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Thread: Fuchi-gane & Yui-dome

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    Talking Fuchi-gane & Yui-dome

    Hi guys,

    Just got this book:

    Iaido Hongi: Muso Shinden Ryu

    In the section on grip, it is written that when gripping the tsuka, the right index finger should not touch the fuchi-gane (hilt collar).

    It is also written that the left hand should not be on the yui-dome, which pretty much excludes the left pinky from being in the last incomplete diamond on the ura side of the tsuka.

    As the book doesn't explain it, I was wondering, does other styles use this sort of grip?

    What would be the reason for not touching the fuchigane and yuidome?

    Thanks!
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    the answer lies in kiri-te or tome-te.
    Roar Ulvestad

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    Talking But...

    Well,

    The reason I asked is because in practice, when you look at the photos of the practitioners, the right index finger usually lightly overlap the fuchigane on the ura side and the index finger lightly touches the tsuba near the fingertip.

    Another issue was, at a recent seminar, one sensei told everyone that the left pinky should be in the incomplete diamond next to the yui-dome (which would mean your finger is touching the yui-dome) whereas the other sensei advise having the finger in the next complete diamond, which would leave a significant portion of the tsukagashira sticking out...

    *sigh*
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    What exactly is the yui-dome?

    I seem to recall being instructed not to touch the tsuba or the fuchi-gane with my right hand. When it comes to the left hand, my current method is to have the kashira knot (is this what you call yui-dome?) between my pinky and ring finger. It's sort of a compromise between what I have been told to do and what I find works best for me at the moment. I find this very typical for iai stuff: One's understanding and execution of techniques is constantly evolving and being re(de)fined; you never "nail" a particular detail once and for all.
    Aage Bakken

    Ki is like duct tape, it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together. [yoj]

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    Talking

    Originally posted by A. Bakken
    What exactly is the yui-dome?

    When it comes to the left hand, my current method is to have the kashira knot (is this what you call yui-dome?) between my pinky and ring finger. It's sort of a compromise between what I have been told to do and what I find works best for me at the moment.
    Yui-dome literally means "where the binding stops". So, yeah, it would be where the knot is.

    See, the reason I'm asking is because if I were to grip the tsuka in such a way so as to not touch the fuchigane at all and not touch the yui-dome, an 8-sun tsuka ain't gonna do it...don't really feel like buying a new iaito for this.... In fact, the sensei that told me about not touching the yui-dome told me to grip the way I'm gripping until I get get a tsuka long enough for my hands....

    FWIW.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    Default

    The question of what length of tsuka and how to hold it is very complex, isn't it.

    For instance, I know of more than one school of thought that says your left hand should cover the kashira to the extent that your little finger is actually off the tsuka.

    Others say that the tsuka should protrude by a finger's width.

    Another says pinky on this or that open space in the tsuka-ito.

    And that's just the left hand! Then we have to deal with the right!

    This is a good place, maybe, to ask "does other styles use this sort of grip?" but, since the book is written specifically for MSR, the question "As the book doesn't explain it... What would be the reason for not touching the fuchigane and yuidome?" is probably best answered by saying...

    Ask Konno sensei.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    The question of what length of tsuka and how to hold it is very complex, isn't it.
    Sigh...yeah. Even in kendo, I've never been in a dojo where there weren't multiple accomplished sensei that didn't tell me "seemingly" different things about basics.

    Now, we can open a whole other can of worms by discussing whether we should grip shinai, bokuto, and iaito the same way?

    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    For instance, I know of more than one school of thought that says your left hand should cover the kashira to the extent that your little finger is actually off the tsuka.
    Ditto. Even in kendo, there is this teaching by some sensei though that is not the particular school of thought that I personally adhere to.

    Besides, I thought it was hilarious funny how Mr. Draeger used Otake sensei's photo on grip in a book about seitei in "Japanese swordmanship". Saw the interesting link on the sword position linked from the obi thread in archives.

    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    This is a good place, maybe, to ask "does other styles use this sort of grip?" but, since the book is written specifically for MSR, the question "As the book doesn't explain it... What would be the reason for not touching the fuchigane and yuidome?" is probably best answered by saying...

    Ask Konno sensei.
    LOL!

    I actually asked Konno sensei with a non-leading question right after the seminar...I justed asked him where to put the left hand on the tsuka.

    It would appear from the answer that "not touching the yuidome" could be interpreted in a variety of ways...let's just leave it at that?

