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#215039 - 12/16/05 01:54 AM Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad
MugiaMike Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Louisville, KY U.S.
I am of the school of thought that you learn with the ken you would use in combat. You learn how not to cut yourself by cutting yourself. You also develope a relationship with the sword and are not afraide of it. Iaitos are weak and can bend or break causing injury, without truely teaching the sword.

I look at it like learning to shoot a gun with blanks. It simply is not the same, when you fire live rounds you do not truely know what to expect, the gun behaves differantly and your initial fear returns.

I want to know you oppinions on this, I just nicked my arm on "Suka ah Te",and now know what not to do. I learned this lesson very quickly. How do you train?

Mike

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#215040 - 12/16/05 08:36 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Live blades are very, very, good to learn with. If you don't want to get cut...go slow as you learn.

Toy swords = toy swordsmen.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215041 - 12/16/05 08:44 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Zeal Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 56
You make a comparison between live a sword and firearms which is simply irrelevant. You say you cut yourself doing 'tsuka ate'. How many times do you think people shoot themselves when practicing with firearms?

Also good iaito won't bend or break easily. I know people who used the same iaito for 10 years.

From my own limited experience, learning to use a sword relies entirely upon kihon. You can happlily practice kihon with a bokuto, iaito or shinken.

My personal opinion (not that its worth much) is that starting with a bokuto, progressing to iaito and finally shinken allows you to develop your kihon by forcing you to look at your technique at each stage.

Whats the rush?

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#215042 - 12/16/05 12:18 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Zeal]
pgsmith Offline
Member

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

Toy swords = toy swordsmen.



Interesting outlook.
I personally know many very experienced (and very good!) swordsmen that regularly use iaito. I usually use iaito in the dojo, and insist that the lower level students do also. I can go back and forth between an iaito and a shinken without any change in how I do things.

Learning the sword arts is not generally done as some sort of macho "I'm bad" testosterone gig. I've sat around and compared scars with others over beer, but it is to laugh about being stupid enough to get a scar, not over machismo for having one.

I am aware of several schools that insist on graduating from bokken straight to shinken. Nothing wrong with that as long as the school is specifically geared toward doing it in a safe manner. Goofing up with a shinken is not just an "oops" moment, it can easily be a race to the emergency room and pray you're in time.

Calling the many highly experienced swordsmen that have been practicing since before you were born "toy swordsmen" because they don't use shinken exclusively is both rude and short sighted. I somehow don't think your sensei would approve.

Quote:

I look at it like learning to shoot a gun with blanks.



If you ever join the military, that is exactly what you will do. You learn most of your maneuvering and how to fight as a unit using blanks. They aren't stupid enough to give people that don't know what they are doing live rounds. Once you've figured things out, then they move you up to using live ammo.


Edited by pgsmith (12/16/05 12:22 PM)
_________________________
Paul

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#215043 - 12/16/05 05:57 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: pgsmith]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
Most sword instructors I've seen use a dull sword in the classroom. No matter how careful you are, accidents are going to happen. The less you bring out the real sword the less likely a serious injury will occur. This goes for students as well, obviously.

That's not to say you should be afraid of a live blade, just don't do anything uneccessary and realize that sooner or later you will cut yourself.

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#215044 - 12/16/05 07:50 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Subedei]
MugiaMike Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Louisville, KY U.S.
I my school we are not alowed to use anything but tomagarshi cutting quality shirken, right from the begining. Our sensie insists that this was the way it was done in anchent times and refuses to change things at all. However safty is a huge concern to him and "YAMI" will be call emphetically if he notices the slightest mistake in hand posision, posture, saya angle, or anything else. Only one of our students (incidently a Shodokan sensie with his own dojo) has been seriously injured, on tsuka ate of course when he thrusted his kin through his bicept.

Maybe my anaolgy to shooting blanks was slightly off but Millitary aside the point was there.

You are right if you use a shirken you will eventually get bit, focus and proper training determine how bad the cut is likely to be. I barely drew blood on my most recent incident. My sensies blame it on my Last Legand and its deep 1.8 inch sori, I will have to work around this.

Drawing bokkens is pointless in my mind, there re no real simularieties ( excuse my spelling) to a shirken or even an iaito. We did this at one school I trained at untill I finally refused and brought my iaito.

Learn through cuts, if you are careful and don't try to go too fast too quickly your lesons will be minor but memeroable.

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#215045 - 12/16/05 08:00 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
Ahh, but they did use wooden/blunted swords in ancient Japan and in fact, just about anywhere swords were used, safe practice swords were also used.

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#215046 - 12/16/05 08:49 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Halley Offline
Member

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

You are right{:} if you use a {shinken} you will eventually get bit[.] [F]ocus and proper training determine how bad the cut is likely to be. I barely drew blood on my most recent incident. My {sensei} blame it on my {Last Legend} and its deep 1.8 inch sori{;} I will have to work around this.




