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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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#113564 - 12/15/04 03:54 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Gai

You guys using one shinai or two?

Reason I ask is if he commits to the block as you describe above--then when he moves his "blade" to stab you then he is no longer in postion/conatct with your own shinai.

As described it should end in a "tie" pretty much each time.

(a "tie" often mean you both die)

Or am I misunderstanding??

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-15-2004).]

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-15-2004).]

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#113565 - 12/15/04 08:54 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
The primary problem with this reversed grip is that it drastically reduces your effective range when compared to a proper grip. You simply cannot reach the fullest extension possible with the blade reversed.

Another significant problem is a marked decrease in flexibility with your ability to use your wrist to manipulate the position of the blade.

I have no doubt that your friend often uses the grip and he gets you as often as he says. No doubt at all. But then what expertise do either of you have in the use of swords?

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#113566 - 12/16/04 12:37 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree with Mr. Mahan. But I must add that the reversed grip techniques made a great addition to ones arsennal. They may lack reach and power but in the end, a cut is a cut no matter how you do it.

C. Roman

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#113567 - 12/16/04 05:17 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
No it's a lousy addition to your arsenal, because the other guy is gonna cut you down long before you get in range to use it.

That's something the self taught folks rarely understand completely. If you don't pull it off, YOU DIE! There are no second chances, no glancing blows, if he makes contact with you in anyway you are a dead man. Aside from very specific scenarios like the one described above from Mugai Ryu, it's hard to see where this grip can be justified.

[This message has been edited by Charles Mahan (edited 12-16-2004).]

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#113568 - 12/16/04 11:30 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I respectfully disagree. This is a subject that has to be analized practically. I've practiced many scenarios where this type of grip has been used. It is hard to explain but easy to show. It is the mentality of many Iai Ryus to think on ending the confrontation on just one blow maybe two. That many times was not the case. One could be cut and still live, but of course, you do not want to be cut anyway. The reverse grip can be utilized on certain techniques that can be used on close quarters or to change the angle of attack. Against a skilled oponent one must be aware of this type of grip's short commings along with its benefits. Mr. Mahan, I take you are very set on your traditional ways. I am not. The Ryu's have lost overtime (400 yrs) many techniques and sub-specializations. In my 23 yrs of training I have put to the test many theories, traditional and not so traditional to see what might have worked on the battlefield and what didn't. Most of my work involved sparring with partners ranging from novice to experts. As any other battle one must take into consideration the skill level (if known) of his adversary. One must adapt, to do so, a broad range of techniques to choose from is an indispensable tool. This inverted grip techniques are valuable and useful on some instances. I do not favor its use exclusively but, they do come in handy in some situations. Let us not be blinded by tradition. Experiment, try for yourself and see what works for you, but do not dissmiss something as useless just because it does not work for you. "When ones binded by tradition, knowledged is limited; when tradition is binded, knowledge is endless." Japanese saying.

C. Roman

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#113569 - 12/17/04 06:31 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


There are a few koryu bujutsu ryuha that have at least one or two kenjutsu techniques, sakate (reverse hand) style in their syllabi. It really depends on the situation.

Some ryuha do a reverse draw to stab to the rear. Some do it to parry an enemy's attack as an "Oh S@&t!!" technique.

It really depends on the ryuha and the situation portrayed in the kata.

Regards,

[This message has been edited by Gunyo Kogusoku (edited 12-17-2004).]

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#113570 - 12/17/04 08:19 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Mr. Roman. Since you have chosen to appeal to your 23 years of training to backup your claims, could you please detail that training so that I will know exactly where you are coming from?

That said, let's assume you have your sword out with a proper grip. Your opponent closes the distance to what you would deem to be "tight quarters". The time it takes you to reverse your grip is all it takes for you to die. Look as I mentioned before, there are examples of very specific circumstances where various koryu proscribe a reverse grip. They are very few and far between.

Oh and your assertion that the ryu-ha have lost many techniques over the course of the last 400 odd years, you aren't entirely wrong. But you're ignoring the fact that they gained many techniques as well. The arts are, or perhaps an arguement could be made that they were until the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, alive. They evolved continously over the centuries to adapt to new fighting conditions. They did not wane continously for hundres of years.

