques and have gone to the untied method.

    Does this mean that the tying of the sageo or using one at all is not a formal part of the curriculum in MJER?

    Is this something that practitioners in the US have added to the style or is it treated in a similar way in Japan?
    I can't comment on it in regards to MJER, but my observation has been that often if people aren't aware of a particular teaching in regards to something, they will just do it like it is in the seitei-gata so alot of the seitei practicing groups will just use that sageo tying method unless they have a specific teaching to the contrary. Not that that adds much to the conversation but....

    Best regards,

    Rennis Buchner

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    Shimabukuro Sensei of MJERI told me that tying the sageo to the hakama is totally acceptable, although he elects to just lay it over the saya, as does Saotome Sensei and other very legit masters. So it is indeed a gray area unless your particular dojo has a preference.

    I share the concern that having to constantly deal with lose sageo during wazas is unseemly and not "tight." After all the sageo is run through the kurigata for a reason, ne? In my early years of iai the late Fred Tart Sensei had us tie the slip knot to our hakama, and that just legitimizes it for me in addition to the above concerns.

    If tying your sageo restricts saya movement and stresses your kurigata during tsuka ate wazas, then maybe your sageo is just too darn short! I've seen no shortage of wonderful koshirae with cheesy 98 cent sageos.

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    Originally posted by Gil Gillespie
    If tying your sageo restricts saya movement and stresses your kurigata during tsuka ate wazas, then maybe your sageo is just too darn short! I've seen no shortage of wonderful koshirae with cheesy 98 cent sageos.
    That isn't nessecarily true. I can't speak for other schools, but in Hoki ryu's particular case (at least of the branch I do and one other I have done alot of research with) we need a loooong sageo because we usually pull the saya out alot further than most other schools do in their draw (some lines actually have it so that the tsuba is just below chin level before you start the draw and the whole lot of sayabiki that goes with it). You obviously need a long sageo or you can't draw properly and if you want to tie it you need and even longer one. Having that long of a sageo tied up can be a problem because with some of the tsuka movements and strikes mixed with your taisabaki it occasionally happens that the sageo will swing around and actually wrap itself around the end of the tsuka and prevent you from drawing at all, which is obviously a bad thing. All this is prevented by simply not tying it up and letting it hang loose behind the saya. Some groups will actually stick the hanging ends of the sageo in the "V" shaped opening of the hakama leg, thus preventing the cords from flying all over the place, although alot of the senior people don't have much trouble with them just hanging loose. Again it all depends on the school and the branch. It really is a very grey area overall.

    I personally found that even with having it tied up, at the length we need to use, you have to adjust it at the end of each kata just as much as you do with it untied. The draw will cause a certain length of it to loop and hang down between the kurigata and point where the saya meets the obi (due to pulling it so far out and then pulling the saya down faster than gravity will catch and drop the sageo itself) which will get in the way of the next draw unless you fix it before the begin the next kata. As Mr. Skoss likes to say, "different strokes for different folks" I guess.

    Rennis "this still doesn't have anything to do directly with TSKSR or MJER" Buchner

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    I can not speak for the Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu demonstrators, but since I was the MJER guy demonstrating with his sageo, "going commando" as it were, I can explain my reasons.

    Tying the sageo to the hakama or "looping" it through the himo is done to keep the sageo out ot the way while practicing. In daily life, the sageo was generally draped over the saya as you saw both the Relnics, their students, as well as myself doing. In the case of an enbu it is quite common (but not necessarily the norm) to drape the sageo over the saya. It is considered a little more elegant as well as more realistic to demonstrate waza with the sageo draped over the saya.

    All this being said there are no hard and fast rules that I am aware of in MJER in regards to the sageo, it is up to the dojo, or induvidual in some cases, as to how the sageo is to be worn.
    Scott Irey
    Just another one of those "few peanuts short of a snickers bar" MJER guys.

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    Default One more method

    As was pointed out by several of you, there are differences in the use of the sageo. In the Hokushin Shinoh Ryu Iaido, we do not use sageo unless we want to. I am not sure when this usage came about, but I was told by Goho Shihan that we have dispensed with it as it serves no particular function in modern iaido and the sageo can impede the free movement of the saya. Although this does seem a bit odd for an art purporting to be a koryu, making this kind of concession to modern times. Maybe it's just because I am a relative beginner and have no experience with the hombu dojo in Japan. When I do use sageo, it is just draped behind the saya and not tied.
    Ian McDonald
    Ichi go, ichi e
    The swamps are good along the WeekiWachee

  14. #14
    glenneasley Guest

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    Thank you all for the great discussion.

    I've always assumed that the sageo was used to keep the saya from being lost in the heat of battle, but I've never seen anything written about when in history it's use began.

    When I first began studying iai as part of my kendo school, we did not use sageo at all. The kurigata always sufficed in keeping the saya from slipping out of my himo and clattering to the floor.

    Thanks again for the information on these varied styles!

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    Default am i too late ?

    hello !
    i just wanted to add this, because nobody mentioned it before. my teacher mori sensei (mjer) of fukui-shi/fukui prefecture and his fellow teachers and students don´t use a sageo at all. we removed it. i store it at home but nothing more. while looking at the availiable books in about mjer in japan, this was the most obvious difference to what i have been taught. differences in the forms are also there.
    is it so uncommon to have no sageo ?

    karsten
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    bujinkan shinden dojo buchholz/hamburg

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