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Thread: Sword drawing

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    Exclamation Sword drawing

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flc95RJ8tRI
    For those of us who like to complain how hard it is to draw a long blade, take a look at the above video...and then apologize to Sensei!

    Ken
    Ken Goldstein
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    Judo Kodansha/MJER Iaido Kodansha/Jodo Oku-iri
    Fencing Master/NRA Instructor

    "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it'll annoy enough people to be worth the effort."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken-Hawaii View Post
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flc95RJ8tRI
    For those of us who like to complain how hard it is to draw a long blade, take a look at the above video...and then apologize to Sensei!

    Ken

    Hi Ken,
    With the risk of sounding offensive, this is a pretty poor example of drawing with a long sword. Hayashizaki Ryu might be more apt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWtEBW8cmAo
    Nathan Morrison

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    I think you can not really compare the two videos. And personally I appreciate the first video posted by Ken Hawaii much more. Simply because it is shown in movement and not in some fixed position. Both might be historically not correct from a certain point of view but in a seated form using this type of weapon looks very ankward to me. In some historical records even longer swords then these where drawn with the help of an extra person. But i am not aware if that form has been preserverd in modern day form practise.

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    For me it's the Hayashizaki-ryu, and it's not even close. The draw is done with the whole body, with no wasted movement, and no openings. The noto is a thing of beauty: he keeps the sword trained on the enemy right to the mouth of the saya, and as soon as it's in he turns so he retreat and redraw if necessary. Everything is kept within the width of the body, so he always maintains kōbō-itchi -- attack and defense as one.

    Tanaka, OTOH, starts in a low stance, has to stand tall stretch himself to try and clear the sword, and then goes back into a low stance. His noto is big, twirly, wasteful, and leaves him extremely open. Once he gets the sword in the saya, there's no way he can get it back out again with that reverse grip if he was attacked at that moment (let alone while he's twirling the big sword over his head).

    The kata themselves are worlds apart. Tanaka has to start far apart, because it's the only way he can draw his sword in time. (Which raises the question of why he's doing a fast-draw, but well...) Then as his opponent approaches, with a shorter sword, he simple cuts him from the greater range of his longer weapon.

    With the caveat that there are almost certainly other gokui that I've missed, the Hayashizaki-ryu kata clearly focuses on training principles by putting shidachi in a disadvantageous position. He's got a long sword, his opponent a short one. They start at pretty much the closest maai possible. He's got to get the sword out, cover his opponent, and respond to uchidachi's attacks with the correct maai and timing, with a large heavy sword, and then noto with no openings. If he can do this with a long sword at such close range, he can do it even easier with a standard sword, or a short sword.

    I'm sure Tanaka has his reasons and explanations for why he does what he does. And they may be perfectly fine. But the Hayashizaki-ryu looks far more interesting, performed with far more spirit and stability, and personally if I was choosing one to train, that's what I'd choose.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Both videos show a performance. Not sure if I would chose where or how to train based on performance at all.

    Maybe it is just because the principles combined with esthetics appeal more to you which aspects are contained in this Hayashizaki ryu kata.
    Not sure if from my point of view I would agree with you that one has more spirit and stability then the other one. Also as you noticed correctly the maai is different. So if it looks twirly to you, the opponent is not that close yet. And to me Tanaka his moves looks far more natural. And therefore for me more interesting as I said before it is a reaction with the body and the sword in movement which is just a little bit closer to how people respond when facing eachother. There are also other martial arts and masters that might look not so good in demonstration and do not fit into the perfect kata ideology, but have at the same time a perfect understanding of movement under stress and internalization of feeling one with his own movements and the opponent movements (that is if they have a degree in training with partners not in pre-destined patterns at least). And then again both are simulations but to depict one of them as more sloppy or less graceful is a matter of what you call truly integrated spirit and stability (in natural movement).

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    Mr. Sikkema,

    I shall only address one aspect of your post, a point that seems to have lingered from previous discussions, and indicates a critical misunderstanding of classical budo methodology.

    There is no "kata ideology". There are no "fixed positions". The patterns of kata are not "pre-destined". Kata are the result of proper practice, not the goal. In any ryuha worth a damn, if shidachi doesn't create the conditions for uchidachi's next move, the uchidachi is not going to do that move.

