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Thread: Kumidachi with steel blades?

  1. #31
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    Ken is your sensei thinking of going into tsumi ai no kurai? That set is nuki and noto intensive and often done with blades rather than bokuto but I always assumed one would use kendo no kata blades.

    One of my companies (got two now) is looking into getting such things produced in soft or spring steel with no edge so that we can (hopefully) get dents rather than chips. I'd test them thoroughly on tsumi ai no kurai myself before putting them out there so you won't see them next week.

    On breaking blades and bokuto I always like to tell folks who want something unbreakable to go swing a baseball bat at a telephone pole and if they can do it without breaking the bat I'll use the bat to make their bokuto.

    Kim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Taylor View Post
    On breaking blades and bokuto I always like to tell folks who want something unbreakable to go swing a baseball bat at a telephone pole and if they can do it without breaking the bat I'll use the bat to make their bokuto.

    Kim.
    Hmm. Interesting. Being as to....

    Baseball bat = 32"
    Bokuto = 39"
    Gusta Paulo Novak

  3. #33
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    Hi, Kim:

    Yes, Sensei is definitely going to move us further into tsumi ai no kurai. We've beaten TUNK into some sort of shape (pun intended), & he also plans on getting us into daisho zume & daisho tachi zume, & probably even daikendori at some point. I'll admit kumidachi has added a lot of reality to MJER, but my wife & I certainly want to live through it with nothing worse than bruises!

    The multi-wood bokken & kodachi that you made for Linda & me have easily weathered our SMR jodo training, but we are using the much less expensive bokken/saya combos for MJER kumidachi. You would probably recognize your own workmanship, but probably not the blades themselves.

    I'm mildly interested in the soft/spring steel blades you may be making, so if you want a test site, I'll volunteer, albeit with some trepidation.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maro View Post
    "Serious" Iaidoka nearly always use Zinc-alloy and only use steel variants if they are shinken.

    I too would like to know what you think "serious" iaidoka are.

    In New Zealand some of the "serious" iaidoka I have meet can't seem to understand that they are playing with something that is meant to be a killing implement.
    It is fine to practice the "poetry in motion" or medative side of things but sooner or later "serious" swordsmen have to use a real blade to learn the real art.

    If you can't get your hands on a Nihonto there are plenty of shinken of good quality available at reasonable cost to most people.

    It's just like using firearms-you may start with a toy gun but you can't really shoot anything untill you use the real item


    John Williams

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    If you can't get your hands on a Nihonto there are plenty of shinken of good quality available at reasonable cost to most people.
    John, this is generally not a good idea except for very experienced iaidoka, & many sensei prohibit them in the dojo. Counting body parts on the floor after each training session gets to be a real pain!: rolleyes: A blunted steel iaito is, as we've been discussing, a possible idea.

    Ken

  6. #36
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    Default Re: breakage

    Nathan -
    Regarding your account of several iaito breaking near the habiki. It is my understanding that ryu that execute "chiburi" by holding the tsuka with the left hand and hitting it with the base of the right hand (TSKSR, Takenouchi-ryu, just to name two of them) are, in fact, checking to see if there are any cracks in that area - the assumption being that one would feel a vibration or hear a sound because of the defect in the nakago/base of the blade.

    Ellis Amdur

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    Hi Ellis,

    Really? I do understand what you're referring to.

    Actually, I never put much thought into why that chiburi method was developed ("kaiten chiburi" I believe). I guess I assumed striking the tsuka was just an alternate way of knocking off "gunk' from the blade after cutting someone. But yeah, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. The funny thing is that I've been in the habit for a number of years now of tapping the nakago or tsuka of a sword to listen for and feel the vibration response. Not for the purpose of sensing breakage, but more for the sensation of hardness vs. softness.

    Thanks for the explanation. Very interesting.

    FWIW, one of the tips I was taught when demonstrating tameshigiri was to finish a demonstration in chudan / seigan kamae prior to transitioning to chiburi & noto. The reason is that you can subtly look down your blade and check to make sure it is still straight before you try to resheath. Though I haven't run into that problem yet, I could see how it would be a bit embarrassing to be in front of a crowd trying to resheath your sword, and only getting it half-way in. Anyway, not a bad habit to get into if your style of swordsmanship allows for it (we also promote the use of two mekugi as well for added safety).

    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)

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken-Hawaii View Post
    John, this is generally not a good idea except for very experienced iaidoka, & many sensei prohibit them in the dojo.

    Ken

    Hello Ken,

    I am a lowly ranked Iaidoka(Seitei Gata)but have been using gunto,shinken & Nihonto for most of my life without injury(I am 46 and started when I was 17).

    Our school under A J Crawford and H Thomas encouraged live blades for everyone after a few lessons(if it was seen that they could handle an iaito properly).

    We used boken only for kumitachi and this was not part of the Seitei Gata system and not frequent.

    We also used live blades on occassion for Katana no kata in IKF kendo but only for those who could control them good enough.This was also not at full speed/power but still fast enough to be scary.
    I believe this is not recomended by those in authority in IKF(FIK now) but A J Crawford was a student of Kenshiro Abe(forgive the spelling) at his School of Budo in Soho,London before coming to New Zealand,who recomended live blade study and use.

