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JamesB
08-07-2001, 05:31 PM
Does anyone know why aikidoka typically train with bokken that have no tsuba? Are there styles/schools within aikido that typically do train with a tsuba?

Has anyone trained both ways and has an opinion on which way you prefer and why?

-JamesB
Not even 5th kyu, USAF East

jk
08-08-2001, 01:57 AM
Hey wait, wasn't there a thread on this very subject in e-budo a while ago? Here it is:

tsuba, or not tsuba? (http://204.95.207.136/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=6914)

My opinion? Some people may regard bokuto as disposable, and therefore do not warrant embellishments such as tsuba. However, given the costs of plastic tsuba and those white rubber tsubadome these days, that isn't a highly convincing argument. A tsuba is a very nice thing to have when your training partner, inadvertently or not, slides a jo down your bokuto. Mistakes do occur during training, so a minimal amount of protection, at very little cost, is better than none at all. Hope this helps.

Regards,
John

JJF
08-08-2001, 04:12 AM
I guess there is a number of reasons... One might be simply be lazy (hey it does take a couple of seconds to put it on ;)). Another would be that the average bokken has a rather short handle and if you don't use the tsuba you can extend your grip a little up the sword, thereby gaining better control. I know this is not in compliance with 'realistic practice', but in paired practice I prefer safety to realism.
The way I see it, there is no use in putting the tsuba on the bokken, as it has no or very little practical use when it comes to protection. With my limited knowledge of sword-work I would never rely on the tsuba to protect my hands, instead the protection should be to move out of the line of the attack and take the center. In 'real life' this should be the same. I would be very scared if the tsuba was the only thing keeping my opponents sword from cutting my hand. It is not large enough nor strong enough to be a reliable 'safety-valve' and I don't think the blocking way to use the sword is the kind of technique one should practice.
I have had some experience with both Seitei-iaido, Aiki-toho, Kendo, Aiki-ken tai jo and Aiki-ken tai ken, and in neither of these arts have I experienced any technique relying on the tsuba for anything else than a means to either keep the sword in the scabbard (left hands thumb controls it) or getting the sword out of the scabbard quickly (left hand thumb pushes on the side of the tsuba to get loosen the sword from the firm grip of the scabbard).
Finally when using the bokken while practicing aikido the tsuba could (in theory) in some situations either scratch uke or put pressure on ukes wrist, so to prevent to add discomfort to uke I don't put it on.

In conclusion: I have very little reason NOT to use a tsuba, and slightly less reason to use it - so I don't. (However what put's me over the top might be the 'when in Rome' factor ;))

Andre
08-08-2001, 07:26 AM
If you have ever been to a Chiba Sensei seminar where he taught bokken you probably have tsuba on your bokken today. He does a technique (I believe its called tsuri otoshi) where the attacker does a shomen and you do a slightly quicker shomen while pulling your hips. When learning this you get hit a lot OVER the tsuba, I wouldn't even want to try it without a tsuba.

wildaikido
08-08-2001, 09:44 AM
In the kenjutsu I do we do have some tsuba fighting techniques, these are from where your swords are crossed at the tsuba and you push and struggle trying to get the advantage in a dangerous situation that might just occur. In the sword work we do in our Aikido (Yoseikan) which is Katori Shinto Ryu we practice a technique where you block low on your blade and use the tsuba aswell. So it does have some practical uses but maybe Osensei just didn't see the need for them in aikiken.

guest1234
08-08-2001, 10:49 AM
I've been in both kinds of dojos, and also go with the 'when in Rome' philosophy. My own (probably wrong) theory is that since the Iwama-style dojos do not use tsuba, they probably were not used by O Sensei in Iwama, where I think we'll all agree the main Aikido weapons traditions come from...one guess would be those now cheap and easily available rubber and plastic habaki and tsuba wouldn't have been quite so cheap and available in post-war Japan. Another would be they seem today more to be used for Iaido-like adaptations in some schools (eg, hold and release from an imaginary saya) than necessarily needed to illustrate the sword technique within the empty handed technique.I guess a point in that would either be the focus and dicipline that teaches, or the particular instructor likes Iaido. I think you can mimic the action one person mentioned, the locking of tsubas in trying to gain an advantage, without the tsuba if partners have an increased sensitivity to each others pressure and movement, which is not a bad thing to develop. But then, I have enough trouble in weapons class as it is...I just go with what the instructor prefers.

tedehara
08-08-2001, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by JamesB
Does anyone know why aikidoka typically train with bokken that have no tsuba? Are there styles/schools within aikido that typically do train with a tsuba?

Has anyone trained both ways and has an opinion on which way you prefer and why?

-JamesB
Not even 5th kyu, USAF East

If you've ever seen an actual samurai sword, they have long handles. I've been taught to hold the sword with one hand's width between the hands. On a normal bokken, this grip is usually too long. The tsuba gets in the way because the handle is usually too short. I think the handle is usually made short because of the smaller average hand size in Asia, where most of the bokkens are made. If you spend the buck$ and get one custom made in the USA, the handles are usually longer.

That's why I usually train with no tsuba. Other people may have other reasons.

Brian Vickery
08-08-2001, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by JamesB
Does anyone know why aikidoka typically train with bokken that have no tsuba? Are there styles/schools within aikido that typically do train with a tsuba?

Has anyone trained both ways and has an opinion on which way you prefer and why?

-JamesB
Not even 5th kyu, USAF East

Hi James,

The reason why we don't use a tsuba on the bokken is to prevent the fingers from being injured during Tachidori (sword taking) techniques. The fingers can easily get trapped on the handle of the sword during this type of practice due to a tsuba being there.

The bokken is also used for suburi (individual kata practice) where a tsuba is just not needed.

When it comes to tachiuchi (kumite; paired practice) we opt for a bokuto made out of white waxwood. The waxwood is much stronger and denser material when compared to oak or hickory. It also cracks & splinters something like bamboo, rather than fracture like other woods, making it a much safer weapon to use on a crowded mat. Some students use a tsuba on these bokuto, but not all. (Once they get cracked on the knuckles a few times, they then become BIG fans of the tsuba;) )

Regards,

Tony Peters
08-11-2001, 09:57 PM
A number of folks have come up with good answers as to why or why not to use a tsuba. My opinion is likely the least liked but perhaps the closest to reality. Since Aiki ken isn't really a sword style just a way of learning movement. There really isn't any need for the protection that it provides. As such there is more reason to remove it for Tachidori yes the tsuba does "get in the way" However I'm not sure that removing it to be "Safer" is neccessarilly the correct thing to do. That's sorta like leaving the training wheels on the bike forever. If you can't do tachidori safely with the tsuba on then you need to work on it. The point of the technique is to take a REAL sword away from someone without

A) Hurting your self
and
B) Hurting your partner/opponent
In the end you are cheating yourself and your technique by making the problem easier to solve before you start.

If your Boken can be fitted with a tsuba and you want to make one it's pretty easy to do so with leather from a weight belt and some Elmers glue. The ones I have made have stood up to some EXTREME abuse in Jodo class and have kept my hands from becoming hamburger. A dremel tool can be used to add decorative shaping if you need.

One last thing a tsuba is really on a sword to ballance the blade not for hand protection (though that is a nice additional aspect of it).

Peter Boylan
08-16-2001, 02:56 PM
Hi Tony, nice to see you here.

The tsuba on a shinken serves a couple of purposes. It does protect the hands. If a blade comes sliding down, it will be stopped at best, bounced away at worst, by the tsuba. It also provides protection in tsuba zeriai, when people have moved in tight and are working tsuba to tsuba. Most importantly I think is that if you thrust hard (and why would you be thrusting any other way?), and you run into something hard that makes the sword stop suddenly, the tsuba keeps your hands from sliding forward over the blade and neatly slicing your fingers off.

On a bokuto it does a wonderful job of protecting your fingers from strikes. It's not a perfect job, but I'd hate to do a lot of the MJER tachi uchi no kurai and tsumei ai no kurai without one, and Itto-ryu is even worse. I don't even want to contemplate Shinto Muso Ryu's Hikiotoshi Uchi without out a tsuba. It also makes you aware of the dimensions and properties of a shinken, so you will be more likely to treat it like a proper sword.

As for shinken having long tsuka (hilts), the only ones with really long tsuka are the ones Bugei sells. Oddly, I've never seen swords mounted like that in Japan. The standard tsuka lenght is 9 sun (roughly 11 inches/27 cm). A tsuka of 1 shaku (12 in/30 cm) is exceptionally long, though I have sold a couple to people with really large handes.

