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Thread: Chinese sword arts

  1. #16
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    Hi,

    hehe..Nathan, are your weapons from the Lungchuan Forge? I have a couple of these.
    Actually, they were apparently Sifu Chan Poi's (founder of Wah Lum Gung Fu) - though I was studying Northern Shaolin Long Fist. Don't know where they came from, but it was quite a few years ago.

    In regards to Mr. Woo's statement, He is a regular contributor here and I don't believe he meant any offense.

    I for one am not interested in "which art is better" type arguments.

    However, the idea of test cutting was likely performed in China as well as Japan (as it was in Europe), though the materials and formalities were surely varied.

    test cutting is not swordsmanship, it is simply test cutting - testing your technique to ensure that it is tuned correctly. Of course proper tactics and technique is of more importance than cutting experience in combat, but why limit yourself in cutting/thrusting potential intentionally by not testing technique?

    As mentioned, the weapons and methods are different, and the test cutting should reflect this. Japanese soaked straw tatami mats were developed as a reasonable replacement for cutting people. I see no reason why a Chinese stylist could not make use of this medium to test their technique, as long as the targets and weapons were used as they were intended to be used.

    With all due respect, those that claim that test cutting has no real benefit are invariably those that have not gained significant experience with test cutting. There is quite a bit of very important lessons that can be learned from testing technique.

    I think Ellis Amdur's teacher also made the comment that some koryu are museum relic's and not practical anymore.
    That is undoubtably true. Some koryu are in a state of "stagnant preservation" (at best), while others are very much alive and practical. Some have been largely "reconstructed" from the ryu-ha's mokuroku and makimono, which is a very sketchy thing. It is hard to generalize about this kind of thing.

    Regards,




    [Edited by Nathan Scott on 12-05-2000 at 01:31 PM]
    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)

  2. #17
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    I am sure tatami could be used to test some techniques.
    However, since the techniques with single hand held swords are for slashing or stabbing and not cutting a person in half, you could not expect the same sort of spectacular results.

    To compare the two different methods on that basis is not appropriate.

    I cannot speak for Chinese two handed sword methods because I have not practiced them.

    Kit LeBlanc has posted elsewhere that he did see some similarity between these Japanese and Chinese sword techniques. Kit is a student of Ellis Amdur and has also studied Chinese MA in China, so he is qualified to make some comparison.

    No one method is 'better', they were just designed to work under different circumstances.
    Michael Becker

  3. #18
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    I have a translation of Huang Po-Nien book Hsing-i Fist and Weapon Instruction first published in 1928. There is a section on two handed saber technique. From what I can tell from the text and the photo's(which are very good by the way) these methods look nothing like any Japenese methods I have seen, or studied. There is a rifle and bayonet section as well, but again completly different than the japenese methods I have seen. Having seen the Yang stlye Tai-chi sword form ,to my eye its completly differnt to. Has anyone else got the book Im refering to?. Maby they can post there opinion, as Im sure many other's here have more experience with both systems than myself.
    Gregory Rogalsky Director of Rogalsky Combatives International.

    [Edited by INFINOO on 12-06-2000 at 09:44 AM]

  4. #19
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    Here is what Kit posted.

    "The book Hiden Kenjutsu, Gokui Tojutsu, as made available thru Mugendo books, deal with the influence and cross fertilization of Chinese and Japanese swordsmanship. I don't read Japanese, but I do read enough kanji (in Chinese) to get the gist.

    There is a great deal about the miao dao (grain leaf saber), a Chinese military sword which was similar to a large katana (and which I mentioned in another post on this board), and a comparison of stances and techniques using photos and drawings from classical Chinese and Japanese sources. The book seems to pretty much cover swordsmanship, though there is stuff on Chinese polearms and Japanese equivalents. There are some cool large size bokuto and katana used in some of the representations of Japanese arts.

    From the perusing I have done, the majority of the book is describing a now rare MILITARY tradition of Chinese armed martial arts. We probably see vestiges of this in some of the spear forms today, the miao dao, and some of the large (2H) swords used in Ba Gua, Xing Yi, and some other arts. Those that have not turned into basically pointy bamboo or tin foil swords being whipped around by a a little 98 pound girl during her gymnastic routine, or some of the lame posturing forms found in so many schools today.

    *****

    I remembered that from time to time I have heard tell that the Kage-ryu, I believe (not sure if it is the LARGE sword style that Colin Hyakutake is a member of...) made it to Chinese shores and was practiced in China. I know that during Ming the Chinese were avid importers of Japanese blades. No doubt they imported some Japanese weapons skills to go along with their own (curved) sword tradition.

    There is also mention of one of the Kashima Shinryu/Jikishin Kage-ryu ancestors, Ogasawara Genshinsai, who studied some in China and brought back what he had learned. Dr. Friday could no doubt give us the details which I don't have."

    Michael Becker

  5. #20
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    Lightbulb Just a thought....

    I know this is a little off to the side of the discussion, but I also know that we humans seem to have a propensity for getting into comparitive discussions in order to define which is "best". Not having any background in the Chinese MA I have no standing to comment of their efficacy in combat. I thought I would mention, though, that there are some interesting points to be drawn from the Japanese Incursions of the later 1500-s into Korea.

