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  1. Big_Boss is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/24/2009 10:09pm


     Style: Transitioning as usual

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I can't remember which sensei/shihan I asked about it. Come to think of it, I don't even think it was my own question, but I did want some satisfaction in knowing it was impractical. What I do remember is hearing,
    "ah, the zatoichi grip!"
    Then I remembered the Zatoichi movies...which makes it as effective as being a blind swordsman.

    I've gone through about 25+ kata in MJER/Seitei and have a friend who's into Muso Shinden, who in turn knows another guy in Yagyu Shinkage. None of us have seen/heard of a pure reverse grip, (Rocas' video being an exception here) for conditioning exercise or otherwise.
  2. IYRDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/28/2009 11:23am


     Style: Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It really depends on what we're classifying as reverse grip techniques. Are you referring to kamae or techniques in which the sword remains in a reverse grip? In terms of koryu, I have never seen a kamae which uses a reverse grip. However, I have seen certain schools utilize a reverse grip technique in a few isolated circumstances. This is only really employed during the draw.

    Three examples:
    Mugai Ryu - "Tsuki Kage Kanno" (note: I practice Mugai Ryu)
    this involves a reverse grip draw which is used to tsuki an opponent behind the back. While performing noto, you evade an attack, redraw the sword with a reverse grip and cut kiriage, after the cut the sword grip is changed into a normal grip for makkogiri.
    YouTube - tsuki kage kanno

    Yagyu Shinkage Ryu - (I don't know the name)
    Shidachi uses a reverse grip is to draw out and prevent the uchidachi from drawing the sword. As the uchidachi steps back to perform nukitsuke, the shidachi continues to draw out with a reverse grip, and uses the mune or shinogi to block the uchidachi's cut. Shidachi continues pivoting the sword around to throw the uchidachi's sword up. Shidachi then acquires a normal grip for kirioroshi.
    YouTube - Yagyu Shinkage-ryu Iai Tachiai in Nara, Japan 1993 (2:36)

    Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu
    They use a reverse grip draw similar to that of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, but I don't know if the bunkai is similar.
    YouTube - Risuke Otake - Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-Ryu || 天真MonkeyScrotumCleaning.tv伝香取神道流 (:16)

    So the answer to the question is, yes, legitimate koryu do employ a reverse grip in certain specific scenarios. Again, these are context dependent, these are not techniques in which they walk around with the sword in a reverse grip.

    Hope that helps.
  3. superninjagod is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/03/2009 11:44pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [quote=IYRDC;2205141]It really depends on what we're classifying as reverse grip techniques. Are you referring to kamae or techniques in which the sword remains in a reverse grip? In terms of koryu, I have never seen a kamae which uses a reverse grip. However, I have seen certain schools utilize a reverse grip technique in a few isolated circumstances. This is only really employed during the draw.

    Three examples:
    Mugai Ryu - "Tsuki Kage Kanno" (note: I practice Mugai Ryu)
    this involves a reverse grip draw which is used to tsuki an opponent behind the back. While performing noto, you evade an attack, redraw the sword with a reverse grip and cut kiriage, after the cut the sword grip is changed into a normal grip for makkogiri.
    YouTube - tsuki kage kanno



    Regardless if it is in some defunct Kata somewhere, it is completely useless. Unless the oppenent is already down and you are just trying to "enure" that your defeated oppent is dead. There is no practical sword to sword or sword to any weapon in the world technique that would employ that grip. In fact the same can be said about reverse grip knife fighting. Paul Vunak, who is the only person in JKD who is worth a damn is quoted as saying "if you happen to pick up a knife in reverse grip from the ground, use it in reverse grip until you can turn it around and hold the knife they way it was meant to be held". God bless him for saying that, and the same applies to swords. When the sword maker was making the sword, he designed the handle and blade to be held upright. Not backwards.
  4. evilstan is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/04/2009 8:22am


     Style: Kendo, JJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoj View Post
    at 40 seconds, but it's hardly the cool XMA batton twirling.

