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#167568 - 07/15/05 09:12 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Halley]
smallkid Offline

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1
It all depends on what kind of situation yourin. ninjas for example didnt care about there swords for a couple reasons
1. wasn't theres in the first place they found it a are using it
2. once its broken they find a new one.

same with what kind of sitution like this i bought some crap swords at this store all for the sake of kejitsu drawing practice. in the winter i cut snow with it and it rusted no big deal though because it was cheap and it only for drawing.

back then ninjas they did onehanded sword work because the sword was just a distraction so they could ripe the eyes out of the enemy with claws in the other hand or use grappeling techniqes.

sorry if that was long but in all depends what ur doing ninjitsu sword is fun =D

#167569 - 07/16/05 12:47 AM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: smallkid]
Yunsung Offline

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 111
Loc: Bossier City, LA, USA
You're out of your mind.
Justice is only useful when power is useless.-Socrates, the Republic

#167570 - 07/16/05 08:41 AM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Yunsung]
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
I always chuckle when I run across a thread on this theme as it reminds me of hollering at my wife about putting her good kitchen knives in the dishwasher.

People, you really need to get a clue. If you need to touch the blade, touch the damn blade. If you DON'T need to touch the blade then don't. Most of what you are dealing with are injunctions that came out of the last 200 years of swordwork. Warrios of old wiped their swords on their clothes, used common rocks to dress the edges and might well have used a weapon they picked up off the battlefield as the one that they carried ONTO the battlefield.

The aura of sanctity that some folks wrap around the sword has a whole lot more to do with the revisionist thinking of Japanese nationalists than it does any practical purpose. If you want to go this route than we wind up going back to things like the sword is "the soul of the warrior".

Fer krine-out-loud, its a TOOL not a religious icon. Treat it with respect due a tool, keep it clean and light sheen of mineral oil and quit acting like its the HOLY-GRAIL-in-a-sheath. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


#167571 - 07/16/05 04:14 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: glad2bhere]
Nik_Miller Offline

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 28
I dont know of any steel that will PIT within 48 hours. maybe blacken or patina but never pit, swords had to handle blood, which is far more corrosive than skin oil. Just clean it daily if you touch it daily a little discoloring is not going to make your sword fall apart, just dont do something stupid like let it outside for a week, then it may pit. like glad2behere said. its a tool, care for it like you would a tool, just keep it founctional, any tool that gets used isnt going to stay pristine forever.

#167572 - 07/17/05 11:02 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Nik_Miller]
RangerG Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1026
Loc: Chester County, Pennsylvania
Well let me add a little bit's not just the oil from your's acid contained in that oil. If you clean the blade after handling it, there should be no problem. Take a non-ferrous metal like polished brass, a short period after handling, your fingerprints cause a discoloration. That's why brass is coated to prevent that from occuring. Now with steel, the reaction is not as fast, even with poor grades. I would think any reaction would be noticable with cutlery steel, and it can be prevented with care, regular cleaning and oil rag wipe.

Oh and I'm a Quality Engineer and have working knowledge of ASTM standards for metalurgy. I work with everything from 316 Stainless to Bronze every day of the workweek. My best friend is a master knife maker featured in knife magazines.

Pitting of a blade within moments of touching is just not going to happen..even with damascus folded steel. Just clean and protect it after the class.

I have very acidic skin..can't even wear a wrist watch..if touching a blade would cause pitting..all my survival and tanto knives would be rusted junk.
"If you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough."

#167573 - 07/18/05 10:54 AM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: RangerG]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I think the misinformation that has been spreading about swordsmen never touching their blades for fear of rusting has come about from people who are not collectors hearing about or reading about collectors. Collectors are very concerned with maintiaining antique weapons in as close to original condition as possible. It protects the value.

The fact is that touching the blade of some antiques with old very fine polishes, particularly blades where all the protective oil has been wiped clean so that the handler can get a clear look at the grain, can burn a fingerprint into the polish. The only way to remove it would then be to repolish the steel. This ruins the blades original polish, which might have been antique and thus lowers the value of the blade. So the collectors get all ansy about people touching their blades. Then some other folks who know next to nothing about swords and read these guidelines on some collectors site, or get chewed out by a dealer at a sword show, and they start to think that these guidelines would have always been in place and applied to the Samurai as well.
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

#167574 - 07/18/05 12:16 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Charles Mahan]
pgsmith Offline

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

I'm pretty sure you have Oh not on the outtake mind, but during the return, which is still part of noto.

You guys really guide with the thumb and finger? I guess I never noticed that before. I stand corrected!

I agree with you about the collector viewpoint probably being the source for this particular misconception. Didn't mean to cause a big uproar, but "internet experts" repeating things that they've read somewhere as if they were facts is one of my hot buttons.

Hey Bruce,
Within the Japanese perspective, the sword is a bit more than just a tool. A sword is part of the Emporer's sacred regalia which proclaims him as Emporer. It is this reverence to the sword that has enabled the Japanese to preserve as many swords as they have. I have personally held Japanese swords that were over 500 years old, and could be used the same way today as they were then. The traditional schools of Japanese swordsmanship still contain a goodly amount of this reverence for the sword, which is passed on to their adherents.

#167575 - 07/18/05 12:44 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

You guys really guide with the thumb and finger? I guess I never noticed that before. I stand corrected!

Well. We're supposed to . Sensei has as long as I can remember. I've also seen other instructors use just their forefinger to guide. Like a lot of things it's hard to explain, but it would be easy to show.
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

#167576 - 07/18/05 01:18 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: pgsmith]
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear Paul:

I understand. Please don't be put-off by my plaintalk. You are, of course, right about the role of the sword as an icon in Japanese culture. In Korean sword, it IS true that there is some symbolic nature to the sword and I think this follows in just about any culture, east and West. My experience in Korean sword, however, that the "reverence" one might encounter in THAT culture would be more along the lines of owning, say, a pistol, that you knew that your grandfather carried in WW I. Something like that. Not so much that its a pistol but that it has an heirloom status. Does this make sense?

BTW: Just as an aside I know a lot of gun-owners that don't like their guns touched either!

Best Wishes,


#167577 - 07/18/05 02:37 PM Re: Touching the Blade [Re: Charles Mahan]
MAGon Offline

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 1737
Loc: Miami, Fl.

...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.

You can add TSKSR to your list. Fairly common when blocking a forceful cut from the opponent.
Just when you think something is foolproof, they come out with a new and improved type of fool.

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