Reading through the brambles of your poor spelling and grammar is more painful than any sword-inflicted wound. I chose the least damaged paragraph to quote. You list Kentucky as your location, but I must conclude that you are instead a newcomer to the English language.

It is not the depth of the sori which made for your mistake: it is your human fallibility. Every human will make mistakes. It is not the depth of the sori which makes your sword dangerous, it is the edge. Every sharp sword is dangerous: that is the intention behind its design.

Train for the circus trapeze with a safety net installed by your trainer. Train for the army with blank ammo provided by your sergeant. Train for your driver's license with a parent limiting your speed. Train in the sword arts with bare arms, or shinai, or bokken, or unsharp iaito under the watchful instruction of your sensei. There is no "aside from," you need to train in dangerous activities using progressive risk-management and directed by a mindful teacher.

Perhaps common sense is as hard to find as your native language, and that this advice will just be ignored or worse.

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#215047 - 12/16/05 09:35 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Shinken are utterly essential to learning the finer points of Iai. Blunt weapons, albeit not necessarily ones made of an aluminum alloy, are utterly essential for students to retain fingers long enough to get to a stage in their training where the finger points are an issue.

It's pretty much that simple.

The idea that new students can learn iai while going so slow as to be certain of preventing nasty maiming injuries to their left hand in particular is folly. If you go that slow, you won't learn anything. At some point you need to be able to put the pieces together, and new students will have no small amount of difficulty with that.

Perhaps it is different for folks who use swords that are short enough that saya-biki is not a problem. It has certainly not been my experience.

Back to that first point though. Iai with a shinken is utterly essential one day. If that day does not come for 5 years, who cares. That is a miniscule portion of your overall training career. Grow some patience. If you don't have patience enough to train with the weapons that are traditionally used, ie blunts, then you don't have the patience to stick it out over the long term anyway and are wasting your instructors valuable time.

Remember, your only attached to your fingers once.


Edited by Charles Mahan (12/16/05 09:36 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215048 - 12/16/05 10:18 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
MugiaMike Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Louisville, KY U.S.
First let me apologize for my poor grammar and spelling in my last post. I raised this question because I felt it would be a good topic of conversation. I am sorry that I sometimes get rushed and my writing suffers. I did not think it warranted such an in-depth personal attack especially on me as a practitioner of iai.


I admit that the first time I came to class and had my iaito, then was promptly to go get my shirken, I was taken aback. My sensei told me to never bring anything to class except my shirken was also hard to swallow. After listening to his ideal logy on iaijutsu I began to understand his method. You seem to think that I was the one who wanted to rush into training with a shirken. This was not the case I was instructed to only use my shirken, no two ways about it. I follow what my sensei instructs me to do in his dojo. I was in no rush to grab the sharpest thing I could find and start training with it.

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#215049 - 12/16/05 10:27 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

I follow what my sensei instructs me to do in his dojo. I was in no rush to grab the sharpest thing I could find and start training with it.




Who is this you are training with?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215050 - 12/16/05 10:39 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Zeal]
traq Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 131
Loc: SoCal
Quote:

By Zeal: You say you cut yourself doing 'tsuka ate'...




I cut myself the first time I did tsuka-ate, and I was using an iaito.
_________________________
Adrian USKO Riverside dojo/ Madison Elem. after-school

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#215051 - 12/17/05 09:16 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: traq]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
I guess there's just no nice way to say it, I think your sensei is nuts.

My instructor uses dull blades for safety reasons, my instructors instructor uses them, my grandmaster uses them. And they all still train with bokken/Shinai as well.


Edited by Subedei (12/17/05 09:24 AM)

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#215052 - 12/17/05 11:59 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
MugiaMike Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Louisville, KY U.S.
I train in Mugai Ryu with Shean Loyd Johnson 40 year member of the DNBK and a second gen. MAs trained in Okinawa. He is very respected in the Mid-West traditional Okinawan budo comunity.

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#215053 - 12/17/05 06:01 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
hyaku Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 85
Loc: JAPAN
Quote:

Live blades are very, very, good to learn with. If you don't want to get cut...go slow as you learn.

Toy swords = toy swordsmen.

Amos




I will go along with the fact that if you nick yourself you will have a lot more respect for a blade. But we also learn that in the kitchen preparing food.

You can use a Shinken but you will still be a "Toy Soldier" No one is going to sign you up for military service with one.

The present precepts of using swords is educational. To teach us the horrific consequences of using a weapon or/and the techniques used. You don't need a sharp weapon to train or teach these techniques especially when you do pairwork. Creative visualization and targets are good to a certain extent. But when you have a live thinking person to deal with it's a different ball game.

