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Thread: "Cross Training"?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Judge View Post
    I've been training Yagyu Shinkage Ryu for only about two months and it has entirely wrecked my aikido swordwork. Which is obviously a sign that the latter was never any good to begin with.
    Mr. Judge,

    That's weird, as the Aiki-ken I trained in (Saotome Sensei) seems to have been very much influenced by Yagyu technique.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkins View Post
    That's weird, as the Aiki-ken I trained in (Saotome Sensei) seems to have been very much influenced by Yagyu technique.
    Saotome-sensei derived his aiki-ken from his aikido techniques, and has been quite upfront about that IIRC.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    Saotome-sensei derived his aiki-ken from his aikido techniques, and has been quite upfront about that IIRC.
    This is true, but Saotome Sensei has also said that during "slow" afternoons, Ueshiba Sensei would teach him sword when no one else was around.

    As for the Yagyu influence, I believe it's there. Not overwhelmingly so, but enough that I believe you can make a reasonable argument that it had some influence on the kata he uses in his Aiki-ken curriculum.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahc1272 View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's almost irreperable (if it's a big chip).... You would have to have them polished out although that does thin the blade....

    I've never trained with a live blade to the point of chipping my blade and needing a full blown polish .... perhaps others here would shed some light?

    Thanks
    Al Chang
    There is a story about Takamura sensei of SYR who warned a student about the unsuitability of a thin hard "cutting" shape blade (one designed for tameshigiri competition). The student ignored his advise and Takamura proceeded to take huge chips out of the blade during a practice session. Immediately after he paid the student for the blade and used it as an example of what not to use and why.

    Back in the old days here there were some monster threads on edge to edge receptions and other related issues. They're probably still in the archives.
    Doug Walker
    Completely cut off both heads,
    Let a single sword stand against the cold sky!

  5. #35
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    Japanese swords are specificaly forged and polished for either Tameshigiri or Iai. There is a lot more niku in a cutting weapon.

    All very well cross training if you can still attain a high level in all you do. If they are very different it's not so difficult to do
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkins View Post
    Mr. Judge,

    That's weird, as the Aiki-ken I trained in (Saotome Sensei) seems to have been very much influenced by Yagyu technique.
    Can you expand on this a little? I used to hear this a lot, but I've actually seen more Itto Ryu in there than Yagyu, especially since Saotome Sensei brought Kaiwa Sensei to town a couple years ago - the latter is a high-ranking student of Sasamori Soki as well as Saotome Sensei's apparent "seniormost student who still lives in Japan." There is a lot of "step in, cut down" and also a tendancy to KNOCK aside the other blade that has more of an Itto Ryu feel to it.

    But this is all before we get into the issue of Aikido practitioners generally not having any idea of how to cut, which is one symptom of the fact that Aiki-ken is about studying principals of body movement and entering and not about fighting with a sword. Or it could simply be that everybody's so terrible at Saotome Sensei's sword stuff that any inspiration (or actual training, which he would probably never fess to) from YSR has been lost.

    A thing I have been curious about for the past couple months is where the nagashi movement we do in our basic kumitachi comes from. I first learned it as a "duck and cover" kind of thing, like what I have seen in some Kashima Shinto Ryu videos. As I progressed I started realizing that there is a lot more that should be going on in that nagashi (the Kashima nagashi seems to involve expanding the maai, whereas in our Aikido kata it accompanies an entering movement). Now when I do it, it feels smooth and connected, which is more of a YSR groove.

    There are a lot of moments like that in the Aikido kata now...."hey, wait...why am i moving here to accomplish this? Why is he making his next move?" I never liked the answer "its just the kata" and though I understand that kata are not, as Ellis says, "manifest stories", I still find I need answers to some questions. Now that I am developing some tools to really take a look at these things, I find I am getting all kinds of confused. And sometimes whacked.

    So. Perhaps to bring my post back on topic. I hope that as little Aikido as possible makes it into my Yagyu Shinkage Ryu practice. But on the other hand, I enjoy having this new perspective from which to examine the aiki swordwork to try to answer the questions that arise, and try to make the whole thing better. This is NOT what you would want to do if studying two koryu - because that's about maintaining a tradition from an antique age; there's nothing you can or should ADD to the tradition itself. Aikido, on the other hand, is a living budo and, speaking just for myself, I have a mandate to improve it if I can.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilkins View Post
    This is true, but Saotome Sensei has also said that during "slow" afternoons, Ueshiba Sensei would teach him sword when no one else was around.

    As for the Yagyu influence, I believe it's there. Not overwhelmingly so, but enough that I believe you can make a reasonable argument that it had some influence on the kata he uses in his Aiki-ken curriculum.
    Saotome Sensei invented his two sword system and is not too apologetic about being inspired by movies about Musashi.

    But he claims that the rest of his sword comes from Ueshiba. Ellis Amdur has talked about the YSR connection to Ueshiba in Hidden in Plan Sight.

    There are also more or less well known stories of a period of time when Saotome Sensei was head instructor at Hombu when he would meet with exponents from various martial arts on the top floor of the Hombu for private informal training sessions. This is hearsay though, since it is not Sensei's style to answer questions like "what styles or schools influenced your sword."

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