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  1. ojgsxr6 is offline

    Dorkus Malorkus

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 2:48pm

    supporting member
     Style: Boxing/BJJudo/Crossfit

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    After watching several Samurai movies I'm interested in learning how to fight with a katana. I do not want to do kata all day, and I'm nore interested in the Martial applications of sword fighting. Are there any shools that focus more on fighting than kata, like an ARMA for katana?
  2. NeilG is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 3:03pm


     Style: Kendo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ojgsxr6
    Are there any shools that focus more on fighting than kata, like an ARMA for katana?
    That would be kendo.
  3. rokutanda is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 3:07pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ojgsxr6
    After watching several Samurai movies I'm interested in learning how to fight with a katana. I do not want to do kata all day, and I'm nore interested in the Martial applications of sword fighting. Are there any shools that focus more on fighting than kata, like an ARMA for katana?
    It's my understanding that Kenjutsu covers more of the martial applications
    as opposed to iaido, but according to Neil G's comment, it's also mostly paired forms. I suppose besides kendo there's no "safe" way to train swordsmanship with an opponent besides doing paired kata, and eventually, tameshigiri ("cutting"). Kendo is a fun sport but doesn't really teach practical cutting/batto (drawing).

    I do think that paired kata might be more interesting to learn than individual forms starting in seiza (the half kneeling/half seated position from which most iaido forms begin). Maybe some kenjutsu schools practice their dueling while wearing bogu? I don't know but I'd like to find out...

    I think finding a legimate kenjutsu school is much harder than seeking a kendo or iaido school outside of Japan.
  4. rokutanda is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 3:37pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ojgsxr6
    After watching several Samurai movies I'm interested in learning how to fight with a katana. I do not want to do kata all day, and I'm nore interested in the Martial applications of sword fighting. Are there any shools that focus more on fighting than kata, like an ARMA for katana?
    You're also in New York, so if you do find a good school, I'd appreciate if you could let me know; my e-mail's on my profile.

    I've done some research in the past and couldn't find much in our area.

    There's:
    http://modernsamurai.info/ms/shinkendo/shinkendo.html
    This school was founded by the actor who played Splinter's assistant in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie. He's won some cutting competitions, and the class does a lot of paired forms with bokken. It seems
    like fun (I went to see one of their classes), but I wasn't impressed by the
    technique/precision shown by the higher ranking students.

    There's also:
    http://www.kazearashiryu.org/
    Went to about a month of these classes. They also do some paired drills with
    bokken, but I didn't like the way they cut; everything looked sloppy to me.
    My previous instruction in iaido was much stricter in terms of stances, positioning/angle of the sword at all points from drawing to sheathing, etc. Also, I think there's some question about the legitimacy of this style's. They also teach some form of stand-up grappling similar to aikido/aikijutsu here, which is 2/3rds of what you learn. I wasn't particularly interested in spending most of my time learning that. It's a fun school to learn at, but not what I was
    looking for.

    Here's where I took iaido & kendo:
    http://budokaikan.com/
    It's a good school for both styles, from my experience, and it was
    fun learning both, but, like you, I was searching for a dojo that focused more
    on martial applications.

    http://www.newyorkbudokai.net/
    is another iaido school. I've met the instructors and seen them demo at the Sakura Matsuri festivals, but don't know too much about them. Their head
    instructors learned from the same person who taught my sensei at Budokaikan.
    My old sensei's style is a bit "harder" than theirs.

    There are other kendo & iaido schools in our area, but I can't say anything
    about them as I never visited them...
  5. hl1978 is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 4:23pm


     Style: Aunkai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ojgsxr6
    After watching several Samurai movies I'm interested in learning how to fight with a katana. I do not want to do kata all day, and I'm nore interested in the Martial applications of sword fighting. Are there any shools that focus more on fighting than kata, like an ARMA for katana?

    Ken-Zen has a location on long island. Ken-Zen has a good reputation, I used to train with one of their Affiliate schools near albany.

    Ken-Zen of Long Island (KZLI)
    Kendo
    1266 Waverly Avenue
    Farmingville, New York 11738
    Tel: 718-592-1482

    Once you are in bogu (think armour) you spend the majority of the class doing partner drills or sparring. Kata is an important part of kendo, but in the several dojos I have trained at, it is not practiced in every class or sometimes weeks and or months go by between practices. Alternatively there may be specific weekly classes where kendo kata and iaido are practices.