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#215054 - 12/18/05 01:05 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: hyaku]
MugiaMike Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Louisville, KY U.S.
Obviously you use a bokken in pair work, that is why they were developed durring the samuri era. We are speaking of iaido and iaijutsu, in my school we don't even use wooden bokken during pair work for fear that one may break caussing injury to one of the participants.

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#215055 - 12/18/05 01:20 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

The idea that new students can learn iai while going so slow as to be certain of preventing nasty maiming injuries to their left hand in particular is folly. If you go that slow, you won't learn anything.





Mr. Mahan,

Respectfully, I must disagree. I wouldn't say that speed is the essence of iai and I don't think it necessary. Rather, I think precision and haragei would be the focus. Practicing slowly will develop just the right muscles in just the right way with proper correction by your sensei.

I would suggest that speed will be a result of proper technique and the elimination of unnecessary movement.

Regarding the danger of a live blade, please consider the following. If you develop muscle memory in the wrong way with a toy sword and years later begin practice with a live blade, I think the danger level is higher than starting slowly with a live blade in the first place. Its been my experience that a well polished mistake is the most difficult to change.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215056 - 12/18/05 05:13 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:

The idea that new students can learn iai while going so slow as to be certain of preventing nasty maiming injuries to their left hand in particular is folly. If you go that slow, you won't learn anything.




My sensei said, and I quote, "Do it slow. Get it right. Speed will come." In a dozen years since then I have never found a reason to doubt what he said.

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#215057 - 12/18/05 08:25 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: iaibear]
hyaku Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 85
Loc: JAPAN
Two concepts are used for drawing Japanese swords. Older Battojutsu type ryu work on speed drawing. My old Shihan would tell me to work at and break down waza in the Dojo. But for demonstrations fast is not fast enough. Iai works on a build up of speed through Jo, Ha, Kyu. Two different concepts depending on what you study. I have worked with a 3.8 with a two shaku tsuka at near seven pounds to try and build up. Now a shorter 2.8 feels like a pea stick and I could draw quicker if I wanted too. Thing is anyone can draw quick and make a mess of it. With Iai or Batto one still needs to do things with creative visualization. For example after nukitsuke the oponent would fall. The thing is it takes time to fall, where did he fall etc. All things that must be taken into consideration. A few "very" practiced people have told me that after a near lifetime's practice they still cant honestly say that every action they do comes from the hara. That's what it takes time to learn, not speed. Sharp or blunt if it's not from the hara, its not a cut!

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#215058 - 12/19/05 10:18 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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


Respectfully, I must disagree. I wouldn't say that speed is the essence of iai and I don't think it necessary. Rather, I think precision and haragei would be the focus. Practicing slowly will develop just the right muscles in just the right way with proper correction by your sensei.





I never suggested that speed was important. I was making a point about how ridiculously slow new students would have to go for a VERY extended period of time. This is time when they are so nervous, or at least had better be, about cutting themselves that they cannot work on basic stuff like footwork, grip, timing(which is not the same as speed at all), maai, seme, any of that stuff. I'm sure it's possible, I know that it is done, in some dojos, but it doesn't seem like an especially conducive training atmosphere. Much better to get the basics down, commit the movements to muscle memory, get good at them, and then make the transition.


Quote:

Regarding the danger of a live blade, please consider the following. If you develop muscle memory in the wrong way with a toy sword and years later begin practice with a live blade, I think the danger level is higher than starting slowly with a live blade in the first place. Its been my experience that a well polished mistake is the most difficult to change.





Keep in mind that this is the training path that I came up, so I know a little something about it. I trained with an iaito for 5 years before ever picking up a Shinken for the first time. Yes there was a transitional period. The first month scared me to death, but I got through it, and in hindsight was never in any real danger. The next 2 or 3 months was a period of learning to trust what I'd been taught and what I had been doing for several years. After that it was pretty much back to the usual training method with a few new things to work on. Namely some minor edge/saya alignment issues during noto.

Well polished mistakes are what instructors are for. For a couple of months on either side of my switch to a shinken, Ray-sensei watched my noto and nukitsuke extra close to make sure I wasn't doing anything particularly stupid. After 5 years of regular training with an iaito, most of the particularly stupid things were beaten out of me. That's the whole point of waiting for a shinken. So there won't be any "well polished" mistakes. Go look at the pictures on Swordforum to see what can happen when newbies start trying to do Iai with shinken before they are ready for them.

http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53083
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215059 - 12/19/05 05:53 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: MugiaMike]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Also with Iaito, one should be treating an Iaito as if it is a Shinken at all times during and in between practice sessions. One should not be that comfortable at the thought that they won't cut themselves just because they're using an Iaito. The attitude you have about an Iaito can and will carry over to a shinken.

