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#167558 - 07/14/05 05:44 PM Touching the Blade
yen Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 64
Click to see example image used without permission but heavily modified so no one is recognizable

In the art I practice, we never touch the blade. However, I have seen pictures from other arts (aikido for example) where folks with a katana or bokken block while placing 1 hand on the blade. I've also seen a move (from TKD I think) that had a followthrough attack with one hand on the blade.

I see disadvantages (hand dangerously close to edge, maybe not being able to counterattack as quickly) but I am admittedly a newbie to swordplay.

Is this something regularly done in other sword arts? What are the advantages to such a move?
_________________________
Jinsei Shinkendo

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#167559 - 07/14/05 05:56 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: yen]
Talimas Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
The biggest reasoning some styles do not touch the blade, is depending on the metals used to make your sword the oils from your skin will actually make pits in the blade. It has nothing to do with being close to the actual blade of the weapon, look at the way japanese sheathed their weapons, blade up in between the thumb and index finger. So the styles that hold one hand on their weapon typically used a different type of metal in creating their weapons.
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#167560 - 07/14/05 07:06 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Talimas]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

The biggest reasoning some styles do not touch the blade, is depending on the metals used to make your sword the oils from your skin will actually make pits in the blade. It has nothing to do with being close to the actual blade of the weapon, look at the way japanese sheathed their weapons, blade up in between the thumb and index finger. So the styles that hold one hand on their weapon typically used a different type of metal in creating their weapons.



Sorry, but that is absolutely and entirely wrong. First, Japanese swords have been made out of steel from their inception. No other metals, just steel. Modern iaito are usually made from aluminum alloy, but they are treated exactly as a real blade. Second, the back of the Japanese sword, the shinogi and mune, are burnished. This means that they have been rubbed with a metal needle to seal the steel as much as possible. When contacting the blade, either in use or in resheathing, contact is always on the burnished portion to limit any damage from skin oils. As long as your sword is cleaned fairly regularly, no damage will result.

To answer the original question, different schools have different ideas and techniques. I don't know anything about Shinkendo kata since you guys keep to yourselves, but most schools have at least one or two techniques wherein the sword is supported for a cut or thrust.
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#167561 - 07/14/05 09:00 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well all Iai students will come into contact with their blade more than 50 odd times per practice. Potentially far more often. If finger oils were that dangerous, we'd all have rusting hulks after only a few months of practice. With proper cleaning and reoiling, they hold up just fine.

Now I wouldn't do this to a $30K art sword with a super high quality polish or a 400 year old antique sword with an original polish, but most iai swords are working swords, not art swords. They are after all training tools.

Now as to the original question, I know of at least three styles which will put the left hand on the mune to either aid a block or add to a cut, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu, Muso Shinden Ryu, and Hoki Ryu, although I would imagine it's not all that uncommon.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#167562 - 07/14/05 09:11 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Charles Mahan]
SwordsmanAJ Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 27
Loc: Where its cold half the year
Some Medieval and Renaissance Techinques require you to hold the blade to use the sword almost like a spear or even to use the cross guard to strike your opponent.

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#167563 - 07/15/05 04:51 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
Talimas Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I did not say Japanense swords were made from any metal other then steel, actually I said nothing about what metal Japanese swords were made from. My comment about Japanese swords was in reference to styles avoiding the blade, not the metal.

My comment was: The biggest reasoning some styles do not touch the blade, is depending on the metals used to make your sword the oils from your skin will actually make pits in the blade.

Which is true, no Japanese swords need not worry about this, but their are other types of swords in existance. As many flexible swords are often either a carbon steel or a iron combination, these sword types do need to worry about oils from peoples hands. Carbon especially will start to pit and rust very quickly (within 24-48 hrs) of someone handling the blade without wiping and cleaning.

Does this mean you can't use these swords and touch the blade, no, it just means its not nearly as practical.
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Some things move, most things breath, anything can be destroyed.

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#167564 - 07/15/05 06:24 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Talimas]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
This is your previous post, which you made authoritatively ...
Quote:

The biggest reasoning some styles do not touch the blade, is depending on the metals used to make your sword the oils from your skin will actually make pits in the blade.



That is incorrect. I know of no schools that worry about oils pitting the blade. None, nada. Therefore that is not even a minor reason, much less the biggest reason.
Quote:

It has nothing to do with being close to the actual blade of the weapon, look at the way japanese sheathed their weapons, blade up in between the thumb and index finger.



I've never seen a style that performs noto with their thumb and index finger. I have seen many that slide the blade on the top of their hand, and a couple that slide on the knuckle, but never one that slides between the thumb and index finger.
Quote:

So the styles that hold one hand on their weapon typically used a different type of metal in creating their weapons.



Swords were made of steel. No other metals, just steel.

Every part of your post was incorrect. That is why I said that you were totally wrong. If you are going to answer someone's question, please be sure that your knowledge is correct. Otherwise, bad information gets passed on as fact, and adds to the already large inaccuracies on the web.
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Paul

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#167565 - 07/15/05 06:37 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
yen Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 64
Quote:


I've never seen a style that performs noto with their thumb and index finger. I have seen many that slide the blade on the top of their hand, and a couple that slide on the knuckle, but never one that slides between the thumb and index finger.




Strangely enough, while looking for an image to illustrate what I was talking about back in my first post, I came upon this image and was wondering what exactly he was doing. Is this what Talimas was referring to?

old folks iaido

As for hand oils hurting a blade, would they be any more damaging than the various fluids a blade is bound to come in contact with when attacking an enemy?
_________________________
Jinsei Shinkendo

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#167566 - 07/15/05 08:43 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:


I've never seen a style that performs noto with their thumb and index finger. I have seen many that slide the blade on the top of their hand, and a couple that slide on the knuckle, but never one that slides between the thumb and index finger.





I'm pretty sure you have Oh not on the outtake mind, but during the return, which is still part of noto.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#167567 - 07/15/05 08:50 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: yen]
Halley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 126
Quote:

Quote:

I've never seen a style that performs noto with their thumb and index finger.


I came upon this image and was wondering what exactly he was doing.
old folks iaido




The motion seen here is not returning the blade to the scabbard (noto), it is letting the imaginary blood drain off the blade while checking the body of the imaginary foe. This is done in the *Eishin Ryu forms like hachihon me, among others.

As for the discussion about "just steel," that's hugely disingenuous. There's so many formulations of steel that it can hardly even be called a family of alloys, nevermind a single material. Each type of steel will have different reactions to corrosive or contaminative fluids. When finger touch blades, they do not just deposit oils, but can upset any protective oil layer already there, letting water in to start oxidization. That's why you should take care of your blade with the proper oils and storage.

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