Hello everyone,
I am a newbie and have just recently signed up here. I wanted to ask a question which has been on my mind for quite some time:
When to swordsmen met for a shiai (duel), how did this go in terms of technique? To be more precise I would like to know: Were there rules, ethics or customs that had to be observed which would already shape the form of the duel? What was the speed in which they attacked one another with? Did they only hit once and then pull back to plan the next attack or was it perhaps more of a chaotic flailing?

The reason for this question is that I have been both training in martial arts for many, many years as well as in a few street fights myself. Further, I have been watching countless videos of fights, in various disciplines, under controlled situations (such as in a ring) and not, such as on the street. So far all the real fights I was able to witness, where your opponent is actually trying to hurt you, have always been chaotic, uncontrolled and very messy. Obviously those fights also didnít have skilled fighters in them but just average people or thugs.

As a student of the sword I would like to know how a duel, between two master swordsmen, in ancient Japan, would have been like?
Thank you very much!

Sebastian S.
Los Angeles, CA