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Thread: Chinese sword arts

  1. #31
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    Apologise for what? I'm still munching on my salt.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  2. #32
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    Mr. Gendzwil,

    I took your post as an accusation of something that I was/am not. The reason that website got "plugged" was because that school was relevant to the question.

    If this had been a thread about home improvement suggestions, there would be no conspiracy involved if numerous people mentioned Bob Villa.

    I likewise, as a Chinese internalist do not see "those videos" as stellar performances, but as a sword enthusiast, I came across this thread, saw a question asked, and answered it.

    I was offended not by your critique of the level of the material, which at this point is as irrelevant as Bob Villas, but at your insinuating that I joined this forum as a "plug" or an advertisement, and yes, you do owe me an apology for insulting me for trying to advance a discussion in which I have a background to contribute from.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyro Lantsberge
    Someone previously posted Scott Rodell's website, www.grtc.org, and he is probably the premier sword scholar/practicioner in Chinese arts today.
    I don't practice the Chinese arts myself, but I don't think Scott Rodell is in the same league with these guys:

    Adam Hsu:
    http://www.adamhsu.com/

    Yang Jwing-Ming:
    http://school.ymaa.com/about/about.php

    And here's a non-Chinese person to boot:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Salzman

    Also, just as reference, you can see these untrained swordsmith demonstrating the cutting ability of their weapon...I don't think Mr. Rodell was doing a much better job of cutting than these guys:
    http://www.zhengwutang.com/

    Just my opinion....
    David Pan

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

    - Kenji Tokitsu

  4. #34
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    Thanks DCPan for returning this thread to academic discussion. Adam Hsu is a masterful individual. The way he can manipulate his body at his age is truly the acme of skill. Yang Jwing Ming is also another high level individual, however, when he writes history he often mixes Chinese legend and MA folklore along with it. I mentioned Scott as a source because he has done the most writing in the last few years, and his background is the most fleshed out in terms of metallurgy, hisorical sword study, and antique/historical blade work.

    The examples you mention highlight one of the issues in Chinese Martial arts, the internals in particular. Even among students of the same teacher, there is a vast difference in skill and teaching style. This is good and bad. Good, in the sense that there is diversity in the art. Bad in the sense that uniformity suffers, and oftentimes consistency. For an example, I think if arts are not grounded in combat, they are not truly living arts at all. Whenever I teach, I always emphasize the physical attributes, and applications. Others who trained with the same intstructors at the same time as I did teach in a more meditative, soft manner. I do not see this as the case in the Japanese styles, where I think the teaching is fairly well standardized.

    Thanks for the serious discussion. I do still feel my integrity as a life-long martial artist and my honesty have been questioned here, but I hope I can show myself to be an articulate enough individual that Im not labeled as a troll.
    Kyro R. Lantsberger
    "They couldnt hit an elephant at this dist--." Last words of Civil War Union General Sedgewick

  5. #35
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    Kyro, I believe you're not associated with Rydell. Relax. Breathe.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil
    Apologise for what? I'm still munching on my salt.

    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.
    Mr. Gendzwil, Scott Rodell has nothing at all to do with this at this point. I understand that I may come off strongly, but I do draw income as an instructor, and I am preparing to be published. In such a situation, I simply cannot allow my integrity to be derided in a true-name public forum.

    After expressing myself without profanity, cheap shots, or the repetitive use of a disparaging slogan, you refuse to so much as excuse yourself, or even qualify yourself as should be expected in civil and scholarly discourse, as I believe is expected here, especially after your remarks. You have demonstrated the caliber of gentleman which you are, and I do not expect any more from you.
    Kyro R. Lantsberger
    "They couldnt hit an elephant at this dist--." Last words of Civil War Union General Sedgewick

  7. #37
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    I don't know if this will help or hurt the discussion however I think a comment may be worthwhile regarding Scott Rodell and his contributions to the (Chinese ) sword community.

    Having spent a bit of time over on SWORD FORUM INTERNATIONAL, having a modest understanding of Korean (Yedo) sword, and having had some interaction with Scott as well, I would think a level of appreciation is due him for his contributions. I am aware of how much garbage is currently circulating in the MA community, especially with the recent (last 10 years) surge in Asian swordwork. In contrast I find Scott's writing on the Chinese sword to be well-thought-out, insightful and informed. In like manner I have found his efforts to provide authentic weapons to dedicated practitioners through SEVEN STAR TRADING to be a refreshing alternative to the crap available on E-BAY or to be found on weapons racks at one's nearest MA supply store.

    Since I am not a practioner of Chinese sword and have not had the honor of training under the masterful eye of one such as Adam Hsu, I can offer no comparison between Scott and the other gentlemen mentioned. What I can say is that one could do much worse than to spend a couple of days with Scott and getting the benefit of only a portion of what he knows. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce
    Bruce W Sims
    www.midwesthapkido.com

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyro Lantsberger
    ...but I do draw income as an instructor...