    Live blade usage in Iaido CAN lead to injury but the only person I know of who sustained an injury would have done so with an iaito as well.
    This was in Seitei kata#4-Tsuka ate.
    hilt thrust to chest from Iaihiza
    remove saya from sword then thrust to rear followed by a shomen cut to front.
    In the thrust one must swing the back foot 90 degrees to the body which pulls the left arm/hip out of the way of the thrust.
    This was not done and the thrust went through the arm.
    If an Iaito was used it would still have pierced the arm at about lower bicep level but would not have been as catastrophic as the custom made Nihonto used.

    I have seen some old styles like MSR,MJER,SKR and they have more varied and dangerous kata than Seitei so maybee there is a call for iaito most of the time but the more advanced the skill level the "safer" it is for the practitioner in solo kata to use live blades.

    I currantly train with only 1 person who I would trust with a live blade and we don't train much swordwork.


    Regards John Williams

  9. #39
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    OUCH!!! I never thought of tsuka-ate as a particularly dangerous waza, John, but that really must have done some damage.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone should eventually train with a live blade, but like you, there aren't many of my kohai who I would trust with one. I guess it depends on how long "eventually" is for each student. Shinken really do keep you well-focused, which is one of the main precepts of iaido (& every other martial art for that matter). However, until I was very confident that a student had mastered basics like o-chiburui & the various noto, a live blade isn't a good idea, & some sensei like mine choose to not allow them at all.

    Ellis, that is a really good question on TSKSR spin chiburui. I will ask my jodo Sensei in the morning as he also teaches that ryuha. Makes a lot of sense to feel for any strange vibration.

    Nathan, I'm also going to pass on your tameshigiri tip of going to chudan, seigan, or gaedan to check blade straightness before doing noto. I did see one excellent demo a few years ago which was badly marred when a bent blade from multiple bamboo targets sent the shinken right through the saya & into the sensei's left hand. Quite a bloody mess, & I've never seen him use a blade again!

    Ken

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    Ken - not the spin - the hit. Some ryu (Araki-ryu of the line I follow) do the hit without the spin.

    Ellis Amdur

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    Yes, I know, Ellis - just poor wording on my part. I've seen that chiburui done, but as Sensei isn't training us in TSKSR, he of course hasn't shown us the details. But I think he will answer about blade vibrations caused by the fist strike.

    Ken

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    Ellis, I followed what you were saying, but only knew the chiburi TSKSR style technique as 'kaiten chiburi" (spinning blood flick). But I guess "tsuka-ate" (hilt strike) is as good a term as any to describe it. Does Araki-ryu have a particular name for it?

    Ken, sounds good. The second part of that is - if the blade IS bent, we would shift our rt hand to a reverse grip, then rotate the blade back behind our right arm and bow out from standing. If not, then chiburi & noto as usual. I've seen one of our guys do the behind-the-arm thing, and it came off very well (compared to trying to jam a bent sword back into the saya while everyone is watching!). Glad you like it...
    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)

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    Asking Sensei about TSKSR & the spin chiburui fist strike will have to wait until next weekend's training. I could say we got rained out (3.2 inches so far since midnight), which would be true, but it's the lightning that is keeping us off the mountain this morning. Supposed to be a clear, calm day out here in Hawaii, but the weather gods obviously aren't listening. So a rum-spiked chai for breakfast along with waffles, bacon, & hash-brown potatoes instead of fasting as usual until lunch.

    if the blade IS bent, we would shift our rt hand to a reverse grip, then rotate the blade back behind our right arm and bow out from standing
    Nathan, that's another great idea on what to do with a bent blade after tameshigiri. Of course even that requires some practice. After reading your comment, I got my iaito & tried it...'twas not exactly a smooth transition, & I ended up with the ha against my spine. Okay with an iaito, but not so much so with shinken. I'll have to pay more attention to how the actors do it on Mito Komon.

    Back on my original kumidachi question, we had a brief discussion about metal blades after MJER training yesterday, & Sensei has (finally!) asked me to provide him with some information on why I think it's a bad idea. I will print out this thread as a start, so if any of you have more ideas on why keeping on with bokken is a good idea, please feel free to chime in over the next week. Sensei is off-island until next Saturday's training, so I still have a bit of time to collect & collate. Photos would be the most helpful, so if you have any steel-on-steel wreckage-&-ruin shots, please post them.

    Thanks!
    Ken

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    Oh man, you guys get Jidaigeki over there?!? I'm jealous!

    My Father-in-law and I watch all those shows together in the afternoons when we visit them in Japan. Not the best acting, but it's a nice break from the same news stories repeated over and over all day long. "Zenigata Heiji" is a good time as well.

    Stay out of the rain,
    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)

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    I have a hit and miss affair with japanese tv... On my first visit I switched on Hyaku's tv to find 'seven samurai' playing on NHK. I knew I had arrived... This time I was forced to watch a Korean war series subtitled in japanese last November, (my iai sensei friend is hooked on it...) Truly appalling..
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

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