A cop once told me, the most dangerous gun is an unloaded one. That if one was so comfortable around an unloaded gun randomly doing things with it that wouldn't be smart with a loaded one, that kind of comfortable attitude bout an unloaded gun will carry over to a loaded one.

Your Iaito is an unloaded gun.
_________________________
www.BostonSamuraiArts.com

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#215060 - 12/20/05 11:03 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

I was making a point about how ridiculously slow new students would have to go for a VERY extended period of time. This is time when they are so nervous, or at least had better be, about cutting themselves that they cannot work on basic stuff like footwork, grip, timing(which is not the same as speed at all), maai, seme, any of that stuff. I'm sure it's possible, I know that it is done, in some dojos, but it doesn't seem like an especially conducive training atmosphere.




Having trained with a live blade exclusively from my first day of class, I can say that it has been a very positive experience. The focus and intensity of the moment has proven to be a very powerful training tool...and perhaps a bit of an addiction. I see nothing wrong new with students going slow for an extended period of time. If you want to go fast, soon, a live blade is definately not the way to go and my dojo is not the place for you. Dull blades are not allowed...did I mention you will be required to use jodan noto from day one? Kissaki goes directly to koiguchi, without looking, on every kata. Sound like fun? Lets get together.

This is not everyone's cup of tea, but we like it.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215061 - 12/20/05 11:28 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Amos, just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what length is your sword. I've found that ratio makes a big difference in the relative safety of nukitsuke and noto.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215062 - 12/21/05 10:17 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Isn't Tenshin Ryu Gendai though? Isn't this Fred Lovretts style?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215063 - 12/21/05 10:26 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
pgsmith Offline
Member

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

This is not everyone's cup of tea, but we like it.



Thank you Amos, that is a lot better way of putting it than your earlier statement (although an apology would have been better). I really don't care for people insulting those that I hold in very high esteem (not to mention me!) because their practice may be different than yours. Be very careful what you say in a public forum as it ends up representing you, your dojo, and your instructors.
_________________________
Paul

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#215064 - 12/21/05 10:39 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: pgsmith]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Speaking of which, i just reread my last post and it could be read badly. Before anyone jumps on me, I didn't mean anything bad by it, just got in a hurry and typed without re-reading. I meant only to verify that it was Lovrett's style and that it was Gendai. There's nothing inherently wrong with it if it is. That's not what i meant at all.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#215065 - 12/21/05 10:43 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:

..did I mention you will be required to use jodan noto from day one?



Forgive my ignorance. Could you please describe a "jodan noto"?

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#215066 - 12/21/05 06:41 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

Amos, just out of curiosity, how tall are you and what length is your sword. I've found that ratio makes a big difference in the relative safety of nukitsuke and noto.




Good question. I'm 5'8" and use a 2-5-5 with 11" tsuka.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215067 - 12/21/05 06:49 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: pgsmith]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

Quote:

This is not everyone's cup of tea, but we like it.



Thank you Amos, that is a lot better way of putting it than your earlier statement (although an apology would have been better). I really don't care for people insulting those that I hold in very high esteem (not to mention me!) because their practice may be different than yours.




Paul and others: I apologize. Please excuse my brash and insensitive statement.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215068 - 12/21/05 07:00 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Amos Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

Isn't Tenshin Ryu Gendai though? Isn't this Fred Lovretts style?




Good question. Yes, we study under Fredrick Lovret. Truth is, the only one who knows if we are gendai or koryu is Lovret Sensei, and he won't say. Amid MUCH speculation, the only way to find out about our art remains to be getting on the mat.

Our oral tradition is that we are a derivative of Ono-ha Itto-ryu. To my knowledge, this has never been verified.

Amos
_________________________
Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215069 - 12/21/05 11:11 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Huh. Ok. I'd done some internet searches and had thought the connection was supposed to be with Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. Thanks for clearing that up.

Your sword to height ratio is about what mine is I think. To each their own on the live blade thing, but i've seen a fair number of new students begin training iai. If sensei was to start putting live blades in their hands on the first day of class and then try to have them do Iai the way we do it, I guarantee you we would lose students to maiming injuries with frightening regularity.

This begs a further question. Just how do new students resheath their swords the way you describe? How can they possibly know where the kissaki is in relationship to the koiguchi? How do they avoid sticking themselves in the hand everytime they try?


Edited by Charles Mahan (12/21/05 11:14 PM)
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#215070 - 12/22/05 09:04 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Quote:

Truth is, the only one who knows if we are gendai or koryu is Lovret Sensei, and he won't say. Amid MUCH speculation, the only way to find out about our art remains to be getting on the mat.




Not to put a fine point on it, but if Lovret sensei won't say, then there is no way to find out. Getting on the mat can go towards proving effectiveness, but not historical authenticity.

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#215071 - 12/22/05 01:00 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: splice]
pgsmith Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Thanks Amos, I appreciate it.

