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#295865 - 10/23/06 10:23 PM Ten years?
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I recently have done some reading and saw that it is said that it takes ten years to master the sword. Does that sound accurate. I play with a sword and some kendo sticks. While Im no master I do feel that Im better than your average stick weilding retard and thats without any formal sword training. Perhaps I look at it incorrectly but it seems to me to be a system of really only about seven movements with the weapon itself while the rest of the emphasis seems to be placed on footwork and timing.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295866 - 10/23/06 10:40 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
JMV34 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 24
I have been doing Martial arts for a long time and I don't think that I will ever consider myself or feel like a master. All together with breaks in between I would say about 11 or so years with a lot of breaks!

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#295867 - 10/23/06 10:42 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: JMV34]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I feel the same after 16 years or so with breaks. However, I still pursue it. To pursue the unattainable: the life of a true MAist.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295868 - 10/24/06 12:11 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
It's taken me 9 years to reach a level at which the folks at the top will finally start to notice my existence if I travel to Japan.

My instructor has been training for 26 years and at a tournament in Japan he would be one of the guys sweeping up before the competition begins.

Does that add a little perspective?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295869 - 10/24/06 01:21 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Sort of though it almost sounded as if you just said you would beat your Teacher in a duel.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295870 - 10/24/06 06:18 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
ichibyoshi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/07/06
Posts: 10
Quote:

Sort of though it almost sounded as if you just said you would beat your Teacher in a duel.




???
Amazing what people can read into a simple sentence.

Me 23 years or so of kendo.
My teacher 75 years of kendo (he's 85 now and still training).

The thing about the title 'master' is, "a master in whose eyes?" To a 6 kyu, I am an amazing kendo master. To a 2nd dan Japanese high school student, I'm that gaijin they want to take down. To a 4th dan, I'm not as good as they remember me being. To a 6th dan, I'm an upstart. To a 7th dan, I'm promising. To an 8th dan, "do you do kendo?"

b

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#295871 - 10/24/06 07:06 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
I've been practicing Japanese swordsmanship for 15 years and the more I train, the more I realize just how far I have to go. To put it simply, there is no such thing as "mastering" the sword...[insert a Tesshu doka here about woodcutters in the forest or some such thing]
_________________________
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

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#295872 - 10/24/06 10:33 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

Sort of though it almost sounded as if you just said you would beat your Teacher in a duel.




I don't know how the image of my instructor sweeping a floor before a tournament translated into me beating him in a duel. You must have some imagination to make that leap.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295873 - 10/24/06 10:34 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: ichibyoshi]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

The thing about the title 'master' is, "a master in whose eyes?" To a 6 kyu, I am an amazing kendo master. To a 2nd dan Japanese high school student, I'm that gaijin they want to take down. To a 4th dan, I'm not as good as they remember me being. To a 6th dan, I'm an upstart. To a 7th dan, I'm promising. To an 8th dan, "do you do kendo?"

b




_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#295874 - 10/24/06 10:35 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
Chen

I guess the question is how good do want to be?

I look at the top people in most forms of athletics, they started young and trained consistantly--most college starters, in most sports have about 10 year of training.

Look how long Tiger Woods has been training.

If your not playing Tiger you have no problems--but if you are.....

Plus, I think there is a differnce between kendo and koryu.

No offense meant or implied to any kendo-ka.


Edited by cxt (10/24/06 10:42 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295875 - 10/24/06 12:39 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
Since CXT brought this up. Doug Flutie plays in my flag football league now. It's pretty cool and weird to play with
a profesional NFL QB. But let me tell you @ 42 years old
that guy can still move like lightning!

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#295876 - 10/24/06 12:52 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: V34]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
V34

Seriously?

WOW!

Playing with Doug Flutie must be pretty cool.

How did you end up with Doug Fluite on your flag football team??


Edited by cxt (10/24/06 12:53 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295877 - 10/24/06 01:23 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
Quote:

V34

Seriously?

WOW!

Playing with Doug Flutie must be pretty cool.

How did you end up with Doug Fluite on your flag football team??




Totaly serious! He's not on my team he's on the commisioners
team. The irony is that a friend of mine is the QB and Doug
is actually playing CB and WR. I don't know how the hell they got him but I was like how the hell did that happen?
Who made that call? You know. Pretty cool though!

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#295878 - 10/24/06 01:39 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: V34]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
V34

Very, very envious.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295879 - 10/24/06 02:14 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
I am pretty psyched that my son got to meet him. He will
never remember because he's 18 months but at least I can
tell him about it. Hopefully next week I can get a pic with
him holding my son. That would be cool. I just don't like to
bug him. Everyone is treating him like a regular guy, which
is cool. CMFFL is the league I'm in. Central Mass flagg football league.