    FWIW.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    When I use swords with different lenghted tsuka, there are only two factors that are fairly consistent: To avoid gripping to close to the tsuba, and always keeping my left hand pinky on the tsuka.
    without the pinky on, I find it hard to generate lefthand power.
    If the right hand is so close to the tsuba that most of the finger touches it, it messes up the whole grip, and locks the hand in an akward and stiff gripp.
    Roar Ulvestad

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    Originally posted by ulvulv
    If the right hand is so close to the tsuba that most of the finger touches it, it messes up the whole grip, and locks the hand in an akward and stiff gripp.
    Of course not, but that's not what I mean. Even tome-te is not quite like the baseball grip that you are describing....

    Moreover, even when you are in kiri-te and your hands are angled, "some" of your index finger does come in contact with the fuchi-gane. If you want, I can beat the horse to death and use my digital camera to take a picture of the picture in the book to show you that some of the sensei's foreginer is on the fuchigane. If you want people to avoid doing the baseball grip, not touching the fuchigane is hardly the best way to get the point across, as someone could choke up on the tsuka, and still do a baseball grip.

    Also, in the "kendo" rulebook, I think one of the rules is that the tip of the forefinger should lightly touch the tsuba...have to go back and flip through the shimpan book for the exact words though.

    FWIW.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    Default EXTREMES

    I wonder how much of this gripping guidance is to stop beginners from doing really stupid grips.

    Obviously gripping the sword with the right hand butted up against the tsuba would make cutting very awkward and not allow proper angling on the sword. Therefore, make a rule which says don't place greasy sausages on the fuchigane.

    Then why not make a rule to stop people from holding the sword in a batting grip hence the guidance on the position of the left hand.

    The left hand positioning seems to be the most contentious of the two. There is an argument (referred to by Brian) favoured by iaiJUTSUka that says the further down the tsuka you grip the more you can utilise the push pull leverage advantage as well as being able to reverse the edge of the sword very quickly. There is then the argument favoured by MJR/MSR and other iaiDO practitioners that says that this way of gripping doesn't allow the left hand to cut and makes the cutting arc small. Thus it is better to be able to grip the tsuka fully with the left hand.

    I am being terribly non-committal here as I have also heard various things at various seminar. Our patron teacher though advocates using as much of the tsuka as possible (WRT the left hand) without any of the fingers falling off the end. The pinky just in the last diamond seems to work just nicely.

    Anyway, my point was that a lot of these slightly mysterious, very specific rules may be to guide beginners how to hold the sword. In time your hands tend to fall on the sword naturally and take a grip which suits your own physiology and the balance of your own sword.

    Now to really throw all this, what about a discussion on how we are taught to cut - fishing line casting or natural circle?????

    Andy Watson

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    Inaho ka na

    http://www.simenergy.co.uk

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    The fishline throwing must be dead and gone by now, or what? Havent seen that quite in a while, even though I tend to do it now and then.. Avoid fishy technique at any cost!!
    Roar Ulvestad

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    Default Fishing....wheeeeeee!

    Oddly enough, I mentioned fishing at yesterday's training session, not to encourage our newbies to necessarily cast a line but certainly to focus on cutting with the tip rather than with the hands.

    Didn't catch anything though.
    Andy Watson

    Minoru hodo
    Kobe o tareru
    Inaho ka na

    http://www.simenergy.co.uk

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    Talking

    Originally posted by ulvulv
    The fishline throwing must be dead and gone by now, or what?
    Not really...I was recently told to do that. Sensei said that for me, the cutting was happening above my head rather than in front of me....

    Oh well.... I really think rather than dead and gone, sensei just emphasize different things at different stages of development....

    FWIW.
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    Originally posted by DCPan
    Oh well.... I really think rather than dead and gone, sensei just emphasize different things at different stages of development....

    FWIW.
    Exactly!










    Roar Ulvestad

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    Default Re: Fishing....wheeeeeee!

    Originally posted by Andy Watson
    Oddly enough, I mentioned fishing at yesterday's training session, not to encourage our newbies to necessarily cast a line but certainly to focus on cutting with the tip rather than with the hands.

    Didn't catch anything though.
    Most young people catch their fish at the supermarket, so I do not think the fishing-analogy is that helpful. How many have actually touched a fishing rod? And those who actually have experience, doesnt always use nice overhead throws you know, my throwing is more like a badly done do-cut, from ground to sky.

    http://www.captbluefin.com/Bill%20M%20Big%20Cod.jpg






    Just kidding, I have used the fishing rod-analogy many times myself, but I have seen that many people tend to overextend their shoulderjoints when visualising a "throw".
    Roar Ulvestad

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