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money
12/14/2009 12:29pm,
Japanese sword is not a cheap art to practice. You can spend hundreds or even thousands on the uniform, bokutos, iaito, seminars, bogu, shinai etc. Once you're buying live blades then the price really skyrockets. Mats/bamboo for tameshigiri isn't cheap if you're cutting a decent amount. It is by far the most expensive art I've ever practiced even if my class fee was an absolute steal ($35/mo). if you can't afford the hobby you might want to re-prioritize your finances or wait till you can afford it - or else go in with some buddys on some extra protective gear that you can share.

Between the tare and sune-ate there shouldn't leave a lot of room for a strike, and you could always throw some knee pads into the mix if necessary.

I don't know about Kendo across the pond, but I know that my kenjutsu teacher (who was no master of Kendo) would smack the **** out of me on a good Men strike. Armor or no armor I definitely felt it. They do kata in Kkendo as well, but it progresses to real sparring, that's where I see the disconnect with the more "traditional" arts.

Asking about your training isn't a dick-swinging contest, it's a sincere interest to get an idea about your background and what your opinons are coming from.

Sempai
12/14/2009 3:00pm,
I'm sure thats what ppl used to say about newaza in judo, and groundfighting 40 years ago - outside of brazil.
gees, why practice fighting on the ground, no one takes a fight to the ground. I can finish the fight standing up, no one can take me down
I think we all know how thats ended.

I wouldn't compare reverse noto to ground-fighting. I'd compare it to the SNL self defense skits where the instructor can't defend an attack unless his opponent attacks him the right way.

DerAuslander
12/14/2009 8:20pm,
Can't argue with that.

My problem with reverse grip anythings are the Kelly Wordens of the world who produce a whole video about it and employ garbage techniques. Or the Steve Segals who try and spar knife to knife with reverse grip techniques. Most people training knife focus too hard on extreme close quater fighting or mid range fighting with a knife. They do not focus on Long distance fighting (the range where the oppenent is just in range of your knife, not your live hand or kicks punches or grapples). Paul Vunak Released a video called "Advanced Knife fighting Techniques". The funny thing was is that all the techniques were very simple. But it is considered the bible of knife fighting and I recommend everyone interested in knife to watch it.

As someone working on his certification under Vunak, I'd like to take the time to tell you to shut the **** up.

Have a nice day.:new_olymp

evilstan
12/14/2009 9:46pm,
I am not sure why this thread has become a kendo vs "real" sword fighting debate. Yes kendo is a sport, it is intense and full contact and makes no distinctions between age, weight, or gender. I have even been to team competitions where you could have 4th dans fighting kyu ranks. In kendo people can see experience even if no one is wearing a belt.

What those that promote "real" sword fighting fail to realise is many kendo schools also teach iaido. All the iai forms I learned I have learned as part of kendo classes. Whenever I cut tameshigiri it was in kendo.
We know that without a real sword we are just waving a stick around, and we also know from waving sticks around that there are many things you can't do with a real sword. You have a 1/3 chance either you die, he dies, or you both die in a sword fight, and it will happen quickly. Cutting the legs at such a close range leaves your head and neck wide open, it is possible to do but will probably get you killed. There is a reason naginata allows leg strikes and kendo doesn't. If you have never seriously trained kendo you will never understand why the point system is there or how it works.

in a poor attempt at bringing this back to the topic, you cannot fight with a reverse grip past the initial draw because it is too limiting. In order to win you have to "hide" behind your sword which you can't do in a reverse grip.

Permalost
12/14/2009 11:19pm,
I'm not a JSA person, but I've done some training with swords and understand a lot of theory that seems pretty consistent worldwide. One of the concepts that is used in European swordplay is that the weapon leads the attack and the body follows it (intuitively, people often lead with the body for a more powerful swing and expose their body to attack). Holding a sword in a reverse grip, cutting motions seem pretty much doomed to lead with the arm, making a quick stop hit to the arm likely (and thrusting seems very awkward- I've seen fencers have point control good enough to hit a quarter sized target from a lunging distance; I don't think a reverse grip allows for such control or extension). The reverse grip doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of its advantage over a forward grip.

Yoj
12/15/2009 7:33am,
Seriously is this still going? LOLLAGE. Anyway, its found in a handful of techniques in koryu, as 'emergency' techniques, there probably was some usefulness to it a few hundred years ago when you were caught unaware or something. But to think that that it's a valid standard stance is silly, so of course you wont find it in any newer arts that are based on koryu, such as Toyama, they weren't trying to address the needs of someone wearing a sword in everyday life, they were concerned with a sword being a sidearm on a battlefied filled with guns.. Anyone else using it any other fashion is LARPing like the XMA tards.

nightowl
12/18/2009 5:25am,
I didn't live in the 1700s, so I won't speculate on the way they trained. If it were me, I would want to simulate a real fight as much a possible before getting in a real fight. Sure using a wooden weapon with a training partner could be risky, but it's less risky than going up against someone who is trying to kill you with a real one. Just like if I were going off to war in this day in age, I would not only want to know how to shoot accurately, but I would also do things like airsoft or paintball to tune my skills before someone is shooting at me with an assault rifle.