Unlike yourself however, the innovators who kept the arts current did so in a climate where their lives depended on what they learned and taught. You don't have that enviornment and so no matter how much you rationalize or study the techniques, you nor I will ever be able to make a strong arguement against what our predecessors taught and handed down the line. For the simple reason, that our lives will never depend on the techniques. Theirs did. Between you're opinions and their battle tested ideas, I'll take theirs any day.

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#113571 - 12/17/04 10:07 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Whitedragon

"I have put to the test many theories, traditional and non traditional to see what might have worked on the battlefield and what didn't."

Ok,

-Did you do it in period armor? because they wore armor on the "battlefield"

-Did you test your ideas vs different weapons--yari, naganata, ono, etc--beacuse they used a wide range of weapons on the battlefield.

-What "theories" worked and what did not?

-Can you be more specific here about what "worked" and what does not?

-Did you "spar" with bokken?

-How many folks were hurt? And how bad--free sparring with bokken is a very dangerous thing--and if your "really" going hard it can often get you hurt.

(one reason that the ryu used kata--crippling your students is a bad thing)


"Most of my work involved sparring with partners ranging from novice to expert."

-"Novice" means what exactly?

-"Expert" means what exactly?

-Were they all from the same ryu?

-What ryu were they from?

-What ryu do you study?

-How many years have you studied you kenjutsu ryu?

I ask because period guys would have had to face attack from folks trained in many different schools--so unless you have trained vs guys from many diffent schools---well then you have only (and in limited fashion) the "theories" of a single school.




[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-17-2004).]

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#113572 - 12/17/04 10:52 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I will try to address all your questions to the best of my ability. The reason I brought up my years of training was to point out that I am not a self-taught beginner. So we pretty much see eye to eye. Even though I respect tradition (it is a beautifull thing), I approach the Budo in a more scientific way. I started in Puerto Rico back in 1981 with Ninjutsu, that was my 1st time holding a blade. I practiced it for about ten years. I then decided to study many other Japanese and Okinawan arts ranging from Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, Daito Ryu, Mugai Ryu, Yagyu Shinkage and others. Also I am currently a Head Intructor of American Kenpo, an art that takes the blades very seriously. I did not seriously take to the sword arts until 12 years ago when I really got into it. In recent years, I decided to turn my attention to Nito Ryu's techniques (too bad no Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu available *sigh*). Given my background in Kenpo (a style that aproaches the Budo scientifically) I decided to apply the same principles to my sword studies. That means I started to ask "WHY" a lot to my instructors.

Mr. Mahan, if memory serves me right from the Mugai Ryu, I might be wrong, but the way the Ryu inverts the grip takes a LOOONG time. If that is true, then you are 100% right. I mask the inversion WITHIN the action,i.e., while moving to evade, parrying, blocking, right after cutting, etc. If holding the Tsuka with 2 hands it only takes a fraction of a second. This changes the movents available from x or y position the blade may be (keep in mind continous motion)for a follow up. It can also be done at a distance but it can be seen thus announcing your intentions.

I give you that Mr. Mahan, Sir. Yes the Ryu-ha has adapted with time within the last 400 years. For example the decline of wearing armor changed the blades along with the techniques. Yes, techniques have been lost and changed and even yes, some where added. It is true that after the Meiji restoration the arts "barely" survived, specially after WW2. The arts where slowly declining way before the Meiji. Given that there where no major conflicts after the Tokugawa.

I agree with you again, Mr, Mahan. Whe can only hipothesize about how it was done. Even with all the medical expertise available, we can only draw conjectures. I too would take their battle tested opinion any day over my conclusions, experience is the best teacher right?

CXT, to recreate any period armor is a rather ambitious experiment. But it has been done I'm sure. Not by me, though. Like I said, I can only draw conjectures based on the Ryu-ha and examining the blades from those periods. Some are better suited to pierce armor than others. After the decline in armor wearing, we can see subtles changes to the Katna, they became sharper, to cut flesh more efectively.

Yes we did test many techniques against all sorts of weapons common after the Tokugawa. Of course, taking all the precautions to "keep it safe". Unfortunately, this also hinders the realism, but, what can you do?

What worked and what did not worked is too long of a subject to discuss here. That is another of those things better shown that written about. But I am open to further discussion.

