Likes Likes:  1
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4
Results 46 to 48 of 48

Thread: kesa giri vs. downward vertical strike

  1. #46
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Posts
    2,570
    Likes (received)
    44

    Default

    Also, just to clarify the Toyama-ryu subject a bit more, kesagiri was and is used often during the combative draws, due to the nature of drawing the sword. But the finishing cuts as taught in the IJA during war time was a straight cut. Only the Nakamura line of Toyama-ryu eventually adapted the finishing cut to kesagiri, and this was after the war when Nakamura Sensei was teaching independently. Nakamura adapted the kata and his Toyama-ryu kumitachi set to emphasize kesagiri based on his own experience and research of prior battlefield trauma reports using swords. If I understand correctly, the other two lines that continued Toyama-ryu after the war (Morinaga-ha and Yamaguchi-ha) both continue to use the straight cut as the finishing cut. Therefore, Toyama-ryu as a whole actually did not emphasize kesagiri during or after the war, most likely because Toyama-ryu was intended to be only a combative sword drawing method to supplement the sword training (kendo) of the officers. Because of this, the drawing methods were borrowed or adapted from older iai schools that historically emphasized the practice of straight cuts.

    Personally, I think Nakamura Sensei had the right idea, but this practice of emphasizing kesagiri was not incorporated into the original Toyama-ryu kata (although it was incorporated into the tameshigiri portion of their training).

    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)

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    143
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    From my training and experience, kesagiri (a diagonal cut) is a more natural cut to execute..

    A straight cut requires more training to perform correctly, due largely to equalizing the strength relationship between both grips to ensure proper hasuji throughout the cut...

    So in closing, my analysis indicates that straight cuts are, in many regards, the mark of a more advanced system of swordsmanship and training, while kesagiri is largely the mark of a system that was more tailored towards quickly teaching the masses an effective method of swinging that can be used with or without armor. This is probably the main reason kesagiri was found to be the cut of choice on the battlefield.

    To be clear - both have a great deal of merit, so I'm not implying that arts that favor kesagiri are low class, as much as the context and intent of the teachings may be different from a historical standpoint.
    My understanding is the same as Nathan's. Masaoka Katsutane sensei of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu wrote the following:

    "When I tried tameshigiri with this katana, cutting diagonally from the right was the easiest way to cut, diagonally from the left the next, and cutting vertically was the most difficult. This is because when cutting diagonally from the right the right hand leads making it an incredibly natural action and because usually the right hand is stronger than the left. Cutting diagonally from the left is the opposite: it is an unnatural motion for the hands. However, it is still easier than cutting from directly above. This is because the resistance felt the moment the sword makes contact with something is naturally different between a straight cut and a diagonal cut. In other words, it relates to how well the sword is used.

    Cutting down from directly above is difficult because as resistance is met it is easy to lose equilibrium between forces from the left and forces from the right. It is necessary to close the left hand especially tightly because the blade has a tendency to turn to the left. It used to be said that left-handed people cut particularly well.

    It is also common knowledge that hiki-giri (pull cuts) and oshi-giri (push cuts) cut particularly well. This is because the edge's sharpness is increased by the motion of the sword. It is the difference between a razorblade and a machete. This is why naginata cut extremely well when using diagonal pull- or push-cuts. However, this requires a thick edge for strength which is where the hamaguri-ba (clam-shaped blade cross section) comes from.



    In our school, Eishin Ryu, our nukitsuke is ichi-monji (horizontal) and our kirioroshi is, with only a few exceptions, from directly above. In other words, it is ju-monji (the character for 10, a cross, 十) iai. This is because even an amateur can cut diagonally. However, this is done with the idea that if we teach the body how to perform the most difficult cuts, when it comes time to actually fight we can change our cuts freely. This is why kendo trains cuts to the men and kote, the dou when the arms are raised, and thrust to the men-tare. In the same manner, if these are trained, in a real fight it will be possible to hit the target when cutting to shamen, kesa, and various parts of the arms or thrusting to the chest and abdomen."
    無雙直傳英信流・日本古武道居合研究会 - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu ・ Nihon Kobudo Iai Kenkyukai
    東京蘆洲会 - Tokyo Roshukai

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    143
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    From my training and experience, kesagiri (a diagonal cut) is a more natural cut to execute..

    A straight cut requires more training to perform correctly, due largely to equalizing the strength relationship between both grips to ensure proper hasuji throughout the cut...

    So in closing, my analysis indicates that straight cuts are, in many regards, the mark of a more advanced system of swordsmanship and training, while kesagiri is largely the mark of a system that was more tailored towards quickly teaching the masses an effective method of swinging that can be used with or without armor. This is probably the main reason kesagiri was found to be the cut of choice on the battlefield.

    To be clear - both have a great deal of merit, so I'm not implying that arts that favor kesagiri are low class, as much as the context and intent of the teachings may be different from a historical standpoint.
    My understanding is the same as Nathan's. Masaoka Katsutane sensei of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu wrote the following:

    "When I tried tameshigiri with this katana, cutting diagonally from the right was the easiest way to cut, diagonally from the left the next, and cutting vertically was the most difficult. This is because when cutting diagonally from the right the right hand leads making it an incredibly natural action and because usually the right hand is stronger than the left. Cutting diagonally from the left is the opposite: it is an unnatural motion for the hands. However, it is still easier than cutting from directly above. This is because the resistance felt the moment the sword makes contact with something is naturally different between a straight cut and a diagonal cut. In other words, it relates to how well the sword is used.

    Cutting down from directly above is difficult because as resistance is met it is easy to lose equilibrium between forces from the left and forces from the right. It is necessary to close the left hand especially tightly because the blade has a tendency to turn to the left. It used to be said that left-handed people cut particularly well.

    It is also common knowledge that hiki-giri (pull cuts) and oshi-giri (push cuts) cut particularly well. This is because the edge's sharpness is increased by the motion of the sword. It is the difference between a razorblade and a machete. This is why naginata cut extremely well when using diagonal pull- or push-cuts. However, this requires a thick edge for strength which is where the hamaguri-ba (clam-shaped blade cross section) comes from.



    In our school, Eishin Ryu, our nukitsuke is ichi-monji (horizontal) and our kirioroshi is, with only a few exceptions, from directly above. In other words, it is ju-monji (the character for 10, a cross, 十) iai. This is because even an amateur can cut diagonally. However, this is done with the idea that if we teach the body how to perform the most difficult cuts, when it comes time to actually fight we can change our cuts freely. This is why kendo trains cuts to the men and kote, the dou when the arms are raised, and thrust to the men-tare. In the same manner, if these are trained, in a real fight it will be possible to hit the target when cutting to shamen, kesa, and various parts of the arms or thrusting to the chest and abdomen."


    My own teacher has stated very similar things regarding various other aspects of MJER. For example, there are no solo kata with a kodachi because anything done with the more difficult to draw long sword can also be done with a shorter blade, adjusting only for space and timing. My guess is that many of the kata that were shed during the Meiji-era were also done so for similar reasons: keep the most difficult variation and remove the rest.
    無雙直傳英信流・日本古武道居合研究会 - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu ・ Nihon Kobudo Iai Kenkyukai
    東京蘆洲会 - Tokyo Roshukai

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •