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Thread: Names of basic cuts

  1. #1
    Dokuganryuu Guest

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    I knwo each school has its own names for the basic cuts, and I'm curious to know. It'll help me when I come across a tern when looking at other schools. I'm basically looking for the names of the downward vertical cut, downward right to left cut, downward left to right cut, upward left to right cut, upward right to left cut, horizontal right to left cut, and horizontal left to right cut. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Yagyu Guest

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    downward vertical cut is called "shomen", the diagonal ones i am not sure if you mean "yokomen" which means side of the head, or "keisa giri" which is a shoulder to kidney type cut, and i think the reverse of that, the downward left/right cut is called "soho giri" but i may have to be corrected on that. the horizontal ones, we always called just a "do" cut. there is also a thrust "tsuki" and a wrist cut "kote".

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    The downward diagonal cuts are usually called kesagiri (migi and hidari), as Yagyu mentioned. I think it is general that the upward cuts along the same lines are called gyakukesa (reverse kesa), although in Shinkendo they are referred to as kiriage. Side to side cuts are yokogiri, and the straight overhead cut is shinchokugiri ("choku" is straight). The distinction between migi and hidari (right and left) depends on the point of the cut's origin, i.e. if I am cutting yokogiri and it starts on my right side and passes to my left side, it is migi yokogiri, "right-side" side-cut.
    I hope this helps.

    Nicholas Lauridsen

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    I study Toyama Ryu and I can tell you the names of the cuts in our Dojo. We have three downward vertical cuts. Jodan stops high with your right arm horizontal, Chudan stops with the point at throat level, and Gedan stops with the point at knee level. Our downward diagonal cut from right to left is hidari kesa. The downward diagonal cut from left to right is migi kesa. The upward reverse cuts are gyaku kesa. Horizontal cuts are suihei. Thrusts are tsuki.

    I was looking at the tamishigiri rules from another school. They use the same hidari and migi kesa. Their reverse upwards cuts are migi kiri-age and hidari kiri-age. Their horizontal cuts are migi yoko and hidari yoko.

    They also call the tatami targets goza while we call them wara. Everyone does seem to have a unique set of names for everything.

    Mike Femal

  5. #5
    Dan Harden Guest

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    Just a few comments


    I would not look at "cuts" as a series of anything.
    For example:
    A rising cut may be called kiri Age, gyaku Kesa, Okachi dachi, Te Ura or what have you, (Hell, I could make a case for Tori-I as well). This does little to help you understand the intent and strategy of their use. In other words, To think of a particular "cut" and its use, only in relation to a fixed target, is grossly underestimating its potential.
    (Then again, for some schools, you may be seeing the entirety of that schools potential. )

    Much can be said for suppressing, forestalling, redirecting and countering, both an opponents blade and his attack (read; mindset, strategy) overall. This can be done with the proper understanding of a number of different "Cuts."
    But!
    At some point, those cuts transcend the use of the term "cuts." Don't they?

    Anyway. Much to complicated a subject for this venue.

    Kamae, cuts, deflections, postures, and Maai, these are all the same when you think of the whole.

    Dan

    [Edited by Dan Harden on 10-09-2000 at 11:17 PM]

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    Default Pictures

    I've seen a picture (book/web ??) of the cuts used on boddies for sword testing.

    Is there anything like this for the cuts used on a person in combat?

    Just a though

    Thanks,
    James Farthing
    UK

    jimmy_fatwing{at}yahoo.com (repalce the {at})
    http://www.jimmy-fatwing.co.uk

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    Hello,

    Most the older names used in testing swords was specific to sword testing.

    Personally, I make little effort to sort out all the differnt names for kamae and cuts between styles. It is far to confusing and style-specific, as Dan-san indicated.

    In Shinkendo we designate (left or right) the cuts in accordance to which side of our body the cut originates from, as opposed to where it ends (or which side of the opponent the cut actually strikes). Apples and oranges.

    Also, wara means "straw", which is what used to be used for cutting. Goza, to the best of my knowledge, is a very general term meaning "mat", and I believe is more commonly used in reference to a thick, loosly woven welcome-type mat (though it might be broad enough to encompass tatami as well). For you Karate buffs: Makiwara = wrapped/rolled straw.

    Tatami omote is the exact name for the top layer of tatami used in covering tatami floor boards. This is what is currently popular for testcutting in Japan.

    I don't know if people are cutting welcome mats or not!

    Regards,

    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  8. #8
    Dokuganryuu Guest

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    What are the names of cuts in Shinkendo, if you would be so kind as to share, Nathan? Thanks!