    Citing letters and military reports sent back to Japan by H Toyotomis' son, an officer in the venture, the attitude of the Japanese was often an underestimating of the Korean opponent. This was not a function of the Korean military, which for all intents and purposes did not exist as an organized, concerted effort. Rather, the Japanese were repeatedly surprized by the sheer tenacity of the Korean guerrilla efforts. On the other hand, the Koreans' Park and Lee in commenting on the inclusion of Japanese Forms in the MU YEI TOBO Tong JI (COMPREHENSIVE ILLUSTRATED MANUAL OF MARTIAL ARTS) indicate a very high regard for the aggressive nature of Japanese sword form as demonstrated by the battle-hardened Toyotomi warriors.

    I share this b/c I think that circumstances and the individual deportment of the warriors involved are as much responsible for the efficacy of the art as the art itself.For myself I suspect that I have less to fear from a bored, distracted Ken-jitsu student regardless of style, than from an enraged street-person with a Louisville Slugger, yes? In the case of the Chinese art mentioned, I suspect that here, too, the intent and resolve of the individual is not something easily identified in either the Form or the cutting exercises.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce W Sims
    http://www.midwesthapkido.com
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

  6. #21
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    Default Real combat-effective Chinese swordsmanship exists!

    There is, in fact, a wealth of historic Chinese swordsmanship still being practiced, today. Granted, most of what we see in Kung Fu, Taiji Quan, and espcially Wushu, is not combat-effective swordsmanship. However, given the specific conditions in China, after the end of the Dynastic period, the battle-proven techniques were driven underground. Under the watchful eye of Govermental restrictions, swordsmanship became more formalized. The
    real movements adapted, to suit the censure of the changing times. The martial warriors became martial artists. Lethal techniques became stylized.
    I have studied sword-related martial arts traditions for 30 years. I have searched Gumdo, Iaido/Kendo, Olympic fencing, and Taiji Quan, for the essence of combat-effective swordsmanship. For the last 2 years, I have been learning Yang-style Michuan swordsmanship, with Scott Rodell. Never have I been so frustrated, and ineffective, as when I have crossed wooden swords with my teacher. I have tried everything I know, even trying-not-to try, without landing a solid cut or thrust. Granted, the better swordsman/ swordswoman always wins, but there is a substantial amount of historical technique responsable for the end result. Techniques not lost to Time and conventions. Please refer to www.video.google.com, or www.grtc.org, to see Scott's cutting demo or the application video. The proof in the pudding is in the tasting.
    I am not so naive or single-minded, as to believe any one system is superior to another. We can all learn the depth of swordsmanship through studying the various traditions. Specifically, there is much to learn about genuine, historical Chinese swordsmanship.

    Yours in Martial Spirit, Jon Palombi

  7. #22
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    I really don't want to get into a "samurai versus knights (versus Chinese warriors)" debate, but dude, please. I watched the videos. I have no idea if your teacher is good or not at his art, but I am quite certain that his technique is no better or worse than any other style of swordsmanship based on arcane techniques for a type of fighting that you cannot possibly encounter in modern times. Also, his technique assumes, as does mine, that his enemy uses a similar weapon and style.
    As this is a Japanese budo forum, it may be totally unfair but I can judge him by the standards of my own art and find his technique lacking. There is a 360 degree spin leaving his back totally exposed, some of the cutting was excellent and some was sloppy (and all was on thin green bamboo)...then again I am sure my technique when judged by his standards would also be lacking; huge straight arm movements, linear motion, etc.

    Regards,

    r e n

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheridan
    You might want to actually put some time and effort into some japanese sword styles. Some are most definately brute force related (Jigen-Ryu, ), but many are incredibly subtle.
    Having spent a short time in the Jigenryu heihosho and having been connected with them for quite a few years, I would be interested as to how you arrived at that conclusion.
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyaku
    Having spent a short time in the Jigenryu heihosho and having been connected with them for quite a few years, I would be interested as to how you arrived at that conclusion.
    Not sure you will get an answer from him..he hasn't posted in 5 years
    Fredrik Hall
    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." /Confucius

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Palombi
    There is, in fact, a wealth of historic Chinese swordsmanship still being practiced, today. Granted, most of what we see in Kung Fu, Taiji Quan, and espcially Wushu, is not combat-effective swordsmanship. However, given the specific conditions in China, after the end of the Dynastic period, the battle-proven techniques were driven underground. Yours in Martial Spirit, Jon Palombi
    Dear Jon:

    With your kind permission I would like to add one other piece to your comment. In addition to you fine comments about Scott (Rodell) may I also say that the attitude with which one practices makes a considerable diffence in the result. In my own case, when I teach Kum-Bup, I do not pretend that I am doing some artsy activity for the purposes of developing some higher state of consciousness. Rather I am teaching the sword as a weapon. If this practice, in turn, produces some higher effect noone should be better pleased than I. In the meantime, though, I am still training people to use the sword as a weapon and not a gymnastic. I think an example of the point I am working to make would be to compare, say, the kata of the MJER with those of the Toyama Ryu. To my eye there is something particularly stark and utilitarian about the TR material when bumped up against its more artistic cousin. Certainly I am no expert in either art, so no offense is intended to practitioners of either art if I am mis-stating myself. My only point is that utility and practical necessity seem to produce practitioners with a different execution than those who train with an eye only focused on artistic expression. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

  11. #26
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    THis has got to be some kind of record. This thread was nearly 6 years old.
    Charles Mahan

    Iaido - Breaking down bad habits,
    and building new ones.