    It usually takes several months before you start wearing bogu, as a result you mostly work on footwork, kamae, and strike targets on a partner or your partners shinai (bamboo sword). This might be discouraging to some people because you have to wait a while.

    Alternatively, if you don't want to wait, you can find someplace that does something called "Chanbara" which utilizes a padded sword, but I would question the authenticity of the technique.

    http://www.internationalsportschanbara.net/
    Last edited by hl1978; 7/05/2006 4:32pm at .
  6. hl1978 is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 4:28pm


     Style: Aunkai

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    Quote Originally Posted by rokutanda
    There are other kendo & iaido schools in our area, but I can't say anything about them as I never visited them...
    I have trained at or with people from Shidogakuin (www.kendoka.org) or Ken-Zen (http://www.kenzendojo.com/), and been a member of their sattelite schools. Both of which have locations in manhattan. Both offer iaido instruction, but in different koryu styles. Kato Sensei was the coach for the US Kendo team a couple years ago.

    Both schools are very good, you can't go wrong training at either. They are also to some of the highest ranking practicioners of iaido and kendo on the east coast.
  7. NeilG is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/05/2006 5:10pm


     Style: Kendo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by rokutanda
    Shinkendo is based on Obata-sensei's extensive martial arts training in legitimate sword arts and aikijujutsu. It is open about it's origins and generally acknowledged as one of the best of the modern schools. Obata-sensei himself is the real deal, despite his TMNT movie stuntman career. You could do worse.
    Kaze Arashi Ryu is a school that was basically completely made up, but masquerades as koryu. In short, frauds. For a detailed debunking, see here.
    Here's where I took iaido & kendo:
    http://budokaikan.com/
    I'm not familiar with them, but I suspect they are frauds based on the head instructor Rico Guy claiming 8th dan. There are only 3 or 4 hachidan instructors in the US, all of them old Japanese men. He ain't one of them.
    http://www.newyorkbudokai.net/
    is another iaido school.
    That's Phil Ortisz's school, it's the real deal.
  8. unibrow is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/06/2006 5:37am


     Style: jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [quote=NeilG] Kendo has limited targets in the sparring portion, but also practices paired kata which come from koryu. There is no plastic in my armour. Traditionally, it is made of horsehair, cotton, bamboo, leather and steel. Mine is a little updated, using titanium rather than steel. Some of the cheaper sets use clarino (fake leather).

    Both the solo and paired iaido kata include parrying.

    Each one is designed around a particular situation that might have been encountered long ago. They show a great deal of situational awareness, responding to perceived threats in a timely manner.

    I stand corrected. Thanks for the updated insight. A compatriot of mine has a chainmaille shirt of aluminum -it can be lifted & dropped onto your head in one hand! My full body armour is 16 gauge steel (16th C. Harimaki style) with a total weight of 64 lbs (head to toe) & am therefore not jumping into strikes (well not continuously anyways). Swords are either rebated steel, or a tough, high quality bokken, or the solid hickory core wrapped in closed cell foam (for those who don't quite have all their armour). Yes my experience with iado is limited indeed because i had attended some sessions at the Takahashi dojo (several times over several years) and was bored to tears (kinda like what tai chi is to true ma training) and watching a grossly overweight instructor trying to pass off their katas as true swordhandling just kindof irked me.
  9. hl1978 is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/06/2006 9:09am


     Style: Aunkai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Iaido training on its own can be slow because for the most part you do kata on your own, however if you focus on getting your posture and cut correct, it carries over into your kendo practice.

    Some iaido schools do practice cutting. Myself personally, I have only cut newspaper with a bokken. Its cheap and gives you plenty of feedback if you are biasing your cut too much with one arm or the other.
  10. NeilG is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/06/2006 10:27am


     Style: Kendo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by unibrow
    A compatriot of mine has a chainmaille shirt of aluminum [snip]
    Bully for him. But kendo is of Japanese origin, so comparisons to European reproduction stuff is useless. And furthermore, the armour used is not so much meant to replicate battlefield armour as it is to protect targets for sparring. IOW, kendo replicates unarmoured combat but uses armour to do so safely.
    Yes my experience with iado is limited indeed because i had attended some sessions at the Takahashi dojo (several times over several years) and was bored to tears (kinda like what tai chi is to true ma training) and watching a grossly overweight instructor trying to pass off their katas as true swordhandling just kindof irked me.
    Always nice to see a snap judgement influenced by prejudice. Overall I think you have made the right choice to steer clear of iaido, your character isn't suited to long intensive study of something so detailed. FWIW I don't have the patience for iaido either.
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