    YouTube - Shindo Munen Ryu Iaijutsu
    I have only encountered the reverse grip in one form, and it was a solo drawing form. It did look like this where you immediately switch your grip after drawing.

    I have always viewed it as a desperation move where your attacker is already so close that to draw the normal way your arm could get cut or the blade would never reach the target in time. I would avoid drawing this way if I could help it, and fighting with a reverse grip sword or knife is ridiculous. The pointy end should be toward the opponent not yourself(Steven Seagal excluded).
  5. IYRDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/04/2009 3:03pm


     Style: Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post


    Regardless if it is in some defunct Kata somewhere, it is completely useless. Unless the oppenent is already down and you are just trying to "enure" that your defeated oppent is dead. There is no practical sword to sword or sword to any weapon in the world technique that would employ that grip. In fact the same can be said about reverse grip knife fighting. Paul Vunak, who is the only person in JKD who is worth a damn is quoted as saying "if you happen to pick up a knife in reverse grip from the ground, use it in reverse grip until you can turn it around and hold the knife they way it was meant to be held". God bless him for saying that, and the same applies to swords. When the sword maker was making the sword, he designed the handle and blade to be held upright. Not backwards.
    Any type of technique is inherently context dependent. As was clearly demonstrated in the videos I posted there does exist, albeit a very few, conditions under which a reverse grip technique is appropriate. In most cases it at very least appears to be a defensive measure, and in only one was it used to attack - in this case the situation demanded that response because the tsuki (thrust) was executed behind the back, which obviously can't be accomplished with a standard grip.

    The bottomline is that if this type of technique was considered important enough to include within the standard kata of a few of greatest schools of Japanese swordsmanship ever to exist, then I would hardly consider it useless. Impractical in a majority of engagements? I'd agree with that, yes...but still apparently effective enough in a small subset of circumstances that it continues to be taught.
  6. superninjagod is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/05/2009 12:26am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by IYRDC View Post
    Any type of technique is inherently context dependent. As was clearly demonstrated in the videos I posted there does exist, albeit a very few, conditions under which a reverse grip technique is appropriate. In most cases it at very least appears to be a defensive measure, and in only one was it used to attack - in this case the situation demanded that response because the tsuki (thrust) was executed behind the back, which obviously can't be accomplished with a standard grip.

    The bottomline is that if this type of technique was considered important enough to include within the standard kata of a few of greatest schools of Japanese swordsmanship ever to exist, then I would hardly consider it useless. Impractical in a majority of engagements? I'd agree with that, yes...but still apparently effective enough in a small subset of circumstances that it continues to be taught.

    True, however just because somebody is teaching something, it does not make it important. I studied Bujinkan Budo taijutsu, and there a bunch of techniques taught in that art which will most likely get you killed than really be useful in an actual situation. In addition to that, within Kata, and even some techniques, some of the moves demonstrated are for flare, and serve no other purpose except to sell the art (look at wushu). Therefore, just simply assuming that what some loser has passed down from his great great great loser grandfather instructor, it doesn't mean it is at all valid, or truly meaningful. My last point which is the most important point, is that there is only 24 hours in a day. Doesn't matter if you live in China, Japan, India or North America. Or if you live now, a 1000 years from now or a 1000 years ago. There will till only be 24 hours a day. So there isn't time to waste doing/learning/perfecting useless things. Spend your time elsewhere. Like in another art.
  7. nakedj is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/07/2009 1:21pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Interestingly, I just came back from a seminar with the soke (s) of Tenshinshou Jigen Ryu and they demonstrated a number of iaijutsu techniques that involved drawing the sword with the left hand when at close distance. (2 feet or so).
    J
  8. IYRDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/07/2009 3:01pm