Sebastien,
Actually I think he was referring to finding anything about how the waza looks and works, not about its history.
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#215072 - 12/22/05 06:58 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Amos Smith Offline
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Registered: 12/19/00
Posts: 133
Loc: Wisconsin
Quote:

This begs a further question. Just how do new students resheath their swords the way you describe? How can they possibly know where the kissaki is in relationship to the koiguchi? How do they avoid sticking themselves in the hand everytime they try?




Great questions. I started to write out a reply based on what I teach as well as the way I was taught...but then I realized the answer was so simple...come the dojo and find out. ^_^

Amos
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Amos Smith Koshi-no-Dojo www.chicagobudokai.com

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#215073 - 12/22/05 09:12 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Amos Smith]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:


Great questions. I started to write out a reply based on what I teach as well as the way I was taught...but then I realized the answer was so simple...come the dojo and find out. ^_^

Amos




No thanks, I have my own fish to fry and a great many other places I would rather go on my exceedingly meager funds. Thanks for the offer though.
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#215074 - 12/23/05 10:28 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
For those out there with severe knowledge on this subject (those who say iai first with iaito), what are the indicators that you would look for signalling that a student is ready for a shinken?

When they are ready for the real thing...do you make them get the real thing (as in from a Japanese smith or some one trained in Japan) or is internet mail order Paul Chen or Last Legend, or something like Bugei Trading Co. the order of the day?

http://kroh1.tripod.com/Chronicle/Kenji2-2.jpg

Is the whole shinken thing based on observation of the student for their own good and for the safety of the dojo (I don't think I would feel comfy training with some one who wore a Rouruni Kenshin T-shirt into the Dojo and then onto the floor under his Dogi...animae rats seeking martial arts instruction scare the hell out of me for some reason)?

Thanks in advance guys...
Happy Holidays to those that celebrate,
Regards,
Walt


Edited by kroh (12/23/05 10:31 AM)
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#215075 - 12/23/05 10:43 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I knew it was time to get a live blade when sensei told me it was time. I don't feel qualified to decide when someone else is ready to make the transition. I'm pretty sure I could pick out people who were clearly not ready though.

I suspect it comes down to how well a student manages his nukitsuke and noto. How often he/she comes to class. How comfortable the are with the more dangerous noto and nukitsuke variations. Any number of other factors.
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#215076 - 12/23/05 12:25 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
I know that some systems require a healthy length of handle in conjunction with a blade that really makes you reach (stretch your self out to establish proper form). My brief experiences (litterally just a few classes, time has not permitted me to go back yet) with Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo demonstrated this.

Does the MJER recomend this kind of weapon when selecting an iaito or shinken?

Just curious more than anything.
Regards,
Walt
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#215077 - 12/23/05 11:22 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'm not sure what you mean by a "healthy length of handle". The handles I've seen tend to be of the usual 1 to 3 ratio, ie 10 inch tsuka for a 30 inch blade. If anything maybe they run a touch under that ratio.
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#215078 - 12/27/05 09:36 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Walt, you're a member of the Providence, R.I. Suio Ryu group? You must know of Fred, Steve and a new guy Greg.
They're friends of mine. From what I've seen of Suio Ryu from them, though I haven't seen a class, I haven't noticed any "healthy lengthy handles". Do you mean they use long tsuka like 13 inches and longer when you say "healthy lengthy handles"? I thought Suio Ryu uses anywhere from the 10 to 12 inch range for tsuka.

So far I'm only aware of styles like Nami Ryu, Yanagi Ryu, Yoshida-ha, Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Kage Ryu using long handles. Not sure what other ryu-ha uses long handles.
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#215079 - 12/27/05 09:49 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
When I say Healthy, I just meant normal ( as in some of the pieces I have been seeing in some dojo have extremely large handles).

My question was really aimed at finding out how some dojo prefer one blade type over another. I have recently been exposed to some systems that go for a slightly longer blade ( for example...a guy my height, 5'5, would be using a 29 inch blade or even a 30). One of the exponents I talked to gave multiple reasons for this (everything from, "it promotes proper form in the draw," to things like "we prefer to cut with the kisaki and thus an extra bit on the end helps with the reach"). I don't know how credible the information is as it was one of the students and not the actual instructor. Thought I would post and get some feedback on it.

Regards,
Walt
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#215080 - 12/27/05 09:58 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Quote:

Walt, you're a member of the Providence, R.I. Suio Ryu group? You must know of Fred, Steve and a new guy Greg.
They're friends of mine. From what I've seen of Suio Ryu from them, though I haven't seen a class, I haven't noticed any "healthy lengthy handles". Do you mean they use long tsuka like 13 inches and longer when you say "healthy lengthy handles"? I thought Suio Ryu uses anywhere from the 10 to 12 inch range for tsuka.