I'm not a fan of the little plastic tsuba, a couple of shots of hikiotoshi uchi and they crack and go blasting right off the bokuto and the jo does a nice job on your hand. I prefer the boiled leather tsuba which are traditionally used by Shinto Muso Ryu and Itto Ryu, among others.

I agree with Tony that aiki-ken isn't good swordsmanship, though it can be good aikido. But even if we are practicing to get off the line and take control of the center (nothing particularly special about doing that in aikido by the way, that's a standard operating procedure in every style I've seen), we're not perfect, and a little protection goes a long way if it's the difference between being out for 6 weeks with broken fingers and being out for 15 minutes with a nasty bruise.

Kami
08-17-2001, 05:23 AM
Hello, Peter! Glad to see you here!
I guess you did sum it up quite nicely.
Best regards and good keiko

Tony Peters
08-18-2001, 09:20 AM
Hi Peter,
Yup Hikiotoshi will destroy a plastic tsuba right quick. Even with a leather one on you boken your hand can get hit. As for a tsuba on a Shinkin I was under the impression that while hand protection is part of a tsuba's existance it's primary purpose was to adjust the weight center of the sword. I wish I could remember where I read this maybe in the "Samurai Sword" I have to research it some. Anyway whoever said it intimated that the reason that tsuba vary so much in weight, thickness and design had more to do with "tuning" a particular blade to a particular person and less to do with fashion or art.
Boiled leather...harumph. Some of us haven't moved to/lived in Japan (yet, I leave next may) and have to make do with laminated leather. Oh and I was trying to be polite about Aikiken not being kenjutsu.

David Humm
09-04-2001, 07:51 AM
As some one who studies Iai (British Kendo Association) to compliment my Aikido (United Kingdom Aikikai) I have found that the use of tsuba is of personal choice unless it is stipulated by the Sensei.

There is a technique in aiki-ken called Maki-otosh, this is a deflection of one's opponents weapon (be it bokken or jo) this action quite often extends right up to where the tsuba would be on a bokken (there or not) however, the jo as we know does not carry such hand protection, therefore one has to be considerate of our partner's welfare regardless.

I must confess, during 14 years of study (aikido) I rearly see a tsuba fitted to a bokken, similarly many of the Japanese Sensei I have been fortunate to see, likewise omit the tsuba. Interesting question.

Christo
10-05-2011, 10:50 PM
I've totally been wondering this myself.
I sometimes train with a couple of friends in our own little dojo, and the three of us have very different styles.

:triangle: Ninijitsu, :square: KungFu and :circle: Aikido.
Good fun, but I wouldn't go near the Ninjitsu chap without a tsuba attached... Its such a violent art and with knuckles exposed they seem to become a target for students in that art.

I use them whenever I can, even in class: but it does make bokken that much more difficult to carry around...

OwlMatt
10-06-2011, 08:35 AM
I personally like my bokken to have some weight to them. In my (admittedly meager) experience, those bokken which can accommodate a tsuba tend to have thinner blades and therefore are usually lighter than I like them.

There is no rule at my dojo against using bokken with tsuba, but I use an Iwama-style bokken without a tsuba for this reason.

graham christian
10-06-2011, 09:28 AM
I would say very simply that a tsuba makes you lazy. Learning how to protect your hands and knuckles etc. is all part of the training.

I would even extend this to any form of padding or armour meaning the down side is you get complacent and thus feel that part of your body is protected.

Regards.G.

Chris Covington
10-06-2011, 09:50 AM
Wow this thread is 10 years old. Interesting.

Some schools such as Itto-ryu use the tsuba in their kata. Other school such as Jikishinkage-ryu do not (well at least not until kodachi anyway). If you don't use it why put it on there?

It seems that "aikiken" has a very broad meaning like kenjutsu or jujutsu and what you do depends on your teacher and your training. I've noticed many aikiken systems allow the students to use any bokuto they want, and they are often made out of exotic woods. More formalized fencing systems could not allow that. For example if you tried to use a Yagyu Shinkage-ryu bokuto (thin as a toothpick) for Jikishinkage-ryu (the bokuto is like a very thick axe handle) you'd have a lot of broken bokuto. Stamp that and reverse it and you could never train with the speed and accuracy you'd need for the kata.

I would just do what my teacher told me was right. When in Rome do as the Visigoths do. No wait...

lbb
10-06-2011, 09:54 AM
I would say very simply that a tsuba makes you lazy. Learning how to protect your hands and knuckles etc. is all part of the training.

I would even extend this to any form of padding or armour meaning the down side is you get complacent and thus feel that part of your body is protected.

Regards.G.

I guess that means that all the bushi who used tsuba and armor were lazy and complacent.

Cliff Judge
10-06-2011, 10:01 AM
Bokken with tsuba just suck. It's either a flimsy piece of plastic or leather that is pointless, or if you really need a tsuba, its a bulky piece of wood that pulls the center of gravity of the bokken down towards your hands.

Unless I am doing some type of training that explicitly requires a tsuba I don't use one, and whenever i think I am doing some type of training that explicitly requires one, it later turns out that i did not.

OwlMatt
10-06-2011, 10:57 AM
I guess that means that all the bushi who used tsuba and armor were lazy and complacent.

This is pretty much what I was thinking when I read Graham's post. Pretty ignorant assertion being made there, I think. One of the best (and least lazy) sword instructors I know uses a bokken with a tsuba.

graham christian
10-06-2011, 11:08 AM
This is pretty much what I was thinking when I read Graham's post. Pretty ignorant assertion being made there, I think. One of the best (and least lazy) sword instructors I know uses a bokken with a tsuba.

Then I suggest both you and Mary take more time to think about it.

Then again, maybe you could train in suits of armour.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
10-06-2011, 11:23 AM
Oh, dear lord.

Graham, I've trained for decades in aikido and never had a significant hit to my hands training without tsuba. I've also trained with others in other styles as well as people in traditional sword arts. Some of them train with tsuba. In some of those styles I would have received serious injuries to my hands had I *not* had the tsuba in place. Because they do things differently. Not just techniques, but how they train.

The bottom line is that is just depends. It has nothing to do with laziness. Maybe in your astral plane it does, but in my experience nothing could be further from the truth.

JO
10-06-2011, 11:30 AM
I prefer using my buokken with its tsuba. I like the feel and the obligation to stay on the handle. But I can, and sometimes do, remove it. especially when training with a group that mostly don't use it.

The design considerations mentioned don't hold if you shop around. i have a hefty large enhanced hickory aikiken from Kingfisher that I had fitted with the bamboo tsuba which looks good on the bokken and is very functional (thick and solid).

This is what you need if you do those paired exercises in Chiba's style where the strike is landed against the hand/tsuba.

Gerardo Torres
10-06-2011, 11:40 AM
I agree with Keith. In my experience the use of tsuba depends on what and with whom you're training. Your sword teacher should be able to explain and demonstrate why you need a tsuba or not. Even within the same style, you might find that for some parts of the curriculum you use bokuto with tsuba, for some you don't (different bokuto, no tsuba). It depends on what you're training. Some training is inherently more dangerous to the hands, or might need a tsuba for other reasons. Then again sometimes you need to put on some armor to train certain things at a certain level. I've had a bunch of those cheap plastic tsuba broken... better than breaking my fingers :D. I have a bunch of plastic tsuba in my bag, I just replace them (maybe I need to get a fancy leather or metal one). :o

graham christian
10-06-2011, 11:48 AM
Oh, dear lord.

Graham, I've trained for decades in aikido and never had a significant hit to my hands training without tsuba. I've also trained with others in other styles as well as people in traditional sword arts. Some of them train with tsuba. In some of those styles I would have received serious injuries to my hands had I *not* had the tsuba in place. Because they do things differently. Not just techniques, but how they train.

The bottom line is that is just depends. It has nothing to do with laziness. Maybe in your astral plane it does, but in my experience nothing could be further from the truth.

Keith. Severe injuries? Sounds like bad training if that's the case.

I have no doubt you have done what you say and thus that is your experience.

I suggest you too read what I said again.

There are times and places where it would be 'helpful' to use a tsuba. Limited. Your example fits to the degree that you din't know or have the experience of that particular sword art.

Bottom line actually is it can and ususally does lead to complacency whether consciously or subconsciously. Unfortunately if you always train with one then one day you won't have one and only then will you understand what I mean.

Reality my friend.

