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#218578 - 12/31/05 02:30 PM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: underdog]
traq Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 131
Loc: SoCal
30 - 45 degrees is a better cutting angle than 90.

as far as defense goes, the best thing to do is not to "block" with the bo, but to push the sword away from hitting you. catch it on its side and avoid the blade, then smack the guy in the face. this is the same concept used when blocking with a sword, btw, blocking with the blade edge (ha) will chip it.

and yes, one of the great advantages of a bo is its reach.
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#218579 - 12/31/05 05:53 PM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: traq]
Halley Offline
Member

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

As far as defense goes, the best thing to do is not to "block" with the bo, but to push the sword away from hitting you. catch it on its side and avoid the blade, then smack the guy in the face.




"Although the guard positions may be divided into five kinds, all of them are for the purpose of killing people. Whatever guard position you adopt, do not think of it as being on guard; think of it as part of the act of killing." --Miyamoto Musashi, the water scroll (Book of Five Spheres)

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#218580 - 01/04/06 01:27 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: Halley]
Benjamin1986 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 611
Loc: Republic of Texas
A claymore or nodachi could quite likely break a bo and a hand-and-a-halfer could do significant damage. However, the edge could suffer significant damage from hitting a hardwood staff. A better tactic would probably be to lock out and push away the staff while closing in for the kill. The problem is getting within the staff's range while not getting beaten to a pulp yourself.

Also, I concur that the purpose of a parry or block is to set up a counter-attack, not simply to live so they can strike again.
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#218581 - 01/04/06 02:30 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: Benjamin1986]
Seija Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/10/05
Posts: 11
Loc: Michigan, USA
One of the ways in which they used to do test cutting during the Sengoku era was to take a prisoner, either a dead one or one sentenced to death, and tie him between two bamboo stakes in various positions. If the sword could not cut the man from collarbone to hip and pass all the way through, the sword was discarded. It has also been reported that some “Samurai” soldiers in both World Wars have successfully cut clean through the metal helmets of their enemies. I myself have used my antique Katana to successfully cut through the branches of a live wild yew. Granted the yew is a much softer wood than that of a Bo staff, but it is still one of the tougher of the soft woods. I made it clean through a branch approximately 5/8-3/4” in diameter with a Kesagiri or downward diagonal cut and also a Shin-Choku-giri or downward cut. I also made it cleanly through several branches of smaller diameter; say 3/8-1/2”, with various cuts including harder cuts such as a Kiri-age or upward diagonal cut. Of course, I had to seriously re-sharpen my blade afterward, but the cuts were successful. I hope this information helps.
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#218582 - 01/04/06 02:30 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: Benjamin1986]
SethWoodworth Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 34
Loc: Washington, USA
Quote:

Also, I concur that the purpose of a parry or block is to set up a counter-attack, not simply to live so they can strike again.




Above a certain length a weapon doesn't have any 'static' blocks at all. By this I mean that there isn't a block position and then an attack following it. European martial artists or Aristotelian physics would call this a movement in two 'times'. A sword or staff of enough long enough length uses a counter instead of a block, in essence a block that is an attack.

An example: Swordsman cuts from his upper right (his shoulder) to his lower left (his left leg). The staff-man blocks with both of his hands to his upper left (Ochs) blocking the line of the swordsman's attack and meanwhile strikes the left side of the swordsman's face.

I agree that some of the heavier european swords I've examined could possibly break a length of hardwood staff, but I seriously doubt that there would be enough resistance by the staff's wielder to do so.
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#218583 - 01/04/06 06:41 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: Halley]
hyaku Offline
Member

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

"Although the guard positions may be divided into five kinds, all of them are for the purpose of killing people. Whatever guard position you adopt, do not think of it as being on guard; think of it as part of the act of killing." --Miyamoto Musashi, the water scroll (Book of Five Spheres)




I think you are getting mixed up. Guard in this case refers to kamae and not to parry. Gorin no Sho is not the book of five spheres It refers to the five different shaped stones signifying the elements. That's why some like refer to it as the tombstone scrolls. The scrolls unlike the rest of Musashi's work such as Dokkodo and Sanju-go Kajo is deliberately ambiguous. At he beginning of the text he clearly states that he did not borrow from confucian or buddhist quotation which was the education of that period.

In any case the scrolls are an outline that precede his actual manual for HNIR. He asked for them to be read and destroyed but they were copied. Gorin no Sho is not one of the artifacts he handed down to promulgate his Hyoho.

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#218584 - 01/04/06 09:54 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: underdog]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
Underdog

There were some tests done back in Japan concerning jo and katana--the jo is roughly half the thickness of a bo.

The jo-- "when resonably new"--even when supported between two chairs--could not be cut thu by the katana.

Jo--again, roughly half the thickness of the katana was capable of bending or even breaking the sword.

Of course we know nothing about the actual quality of the swords in question (my guess would be that no-one was using a top quality blade for such a test) nor the sword skills of the person making the cuts--so its kind of a toss up.

Addtl there is a HUGE difference between a being able to line up and take as perfect a cut as possible at a static target and being able to deliver the same cut vs a staff that is trying to crush your skull--or your hands.

Its also worth noteing that if you look at folks in period England---more people were killed by the use of staff and club weapons than were killed with the sword--speaking of attacks and assults here--not battles.

Also worth pointing out that a least one roman legion was wiped out by germanic warriors--large number of whom were using clubs vs the swords of the romans.

A bo is a very dangerous weapon.

There is also a very real (generic) difference between Okinawan and Japanese bo usage--so it might depend on what type of bo technique your looking at.


Edited by cxt (01/04/06 10:02 AM)
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#218585 - 01/04/06 10:08 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: cxt]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Keep in mind, jo and presumably bo, aren't made of softwoods. They're made of old growth white oak. Which is to say, a hardwood of very tight grain. Considering their relatively small diameter, jo are suprisingly heavy. I'm not at all confident that under any circumstances I would be able to cut through a period jo. Now double the diameter for a bo. Not gonna happen.

But like we keep saying. Who cares? You need to cut the guy wielding the bo.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#218586 - 01/04/06 10:10 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: cxt]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
A very interesting observation...about the difference between Japanese and Okinawan use of bo. Would you be willing to start a thread in the weapons section on this?

An aside, not knowing any sword art, I often wonder if the Okinawan bo forms were designed to counter bo wielding opponents, or if there are subtleties specific to countering any sword styles.

Quote:

A bo is a very dangerous weapon.

There is also a very real (generic) difference between Okinawan and Japanese bo usage--so it might depend on what type of bo technique your looking at.




Edited by harlan (01/04/06 10:18 AM)

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#218587 - 01/04/06 10:22 AM Re: 2 sword questioins please [Re: harlan]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
This is all far more interesting than I thought it would be. I'm working on an Okinawan kata (Shushi No Kon Sho). I had no idea when I started, where it would take me. I'm reading all your posts, SEVERAL times. Thank you.
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