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#295880 - 10/24/06 07:52 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Quote:

Quote:

Sort of though it almost sounded as if you just said you would beat your Teacher in a duel.




I don't know how the image of my instructor sweeping a floor before a tournament translated into me beating him in a duel. You must have some imagination to make that leap.


You said after nine years the top people of Japan took notice and after 26 years he sweeps. Kinda made it sound like you were better than him. Apparently no one else caught that.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295881 - 10/24/06 08:11 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
pgsmith Offline
Member

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

I recently have done some reading and saw that it is said that it takes ten years to master the sword. Does that sound accurate.



No. Ten years is about how long it took me to start figuring out the basics. The problem you're having is a very common one. You are seeing the path as a straight line going from beginner to master. It is NOT a straight line. It is more like a circular staircase. While you are going up, you keep returning back to your starting position. The farther along the path you go, the more insight you gain. The problem is that the more insight you gain, the more you realize that you still have to learn, and the more little things you are able to see wrong with what you do.

I've always loved the quote, I think it was said by Yukiyoshi Takamura of the Shindo Yoshin ryu "If you ever hear someone say that they are a master, you can be assured that they aren't."
_________________________
Paul

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#295882 - 10/24/06 08:45 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: pgsmith]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Well sure, anyone who is good at his trade relies on the basics heavily due to his understanding of them. It was more of a curiosit thing really. Not like Im going to be dueling anytime soon.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295883 - 10/24/06 10:18 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

You said after nine years the top people of Japan took notice and after 26 years he sweeps. Kinda made it sound like you were better than him. Apparently no one else caught that.




Nope. You're definitely reading things that aren't there. it'll be another 15 to 20 years before i get to sweep
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295884 - 10/24/06 11:03 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
lol, I see. Well in that case are you sure they are taking notice at all? 26 years is a long time to devote to something one would likely never use. Then again, I dont do much traditional weapons training anyways.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295885 - 10/24/06 11:30 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
You see, the guys at the top, the ones I said might take notice, they've been doing it 50+ years. Not a single one of them would refer to themselves as a "master". They would all tell you they are still working on things.

It's a lifetime field of study. You never really "get there". It is something some of us choose to do. It's not for everyone.

And what do you mean "will never use"? Sensei "uses" his Iai 4 go 5 times a week.


Edited by Charles Mahan (10/24/06 11:31 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295886 - 10/24/06 11:41 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Sure he uses it to teach or to practice. But when was the last time you or someone you know was in a life threatening/altering situation involving a sword? Most of the criminals in my area carry guns. Thats what I practice. Thats not to say I dont enjoy other weapons, but not with the same level of devotion.

People looked too closely to the word master. A MAist often will say things like, Im no master or I would never call myslf a master. To me, it seems like a lot of PC stuffiness. I think a lot of these people feel otherwise than what they state. I know if I spent 5o years at something or even 25 that I would be a master. If not, it isnt something that I would continue to pursue because after that amount of time it is likely you will not get better at it.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295887 - 10/25/06 08:31 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
I don't think people look to much into the word master.
Martial artist rarely or never consider themselves masters.
Unless they are egotystical a-holes. A master is someone who
is flawless in the MA world. You could ask a 6 or 7 dan if
he was a master, if his training was right he would reply
No, I have much more to learn! I have asked many Sensei who
practice Karate and created their own styles and still got
the same response, either they laugh or it is a simple no.
A master is the highest ranked in my mind. I believe the
great Bruce Lee wouldn't even consider himself a master.
Just my 2 cents though.

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#295888 - 10/25/06 09:55 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
Chen

Kinda depends on exactly why your training.

People may find other benefits to training past the overt fighting skills.

I agree with you about the firearms though.

I always see my training as a sort of "last ditch" method of self defense for use ONLY when I can't get away or get to something I can use as a weapon.

I think you can always get better though--a little faster, a little harder, a little stronger, a little more efficent.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295889 - 10/25/06 10:27 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

Sure he uses it to teach or to practice. But when was the last time you or someone you know was in a life threatening/altering situation involving a sword? Most of the criminals in my area carry guns. Thats what I practice. Thats not to say I dont enjoy other weapons, but not with the same level of devotion.




If self defense is what you are after, then JSAs are not for you. Buy a gun. There are plenty of other reasons to train.

If you are so worried about dying violently that you feel you need to do learn something to prevent it, you're time would be better spent in defensive driving classes. You are far more likely to die in an auto accident than you are to die in a mugging.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295890 - 10/25/06 11:14 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
Charles

Interesting you would point that out.

Got into an arguement once with a buddy of mine that does statisticial modeling for a major insurence company--works on risk models.