Once again I pose a view where people have to look at something they haven't considered before, ie: the downside of so called protection.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
10-06-2011, 12:16 PM
Graham, have you considered that the training with the tsuba allows them to do things that otherwise would be dangerous? Therefore it allows them to do more. And it allows them to train with the weapon the bokken is ostensibly standing in for -- namely a katana.

Of course there are many who don't wish to train outside their comfort level. Or to experience more direct aspects of martial training. To generalize and call it "laziness" is simply insulting to many who damned well know the difference. I've been on the receiving end of incredibly intense matched bokken work without the tsuba in place where the extremely high level instructor (thankfully) had the control to not hurt me. But it also changed the dynamics of the encounter. Doing it again with a bokken properly fitted with the tsuba changed it dramatically allowing it to be done at full speed and intensity.

graham christian
10-06-2011, 01:04 PM
Graham, have you considered that the training with the tsuba allows them to do things that otherwise would be dangerous? Therefore it allows them to do more. And it allows them to train with the weapon the bokken is ostensibly standing in for -- namely a katana.

Of course there are many who don't wish to train outside their comfort level. Or to experience more direct aspects of martial training. To generalize and call it "laziness" is simply insulting to many who damned well know the difference. I've been on the receiving end of incredibly intense matched bokken work without the tsuba in place where the extremely high level instructor (thankfully) had the control to not hurt me. But it also changed the dynamics of the encounter. Doing it again with a bokken properly fitted with the tsuba changed it dramatically allowing it to be done at full speed and intensity.

A good point made in the first paragraph. A good example of when it is useful, as long as those using live blades are responsible and quite competent.

To some experienced folk it may come across as insulting and to other experienced folk it may make them smile and be a pleasant reminder.

I too have been on the receiving end but as to using a tsuba because of it? Well, it certainly would change the dynamics but so would not being allowed to use one.

Each time the level of intensity as you put it is increased then it may be useful to use one but you won't know if you can protect your own hands or wrists until you can do the same without one.

Reliance on it therefore does lead to complacency and laziness.

Therefore I would put it in the category of a temporary aide.

Therefore I will also stand corrected on my first sentence for any so called 'offended' folk and restate it as: Reliance or using a tsuba as standard procedure leads to lazyness and complcency.

Regards.G.

lbb
10-06-2011, 01:42 PM
Then I suggest both you and Mary take more time to think about it.

My first experience with bokken training was when I started training shindo muso ryu jodo with George Sawyer in, I think, 1993 or 1994...I'm not sure. We used tsuba, always. How much "more time" would you suggest?

Then again, maybe you could train in suits of armour.

Then again, maybe you could be a little less arrogant...but I doubt it.

Passive-aggressive comeback in 3...2...

graham christian
10-06-2011, 01:55 PM
I guess that means that all the bushi who used tsuba and armor were lazy and complacentI

How's that?

sakumeikan
10-06-2011, 06:21 PM
If you have ever been to a Chiba Sensei seminar where he taught bokken you probably have tsuba on your bokken today. He does a technique (I believe its called tsuri otoshi) where the attacker does a shomen and you do a slightly quicker shomen while pulling your hips. When learning this you get hit a lot OVER the tsuba, I wouldn't even want to try it without a tsuba.
Hi,
For what its worth Chiba Sensei doing tsuri otoshi, kiri otoshi against someone with no tsuba is not a good idea for the recipient of Chiba Senseis waza. Even with a tsuba one can easily get hit on the hand.
Of course you have to be able to respond to the attack and not rely on a tsuba. Learning to absorb the force applied by tori with ones total body is the trick.One needs to relax and try to neutralise the power of the strike.Even with a padded shinai one can still receive a stout whack on the knuckles if you are not careful.Motto-do not get hit!! Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
10-06-2011, 06:33 PM
I would say very simply that a tsuba makes you lazy. Learning how to protect your hands and knuckles etc. is all part of the training.

I would even extend this to any form of padding or armour meaning the down side is you get complacent and thus feel that part of your body is protected.

Regards.G.
Dear Graham,
Sorry to diasgree with you here.Using a tsuba is using common sense.How do you arrive at the conclusion that it makes you lazy and complacent?I agree that you have to learn how to protect your hands etc, but while your students are learning this process do you advocate a policy wherby a junior student get his/her knuckles wacked?I think not -hence the use of the tsuba. cheers,Joe.

graham christian
10-06-2011, 07:21 PM
Dear Graham,
Sorry to diasgree with you here.Using a tsuba is using common sense.How do you arrive at the conclusion that it makes you lazy and complacent?I agree that you have to learn how to protect your hands etc, but while your students are learning this process do you advocate a policy wherby a junior student get his/her knuckles wacked?I think not -hence the use of the tsuba. cheers,Joe.

Hi Joe.
I don't mind disagreement. I will answer though.

Firstly I don't do dedicated bokken classes. I use it to demonstrate certain Aikido principles and allow students to learn certain principles of the sword.

Secondly I have done myself though. It may surprise you but I personally would not allow it except in certain situations as mentioned above.

Now, how do I arrive at these conclusions?

First is through my experience. In the threads above I have acknowledged others conclusions based on their experience which some have enthusiastically described to make their point.

My experience is the opposite to theirs so hence an 'apparent' opposing viewpoint. I was taught to never use one and thus through that experience could leave it there as the sole reason for my view.

I was told how and why which was all down to what I tried to explain in the previous posts, it leads to complacency.

Along with these explanations I was lectured on past battles and encounters in history from the view of where combatants got used to their armour or protection doing it's job so that when they come across a rival, another army etc. who could see how that protection was actually a weakness they then got thoroughly defeated.

The very basic and most common example of this complacency is from the view of bringing about bad habits. The most blatant being the person hasn't learned to move properly because he didn't have to.

Maybe I had a better teacher than most for by seeing the reasoning and examples given here I only see teachers who would crush your knuckles if you didn't use one. I hope this is people exaggerating otherwise I only see an idiotic teacher I'm afraid. My teacher would wrap the knuckles often and anyone not willing to face that was not considered ready for that training. However, there was no blood spilt and not crushed or broken bones ever.

Let me add another point here, my elbows got hit almost as often so does that mean people should wear elbow pads?

My personal opinion is I'm afraid it's all down to bad teaching. Striking someone without damaging them takes great self control and great weapon control and with that you should be able to point out waht was out to the student so that they can see what was wrong and know what to work on to correct.

With this approach I see no need for tsuba.

Regards.G.

graham christian
10-06-2011, 07:49 PM
Joe.
I must tell you about one incident that happened only a couple of months ago.

I had a visitor who had asked to train just to see so to speak. Near the end of the lesson he had enquired about the bokken so I was explaining it to him and he picked up a jo telling me he was 'good' with it.

I should have seen it coming for he had tried a few things during the lesson but suddenly he launched a full blown attack diagonally cutting to one side and as I met it switching to the opposite continuously. I was taken by surprise and found myself going backwards. As i recovered my composure I carried on the same defence walking foreward until I saw an opening. that ended that.

I did however get hit on the knuckle of my little finger on the right hand once. If I had had the slightest worry about getting hit in such a way I would have failed in what I was doing I have no doubt.

The strangest thing about the whole incident for me was me, my attitude. He had broken all the rules of the dojo and etiquette and also tried to actually harm me yet I was grateful for want of a better word. I had allowed it for one lesson in order to teach him a valuable lesson and was pleased with the result.

Such is life.

Regards.G.

Cliff Judge
10-06-2011, 08:00 PM
Hi,
For what its worth Chiba Sensei doing tsuri otoshi, kiri otoshi against someone with no tsuba is not a good idea for the recipient of Chiba Senseis waza. Even with a tsuba one can easily get hit on the hand.
Of course you have to be able to respond to the attack and not rely on a tsuba. Learning to absorb the force applied by tori with ones total body is the trick.One needs to relax and try to neutralise the power of the strike.Even with a padded shinai one can still receive a stout whack on the knuckles if you are not careful.Motto-do not get hit!! Cheers, Joe.

This kind of supports what Graham is saying though. Nobody would get hit in the hands particularly hard if you trained at a speed and intensity level you could handle. People get hurt when they get sloppy, and that should tell you to slow down and work on precision.

Keith Larman
10-06-2011, 10:53 PM
This kind of supports what Graham is saying though. Nobody would get hit in the hands particularly hard if you trained at a speed and intensity level you could handle. People get hurt when they get sloppy, and that should tell you to slow down and work on precision.

But I think you and Graham are missing a critical point here. Swords have tsuba in "real life" and some techniques utilize the tsuba as part of the waza. Saying it is lazy or going too fast or sloppy *totally* misses the point and is frankly ignorant of the variety of things done in various sword arts and styles.