Yes, we did spar with bokkens and we all got hurt at some point; it comes with the territory. But we also practiced for a long time before making contact, so we have a lot of control. None of us where exacly "beginers". But no amount of training can save you from the ocasional black and blue. But, since we where all black belts, we are used to it. I did not use my students for that (it is very bad for bussiness). Anyway, I am very selective when it comes to teaching given that not too many people take it seriously.

We tested katas as well. This is another subject to be shown.

We did used partners (the sword community in the island is not too big) from different styles in the Koryu. All ranging from Novices to Experts. All of them Instructors on other japanese disciplines, no white belts. The reason for this was to examine the technique application from them. Different levels of expertise fight and think totally different. It was interesting.

CXT, your last 3 questions I have already answered.

CXT, you are very right, diversity in training is indispensable. After all "a good warrior must know of all arts." Musashi.

I thank you Mr. Mahan and CXT, my formal salutations to you both. I look forward to talking to you again.

On a lighter note, I have been in FL for only 2 yrs and I am looking around for Koryu dojo in the area. I still want to learn more from other styles to further what little knowledge I have. I do not consider myself anywhere near an expert, I am just a student of the arts, thats all I'll ever be.


Yours in the Spirit of the Warrior-Scholar,

C. Roman

[This message has been edited by whitedragon_48 (edited 12-18-2004).]

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#113573 - 12/18/04 04:19 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you're not an expert, I'm going to die a novice.

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#113574 - 12/19/04 12:13 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Akedes, the one who declares himself a blademaster is the one who least deserves the title. You are always a student and will never be as good today as you can be tomorrow. Once you consider yourself an expert, you hinder your learning and reduce your potential tremendously.

Just the musings of a part time philosopher.

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#113575 - 12/19/04 09:48 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello. I am not exactly qualified to make any real statements about the inverted grip style (14 year old and avid fan of the much-flamed Rouroni Kenshin TV show), but if you want to see some good action with the inverted style, watch the film Equilibrium. It came out in 2003 but for some reason it ws only released in select cities and the DVD's were never advertised so nobody knew about it. Christian Bale is in number of sword action sequences where he uses his katan inverted.

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#113576 - 12/19/04 11:11 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Benjamin1986:
Akedes, the one who declares himself a blademaster is the one who least deserves the title. You are always a student and will never be as good today as you can be tomorrow. Once you consider yourself an expert, you hinder your learning and reduce your potential tremendously.

Just the musings of a part time philosopher.
[/QUOTE]


Forgive me, I was just being sarcastic [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]
But you add excellent advice to my new training. I will always aspire to be better, and never consider myself complete. It's sort of hard for me to understand completely any terms used in sword art training to describe your skill level. In forms of karate, kung fu, tae kwon do, etc., there are different belt levels. Being black belt doesn't mean you're an expert at the art, but it certainly gives you more experience over a white or yellow belt.

That, to me, is what makes iaido and kenjutsu so exciting. It's sort of like reading through a mystery book as you battle or spar your opponent. They bear no distinguishing marks to their skill level and experience, this leaves both parties, wondering, and guessing. Leaving the battle more spur of the moment and dictates quick strategic decision making when delivering and countering moves.

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#113577 - 12/20/04 12:48 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
[QUOTE]Originally posted by d00m4th0n:
Hello. I am not exactly qualified to make any real statements about the inverted grip style (14 year old and avid fan of the much-flamed Rouroni Kenshin TV show), but if you want to see some good action with the inverted style, watch the film Equilibrium. It came out in 2003 but for some reason it ws only released in select cities and the DVD's were never advertised so nobody knew about it. Christian Bale is in number of sword action sequences where he uses his katan inverted.[/QUOTE]

I've seen it. My understanding was it was released straight to video. The reason being it was a terrible movie. Gun kata? Movies like this make me cringe.

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#113578 - 12/20/04 08:49 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Mr. Roman,

You will have to forgive me. There are a lot of kooks online and what you say flies in the face of conventional wisdom, so I'm gonna need more clairification.

As I see it the only styles that you have studied which have any bearing on this discussion are the Daito Ryu, Mugai Ryu, and Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. None of your hand to hand work really has any bearing on a koryu JSA discussion. I'm glad you've had such a full training career, but it simply isn't relevant to the topic at hand.