  12. #27
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    Greetings, I seldom post here, as the bulk of my training isnt in the Budo styles, but I share a deep devotion to the works of Donn Drager and I respect those arts and styles deeply.

    Someone previously posted Scott Rodell's website, www.grtc.org, and he is probably the premier sword scholar/practicioner in Chinese arts today.

    I have done almost 15 yrs of Hsing-I/Tai Chi/Bagua, and have learned some Dao and Jian forms along the way, as well as a bit of combative material, but I think Scott has approached these weapons in the most systematic and professional way of anyone.

    In many Tai Chi schools which still practice Jian, the weapon has become an extension of push hands practice, using it as a tool to feel pressure and intention through the blade. Ive done some of this and enjoy the practice. The Chinese are light on theory, and heavy on tactile sensation. Ive done this training, and you do develop an idea of parries and centerline, much like how western fencing has the angles of prime, segunda, tierce, quarte, etc.

    In many ways, the Chinese Sword arts mirror exactly the issues in Chinese unarmed styles in that there is massive inconsistency between schools and instructors. Even teachers of the same lineage show a great deal of variance with each other. All in all, I think the Japanese ryuha maintained a bit more consistency.

    Hope this contributes. My post in one line - Check out Scott Rodell

  13. #28
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    I'm with Ren. I've seen those videos before, and been duly unimpressed. Two brand new accounts pop up to revive a six year old thread and plug the website - pass that bag of salt, please.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  14. #29
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    Default Excuse me

    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil
    I'm with Ren. I've seen those videos before, and been duly unimpressed. Two brand new accounts pop up to revive a six year old thread and plug the website - pass that bag of salt, please.
    I GIVE MY REGARDS to your 1,000th post. I am not a student of Scott Rodell's. As a matter of fact, I would question some of his Tai Chi. In certain of his teaching methods I dont see emphasized certain principles that I would consider indicative of internal methods, although his Jian work is probably the most advanced of any mainstream teacher. I merely saw this thread, and since Mr. Rodell has published more on Chinese swordsmanship in the last 10 years than anybody else, I thought it would be a contribution to re-iterate him as a source for these methods.

    I AM ON THIS FORUM primarily as a researcher and enthusiast. I am not a practitioner of Budo styles. I have devoted a good portion of my life to the internal Chinese styles, as well as crosstraining in MMA/Submission grappling. I come on here for a few reasons: to do searches for TaiKiKen, a Japanese internal system that interests me deeply due to my internal background, for Kosen Judo, as the traditional newaza is an interesting subject. I was a youth during the '80s when the "Ninja Boom" hit, and I have used this forum to find out where they all are now, and whose claims have stood up the best over time.

    SWORDSMANSHIP is a deep interest of mine. In college, I checked out a book on the history of western fencing, and showed it to a Bagua master whom we had brought out for a seminar. He was highly impressed with the ink plates of the Italian Renaissance Masters, particularly Capo Ferro. It would seem that there were many similiarities in body mechanics between the Chinese schools and the Italians. Ive trained Jian and Dao within CMA, and recently found a group which practices Italian Rapier in a nearby city that I am trying to make a connection with. This refreshed interest in swordplay has brought me back here again, just to satisfy my curiousity about the Japanese sword arts, and how they fit into this puzzle.

    MY CREDENTIALS include the JFK Special Warfare School, I was an Honor Graduate in PSYOP, Class 03-99. I am a decorated veteran of SFOR 8 in Bosnia - Hercegovina(2000/01)--mostly based off of Camp McGovern, as well as OIF 03 (Iraq), Camps Bucca, Adder, Bushmaster, Dogwood, and Cropper.

    I APOLOGIZE(?) for my profile. My full name is Kyro Lantsberger, I accidentally typo'ed when I made this account. If you google my name, you will see that I have done some freelance writing in the areas of politics, religion, and literature. I plan to do some freelancing in martial arts publications, so my integrity and knowledge mean more to me than others, and in light of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil
    I'm with Ren. I've seen those videos before, and been duly unimpressed. Two brand new accounts pop up to revive a six year old thread and plug the website - pass that bag of salt, please.
    I DEMAND and expect a full, unqualified apology from Neil Gendzwill. I will not be labeled a groupie of an instructor whom I dont even personally know or train with on a thread that has had 1500+ views.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyro Lantsberge
    I DEMAND and expect a full, unqualified apology from Neil Gendzwill. I will not be labeled a groupie of an instructor whom I dont even personally know or train with on a thread that has had 1500+ views.
    Demand?

    Regards,

    r e n

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