Richard Stevens
10-07-2011, 09:10 AM
If your sword work doesn't require the tsuba for specific techniques or protection I don't see the need for it. From the Aikiken I've observed it doesn't seem particularly necessary. However, in the arts I practice, if I were to remove my tsuba prior to kumitachi I would have broken knuckles.

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 09:51 AM
But I think you and Graham are missing a critical point here. Swords have tsuba in "real life" and some techniques utilize the tsuba as part of the waza. Saying it is lazy or going too fast or sloppy *totally* misses the point and is frankly ignorant of the variety of things done in various sword arts and styles.

Keith, I know what you are talking about. I've done a bit of Itto ryu, I watch friends practice Jikishinkage ryu, and Saotome Sensei will every now and then dig out some aikiken waza that calls for entering, catching your partner's blade on your tsuba, unbalancing and throwing them.

it did not sound to me as though Joe was referring to techniques that actually use the tsuba though, it sounded like he was talking about techniques where your target is your partner's wrist, and the tsuba is being used to prevent the technique.

if you are practicing a technique where you cut the wrist or fingers or what have you, and your partner is relying on their tsuba to prevent their hands from getting broken, I don't understand what you are both trying to learn there. Uke is not letting tori learn how to hit the target, tori is hurting uke when he successfully performs the technique. Its a lose-lose situation there. I can't believe that's actually what's happening.

But still, if you are trying to learn how to use a tsuba, then they are appropriate.

If, however, you are relying on a tsuba to prevent your hands and fingers from being hurt during sword practice, then you are training badly. Get kote or hockey gloves or something.

lbb
10-07-2011, 10:18 AM
If, however, you are relying on a tsuba to prevent your hands and fingers from being hurt during sword practice, then you are training badly. Get kote or hockey gloves or something.

I don't get it. How is using kote or hockey gloves to protect your hands any different from using a tsuba for the same thing...which, help me out with this, is what the tsuba is designed to do?

Honestly, I really think some people are just trying to find fault with others' practice here...while, in general, being ignorant of what they're talking about. Not saying you specifically, Cliff, but this thread, wow.

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 11:20 AM
I don't get it. How is using kote or hockey gloves to protect your hands any different from using a tsuba for the same thing...which, help me out with this, is what the tsuba is designed to do?

Honestly, I really think some people are just trying to find fault with others' practice here...while, in general, being ignorant of what they're talking about. Not saying you specifically, Cliff, but this thread, wow.

I often screw up the process of articulating what i am trying to say. it certainly does look like I was criticizing the type of practice Joe was describing, but ultimately I have not trained with Chiba Sensei and I don't know much about what he was describing. I suspect his characterization of that type of training was tilted towards his own badassness.

But still: once again, if you are training how to use a tsuba in some way, then you need a tsuba. I am talking about techniques where you use the tsuba to deflect or catch the striking sword's blade, perhaps as a means of taking them off balance and throwing them or something like that.

However, I do think there is something wrong with your training if you are relying on your bokken's tsuba to protect your hands from sloppy or imprecise technique that is not supposed to involve the tsuba.

A general example is where your maai is too small, or your cut is too shallow, and somebody's fingers get tapped. Somebody screwed something up, so do you want to ignore the mistake, or fix it? If you go "whatever!" and keep hacking away at each other, I think that really is lazy.

The description of Chiba Sensei's kiri otoshi is interesting because it doesn't sound like you are supposed to strike your partner on the tsuba, you are trying to hit their wrist. So in this case, it sounds like you want the tsuba there so you learn how to hit the wrist instead. But Joe implied that the tsuba prevents your hand from getting injured by the technique, which is confusing.

If you want to learn how to hit someone's wrist, kote seem to be indicated. But they are not really protective enough for use with bokken.

Walter Martindale
10-07-2011, 11:27 AM
Mary:
I guess that means that all the bushi who used tsuba and armor were lazy and complacent

Graham:
I

How's that?

Is Mary using irony or sarcasm? I sometimes have trouble sorting the different between the two.. Good on ya Mary.

graham christian
10-07-2011, 11:33 AM
But I think you and Graham are missing a critical point here. Swords have tsuba in "real life" and some techniques utilize the tsuba as part of the waza. Saying it is lazy or going too fast or sloppy *totally* misses the point and is frankly ignorant of the variety of things done in various sword arts and styles.

Hi Keith.
I do understand that critical point also. It doesn't detract from what I say. It is obviously necessary for such techniques as you describe.

I have observed personally the results of what I am saying ie: people so used to having one that they haven't got a clue what to do when their knuckles keep getting whacked when they haven't.

In these cases they had unawarely become complacent on that point, not their fault as they hadn't been taught. Led into a false sense of security springs to mind as a saying that fits.

Using the word lazy can be a word that shakes a person, can seem harsh, but I assure you it is quite usable for those who want to wake up. You know me on here as someone taught firstly by spiritual principles and Tohei style principles. I also have said how my teacher was old school, quite zen, and he would use such definite terms.

If he found I wasn't keeping centre, keeping one point, keeping zanshin, or even to use too much or sometimes any force he would reprimand in such a way....lazy. Quite a powerful and in the end indisputable word.

However such is that. One thing I also would like to say is my differentiation is to do with training, not combat.

I'm sure all past samurai or knights or whoever did training in their training gear and when they went into battle then wore the appropriate armour.

Meanwhile they could also add into training techniques done with armour or full armour. It all depends on the purpose of that training that day no?

Here's one more lesson I was taught to add to this mix. He would sometimes ask me to attack, however I wanted and I soon learned it was virtually a waste of time for as I went to I was already 'cut' This he described as true sword and that if you ever have to 'touch' swords it's because you are already too late or 'lazy'

Thus no Sparrying of any kind there and the lesson was correct motion defeats the sword albeit that would be very high level and involve no doubt sen no sen etc. When he went into his what we called 'samurai' mode he would say one motion, one cut, finish.

So all in all you are quite right in what you say when you say it depends.

Regards.G.

lbb
10-07-2011, 11:40 AM
I often screw up the process of articulating what i am trying to say. it certainly does look like I was criticizing the type of practice Joe was describing, but ultimately I have not trained with Chiba Sensei and I don't know much about what he was describing. I suspect his characterization of that type of training was tilted towards his own badassness.

But still: once again, if you are training how to use a tsuba in some way, then you need a tsuba. I am talking about techniques where you use the tsuba to deflect or catch the striking sword's blade, perhaps as a means of taking them off balance and throwing them or something like that.

However, I do think there is something wrong with your training if you are relying on your bokken's tsuba to protect your hands from sloppy or imprecise technique that is not supposed to involve the tsuba.

A general example is where your maai is too small, or your cut is too shallow, and somebody's fingers get tapped. Somebody screwed something up, so do you want to ignore the mistake, or fix it? If you go "whatever!" and keep hacking away at each other, I think that really is lazy.

You may be overestimating the degree of "protection" that you get from the tsuba in these cases. IME (and fwiw, my teacher learned from one of Chiba Sensei's students, and the practice is as Joe describes), if the attack is successful, believe me, you're not saying "whatever" and continuing to "hack away", as you characterize it. You get, um, feedback. The tsuba prevents serious injury; it doesn't mean you never get hit.

The description of Chiba Sensei's kiri otoshi is interesting because it doesn't sound like you are supposed to strike your partner on the tsuba, you are trying to hit their wrist.

Obviously. Why on earth would you hit an inanimate object that traditionally was made out of metal?

So in this case, it sounds like you want the tsuba there so you learn how to hit the wrist instead. But Joe implied that the tsuba prevents your hand from getting injured by the technique, which is confusing.

What's confusing about it? It keeps you...from getting injured. What's the hard part about that? Help me out here.

If you want to learn how to hit someone's wrist, kote seem to be indicated. But they are not really protective enough for use with bokken.

Since you're fond of kote as a solution to being hit on the wrist, I wonder what you have to say about the use of the tsuba in kendo.

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 12:32 PM
You may be overestimating the degree of "protection" that you get from the tsuba in these cases. IME (and fwiw, my teacher learned from one of Chiba Sensei's students, and the practice is as Joe describes), if the attack is successful, believe me, you're not saying "whatever" and continuing to "hack away", as you characterize it. You get, um, feedback. The tsuba prevents serious injury; it doesn't mean you never get hit.

Is this the thing we are talking about? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBl0hRG7Uwc) It is what I think we are talking about but I am not sure.