He was busting my chops over all the time I spend with martial arts training.

He ran the numbers--several times, and was able to prove--to me at least, several things:

-Being smart about where, when and with whom you hang out cuts the chances of being involved in a situation where you need to know how to fight drastically

-Age and lifestyle choices counts more than fighting skills--by a huge margin, ie young folks that are hanging out in cheap dodgy bars are MUCH more at risk than realtivly settled dudes in their 30's with a wife and kids.

-Commen sense used to AVOID dangerous situations is worth MUCH more than the abilty to fight your way out of them

-In a situation that is serious enough to HAVE to use highly injerous or lethal force--firepower counts ie having ready accsess to a firearm and the abilty to use it is worth more than being able to go "mano-a-mano" with some punk.

-Statistically speaking, fit, trained people who move and look and act like they might be able to handle themselevs are FAR less likley to be the victems of attack.

-Statistcally speaking, the chances of anyone being involved in a violent attack are pretty slim--and you can cut those chances down dramatically with a little commen sense.

Bascially he was argeuing that I was wasting my time and money with training when all I "really" needed to do was buy a gun, shoot often and get smarter about how and where and with whom I spent my time.

In effect, me with years of training is not any safer than he is--without ANY training at all.

Further he argued that all that training could be self-defeating--in effect, that I might think I can "handle" a situation when I REALLY should be running like hell.
He KNOWS he can't fight so he is much less likley to get all wrapped up in some kind of "ego" thing that could get him killed.

I beg to differ on several points of his reasoning--but it did make me think.

One of the reasons that I really hope I'm getting more from my training than just the abilty to fight.

You just reminded me of it.


Edited by cxt (10/25/06 11:17 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295891 - 10/25/06 12:32 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
CXT you post on some points I would like to make.
First of forth most, we martial artist do this because
we love it and have the passion for it. Second we do it
so we can protect our selves in an imediate altercation.
For example, someone tries to mug us instantly. We can
react and know how to take care of the situation. Can your
friend or anyone who doesn't know MA do this? To some extent
ya, but not really. First reaction to an average Joe is
being scared or frightened. My first reaction is to counter
what my assailent it doing to harm me or my loved ones. Your
friend makes good points but does not know what MA is for and how it should be used. We don't go out looking for fights we are trained so we can prevent harm to oneself
and others. Know what I mean. By the sounds of it your insurance friend doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to MA.

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#295892 - 10/25/06 12:45 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: V34]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
V34

Like I said "I beg to differ on several points in his reasoning."

By which I mean I don't agree with everything he said.

He was not so much attacking MA as he was looking at the underlying assumptions people make about their training.

If people really want to be "safer" then learning to fight is only one of the things that they need to do---and of all of them, learning to fight is probably not the most effective when comapred to changeing your lifestyle, showing more care in where, when and with whom you hang out, etc.


Edited by cxt (10/25/06 12:48 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#295893 - 10/25/06 01:29 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
V34 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
True, true. I do find that alot of MA lifestyles are typically very, very mellow. Mine is very mellow. I went
through my bad time just like evryone does but I do have
to admit that if it wasn't for MA and God of course then
I would probably be in jail or dead. MA is very important
for individuals, I sincerely believe this.

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#295894 - 10/25/06 03:29 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Quote:

Quote:

Sure he uses it to teach or to practice. But when was the last time you or someone you know was in a life threatening/altering situation involving a sword? Most of the criminals in my area carry guns. Thats what I practice. Thats not to say I dont enjoy other weapons, but not with the same level of devotion.




If self defense is what you are after, then JSAs are not for you. Buy a gun. There are plenty of other reasons to train.

If you are so worried about dying violently that you feel you need to do learn something to prevent it, you're time would be better spent in defensive driving classes. You are far more likely to die in an auto accident than you are to die in a mugging.



Jsa. I assume that means Japanese sword art? Correct me if Im wrong on that. As far as a mugging or violent death, sure its less likely for some or most people. However, I now work in very violent areas. The "ghetto" as it is often referred to. While i am not a minority race, I am a minority in these places and not looked upon too kindly as my job now is to evict people from their homes due to non payment. Its not a fun job and its rather uncomfortable at most times.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295895 - 10/25/06 04:12 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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


Jsa. I assume that means Japanese sword art? Correct me if Im wrong on that.




You've got it right. JSA is a fairly common abbreviation for Japanese Sword Art, and as I said before, if practical unarmed self defense is what you are after, JSAs are probably not for you.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295896 - 10/25/06 05:27 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
kyokushinkai Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/05
Posts: 327
Loc: Prince Edward Island , Canada
Yea when I read that it seemed like you meant your instructor was the guy everyone thinks is the Janitor.
_________________________
"Using a spoon to row a boat is clearly the act of an idiot." Cord

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#295897 - 10/25/06 06:50 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: kyokushinkai]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
good i wasnt the only one then
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295898 - 10/25/06 08:46 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: kyokushinkai]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

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

Yea when I read that it seemed like you meant your instructor was the guy everyone thinks is the Janitor.