     Style: Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    True, however just because somebody is teaching something, it does not make it important. I studied Bujinkan Budo taijutsu, and there a bunch of techniques taught in that art which will most likely get you killed than really be useful in an actual situation. In addition to that, within Kata, and even some techniques, some of the moves demonstrated are for flare, and serve no other purpose except to sell the art (look at wushu). Therefore, just simply assuming that what some loser has passed down from his great great great loser grandfather instructor, it doesn't mean it is at all valid, or truly meaningful. My last point which is the most important point, is that there is only 24 hours in a day. Doesn't matter if you live in China, Japan, India or North America. Or if you live now, a 1000 years from now or a 1000 years ago. There will till only be 24 hours a day. So there isn't time to waste doing/learning/perfecting useless things. Spend your time elsewhere. Like in another art.
    Not to come across as an a-hole, but I doubt you or anyone else on this forum (myself included) is qualified to determine what is useless in the established curriculum of any koryu bujutsu. What is your basis for determining what is and isn't effective technique or what would get someone killed? You say that just because someone teaches something doesn't make it important, but you don't address what experience you have in discrediting the validity of techniques which have existed for hundreds of years? Are you inferring that you have more practical knowledge of Japanese swordsmanship than Yagyu Munenori or Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi? The only people who are qualified to make that judgement, are those that have Menkyo Kaiden in their respective arts. Just because people may think a technique is worthless, doesn't necessarily mean that it is, especially when they lack the understanding of intent of the technique.

    Furthermore, some techniques do exist that may have a low probability of success, but nonetheless exist because there is no other viable response in that situation. To relate to your own experience, I've trained with a Judan from the Bujinkan who was kind enough to show me some of the muto dori from Kukishin Ryu. Now it is fairly obvious that if you were fighting unarmed against someone with a sword that they have an enormous advantage...in fact the chance of success is very small. Nonetheless, this could be a very real situation that someone could have found themselves in a few hundred years ago, and as such someone who has practiced muto dori stands a significantly higher (albeit still low) chance of surviving the encounter compared to someone who didn't want to "waste their time". Similarly, it would not be impossible to imagine a situation in which a samurai was taken off guard by an assailant who had suddenly executed a nukiuchi yokoichimonji, and therefore the type of reverse grip draw as demonstrated in the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu video could be one of the only viable responses to that attack. Considering that YSR has produced some of the greatest swordsmen ever to use the Japanese sword, I don't think that you could successfully argue that their overall training suffered at all from the inclusion of this technique.

    Lastly, people don't walk around with swords anymore, so there is no practical reason to train in the swords arts for self-defense purposes. To infer that someone should seek out another art because they disagree with a technique that they have absolutely no way of testing the validity of, misses the entire point of why people continue to practice kenjutsu, iai, etc. How would it be a waste of mine or anyone elses time to practice this or any other technique which we will never use anyway?
  9. superninjagod is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/08/2009 1:42am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by IYRDC View Post
    Not to come across as an a-hole, but I doubt you or anyone else on this forum (myself included) is qualified to determine what is useless in the established curriculum of any koryu bujutsu. What is your basis for determining what is and isn't effective technique or what would get someone killed? You say that just because someone teaches something doesn't make it important, but you don't address what experience you have in discrediting the validity of techniques which have existed for hundreds of years? Are you inferring that you have more practical knowledge of Japanese swordsmanship than Yagyu Munenori or Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi? The only people who are qualified to make that judgement, are those that have Menkyo Kaiden in their respective arts. Just because people may think a technique is worthless, doesn't necessarily mean that it is, especially when they lack the understanding of intent of the technique.

    Furthermore, some techniques do exist that may have a low probability of success, but nonetheless exist because there is no other viable response in that situation. To relate to your own experience, I've trained with a Judan from the Bujinkan who was kind enough to show me some of the muto dori from Kukishin Ryu. Now it is fairly obvious that if you were fighting unarmed against someone with a sword that they have an enormous advantage...in fact the chance of success is very small. Nonetheless, this could be a very real situation that someone could have found themselves in a few hundred years ago, and as such someone who has practiced muto dori stands a significantly higher (albeit still low) chance of surviving the encounter compared to someone who didn't want to "waste their time". Similarly, it would not be impossible to imagine a situation in which a samurai was taken off guard by an assailant who had suddenly executed a nukiuchi yokoichimonji, and therefore the type of reverse grip draw as demonstrated in the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu video could be one of the only viable responses to that attack. Considering that YSR has produced some of the greatest swordsmen ever to use the Japanese sword, I don't think that you could successfully argue that their overall training suffered at all from the inclusion of this technique.