Is the point to hit uke's tsuba, and use that to connect and put your weight on them? In which case this is purely an aiki exercise and it's not an application. Or, are you actually trying to hit their wrist?

If you are trying to hit their wrist, then you shouldn't be hitting the tsuba, right?

If you are trying to hit their wrist, are you trying to hurt them during training? What is the point of the feedback you mention? That is feedback that...what happened exactly?

Gerardo Torres
10-07-2011, 12:34 PM
I don't think those who are justifying the use of tsuba are doing so because it offers a "cheat" or easy way out to any exercise or technique, which some are categorizing as "bad practice". The example of somebody going for your wrist and using the tsuba to block it is too limited. If it were that easy maybe the attack or the exercise make no sense in the first place. The tsuba is there, but that's not all that's saving you, imo, except of course when the technique specifically calls for using it -- but that's not what's being argued I believe. Exchanges are often far more complex than that, and sometimes in the middle of a move a weapon might slide towards the hand (I find it happens often against jo) and the tsuba is there to protect the fingers. If we had to slow down and tone down the power to bring those "mistakes" down to zero… it's honestly not worth it, and besides the point.

Like Keith said, real swords have tsuba. There is a wide variety of armored combat situations in classical weapons. I'm not an expert, but the reason for tsuba in some bokuto might be a combination of historical and practical reasons, or maybe it's as simple as having the practitioners use something that resembles the real thing (which have tsuba). Anyway, before making sweeping statements about whether to use it or not I say first consult experts on what is best for what you're trying to do.

How would you draw a sword inconspicuously without a tsuba? Consider that sword work might start with the sword in the scabbard.

Consider that the tsuba might work for you or against you. What can happen at different ranges?

Another thing to consider is how a practice weapon vs. a real weapon behaves on contact. Wood vs. wood, wood vs. metal, and metal vs. metal bounce, deflect and absorb power in completely different ways. Then you have wood weapons tapered with metal against these options. Have you tried all of the these? How is tsuba involved in all these cases?

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 01:33 PM
If we had to slow down and tone down the power to bring those "mistakes" down to zero… it's honestly not worth it, and besides the point.

Why would it ever be besides the point to hit your target?

DH
10-07-2011, 01:56 PM
Deleted

Keith Larman
10-07-2011, 02:05 PM
Let me throw something else out. In our main headquarters aikido dojo there is not a single bokuto on the rack with a tsuba. We don't use them. We do aiki-kengi but we do not have anything within our curriculum that utilizes tsuba.

But... We are not training in swordsmanship in our style of aikido, at least not in a comprehensive way. We are training in Aikido and use the kengi to inform our movements, to train our bodies, to train our minds.

That said, we also emphasize effective cuts. Effective movement. I have even hosted an event in my backyard where I lent a number of very highly ranked instructors my personal shinken and let them cut tatami all afternoon. It was great fun, but the point was serious. It was about confirming things about cutting form, about distance, about a lot of things. Again, trying to keep things more "true" to the source.

But... We do not use tsuba there.

So I understand where some of you are coming from, at least I think I do.

But I would never make some general statement that using a tsuba is laziness. Maybe for those who are already lazy and sloppy in their practice, but that's like saying wearing proper eye protection with power equipment makes you careless. Maybe if you're an idiot, sure. Otherwise it is simply a good idea. It just depends on what you're doing. And that is the point here.

There are a vast number of things I've seen from a variety of styles that utilize that tsuba. Be it for stopping someone riding down the blade. Using that connection in grappling over the sword to control and/or throw. Using the tsuba as part of a pressure point in a leveraging move. Not to mention the purely practical aspect of how you release a katana from a tight saya for the draw without having to use two hands.

The point I'm trying to make is that the tsuba is one part of a large topic. For some the tsuba is integral to practice. That doesn't mean it is used all the time, but it is part of the tool and as such has a role at various times. The sort of casual statements that started this thread about laziness or sloppiness end up reading as being dismissive of the entire "operating system" of other styles. Heck, even within some styles of aikido that tsuba becomes an issue.

I've got a photo around somewhere with Toby Threadgill with the point of his bokken on my forehead. I had just tried to tsuki him with him holding his sword in a way that looked like I should have been able to get him. In the blink of an eye he managed to deflect my bokken and set that tip on my face. I've seen him demonstrate a *lot* of very interesting deflections and redirections with the bokuto. Incidentally they use tsuba on their training weapons.

I have also seen groups to the same with habiki (unsharpened real blades). And on a few occasions with the real deal.

If you are limiting discussion to simple practice of aikiken without much in the way of contact at full speed, sure, tsuba are often not used. But remember that aikiken generally lacks a huge part of a larger syllabus of techniques. For some of those things a tsuba isn't just a good idea, it is a necessity. Because swords have tsuba. And they use them for a variety of purposes.

And fwiw have you guys ever heard the term "kirikomi"? This is a so-called "battle scar" and can be found on blades and sometimes on tsuba. I have a 16th century wakizashi with two significant kirikomi on the mune. Sword polishers know *not* to remove these as they are signs of the history of the sword as well as a sign that the sword survived the cuts and impacts. The same is true of tsuba. Some tsuba have cut kirikomi on the mimi (rim). Those are either signs of the original maker testing the tsuba or of an actual "battle scar".

During the early years of sword manufacture many prized swords were fit with what were called "tosho" or "katchushi" tsuba. Tosho were tsuba made from iron by a sword smith. Katchushi were tsuba made by armorers (often hard to distinguish from tosho). The point was that these things were made to be tough and were considered important parts of the sword. Not just decorative, but functional parts of the sword.

Okay, I'm done now... Feeling much better.

graham christian
10-07-2011, 02:17 PM
Graham
You need to adopt a different tone or you will continue to lose what credibility you have left. Do you really think you have something to offer that people have not looked at before in weapons...wow!
Have you ever trained in Classical weapons?
Are you aware that the intensity and edge that classical weapons bring with them?
Do you have a clue as to the experiences of some of the people you are talking to?

"Severe injuries? Sounds like bad training if that's the case."
You don't know what you're talking about, Graham. I am not attacking you personally just recognizing a lack of basic sound information to the topic. I could line up authors and living national treasures, and Menkyo's and your own founder, but I growing increasingly convinced you would be unmoved.
There is a reality that you are totally unaware of in budo. You need to recognize that there are people here that you cannot even have a conversation with-you'd best just listen.
At least recognize there are people here who are your betters in budo. At least its safe here. I can't imagine you in a dojo with any number of about a hundred people I know from here. There is nothing you could do to stop them..nothing at all. Have some humility, man. It is they who are being patient with you.
Word to the wise...I hope.
Dan

Dan. I asked one question which the ones answering on the whole seem either unwilling to look at or unaware of. This is not a matter of those you mention or superiority. My question and indeed point is all about the possible downside to using tsuba with bokken I might add, not samurai sword.

Those who are as you say will recognise this point. It doesn't mean any more than what it says.

Tell me, do you think relying on tsuba to protect your hands always is right? Do you think the primary purpose for the tsuba was protection of the hand? Thirdly do you think that relying on it in bokken work to protect the hands could lead to something untoward?

By the way the main examples given on here were of my teacher and as I have said before he was great with the sword.

Regards.G.

Richard Stevens
10-07-2011, 02:23 PM
Maybe someone should ask Kuroda what he thinks?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HrII2VUgXI&feature=related

Gerardo Torres
10-07-2011, 02:29 PM
Why would it ever be besides the point to hit your target?
That's not what I meant.

Again, taking the limited example of somebody trying to cut or strike your wrist, a defensive move would involve proper use of the blade, body movement, a possible counter, and other factors. The tsuba might or might not be involved. My point is that while the tsuba might offer some protection, it's besides the point arguing that it should be there or not because it's not an all-defining factor in every situation (it depends on what you're trying to do). Besides, the other person also has a tsuba, so if it offers such a distinct "artificial" protective advantage as some claim here, wouldn't that make it a fair match?

I don't know Chiba's sword techniques so you'd have to go ask those who do why they're using tsuba. That said, the one example shown in the video is not the only way your wrist could be targeted. In many cases, the tsuba is not going to save you or help you much or at all.

If your wrist attack is completely compromised by your opponent having a sword with a tsuba... what kind of sword training is that? It shouldn't matter. Any proper style or technique would consider the presence or absence of tsuba from the onset; so again, it's besides the point arguing that it should be there or not.

graham christian
10-07-2011, 02:32 PM
Hi Keith.
Yes you are correct in thinking I am talking training and bokken. Far be it for me to question or think I have anywhere near your knowledge on swords, types, history etc. as I would assume it is one of your specialist fields of study.