Nope. It's the lot of those who have been practicing so long that they no longer qualify for participation in tournaments, but who not long enough to participate in the judging at a tournament. Tournaments only allow students up to Rokudan to compete. You'll generally find only the top folks(read 35+ years) doing judging or just plain watching. That leaves everyone in between doing setup. So quite literally my instructor might be one of the folks sweeping the floor before a tournament or doing any number of other setup tasks.

The point of course was to illustrate that even after 26 years of training, there's still a long way to go. Here he is relatively big fish in a very small pond. In Japan, he is very much a little fish in a great big pond, and he's the first to admit it.

Now as the question of how you meant to use the term "Master". Perhaps you meant instructor. The first teaching license in my branch is Rokudan Renshi. It varies a lot based on student and dedication level, but it is quite possible for a dedicated student with access to a good instructor to reach Renshi at around 10 to 12 years.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295899 - 10/26/06 07:56 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
A.J. Bryant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
Actually, Japanese swordsmanship has a great deal to teach you about self-defense. Beyond the various tachidori waza, or sword disarming techniques, which are readily adaptable to empty-hand applications and other small weapons (usually resulting in locks and throws), you have more subtle, and much more important skills. Some of the major skills include the development of mushin (a quiet, receptive mind), zanshin (awareness), and taisabaki (body movement).

The first in particular (mushin) is developed from day one with good instruction in arts such as Iaido, which on the surface appear to have absolutely no practical self-defense applications at all. Possessing the ability to see the reality of a given situation and also in the intentions of others, along with an overall spatial awareness and ability to move correctly will save you from most dangerous encounters in your daily life.

In addition, within the waza or kata themselves, many cuts are easily turned into strikes or kicks, and there are deeper principles of combat (heiho, or strategies) that can be adapted to any situation, regardless of weapon, or lack thereof.

All that said, many teachers today in these arts do not teach these things (or their practice has been abandoned), which is perhaps a source of confusion, and somewhat unfortunate, but thatís really not the fault of the arts themselves.

Regardless, thatís just my opinion, others may vary.
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#295900 - 10/26/06 08:03 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: A.J. Bryant]
Charles Mahan Offline
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AJ is right. There are some practical applications. I don't want to give the impression that JSA training is completely useless. But if you're goal is practical self defense, your time would be more efficiently spent in something like Aikido or a solid karate system. Or perhaps Escrima if you just have to have a weapon in your hand. Or better yet the firing range.
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#295901 - 10/26/06 11:49 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
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Yikes Aikido? j/k Im not going to bash anyones style..today. I understand your point that some things can be garnered from it, but could these things not also be had from other weapons training such as with a knife?

As for proper instruction, I wouldnt feel right in america. Id rather l;earn it in Japan or China.
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#295902 - 10/26/06 11:54 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Depending on your location and what you're, there is some pretty high level instruction available in the US. It is also helpful to start here so that you can obtain recommendations to take with you to instructors overseas.
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#295903 - 10/26/06 11:54 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

Yeah, Charles pretty much said that there are better ways to defend yourself--I belive he specifcally suggested a gun.

Don't bring a knife to gun-fight.

Why would you want to learn a Japanese Sword Art ie JSA, in "China?????"
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#295904 - 10/26/06 12:20 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
Chen Zen Offline
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Im not partial to JSA. Chinese people use swords too.
As for the gun suggestion, I actually mentioned it first. The only reason i mentioned a knife is because it is a cutting weapon like a sword but a little more practical in todays self defense.
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#295905 - 10/26/06 12:52 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

Even given the very real effecctivenss of a knife--you probably know just how far a guy can stand and still get to you with a knife before you can draw and fire--I would still rather have a gun.

Plus I live where thay allow concealed carry of firearms, don't think they feel the same about fighting knives.

If were talking about "real" self-defense, then the gun is the better option.

(assumeing of course that you actually train with it--although at close range, even that might not be all that needed.)

