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Shug
6/11/2004 9:39am,
For those of you who would know better, because I know close to **** about swordplay (save a few months of epei) I've heard the exact same argument regaurding most forms of swordplay as I've heard with the MMA vs. TMA discussions (or rather the reverse).

In the case of say, Kendo or fencing (just generally, no specifics) I've heard that the method taught would be unrealistic as its geared more towards sport, then say Kenjutsu or "classical" sabre or rapier (of which I have no idea the difference between classical and sport sabre). But I've also heard a great deal of people say that most (or at least a few) kendo IS kenjutsu, just under a more modern name.

Now obviously it really doesn't matter, because who honestly carries a sword these days, but as a matter of curiousity, would the aspect of "aliveness" count just as much, or am I missing something all together here?

Te No Kage!
6/11/2004 10:02am,
I think "aliveness" is as good for weapon arts as it is for empty-handed arts

Bard of DorAr
6/11/2004 10:08am,
It's there, but that's not usually the reasons we complain about kendo and sport fencing.

When it comes to sparring, at least with the group I work with, it involves minor armor and schlagers or blunted sabres for that. For katana wise it's either no armor with shinai, or lighter armor with bokken. On top of all that there's just the drills to focus on blade alignment and proper form, etc. The Sports do some of that.

The main issue with sport arts is the unrealistic rules, not the methods. Sport Fencing is pretty back and forth and doesn't take into account the sides, you win the point if you strike first, even if you get nailed immediately after, and of course the weight and balance of foils, epees, and sabres is rather sad.

So yeah, aliveness is important, it's very important to spar in a number of ways (Full contact light weapons no gear to the partial contact with blunted blades and protective gear), but that's not the MAIN reason sport arts are problematic in their approach?

Ronin
6/11/2004 10:22am,
The biggest issue with "aliveness" and weapons is the problem of "trading blows".
Sure that works with bare fists, taking a shot to get in and do your stuff is pretty common, but when you add a sharpened weapon, its a whole new story, getting your head chopped off to get in a cut is NOT the prefered method.
While "full contact" aprring can be done, the element of realisim MUST be enforced, more so than on any other system.
Trading blows with a rattan stick is one thing, you DO NOT do that with blades, heck, you wouldn't do that with lead pipes !!
Kenjutsu is indeed THE art in which it holds true that, it MAY be too deadly for "live sparring".

The_Ghost
6/11/2004 11:08am,
IAdo is the same way with Kenjutsu, but I have our instructor Shihan Nishiuchi doesn't have a problem getting bokken and having people spar with those, or shinai for that matter.

Unicron
6/11/2004 11:20am,
Originally posted by ronin69
The biggest issue with "aliveness" and weapons is the problem of "trading blows".
Sure that works with bare fists, taking a shot to get in and do your stuff is pretty common, but when you add a sharpened weapon, its a whole new story, getting your head chopped off to get in a cut is NOT the prefered method.
While "full contact" aprring can be done, the element of realisim MUST be enforced, more so than on any other system.
Trading blows with a rattan stick is one thing, you DO NOT do that with blades, heck, you wouldn't do that with lead pipes !!
Kenjutsu is indeed THE art in which it holds true that, it MAY be too deadly for "live sparring".

In terms of sword practice wouldn't you just use heavy wooden blades to simulate? Gloves might be good as well.

Ronin
6/11/2004 11:27am,
Yes, in kenjutsu, the bokken /bokuto is used in "sparring" even "free sparring" to an extent, but since the bokken can crush bones and even kill, "full contact" even with protective armour is NOT a good idea, hince the creation of Kendo and the bamboo ass picker.

The_Ghost
6/11/2004 11:29am,
bamboo ass picker is not a funny thing man. In the karate classes if she gets mad enough, when were doing something stupid over and over again she'll slap the arm, leg, stomach, with the shinai and then we magically do it right!

Ronin
6/11/2004 11:45am,
A shinai is about, oh 100 times more pleasant than a bokken.

WhiteShark
6/11/2004 11:55am,
I always thought that people were just whining about not sparring with bokken, but then I actually held one of those fuckers! Oh man you do NOT want to get hit with that regardless of the circumstances. They put escrima sticks and baseball bats to shame!

Ronin
6/11/2004 12:02pm,
A good bokken is a serious piece of wood, it can shatter a katana blade, easily.
Think of the hardest piece of hardwood you ever felt, now imagine that coming down, full speed, full force, on your forehead...on your shoulder...on your wrist...across your floating ribs...get the picture?

Te No Kage!
6/11/2004 12:19pm,
just imagine full sparring with baseball bats, not the greatest idea in the whole world, Japanese swordsmanship is fairly comprehensive so somebody wishing to gain true proficiency would probably have to study all: full contact sparring with shinai, light contact and kata with bokken, and kata and drawing with iaito, and cutting with a live blade. I'm not sure if any one art teaches all of these, the only arts I know of are kendo (shinai), kenjutsu, iaido (iaito and blade), iaijutsu, battodo, and battajutsu. It is all rather confusing, and I'm sure could be very time consuming for the hobbyist. Just imagine all of that time spent on a martial art that many could consider practically useless.

J-kid
6/11/2004 12:30pm,
try this http://www.dogbrothers.tv/videoclips/promo01.wmv

Ronin
6/11/2004 2:57pm,
I have to say this:
What the dog brothers do, is nothing new, the escrima guys have done full contact stick work for ages, but, that clips illustrates, in many ways, all that is BAD with full contact stick fighting:
First, you know that, without the headgear, that fights would be very different.
Second, replace those rattan sticks with hardwood ones or pipes and what would you have?
I know the purpose is to hone your speed and placement and such, BUT the "downside" of that kind of training should be noted, and from what I see/hear, it isn't.
And you CAN'T train like that with bokkens.

Te No Kage!
6/11/2004 3:09pm,
sure you could............. once

Ronin
6/11/2004 3:17pm,
I HAD a "friend" who was part of that "mediveal/rennassaince" combat receration thing, and he wanted to try that full contact stuff with bokens, I tould him no, and no, and no, but finally, after he made a total jerk out of himself, I "showed" him the differences between "sparring weapons" and "real" weapons, which a bokuto most certainly is.
We haven't spoken since...
No great loss.