Regards.G.

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 02:42 PM
That's not what I meant.

Again, taking the limited example of somebody trying to cut or strike your wrist, a defensive move would involve proper use of the blade, body movement, a possible counter, and other factors. The tsuba might or might not be involved. My point is that while the tsuba might offer some protection, it's besides the point arguing that it should be there or not because it's not an all-defining factor in every situation (it depends on what you're trying to do). Besides, the other person also has a tsuba, so if it offers such a distinct "artificial" protective advantage as some claim here, wouldn't that make it a fair match?

I don't know Chiba's sword techniques so you'd have to go ask those who do why they're using tsuba. That said, the one example shown in the video is not the only way your wrist could be targeted. In many cases, the tsuba is not going to save you or help you much or at all.

If your wrist attack is completely compromised by your opponent having a sword with a tsuba... what kind of sword training is that? It shouldn't matter. Any proper style or technique would consider the presence or absence of tsuba from the onset; so again, it's besides the point arguing that it should be there or not.

Sorry! I thought you meant that slowing down and working on precision was the thing that didn't matter. I find myself in agreement with what you are saying here, so I obviously didn't grasp what you were saying originally.

lbb
10-07-2011, 02:56 PM
Is this the thing we are talking about? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBl0hRG7Uwc) It is what I think we are talking about but I am not sure.

Not really. Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzDJdKl9PRc at about 24 seconds.

Is the point to hit uke's tsuba

I believe I already explained that it is not.

If you are trying to hit their wrist, then you shouldn't be hitting the tsuba, right?

How would you accomplish that, from that angle, when doing a proper cut? Perhaps by using a rubber sword?

If you are trying to hit their wrist, are you trying to hurt them during training? What is the point of the feedback you mention? That is feedback that...what happened exactly?

If you are doing empty-hand practice, and uke attacks with tsuki, is uke trying to hurt his/her partner during training?

lbb
10-07-2011, 03:04 PM
Tell me, do you think relying on tsuba to protect your hands always is right?

Tell me, have you stopped beating your wife yet, Graham?

You continually reframe the question to misstate others' position. This is passive-aggressive and intellectually dishonest.

Cliff Judge
10-07-2011, 03:51 PM
Not really. Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzDJdKl9PRc at about 24 seconds.

lol let him have it with the "behind the back" video clip! That'll teach him to ask too many questions! :crazy: :freaky: :eek:

graham christian
10-07-2011, 04:04 PM
Tell me, have you stopped beating your wife yet, Graham?

You continually reframe the question to misstate others' position. This is passive-aggressive and intellectually dishonest.

Woah, so what's that? Active aggressive? It appears your tongue is a sword and it needs a tsuba. You seem to want to prove how you must have and use a tsuba.

The op is why no tsuba. When you can give such possible reasons then we can talk.

Regards.G.

Fred Little
10-07-2011, 04:35 PM
Why no tsuba?

"Because that's not the way we do it in this school."

Beyond that, I would note that a decent tsuba will cost as much as a bokuto and more than a bargain judo-style keiko-gi, and also note that aikido has had an orientation toward keeping entry-level equipment prices low for 60+ years. Materialist explanation often misses part of the story. That's why I started with the oft-heard quotation above.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Janet Rosen
10-07-2011, 04:48 PM
Why no tsuba?

"Because that's not the way we do it in this school."

Beyond that, I would note that a decent tsuba will cost as much as a bokuto and more than a bargain judo-style keiko-gi, and also note that aikido has had an orientation toward keeping entry-level equipment prices low for 60+ years. Materialist explanation often misses part of the story. That's why I started with the oft-heard quotation above.

Hope this helps.

Fred

:)

sakumeikan
10-07-2011, 05:25 PM
Not really. Look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzDJdKl9PRc at about 24 seconds.

proper cut? Perhaps by using a rubber sword?

Mary /Cliff,
The vids you quote are basic exercises in Chiba Senseis school.Kiri otoshi, tsuri otoshi and a couple of others whose names I cannot remember at present are done.The main one done atJodan /Chudan , gedan level is kiri otoshi. Uke is Robert Savoca.When we used to train in these movements some people wore hockey gloves to protect wrist, knuckles.They also used gloves when doing Jo work.Maki otoshi, otoshi tsuki in particular could give you a rap on the hands if you were not careful.One of my mates sustained a very swollen hand acting as Uke doing this waza. Cheers, Joe

sakumeikan
10-07-2011, 05:42 PM
I often screw up the process of articulating what i am trying to say. it certainly does look like I was criticizing the type of practice Joe was describing, but ultimately I have not trained with Chiba Sensei and I don't know much about what he was describing. I suspect his characterization of that type of training was tilted towards his own badassness.

But still: once again, if you are training how to use a tsuba in some way, then you need a tsuba. I am talking about techniques where you use the tsuba to deflect or catch the striking sword's blade, perhaps as a means of taking them off balance and throwing them or something like that.

However, I do think there is something wrong with your training if you are relying on your bokken's tsuba to protect your hands from sloppy or imprecise technique that is not supposed to involve the tsuba.

A general example is where your maai is too small, or your cut is too shallow, and somebody's fingers get tapped. Somebody screwed something up, so do you want to ignore the mistake, or fix it? If you go "whatever!" and keep hacking away at each other, I think that really is lazy.

The description of Chiba Sensei's kiri otoshi is interesting because it doesn't sound like you are supposed to strike your partner on the tsuba, you are trying to hit their wrist. So in this case, it sounds like you want the tsuba there so you learn how to hit the wrist instead. But Joe implied that the tsuba prevents your hand from getting injured by the technique, which is confusing.

If you want to learn how to hit someone's wrist, kote seem to be indicated. But they are not really protective enough for use with bokken.
Cliff,
Its difficult to put into written form what kiri otoshi is within the ryu of Chiba Sensei.I can assure you that in no way is it trying to be a bad ass.In fact care and attention is the key factor .However if one
decides by mutual consent to raise the level of the game[usually experienced guys do this] as a safety precaution tsuba are used.We also use a padded shinai which does the same job as a bokuto ,but needless to say does not cause so much potential for
sustaining a hit on the knuckle.If you look carefully at Chiba Sensei you will note he cuts well down on the hilt of ukes bokuto .Watch the vid when he does this slowly.You will see he takes ukes wrist area.By using a hip twist ,hamni , full extension and with a forward motion in the cut Tori in effect controls uke.
Cheers, Joe.

Keith Larman
10-07-2011, 06:35 PM
Why no tsuba?

"Because that's not the way we do it in this school."

Beyond that, I would note that a decent tsuba will cost as much as a bokuto and more than a bargain judo-style keiko-gi, and also note that aikido has had an orientation toward keeping entry-level equipment prices low for 60+ years. Materialist explanation often misses part of the story. That's why I started with the oft-heard quotation above.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Yah, so many simple questions I had when I first started with sword crafts were answered that way. Only because later when I learned more I found the questions actually made little sense. Funny how that works.

And I love Kim Taylor's stitched leather tsuba for jodo practice. Those things are beasts...

kewms
10-09-2011, 06:45 PM
I would say very simply that a tsuba makes you lazy. Learning how to protect your hands and knuckles etc. is all part of the training.

It would be equally accurate (or inaccurate) to say that *not* having a tsuba causes your partners to pull their strikes to avoid injuring you. Learning how to deal with realistic strikes is part of the training, too.

I once had a partner hit my (wooden) tsuba hard enough to split it in half. I'm pretty happy that the tsuba took the blow instead of my hand.

I've also seen quite a few techniques where the tsuba plays an important role. Certainly they are considered essential equipment in both my current and previous dojos.

So I'd say a blanket statement like yours says more about you than about the value (or not) of a tsuba.

Katherine

kewms
10-09-2011, 07:01 PM
Anyone who would use a live blade without a tsuba, please raise your hand...

Yeah, didn't think so.

Katherine

graham christian
10-09-2011, 07:35 PM
It would be equally accurate (or inaccurate) to say that *not* having a tsuba causes your partners to pull their strikes to avoid injuring you. Learning how to deal with realistic strikes is part of the training, too.

I once had a partner hit my (wooden) tsuba hard enough to split it in half. I'm pretty happy that the tsuba took the blow instead of my hand.

I've also seen quite a few techniques where the tsuba plays an important role. Certainly they are considered essential equipment in both my current and previous dojos.

So I'd say a blanket statement like yours says more about you than about the value (or not) of a tsuba.