As to the training you have had in Sword Arts I'd like a few more specifics. Who did you train in with in Mugai Ryu, for how long, and what rank did you achieve, and out of curiosity why did you leave the Ryu-ha? Same questions for Yagyu Shinkage Ryu and Daito Ryu. With who, for how long, what rank, and why leave?

I ask again, because I still have no feeling for your experience with real JSA. You mentioned having studied it, but I studied fencing too before coming to Iai. Does that make me qualified to comment on fencing? Not really. I only studied it for a couple of weeks at a university fencing club before deciding it wasn't for me.

I would advise anyone who reads this thread not to view any of us as "authorities" on these topics. I've trained with folks who would have a valid claim to authority, but they are very few and very far between. Only a handful of authorities are online, and none to my knowledge are on this forum. Mostly they chime in on rare occasions over at http://www.e-budo.com, http://www.swordforum.com, or the iaido-l mailing list.

I will address a couple of your points below.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by whitedragon_48:
Given my background in Kenpo (a style that aproaches the Budo scientifically) I decided to apply the same principles to my sword studies. That means I started to ask "WHY" a lot to my instructors.[/QUOTE]
This is certainly an nontraditional approach. It approaches things from a western point of view, rather than a Japanese point of view. Understanding why is not necessarily beneficial to training. Understanding why something is the way it is can sometimes trigger a little piece of your brain to say, "Ah! I understand I've got it now! Now what else can I work on." At that point you stop focusing on the point that before you asked the question, you not only couldn't understand but couldn't replicate either. Now you think you've got it you won't be working on it anymore and the end result is understanding at a, probably, superficial level but with no capability to perform to back it up. 99% of learning JSA is doing it. It isn't a cerebral activity as much as it is a physical activity. There are theories of movement to know and understand, but they aren't as important to know as it is important to be able to do them. Point is, Asking "why" doesn't make you a better student necessarily.

[QUOTE]

Mr. Mahan, if memory serves me right from the Mugai Ryu, I might be wrong, but the way the Ryu inverts the grip takes a LOOONG time. If that is true, then you are 100% right.

[/QUOTE]
I'd say so. As I understand it they way they invert their grip is to stand up straight with the sword in the saya in their left side. Then they sit down in Seiza and place the sword on their right side edge out. Then they put both hands on their lap(for lack of a better explanation). I'll turn it over to Renfield Kuroda-sensei who is studying at the hombu dojo in Japan under the soke of Mugai Ryu. " Naganuma-sensei has the sword lying next to him in seiza. He slaps the saya off and then (here starts the video) grabs the unsheathed sword in a reverse grip and cuts gyaku-kesagiri. This is the "I'm drinking tea in polite company, with my sword unthreateningly on my right side, when I am suddenly attacked" move."
That quote was found in this thread http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14717&highlight=Revers e+grip+video
I'm pretty certain, although I can't find the thread to reference, that I have heard Kuroda-sensei mention that that is the only waza they do which uses a reverse grip. So I have to wonder how much Mugai Ryu you have done if you did not know this. If you aren't familiar with this particular waza, don't feel to bad. Kuroda-sensei mentions in the same post that it is a considerably advanced waza.


[This message has been edited by Charles Mahan (edited 12-20-2004).]

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#113579 - 12/20/04 10:33 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


I would like to say that I am in no way an experienced swordsman. Instead, I have barely any grounding in kenjutsu or any of the sword arts.

However, I have found in the course of my weapons training that the inverted grip has some advantages that are not immediately apparent.

The inverted grip allows one to conceal the weapon, which would be virtually useless after a sword encounter has begun, but provide an advantage in the first moments of the encounter. With the inverted grip, what seems to your opponent to be a punch can turn into a quick win when you swing out your weapon. In addition, your enemy will allow you to get closer if he believes that you are unarmed.

An inverted grip allows one to attack from new and unexpected angles. When confronted with something they do not expect, many people falter and provide an opening.

When you are in extremely enclosed spaces, an inverted grip can allow you to attack even when a normal grip is hindered by environmental obstacles. This is also true when you have been surprised and your opponent is too close for the conventional grip.

It can allow one to attack to the rear from short range.

In my experience, most techniques have use in certain situations. It is up to the individual to decide which techniques work best for him/her. Some people are uncomfortable with specific moves, and make up the ground by adapting other techniques.

As I said before, my experience with the sword is limited. What I have written comes from my experience with other weapons and could be inapplicable to the katana.

