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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningirsu View Post
    In any case, great article, Kirk! Definitely covers the pros and cons for test cutting in excellent detail.
    But I do wonder about the first "con" to test cutting; it's true that non-moving targets or tatami mats are unrealistic training mediums, but at the same time today it's impossible (well, legally) to test actual cutting against other humans the only "realistic" training medium. As a result my impression was that test-cutting was also intended as an "inevitable substitute" for live combat experience with bladed weapons.
    My personal opinion (nothing more right now) is that tatami was chosen because it was the closest they could get to animal flesh & bone without being animal flesh & bone within the constraints of the technology. There may be a bit of Buddhistic vegetarianism/pacifism behind the selection too (or maybe not).

    But, yeah. If you're gonna learn how to cut right, you gotta cut SOMETHING. Perhaps I communicated it poorly in the article (more than likely), but I agree that if you want to improve your martial technique, you must cut something, that anything that isn't a human is doomed to have "flaws," and that, therefore, the student needs to understand what those shortcomings are and learn to work around them.

    Or am I misunderstanding your point?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post

    Or am I misunderstanding your point?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
    I think you got it right on; I was just pondering at some of the statements critics of testcutting have made and wondering what alternatives they actually have.
    If I recall correctly Hugh Knight criticized meat-cutting as being non-historical training for the medieval/renaissance period, and not so much because it distorted technique or whatever.

    But your article was very clear--sorry if it seemed like I was suggesting otherwise.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili Pepper View Post
    Enough of an issue that the British cavalry dropped the vertical cut from their sabre training - too many men being dragged from their saddle, after lodging their sword in their opposite number's skull.
    Yeah, that's pretty serious.

    I wonder if that also had to do with sword geometry.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningirsu View Post
    If I recall correctly Hugh Knight criticized meat-cutting as being non-historical training for the medieval/renaissance period, and not so much because it distorted technique or whatever.
    That's an interesting and difficult to defend position. <shrug>

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  5. #15

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    I remember reading of a excavation in japan of a large battle, I dont remember which, taht examined bodies of sword kills. Apparently, most killing cuts with the sword were deliverd to the left collar bone, but not as deep as the back ribs or spine. The collar bone and front ribs were all cut, most likely opening the heart as well. I assume that depth of cut would help the tip of the sword slide free easily.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSONE View Post
    I remember reading of a excavation in japan of a large battle, I dont remember which, taht examined bodies of sword kills. Apparently, most killing cuts with the sword were deliverd to the left collar bone, but not as deep as the back ribs or spine. The collar bone and front ribs were all cut, most likely opening the heart as well. I assume that depth of cut would help the tip of the sword slide free easily.
    Oo, now that is cool info. Left collar bone cuts are probably a result from the simple diagonal cut from the high guard, which leaves me to wonder if armor was designed specifically to handle sword cuts of that direction for those who could afford it.

    I'd imagine that the more pronounced wedge-shape of the katana edge might help split the flesh and bone more than a British cavalry sabre, thus enabling the blade to be pulled out easier?
    Someone who knows more about that can correct me on this.

  7. #17
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    neat write up. can you explain the orange feat of cutting? from what i read, it sounds like you cut the orange in half, then cut the falling piece in half as well?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conde Koma View Post
    neat write up. can you explain the orange feat of cutting? from what i read, it sounds like you cut the orange in half, then cut the falling piece in half as well?
    From what I can tell of the texts, there was more than one orange/lemon feat.

    My interpretation of the one from the text I quoted is that the orange was suspended on a string. The fist stroke severed the string, letting the orange fall free in the air, and the second divides the orange in two before it hits the ground.

    Peace favor your sword,
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ningirsu View Post
    Left collar bone cuts are probably a result from the simple diagonal cut from the high guard, which leaves me to wonder if armor was designed specifically to handle sword cuts of that direction for those who could afford it.

    I'd imagine that the more pronounced wedge-shape of the katana edge might help split the flesh and bone more than a British cavalry sabre, thus enabling the blade to be pulled out easier?
    Someone who knows more about that can correct me on this.
    Both seem plausible, also the natural advantage for pulling a sword thu bone with two hands. I think cavalry sabers coud do the same thing with that same kind of cut, but I dont know much about that. Just watchecd the cold steel video.

    YouTube- Cold Steel 1796 Light Cavalry Saber

    I have only cut tameshigiri with katana. Which is always thrilling enough for me.

  10. #20

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    A cut to the head is more likely to get stuck/harder to pull out due to the blade getting lodged in the skull. A cut to the body isn't as likely to get stuck unless it hits the spine.

    As far as cuts to the left collarbone, the subclavian artery/vein, which supplies/drains blood to the arms, will make you bleed out very fast if cut. The vein is about the size of a man's pinky finger.

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