    Lastly, people don't walk around with swords anymore, so there is no practical reason to train in the swords arts for self-defense purposes. To infer that someone should seek out another art because they disagree with a technique that they have absolutely no way of testing the validity of, misses the entire point of why people continue to practice kenjutsu, iai, etc. How would it be a waste of mine or anyone elses time to practice this or any other technique which we will never use anyway?

    Well where do I start.

    First of all, you didn't really address why my earlier post was not valid. Saying statements such as "who are we or anyone on this forum" to judge the "old ways" as if the old ways were oh so great. EVERYONE young and old should question what they are learning. That way they can put it into context. There are many training methods that were considered the best of there time, and are now considered defunct. I.e. Russian Stim for muscle growth or various other techniques for personal training, diet etc etc. Did you ever think that maybe if people were more critical of what they read, or learnt, may we would not have so many wars. Or Karate would not suck so hard. If nobody ever questioned their art, they would never take their art to the next level. Martial Artist would never leave their martial art, they would never cross train, we would never have MMA.

    Your statement of who are we to judge will just propagate more ignorance, and poor skill developement.

    About your point about Muto Dori... a skill that address unarmed vs weapon techiques, especially against a sword would undoubtably transfer over to a person trying to defend themselves from a bat. So your example here is poor. What makes the Bujinkan such a waste of time is the quality of the techniques. Not the intent behind the curriculum.

    Just because in one silly circumstance a reverse grip draw might surprise the attacker, it doesn't mean that it should be included the the core curriculum.

    I remember watching a You tube video of a kid barking like a dog during a basketball game. It distracted the other team so that their team could get one last point to win. Yes it was unorthodox, and yes it worked for the one time. But do you really think these kids should train that technique on any kind of regular basis???? Of course not. I view these reverse grip draws of the same nature, it was probably cool once, but I wouldn't waste my own time practicing it.

    And your whole paragraph about people wasting time training with swords was really confusing and I need some clarification. First you state that training in swords is a waste of time cause nobody walks around with a sword. Then you ASK me if you are wasting your time training with a sword.... Well... the answer to that is yes. Yes you are wasting your time training with a sword. Unless you own a real one (like I do) there is no purpose of training with a sword. It would be much more practical to train with a knife, stick, or ideally.... a gun. ONce that got boring, traing ground fighting, then training striking, then train stand up grappling. THen train a completely different weapon. Who knows. But likely you would find yourself in that situation rather than a situation where you are carrying a sword.

    Anyways, please don't take other peoples word for granted. Often people lie and embellish to make things sound cooler, or bigger than they really are.
  10. IYRDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/08/2009 10:52am


     Style: Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    Well where do I start.

    First of all, you didn't really address why my earlier post was not valid. Saying statements such as "who are we or anyone on this forum" to judge the "old ways" as if the old ways were oh so great. EVERYONE young and old should question what they are learning.
    In fact, it is a part of one's progress to do just that. It is part of the process called "shuhari"; the last component of which means to break free. It is a product of the insight gained through experience and training. Also, I did address why your earlier post was not valid. You made a statement that the type of technique we are discussing is worthless and a waste of time, and I followed by stating that you nor anyone else here is really qualified to make that distinction. Why? Because no one here has any direct experience with that type of technique in a live situation, no one has been in a real duel or melee with a katana, and therefore no one can verify whether or not the technique itself is worthless. That is simply the reality of the situation.

