Thread: reverse grip sword
8/06/2009 7:52pm, #1
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- Jun 2008
reverse grip sword
I have been looking around online and stuff about wielding a sword such as a Katana, in a reverse grip. I have no formal weapons training of any kind, just from what I have read and seen, is that everyone says it's impractical and should not be done. When I typed it in on Youtube the only thing that came up was choson ninja videos lol. So I Was wondering if in any traditional martial arts styles such ie. kenjutsu or iaido, have any applications or mention at all of anything to do with a reverse grip.
8/06/2009 8:28pm, #2
rev. grip on the sword may be effective in certain situations, mainly close quarters. But, isn't the main point of a sword to disble the opponent from a safe distance? Rev. grip may look "cool" like the ganster holding the gun sideways thing but it's probably not that effective. Sure if you look hard enough you might be able to use for it.
8/06/2009 8:31pm, #3
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- Jul 2009
choson ninja is a great teacher!
8/06/2009 8:41pm, #4
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- Jun 2008
8/06/2009 8:53pm, #5
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- Jul 2009
a reverse grip loose alot of power and aim as well as the obvious fact it puts your wrist in a weak position
i couldn't dig up any traditional teachings on it either =/
8/06/2009 8:55pm, #6
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- Jun 2008
ya from what I can find online there is no mention of it used anywhere except on certain ninja videos
8/08/2009 9:57am, #7
There are certain unorthodox draws shown in the Bujinkan that utilize a reverse grip at extreme close quarters. I've seen them demonstrated, but I couldn't tell you for sure which schools they come from. For all I know, Hatsumi made them up. He does that sometimes.
However, most Bujies I've seen have a hard enough time wielding a sword correctly and should hold off on trying the weird stuff.
If you've got no formal instruction in weapons, you should seek qualified instruction first in the ordinary methods before practicing any unorthodox weapons skills.
8/08/2009 1:38pm, #8
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- Jun 2008
8/08/2009 2:15pm, #9
Some koryu have is as an emergency technique. But its not the norm, find a teacher. Don't LARP.
8/08/2009 4:18pm, #10
LOL.. have to laugh a bit fellas...
Sorry to sound a bit patronising but.. are any of you students of koryu sword arts ?
Muso Shinden Ryu have a kata "Gyakuto" where a reversed grip of the tsuka is used to dispatch the enemy. I can't speak fro other iai systems because I don't study them however, to the OP. Stop even thinking about Japanese swords.
You should search for an article I wrote on a chap by the name of Don Rice. Take a long hard look at the injuries he sustained. And then ask yourself what the **** was I thinking.
In fact here's the article:
When a Japanese sword meets flesh
By David Humm
I would like to thank and acknowledge Mr. Don Rice and his family for allowing me to use the photos of his injury together with written content relating to his accident contained within this article.
As a student of Kendo, Aikido and Iaido I am constantly reminding myself how easily the techniques I teach (regardless of the philosophy or ideology associated to them), can result in serious injuries... Injuries which have the potential for life changing results. The following article is a stark and poignant reminder to current Japanese sword users and, more importantly, to those who have a desire to study or indeed just own a sword; just how much physical risk is involved.
As a professional working within a strong Health and Safety environment, I have to say that accidents, all accidents, are ultimately preventable. Accidents always have root causes and, with a little investigation the “root cause” is often quite different to what appears to be the initial source or reason for the accident.
Martial arts training is absolutely no different (from an H&S perspective) than many other activities, as individuals we're constantly making ‘micro’ risk assessments of what and how we do things in our daily lives however, complacency, which is little more than poor behavioural attitude can and often does replace efficiency particularly when we’ve been doing something so much it becomes almost second nature in our normal routine; here, we increase the risk of an accident.
It is important to remember that when training with a weapon of any description, the moment it is in one’s hands it becomes potentially lethal. It doesn’t matter how safe you think you are, how skilled or experienced you have become, a weapon is a weapon and you cannot escape that fact. Weapons are designed primarily to do one thing. To Kill People this is especially true of the Japanese sword.
Despite the romantic notions often associated with it, its use and the Samurai who held it in such high regard, the Japanese sword is one of the most efficient cutting edged weapons ever conceived. Never forget that.
So how hard would it be to kill someone with a Japanese sword ? The answer to that macabre question is simple..
“The sword is deadly even in the hands of a fool”
Only recently I witnessed in sheer horror one of my students drop his sword whilst performing chiburi; luckily the blade fell away from him (and others in his proximity) yet still narrowly missing his leading foot, the blade, a contemporary but traditionally constructed shinken (with its ha professionally dulled) buried its self impressively into the floor sufficiently enough to make everyone realise it would have cleanly penetrated the students foot with ease. Add to this; had the blade still been sharp, we’d have been looking at a potentially very serious cut to the students body had it fallen toward him or anyone else.