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    The basic cuts include:

    1) tsuki (jodan, chudan & gedan); hirazuki - horizontal thrust

    2) hidari kesagiri (lt/rt diagonal downward)

    3) migi kesagiri (rt/lt diagonal downward)

    4) hidari yokogiri (lt/rt side cut)

    5) migi yokogiri (rt/lt side cut)

    6) hidari kiriage (lt/rt diagonal upward)

    7) migi kiriage (rt/lt diagonal upward)

    8) dontangiri/shinchokugiri (straight cut)*

    *This is a little grey, because we don't generally consider straight cuts as combative "cuts", so we don't have a name for them. Dotangiri & shinchokugiri are terms usually used for "specialty" straight cuts, for lack of a better word.

    In addition to the basic cuts, we have tactical cuts or combinations - many of which have names, and some of which are not.

    The over all catagorization of cuts is basically divided into four sections:

    1) cuts that stop at the end of the swing.

    2) cuts that continue around to the original starting position

    3) cuts that reverse along the original cutting path

    4) cuts that transition fluidly from one cut to another cut



    There are alot of variations in the upper levels, but this is how the cuts are structured in Shinkendo's foundation.

    It is a very comprehensive style of sword!

    More detailed information about Shinkendo is available in Obata Soke's recent book "Shinkendo". He is also writing a book on tameshigiri right now that will have some of this as well.

    Hope this helps,


    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  10. #10
    Dokuganryuu Guest

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    Thank you, Nathan!

    If I wasn't so far away from a dojo, I'd already be a member. I'm in Savannah, which is about 4 or 5 hours from Atlanta. Ideally in the future, I would like to study with Obata Soke and yourself. Well, until then, I'll pick up the Shinkendo book and any future references. Thanks again!

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    My pleasure Mr. Timberlake. Hope to see you at the Honbu someday!

    Regards,

    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    As far as Nakamura Ryu goes:

    1. Morote tsuki (two-handed cut); katate tsuke (single-handed thrust).

    2. Itto Ryodan (Cutting in two with a single cut). Also known as:
    b. Kara-take wari (Splitting Chinese bamboo)
    c. Sue-mono giri (Cutting a fixed object)
    d. Shinchoku giri (Cutting straight down)
    e. Dodan-giri (Cutting on a stand)
    f. Shomen-giri (cutting to the front)
    g. Men-giri (Head cut)
    h. Makko (Dead front)
    i. Ito-magoi ("Farewell Visit" --actually the name of a waza in MJER; .. my Japanese MJER sensei called this "a Pearl Harbor")
    j. Nukiuchi ("Draw & Strike" -- actually the name of a waza in MJER; it employs the straight cut).
    k. Kirioroshi (Cutting downwards).

    3. Kesagiri (Priest robe cut). Downward diagonal cut. Performed both migi (right) and hidari (left). Also called:
    b. Naname giri (diagonal cut).

    4. Gyakukesa (Reverse kesa). Upward diagonal cut. Performed both migi and hidari. Also called:
    b. Kiri-age (Cutting upwards).
    c. Naname kiri-age. (Cutting upwards on a diagonal).

    5. Yoko ichi-mo(n)ji giri (side horizontal cut). The ideograph [moji] for the number "one" [ichi] is a horizontal bar; this translates to "horizontal." Also known as:
    b. Yokogiri (side cut).
    c. Suihei giri (placid water cut). Placid water is flat; ergo, horizontal.
    d. Dogiri (torso cut).

    One of the pillars of Nakamura Ryu is the exercise "Happogiri" [Eight-direction Cut]. It is performed in the following sequence:

    1. Morote tsuki. Two-handed thrust.
    2. Shinchoku giri. Straight cut (feet/legs spread further than shoulder length).
    3. Hidari kesagiri (left). Cutting from upper right to lower left.
    4. Migi gyakukesa. Cutting from lower left to upper right.
    5. Migi kesagiri (right). Cutting frou upper left to lower right.
    6. Hidari gyakukesa. Cutting from lower right to upper left.
    7. Migi yoko ichimonji. Right horizontal cut.
    8. Hidari yoko ichimonji. Left horizontal cut.

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

  13. #13
    Dokuganryuu Guest

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    Thank you for your reply as well, Mr. Power! I'm kind of embarassed to admit that for a while I did not know that you were a practitioner of iaido, I just figured you were very up to date on your history and terms

    It's interesting to see so many different names for the same basic cuts. Thanks again!

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    Guy-san, you use all those names for the same cuts???

    Regards,



    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Nathan,

    It does get confusing, eh? Actually, we don't use *all* the terms; however, most do appear in written format -- especially in the 1935 and 1939-45 manuals.

    Some, like "karatake-wari" and "dotangiri" are not used by Toyama Ryu, but generally, swordsmen know the terms. I was first introduced to the term "karatake-wari" by Obata sensei.

    Just some good information to know.

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

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