So far I'm only aware of styles like Nami Ryu, Yanagi Ryu, Yoshida-ha, Shindo Yoshin Ryu and Kage Ryu using long handles. Not sure what other ryu-ha uses long handles.




Hey Walter,

Much like Charles' posts, I love to cruise the different sites and read your posts. I have not officially joined the Suio Study Group in RI yet. I have gone to some workshops and had a blast with it. Steve actually helped me during a good portion of one of the workshops and it was a real eye opening (me knees were killing me from all the seated kata...sheesh...tough to get old).

The instructor for the group is not only knowledgeable but also personable ("don't call me sensei")and as soon as some of the junk in my schedual clears, I will take her up on her offer to play with them (I hate it when my real life gets in the way of me wearing a dress and swinging really expensive cutlery!)


Edited by kroh (12/27/05 10:01 AM)
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#215081 - 12/27/05 10:09 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well the reasonss you were given for different lengthed swords sounds reasonable enough. There are tradeoffs where swordlength is concerned. A longer swords gives you extra reach, allowing you to cut your opponent before he can cut you, but it's harder to draw, heavier, more unwieldy, etc. different styles have a general preference as to what is the appropriate length.

At 5'6" I use a 2-4-5, which is to say about 29" or so. I do Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu under the auspices of the MJER Seitokai. Another branch of MJER, such as the Komei Jyuku, would proscribe a somewhat longer blade.


Edited by Charles Mahan (12/27/05 10:11 AM)
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#215082 - 12/27/05 10:19 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Nice...thank you very much for the info.

On a side note...In addition to wanting to train with the Suio Ryu group, I was told by a friend that he might know some one in Rhode Island teaching MJER.

I had heard of some one not to long ago teaching out of Rhode Island Aikido but it is my understanding as he is no longer there. I have not been introduced to the new teacher but when I find out more I'll do some posting.

Regards,
Walt
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#215083 - 12/27/05 10:34 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I have information on two MJER dojos in Rhode Island. They are Jikishinkai dojos so different from the MJER that Walter and I study.



RI Martial Arts Academy
Contact: Thomas Duffy
27 Deming St
Pawtucket, RI 02861 USA
email: Thomas Duffy - duffy@cox.net
www: http://www.risword.com/ (Not functional at last check, but still listed with http://www.jikishin-kai.com/rhodeisland.htm )


Quote:
Shindokan Budo
Contact: Erik Johnston
37 New London Turnpike
Wyoming, RI 02898 USA
email: Erik Johnstone - eajohnstone@cox.net
www: http://members.cox.net/shindokan/


Edited by Charles Mahan (12/27/05 10:37 AM)
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#215084 - 12/27/05 10:39 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Nice...I had contacted Mr. Duffy some time ago but by the time that I got down to the dojo to talk to him, I guess he had moved locations (and the web site was down).

Thank you very much for the information. AS there seems to be more than one branch of the MJER, would you be willing to post the differences if I were to start a thread on it?

Regards,
Walt
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#215085 - 12/27/05 01:48 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Heh. I don't know the other brances well enough to give you anything more than some very surface details. They are different organizations with different people running them at the top. The Jikishinkai is led by Miura-sensei. The Seitokai/ZNIR is led by Ikeda-soke. The Komei Jyuku is led by Sekiguchi Komei-sensei. There are other branches. The largest in terms of membership is the Seitokai/ZNIR, but that doesn't make it inherently superior or inferior. Tameshigiri is officially banned by the Seitokai/ZNIR line of MJER. Not so in the others. There are technical differences, but theoretically the kihon, basics, are mostly the same from branch to branch.

Most of what I know about the other branches is just enough to fill a thimble. Down here in Denton, Tx the nearest non-Seitokai MJER is out in Lubbock(Komei Jyuku), which is around 6 hours away.
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#215086 - 12/28/05 12:30 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Walt,

Steve is a cool guy. From what I've seen of his Suio Ryu, though I don't know Suio Ryu, it looks good to me.

But for seitokai style MJER, I should be using a 2-4-5, 29 inch blade like Charles. I am currently using a 2-3-5, 28 inch blade for MJER. My Sensei told me I can just get a longer one later so a shorter sword for now is fine. My tsuka on my Iaito is 10 inches.

In Nami Ryu I am suggested to use a 28.5 inch blade with a 13 inch tsuka. I was told I could push it to 29.5 inch blade which would be acceptable as well with the 13 inch tsuka. But could use a 27.5 inch blade if 28.5 is not available with a 13 inch tsuka. So currently using a 27.5 inch blade with 13 inch tsuka in Nami Ryu.
I think aside from my height, 5'7", and the length of my arm, I think the with or size of my body help dictated the tsuka length. Because there is someone else in Nami Ryu who is shorter than me using a 14 inch tsuka.
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#215087 - 12/28/05 02:54 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Quote:

In Nami Ryu...



