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#231287 - 01/21/09 08:34 AM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: cxt]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
How sure are you that those training costs are correct? At our dojo college students only pay $50 a month. While $80 a month is not unheard of, I think it's on the high end of normal, and $150 is stratospheric. Most kendo and iai instructors aren't in it to make money so the dues are usually about what it takes to cover the bills and not much more.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#231288 - 02/03/09 02:06 AM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Charles Mahan]
Cole_Caecus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 11
When i went to check it out thats what they said. Unless they changed it. It wasnt martial arts, it was "Europoean Sword School" or something like that. They charged a lot, and you had to buy 7 different swords, at least i think it was 7, and you had to buy some kind of armor, i think it was chainmail, and that was what they said for it. I believe the swords were a rapier, a foil, a longsword, a shortsword, a dagger/dirk, a Sabre, and i believe there was one more that i cant remember.

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#231289 - 02/06/09 10:35 PM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Cole_Caecus]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
By any chance were you purchasing these swords from the same people teaching the class?

As to whether or not these classes are worth $150, that's up to you to decide. If you let the free market decide what classes are worth, then I suspect the usual $50 to $80 range is a bit low, but then the free market isn't usually the driving force behind most of the folks into serious martial arts.

My understanding is that most of the serious western martial arts groups operated on a similar principle. Usually an obvious desire on the part of instructors to make money off their instruction is a red flag. Not necessarily a big red flag, but enough of one to make you look a little deeper to be sure nothing fishy is going on.
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#231290 - 02/07/09 03:49 AM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Charles Mahan]
Cole_Caecus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 11
We could purchase the swords from them or from elsewhere, but there arent a whole lotta places around here that sell the real thing as far as swords go, and if we bought them from the 'instructors' we could get them at a 'discount price' but i looked online for some a the swords, and they were charging about 40-60 more than i found them online after finding out what the shipping cost would be. That was one of the major decisions that made me not want to join them. And that is just about the only european sword school that i can find around here.

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#231291 - 02/07/09 09:33 AM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Cole_Caecus]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Are you anywhere near a college town? If you are, many colleges have fencing clubs. Even if they do not suit you or your interests, they could provide useful information about other local schools or clubs that do not get listed in the yellow pages.

In my own case, in 1993 I went to a local sporting goods store looking for a practice weapon. The owner knew a gentleman who was just starting to teach Iaido with his instructor's permission. He was sharing the use of a local Aikido studio. It worked out extremely well.

Good luck.


Edited by iaibear (02/07/09 09:55 AM)

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#231292 - 02/07/09 08:35 PM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: iaibear]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
You could also look up a local SCA group. The SCA folks make no squirly claims about legitmate links to European traditions, not that the group you mentioned does mind. They are for the most part good people. Most importantly they've got several decades of doing the sort of thing your doing, and doing it in a relatively safe fashion. Yes they will require you to wear certain pieces of protective gear. Gear that they have found to be absolutely necessary to the safe practice of the things they do.

Less than ideal perhaps, but better than going it alone if there are no other oppurtunities in your area.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#231293 - 02/12/09 10:27 PM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Charles Mahan]
Cole_Caecus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 11
Meh, i just prefer my own group fighting. I'd rather do this than go to sca, which i have had problems with before because i dont enjoy dressing up in medievel clothes, except for armor. and the sca that was here wouldnt let me participate in anything unless i was dressed up, which is one of the same problems i have with Amtgard. I just wanted to point out that, while i will admit boffering is not the best for practicing sword fighting styles, or the like, if done correctly, it can be a very good alternative. That was the whole reason behind me joining and posting on here.

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#231294 - 02/16/09 03:02 PM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Cole_Caecus]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
That of course depends on your definition of "good alternative". Frequently this type of thread comes down to different definitions of "good alternatives". My own definition of good practice revolves around the teachings of my instructors. That is as it should be. The other posters here who have trained in one genuine sword art or another, base their defintions of good practices on their own instruction. Our experience is hard won.

As to your incompatibility with the SCA, that is your problem. If you cannot bring yourself to respect the traditions of the group you would like to train with enough to dress as their tradition says you should, then it is your failing not theirs. Of course, there is no reason you should have to train with anyone. If you're happy to fumble about on your own, then more power to you as long as you don't hurt anyone, and so long as you don't pretend to do anything other than what you are.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#231295 - 02/17/09 03:39 AM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Charles Mahan]
Cole_Caecus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 11
So...in other words 'what your doing isnt sword fighting and never will be'? And i will admit that the not wanting to dress up part is my fault, as far as the SCA goes, but when i want to go boffer, i absolutly refuse to go to amtgard in the middle of town dressed in a bath robe (Wizard). I just dont think that people should have to dress up to go have fun doing this. But that of course is my personal opinion. And also, unless you have seen us fight, please dont insult us by saying we are 'fumbling around' or 'pretending to do anything other than what you are'. you havent seen us fight. We have people who have trained in the sca for many years who have joined us and taught us how to fight.

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#231296 - 02/17/09 04:37 PM Re: Boffering, safe sword fighting. [Re: Cole_Caecus]
pgsmith Offline
Member

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

So...in other words 'what your doing isnt sword fighting and never will be'?



Sorry, but that is absolutely correct. What you are doing may be great fun, good exercise, improve your reflexes, and teach you alot about strategy. However, when all is said and done, it is about sparring with foam weapons, not sword fighting. Since you cannot engage in actual sword duels, you haven't got the slightest idea how what you are doing would translate to using a real sword against an opponent that's trying to kill you.
This is, in fact, something that a couple of high profile western sword art instructors have complained about. They study the manuals that the old masters left and diligently practice and try to figure out just what the manuals were saying. However, in the end they just aren't sure that they've got it right. No way to really find out any more.
However, they have the advantage in that they are diligently studying methods and techniques that were assembled when swords were actually in use. This is the advantage that the Japanese sword arts have is that the existing schools have been passed down from teacher to student from when swords were actually in use. Stuff that you are inventing today for your sparring sessions has no connection at all with real swords so it's really a stretch of logic to try and tell yourself that they are tied together, and that you're "sword fighting".

It's like comparing UFC fighting to a gang fight in the streets. Superficially they are the same, but in reality they are totally different things.
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