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Thread: Swords are obsolete?

  1. #1
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    Default Swords are obsolete?

    To all those who say "we don't use swords anymore, so kendo/kenjutsu is just a hobby/sport":

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a central California homeowner killed a robbery suspect with a samurai sword during a home invasion.

    The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says two suspects armed with a handgun and an axe invaded a house in Firebaugh near Fresno in the middle of the night Saturday intending to rob the home.

    The suspects, 34-year-old Aaron Baeza and 30-year-old Christopher Rupe, tied up the homeowner and his girlfriend and demanded money. They later freed the man to allow him to look for the cash.

    The homeowner then stabbed and killed Baeza with his samurai sword.

    Rupe escaped, remains at large, and is considered armed and dangerous. Investigators say he may be traveling with an unidentified Caucasian woman in a dark green Ford F-150 pickup, with a California license plate of 6T04402.
    Bet the guy with the axe wishes he would have come better prepared!
    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 wish the media would stop using the expression "samuarai sword", especially for wallhangers.

    What the article doesn't mention is why the homeowner was in possession of the sword - it could be an heirloom from WWII (gunto), a live blade as used by a serious kenjutsu/kendo/iai practitioner, a wallhanger (or even antique) used as decoration, a collector's sword, or just a wall hanger used by a backyard samurai.

    Just as a side note, there was a time when my missus demanded I keep one of my bokuto near the entrance, just in case...
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

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    I've never understood the idea that swords are obsolete. In the mid-90's about 20% of Rwanda's population were killed in organized massacres; the weapon of choice was the machete. There are plenty of parts of the world (and neighborhoods in our part of the world) where bladed weapons of sword-like characteristics are as likely a threat to encounter as anything else.
    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.

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    Good point.

    If memory serves....even back in the day (in the west) deaths and injuries by staff/club etc. were occurred more often than with swords or knives---of course most people couldn't afford swords but still........
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

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    Yeah, I hear ya. I just remember a number of instructors I've come across who feel they need to justify what they are doing (or not doing) by informing those present that "people don't use swords anymore", or even better, "people don't use martial arts anymore because we have guns".

    Both views demonstrate a low level of understanding of what martial arts "is", and what it has to offer the serious student, IMO.
    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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    Both views demonstrate a low level of understanding of what martial arts "is", and what it has to offer the serious student, IMO.
    I can't agree with that enough.

    As far as the usefulness of my training, when people ask me why I study this stuff I just say, "Because I like it."

    If they press me on the point that this stuff isn't applicable to modern life, and I feel bored enough to argue, I shrug and say that George Bristol used an archaic Japanese sword art as the core of the new Marine Corps Martial Arts Program-- weapons change, but training humans to fight is the same now as it was in the 1500's.

    I'm not a LEO, but I think that this stuff has made me safer. As an attorney, my work requires me to interact with some fairly unstable people (mentally unbalanced, violent criminal histories, etc.). I can't promise that my training has altered the way that I deal with them for the better, but I feel like it has.

    Twice this year I have come within a hair's breadth of being in what could have been a serious automobile collision-- once a driver ran a red light at full speed right in front of me, and once a driver lost control of his car and spun a full 360 in front of me on the interstate. In both cases I remained calm and detached enough to respond safely rather than freezing up in panic. I think that my sword training was a big part of being able to maintain that mental state. Am I right? I don't really know. But at the end of the day, "Because I like it" is all the justification that I need to keep going to the dojo.
    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.

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    Hi David,

    I agree with your whole post, and have also experienced the same thing many times with near misses in traffic. There have been a number of other high-stress situations in which I was able to remain totally calm while my associates were clearly wide-eyed and mentally disturbed. Sword training has definitely helped me a great deal outside the dojo, there is no question about it. But...

    As far as the usefulness of my training, when people ask me why I study this stuff I just say, "Because I like it."
    That is basically what I end up saying too (I just like to train). Life is too short to argue with people who usually don't understand what you do.

    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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    I wish the media would stop using the expression "samuarai sword", especially for wallhangers.
    Had the exact same thought when I heard a similar story on the radio, yesterday.
    Cady Goldfield

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    I haven't heard a News story about a "Viking Axe" or a "cut-throat razor" in ages. Whatever happened to thug supply stores? Did they start being exclusively replica medieval Japanese weaponry? The only competition seems to be from jungle survival shops that sell machete. Kids these days, no imagination.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Default Swords are obsolete

    Well said Mr. Sims!

    Phil Scudieri
    ZNSBR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    Had the exact same thought when I heard a similar story on the radio, yesterday.

    this is in california. were lucky they dont call it a bladed assult weapon

    also on the news this morning i heard about a cop being attacked with a machette yesterday. but i was half asleep do i didnt get the details. other than he got shot
    Clayton Lawrence

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    My house happens to be on a long stretch of rural highway (or what goes for one here in Hawaii), & nearly all of the homes in the area have been burglarized at one time or another in the 21 years we've lived here. But as my wife & I practice MJER waza on the upstairs lanai (patio for you malihini) facing the road, we've never had any problem at all.

    When the lanai was first built, we had several visits from the local police, just making sure we weren't killing each other or torturing small animals, but they quickly realized that we were legit. They did tell us that if they got a 911 call from here, they would send an ambulance as well as a squad car because anyone who was stupid enough to break in would likely not walk out on his own.

    I don't think it's possible to walk 10 feet in our house without finding at least one weapon at hand, &, yes, we planned it that way.

  13. #13
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    On occasion I read about a sword used. Samurai is a generic term like car, food, shoes. Of course a martial artist, especially those with experience are going to
    get technical" To also add, the news has to add words to make the story more interesting.

    It could have been reported "a sword was used"....

    To some reads, their thought would have been.."What type of sword?"

    I have several samurai swords including one from my grandpa which he came back with from the war.

    But he called it something else

    People-A rose by any other name, is still a rose
    Richard Scardina

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