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#113554 - 12/09/04 07:59 PM Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


For anyone who doesn't know (I'm sure most of you do), inverted grip is when you hold the Katana with only one hand, and upside down.

I have only seen this used in one of my sword forms, and only for a moment. I was wondering, what would this be practical for? I was messing around with mine, and found it gives you little or no defensive capabilities, no stabbing capabilities, and it's not very powerful. But it's definetely something used, and has been used.

Mind giving me some examples as to what it can be used with?

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#113555 - 12/09/04 08:07 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mike Sweeney:
For anyone who doesn't know (I'm sure most of you do), inverted grip is when you hold the Katana with only one hand, and upside down.

I have only seen this used in one of my sword forms, and only for a moment. I was wondering, what would this be practical for? I was messing around with mine, and found it gives you little or no defensive capabilities, no stabbing capabilities, and it's not very powerful. But it's definetely something used, and has been used.

Mind giving me some examples as to what it can be used with?
[/QUOTE]

We use similar techniques in Chinese swordplay. I don't quite know about one handed use of a katana though. Seems like a two-handed sword is only good for thrusting (western fencing style) when held in one hand. This style of technique works much better with a one-handed sword (e.g. Sheung Dao, Tai Chi sword, hook swords). In Kung Fu we learn to do figure-eights around our body with this grip, so I'm sure it has it's applications.

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#113556 - 12/09/04 09:52 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am not an authority on the subject but I'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge. This type of grip changes the angle of many cuts. It might not be too powerful but it gives you a variety of continuous quick cuts that might overwhelm an oponent. The defensive capabilities are underestimated. Stabs are done but they are reversed and may come from rather odd angles, they lack reach though. The blocking is done with the daito close to your forearm for support and most of the basic blocks and parries can be executed. This type of grip is very good for close combat or confined spaces because the sword is kept basically close to the body. On some techniques you might need to "assist" the blade with your left hand with blocking or to give extra power to your cutting. (cutting through). Someone skilled on this grip is a very versatile oponent.

Yours in the Spirit of the Warrior-Scholar,

C. Roman

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#113557 - 12/11/04 01:38 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'll explain the form, from a certain point. I'm not going to get into detail.

There are four attackers when you start off. One in front, one on the left and right, and one behind you. You take out the one in front first, but don't kill him. Then turn left and take out him, also not dead. Turn to the one that was on the right and [brutally] kill him. Turn around and kill the one that was behind you. Now, after you kill him, your right foot is foward and you just cut off the rear attackers head. Keep in mind, the first two you attacked are not dead, just wounded. You take the sword in your left hand in an inverted grip and step out with the left, cutting the front attacker while spinning clockwise. When you reach full rotation, you thrust under your arm and kill the attacker that was on the right. Reset, sheath the sword, and bow.

So pretty much you have it in one hand and cut him while spinning. I can see that as practical, but I'd like to find some other examples.

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#113558 - 12/11/04 02:52 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


There's a series of Japanese movies from the 60's called The Blind Swordsman. He's basically a wandering masseuse who also happens to be a fantastic swordsman. He uses the reverse grip exclusively. His cane is the sword, straight edge. Granted, it's movies not real life, but he has some interesting techniques. He's played by an actor named Shintaro Katsu. The characters name is Zatoichi. I really have no idea if he's actually blind, but the actor's portrayal is very good. If you want to see some good reverse grip techniques, check out one of the movies.

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#113559 - 12/13/04 02:21 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


No, the actor wasn't blind.

This series has just been updated with the film "Zatoichi", directed and starring the legendary Takeshi Kitano.

I agree, this is some of the best inverted grip stuff I've ever seen. If you've seen the older Zatoichi stuff, you will LOVE this film.


Mark.

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#113560 - 12/13/04 03:29 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mark,

I did not know about the new movie. Thanks for the tip. Do you know where I can find info about it?

And yeah, I loved the older series. Have seen quite a few of them. I understand there were something like 20-25 made? I especially enjoy watching the reverse grip Iaido techniques. Again, I do not know what training Katsu had, but he was quite fast.

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#113561 - 12/13/04 03:46 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Try www.imdb.com.

Every film ever made is there, pretty much.

Watch the new one and tell me what you think. I reckon you'll like it.

Mark.

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#113562 - 12/15/04 09:31 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
It is very rare in the koryu world, but not unheard of. I believe Mugai Ryu makes use of it in one instance where you are in seiza and bowing to someone with the sword placed on your right side, edge out. The right hand first knocks the saya off with a flick of the wrist and then graps the tsuka and cuts upwards with that reverse grip.

It is purely a scenario based grip. You would never fight that way on purpose. It's just a silly way to try to fight from a purely biomechanical perspective.

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#113563 - 12/15/04 02:47 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


(see my post in the shinai thread)

My friend often uses an inverted grip. He hides it behind his back, then swings it out, and often I don't see it in time.

When he swings up and horizontal, though, I block - he then swivels it around so his blade is BEHIND mine, then stabs me in the chest.

Happens. A lot. lol

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