Plus, we have pretty much already established--several times now--that if "practical" self-defense is what your after, then a JSA or sword art in general should NOT be anyones first choice.
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#295906 - 10/26/06 01:11 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
Chen Zen Offline
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I know all that CXT. I would rather have the gun too. i carry one at times. I simply asked about a knife because it is more realistic than a sword, and more common than a gun. Not everyone carries a pistol. Some only have knives. I work with a knife everyday and I dont carry a gun everyday. Also i think the priciples of a knife and sword are similar. And I know that JSA shouldnt be the first choice for self defense. i didnt imply that it should be.
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#295907 - 10/26/06 01:29 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Having never trained in knife fighting I can't say for sure, but I suspect the principles are VERY different. The considerably shorter reach would make for very different fundamental principles in terms of footwork, application of power, targeting, distance management, grappling applications, etc ad nauseum. I can cut an arm off with a sword, but the same attack with a knife might inflict only superficial damage. Again escrima or a dedicated knife fighting school would probably be a better use of your time than a sword school of JSA or CMA(Chinese martial arts) origins.
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#295908 - 10/26/06 01:33 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

I sure that you did know it---its why I said you did.

I agree Charles, I don't a lot of "carry over" between knives and swords.
Maybe some in the body movement and footwork, reflexs, stuff like that.

But directly, not sure that much does.
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#295909 - 10/26/06 01:44 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
Chen Zen Offline
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Why not? what is sword fighting? hook, uppercut, jab. Slice thrust stab. The only difference in my eyes would be length in which case there would be higher emphasis on timing and footwork.
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#295910 - 10/26/06 02:22 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

Well for one thing the maai is vastly different.

To keep with the analogy, you'd be training and practicing to throw your "hook punch" 2 feet from your oppt.

Some people claim that as a weapon is just an extention of the body, expertise in one gives skill in the other.

They are not wrong exactly---just less than accurate IMO-ONLY.

To my mind a given weapon has its own handleing characterics and its used to best effect when its used by people that know and understand why X is used like it is.

Sure skilled folks can transfer Y to X, a epee fighter can probably use a saber rather effectivley.

Its just its properly used much differently--and a guy/gal trained how to use it "correctly" will always have an edge on someone "winging it" so to speak.

I CAN use a knife with the same series of cuts, stabs, footwork, body movement that I would with say a saber or katana--more or less.

But maybe I'm not doing it right?

Maybe I'm doing sonmething really stupid?

So if I wanted to learn how to knife fight--I would seek out a qualified knife expert to teach me.

One thing that I learned over the years, is that it really does not matter if people are talking MA or plumbing, or car repair--whatever etc.

Proper instruction, from qualifed pros, and using the right tools for the job save MAJOR headaches/problems/money/blood etc later.

Nothing much is a "sure thing" of course.


Edited by cxt (10/26/06 02:27 PM)
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#295911 - 10/26/06 02:31 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: cxt]
Chen Zen Offline
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The maai? Lost me. You'll have to explain that one.

You put up a good argument otherwise. I always appreciate that, especially when it can be done in a friendly exchange.

Im one of those people that believe that empty hand can cross over to armed forms of fighting. However, I dont believe the opposite. I dont believe that just because you can handle a sword you can box. I think the hand skills while unarmed lay the foundation in which weapons training is formed. With that being the case, one could say that hand skills are the basics of weapons fighting. To me the best fighter is one who can use the basics the most effectively. Not necessarily the specialist.
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#295912 - 10/26/06 02:39 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Quote:

Why not? what is sword fighting? hook, uppercut, jab. Slice thrust stab. The only difference in my eyes would be length in which case there would be higher emphasis on timing and footwork.




It's not the same thing at all, and without a few years to give you a basic understanding of how swords work I don't think I'll be able to get the point across completely. It boils down to the fact that sword fights are VERY VERY different in several key ways. Keep in mind I am coming at this from a very particular point of view, that of the style I have trained in. Your mileage may vary.

First and foremost, even more important than things like footwork, distance, timing, application of power, etc, are the stakes. The stakes in a sword fight are as high as they can possibly be. The tiniest mistake and you die. No ifs. No ands. No butts. No do overs. No flubs. No bruises. No maybe next times. Not even the slightest chance that after kicking your butt your opponent might decide you're not worth killing. You're dead. End of story. That reality fundamentally changes the nature of a conflict between two trained individuals with swords. You have to be both more aggressive and more conservative at the same time.

Then come the technical aspects. Stances that make a lot of sense in unarmed, or perhaps with a knife, might not make a lot of sense with a sword. Swords are all about application of power in a very particular direction. My stances tend to be very deep and very focused towards my enemy. Any change to the stance to make it more mobile or more stable in another direction, takes away from the power of the cut. Which is fine as long as you are willing to make that sacrifice. I am not. The stance I use normally with a sword would not make a lot of sense with a knife or unarmed. I can't generate the same kind of force with a knife that I can with a sword. It's about more than just reach. Leverage enters into the equation. A two handed grip changes things. A style and weapon focused largely on cuts changes things.

A sword is as much like a knife as a spear is. They've all got pointy ends and edges and that's about all that is common between them.