Edit- removal of pointless statement

[This message has been edited by Xaith (edited 12-20-2004).]

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#113580 - 12/20/04 04:02 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Xaith

How are you going to hide a 30 inch blade with an inverted grip????

If your opponent has "surprised you" and is that close--chances are your already dead.

If not you would be far better off using a shorter weapon rather than trying to draw your own sword.

(guys is ALREADY inside the range)

Say maybe a knife or short blade.

The grip does not significantly change the length of the blade--if you need X inchs to draw the blade then it does not matter what grip you use.

Sure you can twist your body around--but if its "extremly close quaters" then you would STILL be better off using a knife or shorter blade than you would be trying to draw a sword.

If its as "close" as you mention then a long blade is of limited ultiity--a shorter blade would give you more options.

The grip does not really change the position of the blade.

Still draws the same--so if you thrusting back behind you, you still would use the same motion is your "normal" grip (thumb "down") as you would do with "inverted" grip (thumb "up")

So it would not really save any time in a back thrust.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-20-2004).]

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-20-2004).]

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#113581 - 12/20/04 08:23 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
So if it has all these advantages, why is it that so few koryu use a reversed grip for anything, and the few that do use it only in very special conditions?

If the guys who staked their lives on their skill didn't think it was a useful grip, why do you?

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#113582 - 12/20/04 10:20 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Charles Mahan:
So if it has all these advantages, why is it that so few koryu use a reversed grip for anything, and the few that do use it only in very special conditions?

If the guys who staked their lives on their skill didn't think it was a useful grip, why do you?
[/QUOTE]


Woah, I'm confused now. Are we talking about the reverse grip, or the inverted grip? These are very different techniques (at least in my training).

Somebody please clarify. Here are my definitions...

Reverse grip: Sword is held upside down in one hand along the elbow, blade out.

Inverted Grip: Sword is held normally but with the blade up.

So which one are we talking about?


[This message has been edited by SifuSkyler (edited 12-20-2004).]

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#113583 - 12/21/04 05:51 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


If I may . . . I'm no expert, but I do see advantages to a 3 foot razor along the forearm. In close quarters it would provide more agile blocks, a wide range of spinning slashes from a number of unusual angles, and the ability to "thrust" at an opponent behind you. And SifuSkyler, I think they're refering to the "Reverse Grip."

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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: 4064
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.

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#113585 - 12/21/04 07:24 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
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).]

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#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.

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


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.

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


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).

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#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.

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


Charles,

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.

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

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Subedei

Haidong Gumdo is basically a form of Japanese Kendo.

(kumdo/kendo/gumdo)

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).]

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


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".

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

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Subedi

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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#113594 - 12/29/04 01:01 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
The fact that this type of grip is NOT common place in any koryu should tell you it's lack of practicality. If it was such a valued technique it would appear more in koryu.

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#113595 - 12/30/04 06:15 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Laf,

Several koryu do them in kata. Taisha-ryu do it, Araki-ryu do it and I have seen one iai technique done sakate (gyaku-te) in an embu of Tenshin-Sho Jigen-ryu in Tokyo during the April of this year.

It's not a predominant technique, but some do have them, as rare as it is.

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#113596 - 12/30/04 07:35 PM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Like i said. It's not common in koryu. This leads me to believe there wasn't much stock put into this technique orther wise it would appear more often. I never said they don't use it at all.

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#113597 - 01/05/05 08:21 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Gunyo

NOBODY said that it was NOT used.

Many people DID SAY that its was not COMMON.

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#113598 - 01/06/05 09:56 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
Anonymous
Unregistered


Only need to be told once CXT. The moderator has already done so, in a politer tone.

They are uncommon, but sakate waza are used in koryu. This clarification should be made just to avoid misconceptions that only junte/honte techniques are only used.

[This message has been edited by Gunyo Kogusoku (edited 01-06-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Gunyo Kogusoku (edited 01-06-2005).]

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#113599 - 01/06/05 10:05 AM Re: Usage of inverted grip on a Katana
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Gunyo

Sorry.

On the other hand MANY folks said the same thing all thu out the thread.

You seem you have missed all the times people said it prior to the second page of the thread.

Forgive me for making sure.

But again, sorry for any offense.

Honestly.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 01-06-2005).]

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 01-06-2005).]

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