It is true that for a long time most aliveness came solely from duels- which even if fought with training swords could cause serious injury. However updates in training gear such as padding on training weapons helped to at least increase the intensity of waza training in the dojo, and by the end of the Edo period styles of kenjutsu such as Shinkageryu, itto ryu (various), etc were known for practicing with shinai in sparring matches. This type of training (sometimes called shinai uchikomi keiko) was the forerunner of today's kendo shiai.

Unfortunately what happened overtime was that virtually all shinai sparring (a tool initially created for kenjutsu) got moved over to kendo, and even the kenjutsu styles which sparred started sticking to just forms . Thus today (including in Japan) you have a split between learning proper distance and timing versus good cutting and real sword handling. I've seen iaido taught alongside kendo a lot which helps rectify the problem, but for someone like me who doesn't have time to do both kendo AND kenjutsu it is somewhat of a bummer.

(that's the story I'm sticking to at least- any more knowledgeable kenjutsu guys please add/correct as you see fit)

money
12/18/2009 9:37am,
It is true that for a long time most aliveness came solely from duels- which even if fought with training swords could cause serious injury. However updates in training gear such as padding on training weapons helped to at least increase the intensity of waza training in the dojo, and by the end of the Edo period styles of kenjutsu such as Shinkageryu, itto ryu (various), etc were known for practicing with shinai in sparring matches. This type of training (sometimes called shinai uchikomi keiko) was the forerunner of today's kendo shiai.

Unfortunately what happened overtime was that virtually all shinai sparring (a tool initially created for kenjutsu) got moved over to kendo, and even the kenjutsu styles which sparred started sticking to just forms . Thus today (including in Japan) you have a split between learning proper distance and timing versus good cutting and real sword handling. I've seen iaido taught alongside kendo a lot which helps rectify the problem, but for someone like me who doesn't have time to do both kendo AND kenjutsu it is somewhat of a bummer.

(that's the story I'm sticking to at least- any more knowledgeable kenjutsu guys please add/correct as you see fit)

Cool, where can I see the source of this info? I would like to read more.

nightowl
12/18/2009 5:49pm,
Guttmann, Allen and Thompson Lee. Japanese Sports: a History. University of Hawaii Press, 2001.

Kenji, Tomiki. “Martial Arts” Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan.
Vol. 5. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd, 1983.

田中、守。武道を知る。

Ozawa, Hiroshi. Kendo: The Definitive Guide.
Japan: Kodansha International Ltd, 1997

入江、康平。武道文化の探求
日本:Fumaido, 2003

NeilG
12/19/2009 4:45pm,
Thus today (including in Japan) you have a split between learning proper distance and timing versus good cutting and real sword handling.What makes you think kata doesn't teach distance and timing? The only lack kata has is in dealing with the more unpredictable parts of sparring, but koryu compensate for that by training kata a good deal more dynamically than most are used to.

DerAuslander
12/19/2009 5:16pm,
Kata, even in the koryu mindset, can only minimally teach distance and timing, because it is artificial set. It does not teach distance and timing as effectively as alive drilling.

nightowl
12/19/2009 8:31pm,
What makes you think kata doesn't teach distance and timing? The only lack kata has is in dealing with the more unpredictable parts of sparring, but koryu compensate for that by training kata a good deal more dynamically than most are used to.


I will readily agree that at high levels koryu two-man kata are better than many of the kata that you see in karate/kung fu/etc as far as helping towards a real duel. However as you mentioned sparring is unpredictable- kata are. Learning timing against an actively moving opponent whose attacks are unknown is far more readily achieved in kendo than in Kenjutsu. The old kenjutsuka knew this and invented the shinai, men, etc so that they could make up for what kata lacked.

Now most current kenjutsuka are not intrested in a practical martial art- they train for the preservation and experience of Japanese culture and traditional budo. On the other hand kendo offers an exciting sport that is now beyond being tied to the katana and is an essential part of the Japanese sport scene. Thus you have JSAs split into tradition (koryu) and modern application (the sport context of kendo).

Rock Ape
12/20/2009 4:19am,
Has anyone stabbed themselves to death as a result of this thread ? If so can you post the pics.

K THX BAI

Styygens
12/20/2009 11:45am,
Has anyone stabbed themselves to death as a result of this thread ? If so can you post the pics.

K THX BAI

Note use of reverse grip:

YouTube- Buffy Death of Pee Wee (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOzKufIIzs)

Little known fact -- the weapon here used some of Choson Ninja's plans...

SpamN'Cheese
12/26/2009 2:29am,
Note use of reverse grip:

YouTube- Buffy Death of Pee Wee (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOzKufIIzs)

Little known fact -- the weapon here used some of Choson Ninja's plans...
It comes to no surprise that Choson Ninjer would take in techniques from media, but WTF does Buffy have to do with the practicality of reverse grip?

DerAuslander
12/26/2009 10:59am,
Dude, shut up.