What caused this “preventable accident” from happening?
Believe it or not, his ex-wife and, a related situation which created an unfavourable mindset for the student earlier that day prior to arriving at the dojo.
What would have prevented this ‘near miss’?
Firstly the student in question should have known (given the time he’s already spent in the art) to have approached me and briefly explained his state of mind, he and I are good friends socially anyway thus there was no real reason not to have. Also, as instructor I have to take a degree of responsibility; I noted earlier in his training that he was having a bad class, in hindsight, I should have asked him if there was a problem.
Risks are present in almost everything we do, thing is, we don’t always appreciate what they are.
I myself have been the epitome of complacency and I’m the first to admit it. Twelve months ago whilst teaching the basics of nukitsuki and noto (two key aspects of Iaido) I noted one of my students extending the index finger of his left had during the point where the sword blade and hand briefly come in to close proximity during the re-sheathing of the sword. I stopped the class and made a specific point on how this error would likely result in a laceration (or worse) to the index finger should the cutting edge and the finger actually touch, this is despite the fact that I don’t allow any of my students to use live edged weapons, and there’s a reason for this of course. I on the other hand had chosen to train that day with my shinken normally used for tameshigiri (test cutting) I did so because of vanity – I like the look and feel of the sword.
Having made the safety point to the class we returned to our lesson, within seconds I had sliced almost a third off my own left index finger; this was done because I failed to concentrate on my own performance but focused on that of my students. Complacency replaces efficiency.
Accidents are learning experiences; thankfully I’ve learned three valuable lessons of my own.
1. Never EVER use a shinken for iai study
2. Never EVER mix my own study with a sword whilst taking responsibility for others
3. I set the worse possible example for my students that day, no matter how I excuse the injury; I was a complete and utter idiot.
My injury however pales into petty insignificance, a minor scratch compared to that sustained by a gentleman named Don Rice.
On the 12th April 2005 a post appeared on Sword Forum International informing its contributors of a terrible and somewhat horrific injury to one of its members. The injury having been sustained sometime the week prior.
Following initial posts of good wishes from various contributors, Don himself posted his first of several replies. Included within his first post was this image
Whilst looking at this image, I want you to imagine what your wife, husband, daughter, son indeed any member of your close family would feel seeing you maimed in this way? And for what..? I also want you to consider a situation; and the impact upon your family's lives should they ever get a phone call from the Police advising them of your responsibility in injuring (or worse) someone else.
People need to realise that even just owning a sword of any description carries inherent risks, whilst many contemporary swords require very little looking after risks still exist.
Many cheap imitation “samurai” swords are made of a fairly brittle 440 stainless steel, these swords are given sharp edges and constitute a real risk to those who can otherwise walk in off the street with no comprehension of what they are purchasing, and buy one of these a wall hanging ornaments.
Sharp is sharp regardless of how much you pay.
The adage “play with fire and you’ll get burnt” is perfectly true in these cases, even with expert training and regular practice, use of a Japanese sword carries risks. If you’re prepared to accept these risks (which are easily manageable in a good well run dojo) training in a Japanese sword art can be both rewarding and a means of personal development however; to cast your eyes glibly over this article and the images contained in it means at some point in the future, you’re very likely to encounter the sharp side of your poor attitude. In my humble opinion… Better YOU than someone in your close proximity !
In conclusion; If you are considering study of a sword art, please, please seek instruction from accredited experienced instructors and NEVER EVER rush to work with a sword. Listen to your instructor, learn from his/her experiences and train and remain as safe as possible.
A fleeting uncontrolled encounter with a Japanese sword is enough to change the rest of your life, not to mention the lives of the people who love you.
Mr Rice admits he had no formal training in a Japanese sword art, he also states that he should not have been attempting to train using a live blade, his only information relating to Japanese sword use was books and other reference material.
Mr. Rice Wrote:
"I do not have any formal training in this and I have only briefly looked over books and diagrams on the subject , so I was being an idiot for even thinking of doing this sort of thing with a live blade ....period ! "
"I honestly should not have been doing what I was with a sharp blade in the first place "
The sword (below) which penetrated his left arm was not a cheap imitation.
The impact of this injury upon Mr Rice and his family is essentially immeasurable. Mr Rice is not some impressionable young adult with romantic sword notions or, without common sense, the fact that Mr Rice was susceptible to complacency is a direct indicator that we are all at risk.
"...accidents are learning experiences""To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".