When does the Nami Ryu consider the use of a live blade for training? How soon after a student starts in the group do they even advance to sword techniques?

Thanks
Regards,
Walt
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#215088 - 12/28/05 03:47 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
In Nami Ryu, Iaito does not exist. You supposedly just stick with bokken, and I heard that you move on to shinken when the instructor feels comfortable enough to be right next to you with a shinken in your hand. Obviously if you don't seem ready for one, they won't feel comfortable around you with a shinken in your hand so you'll stick with bokken til otherwise told.

But being in Iaido and using an Iaito I guess helped me become familiar with a blade so when I showed up to a Nami Ryu seminar, I was using a Bugei sword I purchased. There was no complaint on me using a live blade. James Williams himself was using a live blade and had me use a live blade to show some example of some techniques. For Nami Ryu, I think it's on an individual basis and not everyone will start with a shinken at the same stage of their training.
I didn't ask about the specifics of the progression to shinken in Nami Ryu. I'll ask next time I talk to James or any of his certified Nami Ryu instructors how the progression toward shinken is done. I'm sure someone who is a self taught swordsman playing with a Practical Katana would be discouraged from starting with a shinken.

Different ryu-ha, different way of progression to shinken among the many other things of the way things are handled and done.
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#215089 - 12/28/05 11:23 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Quote:

I'm sure someone who is a self taught swordsman playing with a Practical Katana would be discouraged from starting with a shinken.




Don't go there ...you should see the thread going on in one of the other forum sites where a 14 year old self taught "swordperson" is swinging around a Quirino blade with no instruction and his parents are cool with it...

Thanks for the info Walter, I have been to the web site (Nami Ryu) and read all the info but haven't talked to anyone who had actually trained with them. I guess I was just curious...

Charles, Thanks for synopsis on the different factions in MJER. Once again curiosty....interesting to find out how other groups run things...Always good to exhchange ideas.

Just in case ...(off topic headed this way )...

Hope everyone has a safe groovy new year...
Regards,
Walt
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#215090 - 12/29/05 09:45 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Oh that 14 year old kid. Well, you probably seen my replies to him in there. The Martial Talk board in the sword arts section. I saw you posted in there as well.

The last post I made in there to him is my last to him cause I give up.

Yeah, there are certain things I can't talk about Nami Ryu cause of certain traditional restrictions. So essentially I'm not revealing all there is bout Nami Ryu to the public so I'm trying to becareful and not say too much about Nami Ryu. Anyone interested in knowing more details to Nami Ryu can come to a seminar. There's misconceptions about Nami Ryu and James Williams out there. He's a very busy man and doesn't spend time speaking to the public to prove himself. In fact he doesn't really have to prove himself and if you're sincerely interesting in knowing more about Nami Ryu, he'll be happy to discuss with you one on one in person. He's a great guy and alot of fun. He's amazingly a gentle kind hearted man. But at the sametime, he's very dangerous if you choose to fight with him and I rather be fighting with him than against him. Anyways, but Nami Ryu in some sense is strict like the Katori Shinto Ryu group but not as strict. Cause there's Nami Ryu seminars but not Katori Shinto Ryu seminars it seems or that I have noticed. Katori Shinto Ryu seems very closed and only a selected few can get accepted at a time.
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#215091 - 12/29/05 11:16 AM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
KSR is one of those martial arts that is on the "list of things to do before I check out" but due to it's rarity i have better luck finding a Tibeten Monk in Times Square than I would of finding qualified practitioners of that group in my area (for lack of better terminology, I hate to travel!)

Very cool on the Nami Ryu. Mr. Williams seems like a good guy. I am sure there is a lot of talk behind the back of some one like him due to the fact that he is the Honcho (spanish...not Japanese...gotta be careful with this group...heh) of a Japanese sogo bujutsu (total figting science) while not being Japanese. His sword embu are very impressive from what little I've seen on the web site. Guys like him make what they do look easy and thus any Jo Blow Samurai thinks he can just pick up a shinken and start hacking. He is another on the list of "need to see before X happens." Guys like Mr. Williams, Toby Threadgill ( http://www.shinyokai.com/ http://www.aikidojournal.com/download_media.php?media=video&id=101 ) and Obata Toshishiro ( http://shinkendo.com/main.html ) have spent years honing their craft to make it look effortless.

Thanks for talking about what you could.
Regards,
Walt

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#215092 - 12/29/05 12:41 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
James is so cool. If you haven't joined up with Suio Ryu, then come out to a Nami Ryu seminar if you can. There's one coming up in January 21-22 (a Sat. & Sun weekend) in Pennsylvania to check it out and meet people.
http://www.yrjj.net/Jan06Seminar.html

I will be there.

