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#373392 - 12/07/07 05:16 PM Tsukamaki issues
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Ok, ive had my iaito for about 7 weeks now and have been training with it every class. Ive finally gotten the feel for the weight and length but im now having another issue. The Tsukamaki is tearing my hands apart...i have horrible blisters, tears and scabs on my hands which is making it hard to properly handle my sword. Anyone else have these issues? My tsukamaki is cotton, I wonder if i should have paid the extra $80 and gotten the silk. Im thinking about getting some fingerless gloves or something but I dont know if that will affect my ability to properly handle my Iaito. Any advise, my sore hands would appreciate it!
_________________________
-Dave-

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#373393 - 12/07/07 05:26 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: PsychoDave]
Richard_Norris Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 43
This is just a guess from afar, but I'd imagine it'd be helpful if you used a -light- firm grip, as you would chopping wood with an axe. Neither application should give rise to blisters. The cutting (or chopping, cf the axe) is the result of the application of technique, not strength.

Don't take my word for this, of course, ask your instructor.

Edit: It's also helpful if you don't adjust your grip when you shouldn't. As above, ask your instructor.

RN "and silk ain't soft when braided into cord, trust me"


Edited by Richard_Norris (12/07/07 05:27 PM)

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#373394 - 12/07/07 05:27 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: PsychoDave]
JoshuaMonjin Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 427
Loc: Fallon, Nevada
I sometimes get callus's on the palm-finger joints and not very often blisters on my thumbs usually after not training for awhile. I have a pretty hard wrap myself. Have you asked your sensei yet? It could be that your grip is either slightly off or that your hands are shifting position as you swing and cut. My best guess is that combined with a hard wrap could be your problem. Hope this helps.
_________________________
Jikishin kore dojo nari

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#373395 - 12/07/07 05:52 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I have built up some thick callouses over the years, particularly on the inside of my right thumb knuckle. I think I might have gotten a couple of minor blisters very early in my training, but nothing terrible. I suspect that Richard may have the right of it. This sounds like an issue of technique and not an issue of equipment. This should be discussed with your instructor.

Maybe if you didn't dip the tsuka in tar and broken glass...
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#373396 - 12/08/07 01:39 AM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: Charles Mahan]
KenSan Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Kaneohe, Hawaii
PsychoDave, Kim Taylor-Sensei wrote two excellent articles in EJMAS about eight years ago that may help you with your grip problem; you can find them at http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_taylor2_0100.htm & http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_taylor1_0300.htm. This of course shouldn't be considered as important as what your Sensei tells you, but it might give you a few ideas on what may be going wrong.

Just FYI, I have several katana that I practice with, & half of them have cotton tsukamaki & the other half have silk. I can't feel any difference in how each tsuka feels or in how the blades handle. I had to stop & check my calluses, but other than the same thumb callus that Charles has, I don't have any of note.

Hmm, remembering back quite a few years, I recall that my right forearm & elbow were giving me fits when I was holding the tsuka too tightly. After seven weeks, are you feeling any pain in those areas?
_________________________
Ken Goldstein Judo Godan/MJER Iaido Disciple/MSR Jodo Disciple/ Fencing Master/NRA Instructor

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#373397 - 12/10/07 02:37 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: KenSan]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Wow, thank you all for taking the time to reply and offer advise, its greatly appreciated!!

I was speaking with my sensai last week about this and he said its a matter of my grip on the tsuka. Sometimes im holding on to tight, other times to loose. He watched me for a few minutes and showed me something that lead to his conclusion...(im going to murder the spelling on this, its the WOOSH the blade makes as it slices through the air) hassogi (hasso G, thats how my sensai pronounces it) Anyways, as he was wathcing me he said that the hassogi changed as I was striking which means as I swing im changing my grip. But I dont know how to stop doing that...the tighter I hold on to the tsuka the more my hands hurt, same with loosening up my grip. He gave me a few pointers and said I just need to keep practicing, so thats what I will do. He also said that while im at home watching tv to get my iaito and grip the tsuka and work it to break in the cotton so ive been doing that for the last few days.

Richard and Joshua, you hit the nail on the head my friends!
Charles - Your advise is always appreciated! With the way my hands looked last week, I may as well have dipped my tsuka in tar and glass! You didnt just watch kickboxer, did you?
Ken - Thanks for the link im off to go check out those articles! And, no, i dont have any pain in my right forearm or elbow. I do have some sort if injury in my shoulder that ive had since before I started Iaido...it feels like my arm pops in and out of socket in certain positions and those positions seem to be used alot in Iaido. Its not to painful, it feels weird and I have to stop and readjust and pop my shoulder back in to socket before I can continue. Once I can afford insurance ill go get that checked out.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#373398 - 12/10/07 03:00 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: PsychoDave]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
The word you are looking for is hasuji. It translates roughly as "angle of attack", only that's not really an entirely good description. Hasuji is the alignment of the plane which passes through the ha and the mid point of the back of the mune with the target. Good hasuji is usually defined as the aligning the aforementioned plane at a 90 degree angle to the target, although I suppose that could differ from style to style.

Hasuji is greatly affected by your tenouchi(grip). Unfortunately tenouchi is very stylistic in nature. Different styles can do it radically different. In addition to that, it is very difficult to diagnose and correct via the written word alone. This is a classic case where "Ask your sensei" is the only real viable option. Good luck with getting this problem fixed.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#373399 - 12/10/07 03:29 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: Charles Mahan]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Yeah, ive come to that conclusion as well. I will continue to work with my sensai to correct the problem. Classes have been very small lately, 4 to 5 studients for the past few months. So I should be able to get some good one on one time with my sensai.

Again, thanks to all for the time and advise!
_________________________
-Dave-

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#373400 - 12/10/07 03:40 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: PsychoDave]
Halley Offline
Member

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

I know I will butcher the spelling...



Quote:

I will continue to work with my sensai to correct the problem.




I only bring this correction up after you mentioned an interest in the proper spelling of words. You mean "sensei," not "sensai." The correct pronunciation is sen-SAY while the latter would be pronounced sen-SIGH.

The Japanese vowel sounds are very simple, like Spanish. (That's unfortunately one of the only simple things about Japanese language!) While we're at it, when we're spelling their words with our alphabet, the G is for hard sounds (like Golf) while the J is for soft sounds (like Juice). Lastly, when you see multiple vowels together, they are each distinct syllables: Charles' "tenouchi" is pronounced teh-NOH-woo-chee.

Good luck with the grip: as Charles said, it is style-dependent but multiple sources refer to holding the tsuka like it's an egg or a bird-- strong enough to ensure its safe and won't fly, but light enough to ensure it's not crushed too. The strength is in the ends of the fingers as you pivot the blade through a cut, not the grip itself.

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#373401 - 12/10/07 04:39 PM Re: Tsukamaki issues [Re: PsychoDave]
JoshuaMonjin Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 427
Loc: Fallon, Nevada
Glad I could be of some help. Another good term is tachikaze which translates to "sword wind" that also describes the sound the sword makes. Best of luck.
_________________________
Jikishin kore dojo nari

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