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#113584 - 12/21/04 06:11 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Too much "Blind Fury" and not enough mat time.

I agree, if the people who relied on their training to save their life didn't put much stock in it why should anyone else.

#113585 - 12/21/04 07:24 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA
Standard draw on a katana.

The blade is worn EDGE UP, so you would grip it with your thumb down or to the side.

To draw the blade with an inverted grip the thumb would be on top.

Anyone who thinks that holding a katana blade down or along the forearm is a good way to fight with katana--needs to stop watching anime and start training.

The use of the an inverted grip is sometimes, SOMETIMES warrented.
But its not how most folks fought--for a number of good reasons.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-21-2004).]

#113586 - 12/21/04 08:39 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Let's put it this way. If you have a sword available to you. Hold it upside down, in what was described above as a "reverse" grip. Now extend it forward just as far as you can. Like you were cutting an opponent that was in front of you. Go for full extension so that you can get a feel or the limit of your range. Now hold it properly and do the same thing. Be sure to reach as far as you can. See a difference? It should be nearly a foot or more of reach advantage to the regular grip. Your wrist is fighting you with a reverse grip.

There are other significant issues. It is very difficult to apply any force with a reverse grip. You can get a quick slash but nothing that will be especially disabling, because you can't put your body weight onto the blade in the same way that you can with a normal grip.

I agree with Laf. More mat time. Less deduction. Somethings about sword fighting just aren't obvious.

#113587 - 12/24/04 05:55 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana

We use an inverted grip in Haidong Gumdo. From my experience the grip has more to do with how your wrists and arms move than the actual position of the blade in relation to your body. The reverse grip is rather seamlessly transitioned to during the execution of a previous attack. I assure you, transition time is not an issue.

In short, the grip is used to delivery a very fast flurry of attacks at many different angles as well as in attacks executed while moving turning and spinning. It's not so much a matter of the advantages and disadvantages of the grip in isolated situations as it is allowing you a much larger range of motion with the blade in relation to yourself.

#113588 - 12/24/04 06:01 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana

I do not mean this as a judgement of your skills Mahan or the techniques of your art, but I think you'd become aware of the grips advantages quite quickly were you to fight a skilled Haidong Gumdo practitioner (Or Kejutsuka, given it certainly is a traditional Kenjutsu technique).

#113589 - 12/27/04 12:51 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Oh... It's a kenjutsu technique.

What style?

So far I'm the only person on the thread who has quoted an actual technique from a koryu sword style. Everyone else talks about this as if it was a foregone conclusion, but no one has been able to quote an actual Japanese koryu sword style which uses this grip. Unless I missed it somewhere.

#113590 - 12/27/04 05:17 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana


The only ryuha I know that does a gyakute technique like that is Taisha ryu (^C̗jfrom Kumamoto. And it's only in one kata from their kumi iai.

#113591 - 12/28/04 07:41 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Haidong Gumdo is basically a form of Japanese Kendo.


So if the "reverse grip" was so good--why don't you see guys using it tournament.

Shinai is a heck of alot lighter than a sword.

Should be even FASTER with a Shinai--yet you don't see any top player use it.

Hmmmm, wonder why?????????

Also yo umay want to ponder the lack of the technique in almost all styles of swordsmanships--both eastern and western.

Sure, it exsists in both--but was seldom used--if it was such a "killer" technique you would think ut would be used often-by pretty much everyone.

See, people DIED in swordfights--if you had a technique that would work better--pretty sure that you have ALOT of motivation to use it.

Since it was not much used--have to conclude that its of limited utility.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-28-2004).]

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-28-2004).]

#113592 - 12/28/04 04:47 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana

Haidong Gumdo is NOT a form of Kendo.

Kendo is a SPORT that almost esclusively utilizes a shinai.

Kumdo is basically identical to Kendo in every way, thus it is alos a SPORT.

Haidong Gumdo is a fairly new system aimed at reintroducing the ancient Korean art of swordsmanship with the curved single edged sabre (Gum)known as Katana or Daito throughout most of the world. Although modern, Haidong Gumdo remains basically unchanged since its early days as a fighting system taught to royalty and high ranking officers in ancient Silla. The point here being that training is intended to facility use of a real sword, in real combat. In this way Haidong Gumdo shouuld be likened modern incarnations of some of the oldest Kenjutsu schools still in existance today. All very, very different from the sports of Kendo or Kumdo.

That being said, this grip really isn't a very advanced or difficult technique in Japanese or Korean arts from my understanding. While certainly not a good idea to use constantly it's an extremely useful technique and should not be ignored. It was created for a reason and until you've actually faught in a few fights to the death with a sword I really don't see how you're in any position to question it's effectiveness. Only to attempt to understand its purpose and place.

And on another note, how to you know it wasn't used throughout the west? Especially with curved slashing weapons. How many classical western swordsmanship styles have you studied? How many even exist intact today? The answer to both is likely "Not many" or "none".

#113593 - 12/29/04 08:05 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Ok, lets break this down.

1-you say

"haidong gumdo is a fairly new system"

"Although modern, Haidong Gumdo remains bascially unchanged since its early days as a fighting system taught to royality and high ranking officers in ancient Silla"

Ok, its BOTH modern and ancient?

Its dates back to ancient Silla?

Wonderful, please post a chart showing the masters and students of Haidong Gumdo from the 1700's to today.

Many of the Japanese kenjutsu ryu can do it.

Why can't you?

2- "until you have actually fought in a few fights to the death"

Have you?

Thats EXACTLY MY POINT, the use of the reverse/inverted grip is UNCOMMON NOT COMMON if it were all that useful that would not be the case.

3-"How many western swordmanship styles have you studied"

Glad you asked, I mainly study the saber, have a working of the epee and foil.

I have any number of period books on the use of the rapier and dagger, rapier and cloak etc--almost none show the use of a reverse/inverted grip with the OTHER HAND--none show the inverted grip with the primary weapon.

I checked a number of period German, English, French and Itl, books that illustrate period use--again-IF IT WAS COMMON THERE WOULD BE MANY EXAMPLES AND THEY WOULD BE EASY TO FIND.

Since there are NOT, I can only conclude that it was UNCOMMON.

Get it?

Bottom line?

Haidong Gumdo as being an "ancient" sword art are highly suspect.

Its use of a weapon bascially idential to the Japanese Katana is just further proof its not ancient at all.

Nor is the fact that you can produce no supportable history of the art past the current time.

Your views of the use of the reverse grip as being used to deliver a "very fast flurry of attacks"

Shows little practical knowloge of the use of a "live" blade--whose weight and handling characteristics make such a use highly unlikly.

(heck its hard to do with a bokken--and no faster than a "normal" cut--let alone a metal blade)

A technique of opportunity most certainly--a "normal" manner of use NO WAY.

You enjoy the practice of your art?

Nothing wrong with that.

More power to you.

But prior to making outlandish claims on a public forum you need to check your facts.

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