I can't imagine what a hook or an uppercut would look like with a sword. Seems like you'd give up an awful lot of reach trying something like that and a competent swordsman is never going to let you get close enough to try it.
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#295913 - 10/26/06 02:45 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Quote:

The maai? Lost me. You'll have to explain that one.





Translates roughly to distance, or distance management/manipulation.

Quote:


Im one of those people that believe that empty hand can cross over to armed forms of fighting.





Good for you. May I ask what armed fighting forms you have experience in that allows you to draw such a conclusion?

Quote:

With that being the case, one could say that hand skills are the basics of weapons fighting.




You'll need to be more specific here. "Weapons fighting" is a ridiculously broad category of fighting styles. What could a good foundation in boxing possibly teach you about the particulars of archery, rapier fencing, jo, bo, or even sword for that matter. There might be some basic elements of general awareness, but the details(you know the important stuff?) are all specific to each weapon and fighting environment.

Quote:

To me the best fighter is one who can use the basics the most effectively. Not necessarily the specialist.




Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion. I think the best fighter is the one with his finger on the button. Aint nobody beating him at anything.
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#295914 - 10/26/06 02:52 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

Sorry maai "combative distance" (more or less)

I don't think your wrong---just don't 100% agree.

If your talking weapons, the smart monies on the "specialist."

Not ALWAYS or course---just how I would be betting.


Edited by cxt (10/26/06 02:55 PM)
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#295915 - 10/26/06 03:06 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
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If in a knife fight would you not die if stabbed or cut in the proper place? I think the stakes are the same in any weapos situation and I would treat them all as if my life were in danger. Granted the power is going to affect things. That isnt something I had considered but Im sure it does make a difference in stance work. However, I would prefer the mobility over the power. Thats due to the differences in our training I suppose. As far as the difference in weapons between bo's spears, knives or swords to me there isnt much difference at all. All are essentially stick weapons. The lengths are different, and obviously the steel in a knife spear or sword gives them a particular edge but when it comes down to it, they are all long slender objects in your hand. They just have different ranges. However the movements can be performed with all. You can stab with a bo like you would a sword. It isnt going to penetrate but the technique is there.
When I said hook what i meant is a slicing movement from R to L or vice versa. When i said uppercut, I meant a slice going from the ground upwards along the opponents centerline. I simply dont have the knowledge to present these movements traditional names. And for reference purpose I train gun stick and knife. Now heres how unarmed combat could transfer over. First off the timing and footwork. Good footwork is good footwork any way you look at it IMO. Same with timeing. I think if you can counter well unarmed this carries over. If you can jab hook or uppercut effectively there is no reason with that you couldnt do this armed with a simple adjustment to the wrist. I think if you can block or defend well unarmed that this will transfer over as well.
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#295916 - 10/26/06 03:12 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Like I said. Without a few years to ground you in the basics of why swords work the way they do, I cannot convince you of anything you do not already believe and will try no further. Topics like this are things that can be talked about forever online to absolutely no avail and make almost as much sense as "what is the absolute best style" conversations. Good luck in your studies.
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#295917 - 10/26/06 03:15 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
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disappointing to see you give up so soon. The conversation was just getting good. Besides, my beliefs are never concrete. Im a JKD guy. My training changes and evolves constantly. You may have to put it in laymans terms, but i understand the concept just the same.
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#295918 - 10/26/06 03:34 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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My appologies. I've just been down this road too many times before. I'm sure someone else will chime in.
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#295919 - 10/26/06 03:46 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
cxt Offline
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Chen

Sure, knowloge of targets would transfer.

Like I said, I don't think your wrong, just don't agree 100 percent.

The footwork and handleing for using a 26-30 inch long katana is going to be drasctially different from what you need to used an 6 inch knife.

Using a 6 foot bo is different than a 3 foot hanbo or 4 foot jo.

They may be all "stick" weapons--but they have radcially different strentghs and weaknesses--different methods for best use etc.

I feel that if your good at one, then you have skills that can transfer to the other---you just won't be as good as someone that is specifcally trained to use them.

Without knowing the specifics--what is "good footwork" in one field could get you seriously hurt or killed in another.
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#295920 - 10/26/06 05:37 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
splice Offline
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Quote:

As far as the difference in weapons between bo's spears, knives or swords to me there isnt much difference at all.




To you, who doesn't have formal training in the sword arts, the sword is the same as other weapons.

To others, who have formal training in sword arts and perhaps other weapon arts (and unarmed training), there is a world of difference.

When you start training, you will empty your cup, and the taste of the tea later on might not be what you imagined it to be. But until you taste it, all the words in the world will not help you know.