Katherine

I hope it does both.

Regards.G.

Michael Hackett
10-09-2011, 10:47 PM
We don't use tsuba in our bokken work as our aiki ken is intended to relate to open hand technique and movement. One of my dojo mates is a Chiba Sensei sandan and he is the only one in the dojo with a tsuba on his bokken. I asked him about it and he explained that it protected the hands and fingers during bokken waza in their practice. He also said that he personally wore hockey gloves when doing weapons work as protection for his fingers and hands. He explained that weapons work was very vigorous and often resulted in smacked fingers and hands, hence the extra protection. He is great fun to train with and he has yet to strike my hands - a testament to his skill and not mine. From that limited perspective it would appear that we don't use tsuba because our practice doesn't require it, and that it would be very valuable to have one if training in a Chiba school.

graham christian
10-10-2011, 12:16 AM
Two points to add, views of mine, and those with other views doesn't mean they have to be offended.

One is that from my view any swordsman in practice who cannot control his sword to the point if stopping it at the strike point is not very good. (whether 5mph or 90mph) Therefore with that amount of discipline and skill there is never the need for a tsuba. This ability to control the bokken, or sword for that matter, should be one of the primary aims before anyone tries 'fast high level sparring'

Secondly I say that the primary purpose of a tsuba is Not the protection of the hands. That's not how it came in to being and not therefore what it was for. They had gauntlets for that.

Regards.G.

kewms
10-10-2011, 02:34 AM
One is that from my view any swordsman in practice who cannot control his sword to the point if stopping it at the strike point is not very good. (whether 5mph or 90mph) Therefore with that amount of discipline and skill there is never the need for a tsuba. This ability to control the bokken, or sword for that matter, should be one of the primary aims before anyone tries 'fast high level sparring'

Secondly I say that the primary purpose of a tsuba is Not the protection of the hands. That's not how it came in to being and not therefore what it was for. They had gauntlets for that.

A few points.

First, gauntlets were a battlefield accoutrement. You wouldn't wear them on the street, or to a social gathering. The samurai class wore their swords *everywhere."

Second, without a tsuba, the hands become an immediate and obvious target. Sliding down the opponent's blade disarms him or takes his fingers off, rather than trapping you against his guard. That alone makes a significant difference in strategy.

And finally, no matter how good your control is, accidents happen. They happen more often as you approach your personal limits, but if you never test those limits, it's difficult to expand them.

Katherine

graham christian
10-10-2011, 03:44 AM
A few points.

First, gauntlets were a battlefield accoutrement. You wouldn't wear them on the street, or to a social gathering. The samurai class wore their swords *everywhere."

Second, without a tsuba, the hands become an immediate and obvious target. Sliding down the opponent's blade disarms him or takes his fingers off, rather than trapping you against his guard. That alone makes a significant difference in strategy.

And finally, no matter how good your control is, accidents happen. They happen more often as you approach your personal limits, but if you never test those limits, it's difficult to expand them.

Katherine

That's fine you say that so let's clarify.

Whenever real swords are mentioned you enter the field of battle so gauntlets were hand protection. In the field of battle gauntlets were hand protection and the tsuba was not.

How social gatherings or samurai class fit in I fail to see.

Real swords however is a side issue for it is obvious that if I say no tsuba then I am talking bokken for you can't get a real sword without one. (unless you want to be pedantic then you could find that there are 'some' real katana without them.)

On your second point of hands becoming a target well you say it as if that's bad. I would say that's good 'strategy.' I would also say that bokken sliding down bokken is the result of bad movement. So we differ there, thats fine.

Lastly on your final point I will say this. Doing things based on accidents happen to me is merely a reflection of current unbudolike society. It sounds so reasonable yet can be unknowingly detrimental. Using things to protect or even do a person loses how to do it them-self. Washing machine breaks down, person don't know what to do.

So that last point is actually the one I hoped some might look at without me having to explain in detail.

Basically dependancy. Depend on washing machine, it breaks, lost. Depend on tsuba, one day no tsuba, lost. Depend on sword, one day no sword, lost.

Only on seeing this will a person realize there's more to it than meets the eye. The highest form of sword is empty hands. No sword, no tsuba, no excuse.

By the way I would say the primary reason for the tsuba on a sword is for when it is used in battle or practice to thrust into something like a spear. In this case it would stop your hand slipping onto the blade.

Personally, and I emphasize personally, I would say I see no other reason for it. Also personally I would say that a person pushing themself to their limits includes the point I made on control rather than excuses losing it for losing it shows beyond their limits so those who boast of such things thinking it's something good I can but smile.

Regards.G.

mathewjgano
10-10-2011, 07:43 AM
Lastly on your final point I will say this. Doing things based on accidents happen to me is merely a reflection of current unbudolike society. It sounds so reasonable yet can be unknowingly detrimental.
Sure, and living in a safe neighborhood can have the same effect, but I doubt you'd suggest we should all live in Compton, CA, or move to Afghanistan. The question to my mind isn't whether taking the safer road is more lazy, it's "what's the purpose being engaged?" Every facet of our behavior "ought" ideally have a purpose/reason to it. For example, practicing without tsuba is lazy if you haven't taken the time to replace your rubberband thingy (technical term:D ).
At my school we've done a kind of kirikaeshi which made me very greatful for that piece of wood. Since we didn't know which techniques we would be working on, it was much easier just to leave it on. Plus, I'm of the opinion that it's generally better to develop a good feeling for using bokuto with it on since it can feel constraining if you're not used to it (in my case at least). My personal view is that I should be able to operate the bokuto without having to "choke up on the stick."

In this case it would stop your hand slipping onto the blade.
This doesn't fit with my understanding of how grip should work...but then again, accidents do happen! :p

mathewjgano
10-10-2011, 08:30 AM
Although it did occur to me you might not have meant "lazy" by "unbudolike." Nonetheless, I would say accidents are one of the foremost teachers, so strictly speaking it seems like a good idea to "[Do things based on accidents happenning]." I agree it's a bad idea to allow yourself too much slack though.
I can see how "no tsuba" could be a good specific training method too, though. As you said, showing why the blades shouldn't slide unless you specifically want them to slide is pretty useful. If the practice isn't too forceful/vigorous it wouldn't hurt so much, but it would create a visceral connection when contact with the hand is made, which is I think, invaluable, if not entirely crucial, to the budo learning process.

lbb
10-10-2011, 08:41 AM
Woah, so what's that? Active aggressive? It appears your tongue is a sword and it needs a tsuba. You seem to want to prove how you must have and use a tsuba.

The op is why no tsuba. When you can give such possible reasons then we can talk.

I'm not really interested in talking to you, to be honest. You started out in this thread judging something you don't know about. When your assertions were refuted, you tried to move the goalposts. When called on that, you blame others. You continually insult and belittle others, cloaking your insults and sneers in newage aphorisms and faux-zel platitudes, and no matter how many times this is pointed out to you, you persist in this incivil behavior. No, I really am not interested in talking to you.

*plonk*

kewms
10-10-2011, 10:39 AM
Whenever real swords are mentioned you enter the field of battle

Not true. After the establishment of the Shogunate (1600 AD), there was very little large scale combat in Japan. Rather, swords were much more likely to be used for personal self-defense: on the street, in one's home, or in social disputes.


Real swords however is a side issue for it is obvious that if I say no tsuba then I am talking bokken for you can't get a real sword without one.

If you don't consider real swords relevant to your bokken practice, then exactly what are you studying?


On your second point of hands becoming a target well you say it as if that's bad. I would say that's good 'strategy.' I would also say that bokken sliding down bokken is the result of bad movement. So we differ there, thats fine.

"Good" from the point of view of the attacker, "bad" from the point of view of the person whose hands are exposed. And I would say that understanding bokken-to-bokken sliding is essential, and wonder, again, exactly what you're studying if you don't think so.


Personally, and I emphasize personally, I would say I see no other reason for it. Also personally I would say that a person pushing themself to their limits includes the point I made on control rather than excuses losing it for losing it shows beyond their limits so those who boast of such things thinking it's something good I can but smile.

*shrug* Your practice, your choice.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-10-2011, 10:44 AM
Not true. After the establishment of the Shogunate (1600 AD), there was very little large scale combat in Japan.
And even before, swords were not the main weapons in the battlefield.

graham christian
10-10-2011, 07:38 PM
Ha,ha. You are funny some of you.

Obviously you want to talk about swords. Amazing.

Obviously you don't want to offer any reasons for no tsuba. Equally amazing.

