View Full Version : What was once, will be again.

2nd February 2005, 15:02
Im sorry... I didnt realise you had to register to even read the forums there.

There is too much to copy over here. Its worth the trouble registering to just read the posts that are happening over there (Australian based). I value your opinions and would like to hear your responses on this forum about that thread. I will post here my latest response on that thread to give you an idea of what has been transpiring there to date. Please do not take this out fo context.

Originally Posted by rush
Just felt I would throw my 2 cents in here. This is part of my theory of why people persist in learning swords in an age where swords are extremely rare.

Learning kenjutsu or other sword styles doesn't only improve your skills with swords. Naturally that is the most obvious benefit, but it is far from the only one. Even though it will also help you with other weapons too, that isn't the only benefit.

Think of it as an extension of your martial arts, in more ways then one. You are dealing with larger distances, with longer reach, so your timing has to be that much better. If you wish to close in one someone weilding a sword while you are unarmed then you need extremely refined timing. You will also refine the extension of force from your body. Getting the maximum force in the end of a katana is not as simple as swinging it with all your strength! You will also be dealing with different angles, with different momentums, and different difficulties.

Sword training doesn't only give you skill in weapons (which can be very useful) but it also improves and refines your unarmed martial arts.

I felt this was such an excellent post that Ive had to quote it. I totally agree with the spirit and the knowledge behind these comments. What I have learnt exposing Benaido to people in general, is that if they do not have the experience to connect with what you are saying along with the knowledge, they tend to put down and mock. I dont mind, as this is a normal human fear response. Beneath your words is a solid steel of experience. I dont just want beginners to come to the free sword lesson, but people trained in their own rights. Unfortunately no contact is allowed in the free lessons for insurance reasons, and fortunately for safety reasons. When beginning it is more often the teacher who is hurt by the student Example: Dont worry, control is easy. Just swing at my arm and stop. Dont worry if you hit me, it wont hurt me too much... THUNK. I guess you can predict the rest... Only joking.

Originally I was only going to teach mostly draws, but I have decided to include a more broader spectrum of concepts. This post I have quoted has many depths. Take the subject of timing. When watching a brazilian soccer player move, it is said they dance with beautiful rhythm and timing. The ball glides where they will with the least amount of effort. And they can explode with sudden power and initial speed to take their opponents flat-footed. The sword is about this and many other important principles. It is an elegant weapon in a decadent time.

Just as each snowflake is unique, an experienced swordsman is unique. If you teach two warriors the same elements, they each will still be unique for in the process of forging where they must fold themselves 10,000 times to make a single edge they become their own work of art. If I hand a gun to a child it is a killing weapon. If I hand a sword to a child it is a dead weight in their hands, more a danger to themselves.

All different sword arts express very important principles. The same with all weapons and all other arts. It is sad when a thing that has been worked on by great minds for thousands of years such as the sword is dismissed as irrelevant by wrestlers or boxers and so on. It is sad because to know and not to do is still not to know.

I am sure the teachers of all arts of any substance would in part agree. You see the sword is not about ego, in fact to cut one must focus on the mountain sight and to not let the enemy dictate your gaze. Your focus needs to be as immovable as a mountain, and your mind as calm as a lake in winter.

I found just recently when attacked down the gold coast, when on a business function, out late after a jog, my 19 year old student left his wallet on the table and a guy and his mates obviously assessing myself and him as easy prey walked over and tried to steal it. I assure you after a number of years of discipline, adrenaline focuses the mind and expands your vision and heightens your instincts. I immediately assessed him when he tried to punch me a few times in the head that he was a charger. Fake, Fake, Fake-Hit. He charged into my blow which so startled his confident mind that he fell onto his bottom. Disrupted both his confidence and his friends.

I bring this up not to bignote myself. If you read all of my posts I have not brought up exploits, more I brought up stories of my folly to make points about Benaido and myself. Also I have stuck to theory that I have tested, not theory I have not tested. Now with that explanation I will explain why I brought up this incident I wasnt proud of.

In sword training you practice slipping away with your body and head from swords that swing across at you. This is done slowly and rhythmically to give you a sense of timing and distance at first. Also it is to reduce a fear of their blade when you are in close. Over the years the rhythm becomes broken, the swinger becomes deceptive, and tries to take your legs off. Arms, ears, and nose and will thrust unexpectently at odd angles, even at the feet. That training kicked in a few weeks ago, and without thinking I slipped the jabs.

I believe everything is one, to neglect one is to neglect all. Only a fool would not respect BJJ and their ground fighting evolution from the streets of brazil on concrete, to becoming extremely well-known and popular. These principles of ground fighting are not new, as spoken about by GBLS and others. It is just that the other arts had become plastic, so far from their roots, not needing to ever really test themselves except in artificial contexts. And so that which is old has become new again. I myself hope the Tea Ceremony once again becomes important to warriors (also poetry). And you can see what a response Ive had to that on this forum LOL. Thankyou for not mocking my weaknesses.

To clarify this I would say perhaps an art will rise from the streets of north korea which remembers the tactics of distance fighters kicking people off their horses who learn the tibetan secret of Lung-Gom. Their trance-like state that allows them to run for miles and miles at high speed without breaking a sweat. This new art would remember what was old about distance fighting and have the endurance for high energy movement with their breathing and would be able to kick their big toe in the eye with such tremendous speed and accuracy, that only the most experienced eye-patched groundfighter could survive. With complex flight and pressure-point theory, they would enter the world like a storm and people with no respect for traditional martial arts will be laughing at their mid-range/close-range groundfighting efforts.

While all this was happening I would still be in the park teaching the sword for free, because I love it so. And I love seeing another cultivate their own self-esteem and respect. This goes for other -Traditional- weapons.


Nick Olsen
Benaido Martial Arts
-The Courage To Try-


Jock Armstrong
12th February 2005, 06:29
What kind of swordsmanship are you trained in Nick?

Jock Armstrong
12th February 2005, 06:41
Actually, more to the point, who is the gent referred to as Rush [ being not overly bright, I thought the article was by yourself until I rechecked the initial part]? I disagreed with his firearm/sword analogy. a firearm takes just as much training [and uses many of the same mental aspects as sword] to be any good with one. Giving a child a sharp bladed object is exactly the same as handing one a loaded pistol.
I often think the idea of a "gun" being somehow more dangerous is a figment of the anti-firearm crowd's imagination and lack of real knowledge and understanding of what a firearm is. Most people who haven't any experience of firearms have some very strange ideas about them. There knowledge of firarms comes directly from Hollywood, I think.

What ryuha does Rush do by the way?