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#295921 - 10/26/06 09:36 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: splice]
Chen Zen Offline
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Perhaps your right. Maybe Im lloking to closely to the movemnts and not the whole picture. I dont know when or if Ill ever get to swordplay formally, but I "play" with the ones I have often. I have various styles from sabers,to katanas, to Tai Chi swords. Tons of other bladed weapons too. I collect. Anyways, thanks for good conversation.
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#295922 - 10/27/06 12:05 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
iaibear Offline
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<< disappointing to see you give up so soon. The conversation was just getting good. Besides, my beliefs are never concrete. Im a JKD guy. >>

How to phrase this? A bo or jo are sticks. A saber can be viewed as a stick with an edge. But a katana is a 27 inch scalpel.

Those horizontal cuts and upward slices you refer to so blithely would not merely leave a superficial gap across your opponent's abdomen like in Highlander the Series. It would leave him in two segments. Or it could be you if his technique is better.

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#295923 - 10/28/06 04:14 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: iaibear]
Chen Zen Offline
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I know what a sword is and its capabilities.

Also, there was a point made on the differences of sword vs knife and one of the big points was power. That a sword is primarily about power movements. At first I agreed with this but now I do not. It isnt universal. While Katana weilding Samurai obviously use much power, other arts such as Tai Chi do not. I own a Tai Chi sword and its apparent to me that the strength lies not in the power but the light weight and speed. As would be the same as epee, and other arts and swords.
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#295924 - 11/03/06 02:21 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
PrimeUniversa69 Offline
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I guess I'm in luck then,my wooden knife itself is less than one ounce.Its only slightly heavier than a feather.
Although I did carve my knife out of cedar,so that could be why.so it may be brittle.

So it could be that the broadsword,although heavier,and slower in movement,was much more resilient.On the other hand
the kife was slightly weaker.

so it epends on which art style your trying to mastar. Are you tryint to master powerful strokes,are quick agile
movements.

The movements took me less than a year,with some instruction with my fencing teacher.so its all relative
to what you use.

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#295925 - 11/03/06 11:00 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: PrimeUniversa69]
ichibyoshi Offline
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The movements may take less than a year to master (although if you have a teacher who has been practicing for a while longer than you, s/he is sure to see things in your "mastery" that require fixing).

But the mental ability to apply those techniques under real pressure is another thing. And the ability to apply them consistently under pressure, to "win" over and over again, is what takes time.

In kendo, we would say the ability to have "fudoshin", immovable mind or spirit, is what you train years for. The movements themselves are easy. Being effective ALL the time is not.

In my experience, there is usually a strong correlation between years spent training (so long as it's regular, intensive training) and effectiveness. IOW your seniors will usually know what you're about to do because when they were at your level, it's the kind of thing they would have done in that same situation. You, on the other hand, may not see what they are planning, because you don't yet know what they know. Their view from the mountain road on which you both are travelling encompasses more because they have reached slightly higher ground.

b

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#295926 - 11/13/06 01:19 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: ichibyoshi]
fatguy Offline
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Quote:

But the mental ability to apply those techniques under real pressure is another thing. And the ability to apply them consistently under pressure, to "win" over and over again, is what takes time.

In kendo, we would say the ability to have "fudoshin", immovable mind or spirit, is what you train years for. The movements themselves are easy. Being effective ALL the time is not.





would "fudoshin" be similar to "zanshin" if your familiar with the term? (MJER's Flashing Steel is my reference of the word and its a difficult concept for me to fully understand due to my lack of experience and inability to currently train my mind in such a way.)
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#295927 - 11/13/06 03:30 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
iaibear Offline
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Quote:

I know what a sword is and its capabilities.
its apparent to me that the strength lies not in the power but the light weight and speed. As would be the same as epee, and other arts and swords.



In the case of a genuine shinken, the cutting ability lies in the incredible edge. All that is required is the skill to deliver this edge properly.

One does not sharpen a shinken. One hires a highly skilled professional to polish it.

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#295928 - 11/13/06 04:26 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: fatguy]
pgsmith Offline
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Quote:


would "fudoshin" be similar to "zanshin" if your familiar with the term? (MJER's Flashing Steel is my reference of the word and its a difficult concept for me to fully understand due to my lack of experience and inability to currently train my mind in such a way.)



Nope.
Zanshin is awareness of surroundings. Sometimes referred to as "lingering awareness" within Japanese sword arts circles. It is the ability to be aware of all around you even though you've defeated the (apparent) enemy. Fudoshin is most often discussed as "immovable mind". It is the ability to deal effectively in any situation and not have anything cause undue distress or surprise. A really good example of fudoshin is in an article written several years ago in Furyu by Stephan Fabian ... http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue9/fudoshin.html
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#295929 - 11/14/06 12:13 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: iaibear]
Chen Zen Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

I know what a sword is and its capabilities.
its apparent to me that the strength lies not in the power but the light weight and speed. As would be the same as epee, and other arts and swords.




