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Buying Kimono Over the Internet

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.24.2007 10:43 am

Shirasagi wrote:
Well, it strikes me that you and Tony don't really disagree very much then, but I'll let him speak for himself. I'd actually be very interested to hear him address some of the points raised here..


Interestingly enough, one doesn't have to be fully opposed to another in order to disagree on a few things. In fact it might be a simple point of talking about the same thing but using different terms. That happens quite frequently, when two or more people have differing levels of expertice.

remember, Tony said he disagreed with me, and I said I would like to debate it.

side bar to Tony (didn't we get introduced over this same type of subject when I first joined, and everyone immediately went to the "Tony knows all" post to quiet me ? lol .. not that there isn't some validity in your position of knowledge)

Shirasagi wrote:
One further note, though - there are no few swords remaining from the Sengoku period that are really banged up, with cracks and knotches in the ha, mune, and shinogi. And these are the swords that were saved. Who knows how many were destroyed/abandoned/melted down. While the ideals of Japanese swordsman ship were redirect and cut, I have the feeling that in the heat of battle there was a lot of clashing and banging together going on.


It also might be that the only swords kept were the ones not damaged and all the damaged ones were melted down/destroyed. Of course history is clouded with stories and legend based around just that type of thing. Since there isn't a "step by step" process followed and a guideline drawn up, it's hard to say what really did happen.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby AJBryant » Fri 08.24.2007 11:37 am

Part of the thing is that I'm very used to people maintaing the old BS that Japanese swords cutt differently ("it's a draw cut, not a cut cut") and that they're made to function differently ("you never hit the sword with a sword") that I immediately launch into my BS destruct mode.

There's a reason that old schools of Japanese swordsmanship stress power-cutting techniques (e.g., battou-jutsu) and so on, and a reason that swords were tested to see how many bodies they could slice through on a single stroke. These were not simple draw-cuts. These were powerhouse strokes. Likewise, the need to deflect blades with the only thing available -- your OWN blade -- and the extant number of swords with injured blades bear witness to the fact that the modern fantasies about the uniqueness and special techniques of katana use are bullpucky.

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.24.2007 12:01 pm

well I wasn't specifically going into Iaijutsu vs kenjutsu (as there is a definate distinction there) and I wasn't going for the "a sword never touches a sword" approach either. In fact there was just as much thrust (thus the crafting of the dual edge on the upper porton of the tip of the katana, to help in this effort).

the interesting part is that alot of the so called "myth" comes from clouding the "riding style" of fighting with the "ground style" of fighting. as the two are completely different, it seems that many think one can fight on the ground with the same style of "slashing" strokes that one used on horseback, and in some odd cases vise versa.

As to blade repair, i do believe that most samurai kept their crafter very busy repairing the innevitable "ding" when blade or tip was damaged. Although from what I remember, there were so many different style of efforts to allow the swords to have enough bend and stiffness that most contact was absorbed and the steel kiss was not a major car crash, but as a sideswipe. At least that was the intention of sword master and sword crafter.

Of course the best layed plans, last about 2 seconds in real combat when, you realize it's not about how pretty your sword looks at the end, but whether you walk away or not, then you might be predisposed to doing something you would not do in practice to keep yourself alive.

I am not so sure it's straight up bull, as you mention defection, what I call redirection or energy. think of it like judo. a 145 lb man can snap the back and neck of a 295 lb man if he uses the other mans energy against him. My studies have shown that alot of the deflection of blades was to overexpose an area on teh opponent in order to power the blade with ones own energy and the redirected energy of the opponent.

body position, angle of sword, movement, etc all go into using the sword in a not so elegant dance where bloodshed was the ultimate outcome.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Shirasagi » Fri 08.24.2007 1:03 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
side bar to Tony (didn't we get introduced over this same type of subject when I first joined, and everyone immediately went to the "Tony knows all" post to quiet me ? lol .. not that there isn't some validity in your position of knowledge)

Well, FWIW, my mention of Tony's book wasn't to put down your knowledge, but more of a joking way to qualify my lack (compared to Tony). I literally just came across that book the day before I wrote that post, and was like, "Hey! It's AJBryant!"

Shirasagi wrote:
One further note, though - there are no few swords remaining from the Sengoku period that are really banged up, with cracks and knotches in the ha, mune, and shinogi. And these are the swords that were saved. Who knows how many were destroyed/abandoned/melted down. While the ideals of Japanese swordsman ship were redirect and cut, I have the feeling that in the heat of battle there was a lot of clashing and banging together going on.


It also might be that the only swords kept were the ones not damaged and all the damaged ones were melted down/destroyed.