    Is this how it is traditionally in Chinese martial arts?


    Just curious.


    Regards,
    - Alex Dale

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyro Lantsberge
    In such a situation, I simply cannot allow my integrity to be derided in a true-name public forum.
    Derided? It seemed to be a pretty innocent thing to me. I mean, you came on here and resurrected a thread that had been dead for what, six years now? endorsing a particular instructor. Someone said that, given the circumstances, he would take the recommendation with a grain of salt (okay, a whole bag of salt). You explained your MA background, and that was that.

    I think you might be overreacting just a bit. As an observer, I would not form any sort of negative impression of your integrity after an exchange like that. The way that you choose to respond or not to respond to anything that is said here is much more likely to influence my opinion of you than any passing comment made by someone else.

    You seem to be getting very offended over a really trivial thing. This is an online forum, open to both serious martial artists and annoying preteen anime otaku who try to tell everyone how awesome Musashi was when he killed all those demons (fortunately, the latter are somewhat rare). People generally take what they read here, and what is said about them, with a large grain of salt and try not to take everything entirely seriously.

    Best,
    David Sims

    "Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum." - Terry Pratchet

    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

  10. #40
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    Default The point was about combat-effective Chinese swordsmanship.

    My appologies to Renfield Kuroda and Neil Gendzwill, for not making my comments clear enough to be seen in the light in which they were intended. My intention was to express my enthusiasm for finding a tradition of historical/ combat-effective Chinese swordsmanship. Never, was I trying to promote an infomercial for Scott Rodell. He is devoted to traditional Chinese swordsmanship, and frankly, the finest fencer I have faced. Granted, I have spent many more years practicing Japanese, Korean, and European traditions of the sword. This puts me at a disadvantage on many levels, when responding to the variety of cuts used in Chinese fencing. However, I feel I have grown as a swordsman from these experiences. These historical techniques have been developed over thousands of years, on the battlefields of ancient China. I simply felt inclined to share my discovery.
    I, too, honor and practice Iaido/Kenjutsu. My comments were never implying that one tradition was better. All knowledge is useful. All sword traditions contain the battle-tested, authentic, essence of the Way. I feel you may have misunderstood my statements. It isn't about personalities. It isn't about how flimsy a piece of green bamboo is. I can cut tatami mats with a katana. Who can't cut bamboo with a katana? When you can cut bamboo with a Chinese jian or dao, one handed, then criticize. I'm too busy practicing these methods to get bogged down in debates. As with all of the valid schools of the sword, it is in the discovery of these teachings, that we gain mutual respect. Polish your own Spirit, without losing sight of Another's right to do as, as well. We are all traveling the same direction. (Towards Honor.) Thank You, guys.

    Yours in Martial Spirit, Jon Palombi

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Palombi
    I can cut tatami mats with a katana. Who can't cut bamboo with a katana? When you can cut bamboo with a Chinese jian or dao, one handed, then criticize.
    http://flickr.com/photos/renfield/se...47479760/show/

    http://flickr.com/photos/renfield/se...47475440/show/

    http://flickr.com/photos/renfield/sets/669816/show/

    One-handed cutting ain't all that.

    Anyway no need for an apology, just keep in mind there is always someone else, something else. Better? Who knows. Different? Definitely.

    Regards,

    r e n

  12. #42
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    Mr. Lantsberger,

    As someone who has been posting on internet forums for the past 10+ years, for better or worse, I would just offer that, if you intend to be a "public figure" (someone who has a webpage and/or posts to the internet) you'd be best served by growing a bit thicker skin. That's not to say you have to sit back and let others slander you, but if a misunderstanding comes about based on something you've written it is usually sufficient to simply subtantiate your point rather than drag a good thread off-topic with personal issues (we do have PM enabled here if you care to address someone personally). Others reading will understand the nature and resolution of such forum interactions without the need for public apologies for misunderstandings that other readers have quite likely also been thinking.

    If you are a very conservative person who is extremely concerned with how you are spoken to, then the internet and such public forums are probably not for you. Although e-budo is more mature than any other MA forum I've visited, the internet is simply not a very "formal" place, and unsolicited stuff like ranks and other bio info doesn't mean much unless you've established yourself through a number of quality contributions.

    FWIW,
    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)

  13. #43
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    Default Nice cutting technique!