I know of Suio Ryu's strict tradition of not training other ryu-ha when being an active member of any Suio Ryu group. So before you join that, come check out Nami Ryu.

I hear what you're saying of Katori Shinto Ryu. Would be nice to have an opportunity to train it, but chances are slim and there's plenty of other good solid ryu-ha to get involved in as an alternative if your heart was once set on Katori Shinto Ryu. I had an interest in Katori Shinto Ryu at one point a long while back. But I pretty much gave up on that. I was already involved in Eishin Ryu anyways so it wasn't like I was without a ryu-ha to train with.

Oh yeah and in regards to openess, James has an open door policy so whether it's a seminar or at his dojo, he welcomes you to come in, watch, and talk and ask all kinds of questions.
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#215093 - 12/29/05 01:08 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
kroh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 103
Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Sounds like a good time. I wish I could go. I am monitarily fustrated at the moment by the Holiday, just joining with another martial arts system (after breaking ties <on good terms I hope> with the old one) and also getting married in October (I have got to be the luckiest guy on the planet...my wife is awsome). Will there be another Nami Ryu seminar in the area sometime in the spring or summer maybe?

I don't want to jump into something on the side just yet, as I am trying to maintain my old training while trying to feel my way around the new one ( http://www.collectivesociety.com/skski/ bring on the controversy). It is excedingly fun though as the movements are reminiscent of yoshin ryu training.

Fun stuff...

If you should hear of anything about a seminar this way, Walter, You being in Boston, I would love to come out train for a bit and then go get lunch or something...

Wendy's on me...you can even supersize it...wedding to pay for don't ya know (JK)

Regards,
Walt
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#215094 - 12/29/05 01:19 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: kroh]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Oh yeah there's a couple of Nami Ryu seminars a year at Rick Robinson's dojo in Pennsylvania so there will be another one in the summer and likely another in the fall like this year.

Just keep visiting www.dojoofthefourwinds.com site to check on what seminars are coming up.

And yeah since we're practically neighbors, I would love to hang out with a fellow swordsman. And since we're at it, we should try to get Steve, Fred and Greg to come out with us.
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#215095 - 12/29/05 01:51 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'd suggest adding Esaka Seigen-sensei to your must see list. I understand he'll be in Victoria this year. If, or more likely when, my Japan trip falls through, I may see if I can head up there instead. Esaka-sensei achieved his shodan in the 1950s. When my mom was a toddler. He's forgotten more about MJER than i'm ever likely to learn. I've seen him once, and would very much like to see him again. I'd also like to see the Canadians in their natural habbitat.
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#215096 - 12/29/05 02:04 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
Actually, it'll be in Vancouver this year in B.C., Canada.

Every year, they alternate the Esaka Sensei seminar from Victoria B.C., Canada one year to Vancouver B.C., Canada the following year and back again to Victoria the following year alternating every year.
You gonna come Charles? Your group I think is welcomed to the C.I.A. I would imagine since C.I.A. folks come to your Embukai.
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#215097 - 12/29/05 02:19 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
We're kinda all in the same ZNIR/Seitokai tent. What's more, I'm reasonably certain that there is a standing invitation for members of our dojo.

I still dont' know if i'll be able to go. It's a heck of a drive, and I'm not particularly fond of flying. Still if i could stop in Rocky Mountain National Park for a few days to show my wife what real mountains look like it might be worth the drive. Especially if i could stop in Seattle for a day or so to train with Irey-sensei.

It's only about 600 miles further than my drive to San Francisco a couple of years ago and it passes very close to RMNP.


Edited by Charles Mahan (12/29/05 02:22 PM)
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#215098 - 12/29/05 02:28 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Charles Mahan]
Walter Wong Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 275
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts, United ...
I would prefer driving if it only took an hour to drive from Boston to Vancouver BC, Canada.
Even though I packed my Iaito real well for flight last time I flew to Canada for testing, I was paranoid about someone else handling my Iaito when it wasn't in my sight and felt the same flying back to Boston.

How many mph would I have to drive to get to Vancouver, Canada from Boston in an hour?
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#215099 - 12/29/05 03:43 PM Re: Live Ken For Iai Traing Good or Bad [Re: Walter Wong]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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


How many mph would I have to drive to get to Vancouver, Canada from Boston in an hour?




Right around 3182mph, or somewhere in the neighborhood of Mach 4.5
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Variety of stun gun devices for your protection

Buy Pepper Spray
Worry about your family when you’re not around? Visit us today to protect everything you value.

Koryu.com
Accurate information on the ancient martial traditions of the Japanese samurai

C2 Taser
Protect yourself and loved ones from CRIME with the latest C2 Taser citizen model. Very effective.

 

 



Unbreakable Unbrella

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