    You look at the Hayashizaki-ryu video and think, "Oh, this is all choreographed. It happens this way every time." But the practitioners in that video practice by breaking the kata. The sitting guy with the short sword? He's the senior. His job is to let shidachi know when he's screwed up by nailing him (undoubtedly using bokken for practice). His cuts, his thrusts, they're all going to have different timings.

    Kata in classical budo are not choreographed sequences that people just try to repeat. They are mini-shiai within a certain conceptual frame.

    So, if Tanaka Fumon's stuff is what fires up your interest, that's great. I guess. He's not well thought of in some circles here. I don't know that you'd find many folks on this forum with experience in classical budo that find his movement spirited, stable, or natural. But, you like what you like, so more power to you. But one thing you have to understand if you want to be taken seriously on this subforum is that two-man kata in classical budo are guidelines, rough parameters for experimentation, not fixed, or pre-destined.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Actually, the sword-drawing technique in that video is related to a very interesting thread at http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/viewt...hp?f=1&t=17104, entitled Changes in Sori that I started a few weeks ago. You might find it interesting to read, & if you want to make comments, it's easy to join the Nihonto Message Board.

    Ken

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    Here's Ostuyama drawing a nodachi (he first draws the wakizashi and throws it to buy time to draw the nodachi). Interestingly enough, this comes from Tanaka Fumon's book 宮本武蔵と剣豪たちの剣法.

    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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    Oops, I forgot to add that the above photo represents Kage Ryu.

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    Gentlemen
    My sensie has said my sword is too short(27") and i'm 6'1" i bought the sword before starting classes.
    Now i'm looking for a 32" Iai-to . any one seen them around , and recommendations?
    Cheness has a 33" sword i'd have to shorten the blade to 32" and dull the edge (yeah i know ruin a good cutter) but it's cheap enough!
    Charly da gooseman

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    2.7 shaku (32") is a very long sword for iai. They can be had from most of the major iaito makers, but only on their higher lines so you're looking anywhere from $800 to $1000.
    I've not seen anything from Cheness that I would allow as a regular daily use sword, but I've not seen any of their newer stuff. I've heard that they have gotten better than they were in the past, but you take a large chance with any of the Chinese makers. If the sword you order has the blade misaligned with the tsuka (pretty common), you will learn how to swing your sword incorrectly to compensate. If it has cracks in the tsuka or the wrap is loose (both also common) then it is unsafe for regular use and it will cost more than the price of the sword to get it fixed.

    Did your instructor have any recommendations on where to get an iaito that long?
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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    Paul
    Thanks for answering.
    My instructor has gone missing for a week(family stuff ) i've not seen him to ask for his recommendation as yet.
    I'd surely like a nice Japanese Iai-to, have been looking at a few sites (Tozando is one) nice stuff, not out of the ball-park price wise.
    Dynasty forge doesn't have iaito listed would've loved a Tamahagene one !!!
    I have a hanwei stainless 27" iaito , they only go up to 29"
    I have the cheness Kaze and i too was a bit worried about the tsuka wrapping coming loose under useage
    I think i was just jumping the gun i'll wait and see what Sensei has to say, and recommend.

    Thanks
    Charly grusovnik
    AKA da gooseman

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    Quote Originally Posted by goose710 View Post
    ...i'm looking for a 32" Iai-to . any one seen them around , and recommendations?
    Check out Swordstore.com. They make semi-custom Iaito with long blades available in their mid-priced and premium lines. You have to start at the 2002 or 3003 series, which are priced from $680. Long blades are extra (another $150 for a 2.6.5 shaku / 31.6 inch, and another $200 for a 2.7.0 / 32.2).

    Although not cheap, you can select from several fittings, pick your ito color, etc., and they use real wood and ray skin for their hilts, where some makers are using plastic.

    Of course you can move up beyond the 2002 series to whatever your wallet can absorb, including steel blades if desired. In addition to alloy and steel iaito they can also make steel shinken.

    Here's a link:

    http://swordstore.com/iaito-2002-custom-design.html
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Not withstanding the above, I didn't go to Swordstore for my iaito; I got a Masakune Dotanuki replica from Tozando. It was about an inch shorter than "ideal" for my height (that model tops out at 2.6.0), but it was about $100 less and for that price what's one sun between friends.

    http://www.tozandoshop.com/ProductDe...ode=016%2DS120
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Brian
    Thanks for the info, i visited the sword store cool stuff.
    I was also looking at the Dotanuki at tozando
    I will get something, but will consult with sensei first,
    Thanks for your help, and info

    Charles grusovnik

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