Um, how is that possible? I'm talking about damaged swords displayed in museums. How can they be in museums if they were all melted/destroyed? My point is that we have some undamaged swords, and some damaged swords still remaining today. While it's no surprise that a sword in good condition would continue to be preserved to modern times, I think it's pretty likely that the damage swords that remain are but a small sample of many broken and damaged swords.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 08.24.2007 1:12 pm

Shirasagi wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote:
side bar to Tony (didn't we get introduced over this same type of subject when I first joined, and everyone immediately went to the "Tony knows all" post to quiet me ? lol .. not that there isn't some validity in your position of knowledge)

Well, FWIW, my mention of Tony's book wasn't to put down your knowledge, but more of a joking way to qualify my lack (compared to Tony). I literally just came across that book the day before I wrote that post, and was like, "Hey! It's AJBryant!".


That comment wasn't really meant discredit your statement. I was just remembering that when I first joined I think I was involved in a topic almost the same as this. Nearly everyone posted the same thing. I just found it a small world to see that nearly a year later that the same subject pops back up.

oh and the mention of how could it be that way, I misread your original question in that I thought you were suggesting that there weren't any damaged swords.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Shirasagi » Fri 08.24.2007 1:40 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
oh and the mention of how could it be that way, I misread your original question in that I thought you were suggesting that there weren't any damaged swords.


Ah, I see. I originally wrote "many damaged swords" and then changed it to "no few damaged swords". Not my clearest writing moment. :)
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Steve_Poppers » Sat 08.25.2007 2:26 pm

All of this is not what I expected when I first posted this. It's interesting to say the least. Coincidentally, I while you have all been squabbling, I've been shopping for a cheap katana. Check http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/index.html. There are hand-made katana available, but they are in no way forged by master smiths, and not always in japan. That of course does not mean that they're not usable, and neither does their low price. There's also http://forums.swordforum.com/. Plenty of afficionados. (How's that spelled?)
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby spin13 » Sun 08.26.2007 10:30 pm

Just to chime in as another practitioner of koryu bujutsu (Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu), there certainly are techniques for blocking in addition to techniques for deflecting. This is done with both the flat and the edge. Here is one example. The block occurs after the first sheathing and, in this case, is done with the flat.

But if you want to know the long and short of it, cutting him first and/or not being in the way are the two most preferred methods of defense.

As for two_heads_talking's incredibly long post, that should be te-no-uchi not "ten-uchi", the "umbrella block" would almost ubiquitously be known as uke-nagashi, and I find your (well, Wikipedia's) tidy classifications of Japanese sword arts neat. I wonder where they would deem fit to place something like this kumi-iai?

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby Shirasagi » Mon 08.27.2007 7:37 am

spin13 wrote:
As for two_heads_talking's incredibly long post, that should be te-no-uchi not "ten-uchi",


And it sounds as if the author assumes "uchi" means 打ち - a strike. Actually te-no-uchi is written 手の内 and simply means "inside the hands". It's not really a technique per se, but rather simply refers to one's grip on one's sword. Which varies from school to school, so what might be "good" te-no-uchi" in one school, might be "bad" in another.

I find that imperfect and non-idiomatic understandings of Japanese terms are rampant in the English-speaking martial arts community. A common example is 残心(ざんしん). It refers to one's mental awareness and physical readiness after an enemy is ostensibly defeated, but it often gets used among English speakers just to mean "awareness". As in, "I need to practice more zanshin so I don't bump into other people on crowded mats!"

And don't get me started on the over-wrought reverence imparted to the term....(shhhh).... "sensei".
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 08.27.2007 9:37 am

spin13 wrote:


As for two_heads_talking's incredibly long post, that should be te-no-uchi not "ten-uchi", the "umbrella block" would almost ubiquitously be known as uke-nagashi, and I find your (well, Wikipedia's) tidy classifications of Japanese sword arts neat. I wonder where they would deem fit to place something like this kumi-iai?

-Eric


I copied alot of that from the site, so there are a few things I am sure to have missed. I am merely a student of the script rather than a practitioner of the art, so a few of the terms I am not aware of. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby spin13 » Mon 08.27.2007 11:42 am

Shirasagi wrote:
I find that imperfect and non-idiomatic understandings of Japanese terms are rampant in the English-speaking martial arts community.

And don't get me started on the over-wrought reverence imparted to the term....(shhhh).... "sensei".


So does that mean you're not up for another round of "Do vs. Jutsu"?

two_heads_talking wrote:
I copied alot of that from the site, so there are a few things I am sure to have missed. I am merely a student of the script rather than a practitioner of the art, so a few of the terms I am not aware of. Thanks for pointing that out to me.


Not a problem. Just remember that most people are not practitioners, including many authors and that there are just as many people with romantic notions in the Japanese sword arts community as there are outside of it. There is nothing wrong with being a historian or a romantic; it's more an issue of self-awareness than anything else.

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RE: Buying Kimono Over the Internet

Postby spin13 » Tue 08.28.2007 6:47 am

And here is a video of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, again featuring a block (a superficially similar version of which also appears in the art I study, Eishin Ryu). There are many knock-offs of TSKSR, but this video features Shihan Otake Risuke as uchitachi and I assume one of his son as shitachi. There is a longer feature on YouTube that is from the BBC's Way of the Warrior series which shows this same kata in depth and with a little explanation as well if I'm not mistaken.

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