    The problem is that you made an accusation that this technique doesn't work, or is a waste of time, but fail to substantiate the claim. What evidence do you have that it doesn't work? Have you looked at historical records documenting its use? Have you seen it fail yourself? Do you have evidence that the inclusion of this technique was to add some "flash" in order to attract more students? Do you have evidence that the technique has never actually been used? I am somewhat agnostic on this situation because we simply do not have any way testing the validity of this or any other sword technique in a live situation. It would be dangerous and unethical to experiment as such. In addition, there is the question about what the success-to-attempt ratio would need to be in order to qualify a technique as effective...which is another methodolical hurdle.

    There is nothing wrong with questioning the validity of a technique WHEN you have evidence to back up your claim. That is, of course, a way in which innovation occurs. However, you making the claim that something is or isn't valid is not sufficient in and of itself. For example:

    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    Your statement of who are we to judge will just propagate more ignorance, and poor skill developement.
    I disagree. If anything people should learn to back up their claims with evidence and not be under the impression that their opinion satisfies that requirement. you'll note that I included myself in the original statement, which is why my position is that no one can produce evidence sufficient enough to discredit the use of this technique. I understand that this is an internet forum and people are entitled to their opinions, but it takes more than an opinion to construct a successful argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    About your point about Muto Dori... a skill that address unarmed vs weapon techiques, especially against a sword would undoubtably transfer over to a person trying to defend themselves from a bat. So your example here is poor. What makes the Bujinkan such a waste of time is the quality of the techniques. Not the intent behind the curriculum.
    Here you fail to understand the point, which was that the person who is unarmed is at a disadvantage, and for all intents and purposes is probably going to lose. Muto dori has a LOW chance of success, but is still included because it can still improve the chance of survival. Therefore, techniques that still had a low chance of success or survivability were still included in the curriculum..my point had nothing to do with skill transfer or the quality of those techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    I remember watching a You tube video of a kid barking like a dog during a basketball game. It distracted the other team so that their team could get one last point to win. Yes it was unorthodox, and yes it worked for the one time. But do you really think these kids should train that technique on any kind of regular basis???? Of course not. I view these reverse grip draws of the same nature, it was probably cool once, but I wouldn't waste my own time practicing it.
    I think you are overestimating just how prevalent this particular technique was, and how much time people actually spent practicing it. Again, Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu and Mugai Ryu, all of which produced some of the finest swordsmen in Japanese history included a variation of this technique in their curriculum. That should be sufficient evidence to suggest that it was not a waste of time, and did not detract from their overall training. The fact that at least three different schools included it, should further substantiate that claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by superninjagod View Post
    And your whole paragraph about people wasting time training with swords was really confusing and I need some clarification. First you state that training in swords is a waste of time cause nobody walks around with a sword. Then you ASK me if you are wasting your time training with a sword.... Well... the answer to that is yes. Yes you are wasting your time training with a sword. Unless you own a real one (like I do) there is no purpose of training with a sword. It would be much more practical to train with a knife, stick, or ideally.... a gun. ONce that got boring, traing ground fighting, then training striking, then train stand up grappling. THen train a completely different weapon. Who knows. But likely you would find yourself in that situation rather than a situation where you are carrying a sword.
    Actually what I said was that the study of swordsmanship is no longer practical for "self-defense". Therefore, it would be misguided to try to take a class on swordsmanship with the intent of being able to defend oneself in the modern world. While this WAS the original intent of these arts, it is no longer the case. Therefore, those that do practice the art do so for reasons OTHER than self defense. Many enjoy the spiritual component, some enjoy feeling connected to tradition, and a plethera of other reasons. In some ways it is no different than someone learning to play a musical instrument or paint. Would you be making the same statement to a painter that they should quit so that they could develop their ground game and learn to strike? I've never been in a fight, and I'm smart enough not to put myself in situations in which a fight would occur. Most of the people I know have never been in a fight either. So for me it would be a waste of time to learn self defense since there is a very small probability that I would ever actually use it in real life, whereas I do get something valuable from studying the sword. I'm not suggesting that self-defense IS a waste of time, quite the contrary, only that I personally have no desire to spend my time practicing it.
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