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  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Maine
    Posts
    212
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Aside from the padded bo that we go to town with once in a while, we don't do so much free sparring with weapons. But we do practice focused, moderate speed freeform partner drills. Bo tai bo, sai against bo, (wooden) kama against bo, empty hand against bo, and every now and then we'll throw baseball bat in there as well just to keep it a little more up to date.

    We don't do this with beginners, but usually small groups of students who have a little experience and control.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    39
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't see anything particularly wrong with beginners doing weapons training. Sometimes weapons training can make certain principles in unarmed fighting more obvious, easier to grasp. Timing and distance, for example, sort of "stand out" a bit more. Ya know? That's just my take on it, the first thing my school teaches you is how to use a sword and then empty hand stuff comes just a little later... I don't know much about karate, but from a general JMA standpoint... There you go.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    16
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In 37 yrs of training and learing various weapons katas, I find the most useful to be Jo or bokken, in that order, strictly because a simple stick is probably what I will find or have at hand, if any weapon at all, should a situation arise. Most of the bladed weapons are illegal to carry, and even a bo is too long. I have a solid shovel handle replacement stick in my car and sometimes baseball bats or broomsticks are around. I don't like all bokken training because it presumes I have a blade edge. And shinai are too light to simulate the solid wood stick I will most likely use if ever in need. There are some nice two-person drills to do with Jo or a stick-- and hang a tire or heavy bag and hit it hard.

  4. #14
    maofas's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    2,971
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well, I don't know what "we" think, but I think it's a waste of time to start learning weapons as a beginner in karate.

    The idea that they reinforce empty hand skills sounds nice, but I'm going to need severe convincing on that one. Personally, I've never noticed anything except the most vague connections and certainly nothing that would be practiced better with a weapon instead of just more empty-hand drilling.

  5. #15

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    May 2011
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    39
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's obviously not going to be better, but it seems to work pretty well for some people. I think weapons training has its place as a fairly decent supplement. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "our jujutsu/aikido/whatever is rooted in our weapons practice" - usually swordsmanship. You hear it a lot in koryu and gendai arts rooted in koryu, especially. In premodern Japan, the sword was often viewed as a vehicle to martial prowess in general, whether that be unarmed combat or spear or... whatever. Either way, there are still people that swear by that sort of thing. Suits me fine.

  6. #16
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    San Diego
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    13,092
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by maofas View Post
    Well, I don't know what "we" think, but I think it's a waste of time to start learning weapons as a beginner in karate.

    The idea that they reinforce empty hand skills sounds nice, but I'm going to need severe convincing on that one. Personally, I've never noticed anything except the most vague connections and certainly nothing that would be practiced better with a weapon instead of just more empty-hand drilling.
    Since I've been studying FMAs, the unarmed/armed crossover makes more sense. They're designed to be that way though. Very early on, we would drill interchangeable weapons with the stick, bangkaw, knife and empty hand, and conceptually they're all similar, just modified for what's at hand (or not at hand). Maybe karate and its weaponry aren't compatible in this way.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    212
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No, it doesn't help so much with basic punches, kicks, etc. But it does add to skills such as timing, body positioning, footwork, soft vs hard blocks, traps, locks, etc. I have seen many times (including in myself) those aha moments where a crossover between empty hands and weapons happens, and that realization helps lock in or refine one of those concepts. Especially true with paired short weapons (sai, kama, tunfa, etc).

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