All that is required is the skill to deliver this edge properly.





Isnt that true of any bladed weapon?
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#295930 - 11/14/06 10:18 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
iaibear Offline
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Quote:



Quote:

All that is required is the skill to deliver this edge properly.




Isnt that true of any bladed weapon?





sigh

Well, Charles Mahan, you can't say I didn't try.

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#295931 - 11/14/06 05:12 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: iaibear]
Chen Zen Offline
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Is it not? Perhaps I missed your point. I thought that sword fighting was about slicing and stabbing the opponent while keeping him from doing the same thing.
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#295932 - 11/14/06 06:07 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Quote:

Is it not? Perhaps I missed your point. I thought that sword fighting was about slicing and stabbing the opponent while keeping him from doing the same thing.




At an extremely basic level yes. But caution should be used when drawing comparisons based on such a superficial assertion. The same logic could be used to equate a plastic surgeon with a tailor. They both cut and sew, so the skill set must transfer from one to the other right? Not really.


Edited by Charles Mahan (11/14/06 06:09 PM)
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#295933 - 11/14/06 09:41 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
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I understand your point, however, how does that relate to the current conversation? Obviosly a taylor and a surgeon are miles apart, but we arent talking about saving the opponent, we are talking about destroying him and to me that would require less on the part of the destroyer.
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#295934 - 11/14/06 10:14 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Quote:

Obviosly a taylor and a surgeon are miles apart, but we arent talking about saving the opponent




That's kinda my point about knives and swords.
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#295935 - 11/14/06 11:39 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
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I understood that. However, the job is simple, (like the tailors)defeat the opponent. The tools are not the exact same but very similar.
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#295936 - 11/15/06 09:26 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Except that if the tailor is having a slightly off day, nobody dies.

The margin of error is ridiculously small. You can receive a single cut from a knife in a fight and unless it hits you in a vital area you can survive and continue to fight. There is nowhere on your body you can take a cut from a sword and have a reasonable chance of continuing the fight which means that you will certainly die. That principle fundamentally changes the nature of of the conflict. Keep in mind that the general assumption is that your opponent is in the prime of life and has probably been training for at least 30 years. He is VERY VERY VERY good.

May I ask you what you do for a living? It's relevant I promise.


Edited by Charles Mahan (11/15/06 09:28 AM)
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#295937 - 11/15/06 10:09 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Would we not have to assume the same about the knife weilding opponent then as well? A well versed knife fighter doesnt necessarily have to take the vital areas. He can just as easily cause nerve damage or tendon damage. Granted, you arent going to take off an arm with a knife, you can still disable it and isnt that roughly the same thing? Minus loss of blood? The limb is still incapacitated, and most certainly lead to the death of the opponent due to his inability to defend or attack.

Also, a good knife fighter has already cut or stabbed you before you see the weapon. Due to its size, concielabilty is optimum.

As for what i do for a living, i have two occupations. By day, I lay tile and hardwood and when i can i compete in MMA events, trying to take the first steps into what hopefully becomes a prosperous career, or at least one I can be proud of.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295938 - 11/15/06 10:44 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Chen Zen]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'll give you that a very good knife fighter can mess you up pretty bad with a minimum of cuts possibly leading quickly to death.

However, a barely trained swordsman can kill you with one cut if you screw up even slightly. A glancing blow from a knife landing in a less than ideal spot will wound but not badly. The same cannot be said for swords. A cut with less than ideal hasuji can still open up a wound which is several inches long and an inch or so deep. While perhaps not immediately fatal, it is a debilitating cut most anywhere on the torso.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#295939 - 11/15/06 10:55 PM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I agree. The sword is definately more lethal.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#295940 - 11/17/06 09:26 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: Charles Mahan]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
I am wondering if our friend Chen Zen has ever heard of that legendary test of holding a shinken in front of a thread that is floating down a stream. It is said the thread will float by the blade without pause, but be cut in two.

That is sharper than any ground or honed knife or sword. Is it truth or myth?

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#295941 - 11/17/06 10:41 AM Re: Ten years? [Re: iaibear]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Never tried it, but I've heard the myth. I wouldn't be suprised if there was a kernel of truth in there somewhere. You really can polish a good shinken to quite literally a razor's edge. More importantly it will hold that edge better than most blades. There is no real reason to keep them quite that sharp, and to some degree it is a little self defeating as the very extreme bit of the edge could roll over a tad on contact with a hard surface thus negating the sharpness. Take it down a notch and you will have an absurdly sharp blade that can hold it's edge very well. That's what makes the design remarkable.
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