    Thank you, Renfield, for sharing your awsome cutting demos. This is great display of speed, velosity, and good form. Nice cutting tchnique!
    I think we all can agree, that 1000 years ago, warriors in Japan, China, Korea, and Europe all must have practiced fencing. Obviously, cutting targets (mats, bamboo, wood, straw, even saplings) would have been part of training. I confess, my katana has thinned-out a few small trees...
    I originally found this website, searching the net for sword-related information. Even though I'm 47, I'm new to computers. Since November, 2005. My excitment was brimming-over when I saw the thread on Chinese sword arts! Being a new practitioner of Chinese sword, I jumped-up to the plate, hoping to dispell the myth that there is no Chinese fencing. I have had the bruises, swollen knuckles, and raised welts to testify. Much the same as sparring with boken. I also felt the need to mention the video clip with cutting. Many Chinese stylists never fence or explore cutting with traditional Chinese arms. I just can't get enough of this stuff!
    I would like to thank the all people responsible for this fine Website. I truely appreciate the chance to share my experiences. Whatever tradition we call "our own", we can all benefit from mutual respect. Which, Renfield, I have gained for you. Out of loyalty to Scott Rodell, I can only say:" if you ever meet Scott, shake his hand, ( he is a nice guy, and one hell of a fencer.) politely request a match, and watch out." I'm certain it would enrich both of you. Thanks for giving a damn, and for practicing the Way of the sword with such intense focus. It's up to us to keep the flame alive. Even as the flame keeps us alive

    Yours in martial Spirit, Jon Palombi

    P.S. Oh, yes, the rude guy...salt is used to purify the atmosphere. Don't you follow Sumo? Let's agree to disagree. Or, behave like men, not boys.

  14. #44
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    Hey, I got caught a bit blindsided and on a bad day, good enough......

    There have been some terrific posts by Palombi on this thread, and I think there is a point to discussing Chinese swords on a Japanese Sword forum. I have a good amount of experience with Jian-Chinese straight sword, (quite) a bit less with Dao(Chinese single bladed cutter). And, like Mr. Palombi, I have in the last couple years gotten deeply involved in swordsmanship, and done a small bit of training in Italian Rapier and German Longsword. With the amount of technical training, fencing, and academic study that I have done, I find the following items to be of interest, some of which I have a bit of knowledge about, others of which I seek clarification on, all of which I think some people may find interesting:

    -The Japanese Sword arts are the only ones to have truly survived in a connected, robust manner into the present, all the way from forging to training. Chinese sword systems have usually been adjuncts to empty hand systems and a mere piece of larger weapons array. Certain lineages and instructors have placed more of an emphasis on blade training, but very, very few have made it a core discipline. However, even before firearms and the modern battlefield, I see very little "crossover" between not only systems, but even in weapon design and metallurgy. The Jian has a reputation of being a "Scholar's Weapon", and the Dao has a bit of a connotation of being a peasant weapon, or a common fighter/soldier's blade. This distinction can be born out in the following examples- a Jian, especially in the internal systems is manipulated in a somewhat sophisticated way, with the point, tip, true and false edges used in attacking along shifting angles and positions. The useage of the Dao is a bit more limited, its design as a weighted cutting sword dictates its function....granted, there may be someone out there who is a wizard with this weapon, but no matter how masterful one might be in this handling, a Jian will always be more nimble.

    Continued to 2nd point.
    Kyro R. Lantsberger
    "They couldnt hit an elephant at this dist--." Last words of Civil War Union General Sedgewick

  15. #45
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    cont..

    Even with a pair of widespread bladed weapons, neither shows much influence from, or carried to the Katana.

    A point I find very interesting is the longevity of the Japanese design. Over the same years, Euro swords developed literally dozens of differing types/subtypes (see Ewart Oakeshott), many of which exist simultaneously, even in the same country. In China, the Jian goes from being a Roman Gladius type weapon, to having a narrower, longer blade, and the techniques for its use change accordingly.

    There is a point which I think is shared by the Chinese swordsman and the Euros-esp. pre-Renaissance and that is it seems as though the sword was just part of the warrior's curriculum. The German manuals from the late 1400s include numerous bladed weapons, daggers, staff work, as well as wrestling and joint locking. Likewise, swordwork among the Chinese is a part of a greater whole. In my opinion, there is a shift that happens in the European styles during the dawn of the rapier where fighting with swords becomes swordfighting. The earlier rapier treatises show the offhand either holding a side weapon, or in position to bat aside the opposing point, or control the grip, pommel, or grapple/disarm the opponent. As the rapier is eclipsed by the smallsword, it seems as though the spectrum of technique narrows to the blade engagement itself.

    This is a specific area where I am curious about the Japanese styles. Many Aikido/Aikijujitsu styles include swordwork, but it is my understanding that some take the swordwork to different levels than others, is their technique comparable to the kenjitsu ryuha?

    Also, I think it is pretty well established that Chinese and Japanese bladework is performed differently, and the weapons are crafted in differing manner. But do we have much in the historical record about weapons used in combat? I dont want to get into a Samurai vs. X issue, but I believe that there are in existance accounts of Portugese swordsman fighting off pirates in Asia and commenting on their bladework, is anyone aware of any situations where such skirmishes may have taken place?
    Kyro R. Lantsberger
    "They couldnt hit an elephant at this dist--." Last words of Civil War Union General Sedgewick

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