Have fun. G.

graham christian
10-10-2011, 09:25 PM
Although it did occur to me you might not have meant "lazy" by "unbudolike." Nonetheless, I would say accidents are one of the foremost teachers, so strictly speaking it seems like a good idea to "[Do things based on accidents happenning]." I agree it's a bad idea to allow yourself too much slack though.
I can see how "no tsuba" could be a good specific training method too, though. As you said, showing why the blades shouldn't slide unless you specifically want them to slide is pretty useful. If the practice isn't too forceful/vigorous it wouldn't hurt so much, but it would create a visceral connection when contact with the hand is made, which is I think, invaluable, if not entirely crucial, to the budo learning process.

I like your logic that accidents are a good teacher but the conclusion?
Not for me.Quite the opposite.

When you have an accident it is telling you something was out. No zanshin or no correct movement or no connection or.......

Now as you already know what they are then the accident tells you you were lazy. To think it's good to have more accidents?

Many places have many accidents and call it real tough training. Lazy. Ill disciplined.

The other point I made earlier is that good control of the 'blade' is primary. To move it fast and stop it at will is primary. Not secondary, not well sometimes, not yeah but when, always.

The first lesson to learn and admit is that when you make a mistake, when you hurt someone 'by accident' you were lazy in one way or another.

I choose this terminology to do with the bokken or any dangerous weapon because from my point of view that is the attitude necessary for you to have with both self and partner with such things if you really want to learn self discipline and self control. Depend on nothing except your ability. Blame nothing except youself.

If you use tsuba fine but everytime yours gets hit then it isn't lucky it's bad movement. If you acknowledge this to yourself then it's all good and you can carry on using tsuba. If you don't look at it that way then you are either unaware that you should or not disciplined enough. Lazy.

Such is my view and such is my view on people who have used tsuba for a while but never questioned it or looked at it in the way I describe above.

The tone of this post Matthew is merely a reflection of the discipline I insist on and not directed at your response or you.

By the way, in your nice safe neighbourhood do you therefore leave your doors open, keys in the car, notes on your front door of your whereabouts? Do you DEPEND on that safe neighbourhood?
No of course you don't and that's my point. If you did what would you call yourself?

Anyway, enough on this topic from me. I'll put my sword away now.

Regards.G.

kewms
10-10-2011, 11:42 PM
By the way, in your nice safe neighbourhood do you therefore leave your doors open, keys in the car, notes on your front door of your whereabouts? Do you DEPEND on that safe neighbourhood?

In the small town where my mother lives, people do exactly that.

But if you lock your door and fasten your seatbelt, why is it then laziness to use a tsuba? I trust my partner's control, but I don't *depend* on it to protect my hands.

Katherine

mathewjgano
10-10-2011, 11:48 PM
I like your logic that accidents are a good teacher but the conclusion?
Not for me.Quite the opposite.
Well for me the conclusion of the logic is that you learn to make fewer mistakes, not more.

When you have an accident it is telling you something was out. No zanshin or no correct movement or no connection or.......

Now as you already know what they are then the accident tells you you were lazy. To think it's good to have more accidents?

Many places have many accidents and call it real tough training. Lazy. Ill disciplined.
I'm sure many people will call rough training "realistic" or any other number of things while actualy being little more than quick ways to wear out a body. I'm usually the first person to avoid injury for the sake of looking tough. Also, I haven't been to many places, but my experience would suggest that while accidents do definately tell you something was wrong, they don't automatically denote laziness. To my mind there are acceptible thresholds of risk established between training partners based on their combination of ability as well as how far they want to push that ability. Operating within those established norms isn't lazy. The accident isn't proof of laziness, it's proof of a mistake in action. Accidents which might be described as the result of deviating from the established thresholds of intensity would denote laziness or worse. I strive for zero mistakes, but I accept they can happen and take precautions. So far I've yet to hit anyone, despite my acceptance for the idea that mistakes/accidents can be viewed as good teaching moments.

If you use tsuba fine but everytime yours gets hit then it isn't lucky it's bad movement. If you acknowledge this to yourself then it's all good and you can carry on using tsuba. If you don't look at it that way then you are either unaware that you should or not disciplined enough. Lazy.
Not literally every time, like for techniques which are designed to practice using the tsuba purposefully. If you're not trying your best, then you're being lazy. The tsuba is coincidental to that fact of training.

The tone of this post Matthew is merely a reflection of the discipline I insist on and not directed at your response or you.
Sure, it's what you ask of your students and doesn't necessarily need to be adopted by anyone else, and I'm not making a case to suggest it's ok to damage anyone. Our ukemi for the kirikaeshi involves dropping the front hand in case tsuba doesn't do the trick. I've never been hit on the knuckles because I also use tsuba. As my practice got better, the need for tsuba diminished. Most of the techniques I've practiced, the tsuba is just along for the ride. Removing the tsuba is adding risk by removing lines of defense. All other thing being equal, it's adding pressure to the training by removing some of the things used for adding to the protection, which can be viewed as demanding higher standards by creating a degree of risk. I'm sure it's compensated for through a measured degree of intensity based on that.

By the way, in your nice safe neighbourhood do you therefore leave your doors open, keys in the car, notes on your front door of your whereabouts? Do you DEPEND on that safe neighbourhood?
No of course you don't and that's my point. If you did what would you call yourself?

Anyway, enough on this topic from me. I'll put my sword away now.

Regards.G.
In this case I consider the use of tsuba as locking your door even though you live in a safer neighborhood. I'd put my sword away, but all I have at the moment is this pen. Strange that it looks like a keyboard!:crazy: :D
Take care,
Matt

graham christian
10-11-2011, 01:13 PM
In the small town where my mother lives, people do exactly that.

But if you lock your door and fasten your seatbelt, why is it then laziness to use a tsuba? I trust my partner's control, but I don't *depend* on it to protect my hands.

Katherine

In my example the tsuba represented the safe town so those people are not relying on the tsuba.

Who said anything about trusting your partner to protect your own hands?

G.

graham christian
10-11-2011, 01:44 PM
Well for me the conclusion of the logic is that you learn to make fewer mistakes, not more.

I'm sure many people will call rough training "realistic" or any other number of things while actualy being little more than quick ways to wear out a body. I'm usually the first person to avoid injury for the sake of looking tough. Also, I haven't been to many places, but my experience would suggest that while accidents do definately tell you something was wrong, they don't automatically denote laziness. To my mind there are acceptible thresholds of risk established between training partners based on their combination of ability as well as how far they want to push that ability. Operating within those established norms isn't lazy. The accident isn't proof of laziness, it's proof of a mistake in action. Accidents which might be described as the result of deviating from the established thresholds of intensity would denote laziness or worse. I strive for zero mistakes, but I accept they can happen and take precautions. So far I've yet to hit anyone, despite my acceptance for the idea that mistakes/accidents can be viewed as good teaching moments.

Not literally every time, like for techniques which are designed to practice using the tsuba purposefully. If you're not trying your best, then you're being lazy. The tsuba is coincidental to that fact of training.

Sure, it's what you ask of your students and doesn't necessarily need to be adopted by anyone else, and I'm not making a case to suggest it's ok to damage anyone. Our ukemi for the kirikaeshi involves dropping the front hand in case tsuba doesn't do the trick. I've never been hit on the knuckles because I also use tsuba. As my practice got better, the need for tsuba diminished. Most of the techniques I've practiced, the tsuba is just along for the ride. Removing the tsuba is adding risk by removing lines of defense. All other thing being equal, it's adding pressure to the training by removing some of the things used for adding to the protection, which can be viewed as demanding higher standards by creating a degree of risk. I'm sure it's compensated for through a measured degree of intensity based on that.

In this case I consider the use of tsuba as locking your door even though you live in a safer neighborhood. I'd put my sword away, but all I have at the moment is this pen. Strange that it looks like a keyboard!:crazy: :D
Take care,
Matt

Matthew. You state a case without addressing my questions. Do you rely, depend, on that safe environment?

Do you see that bottom line dependency on own ability and self far, far, exceeds any 'thing' you think protects you.?

Some people would rather not see this because it would show they have been lazy in their thinking.

I would say all top professionals in all walks of life use this attitude. It's what separates the top sportsmen from the rest. They blame no one, they focus purely on their own ability and improving it, and every time they make a mistake they blame themselves and reprimand their self for being lazy. Such is the upper echelons of discipline.

I doubt O'Sensei or his deshi at the time used tsuba on their bokkens. I wonder why?

Anyone can use special circumstances to make a point. A good excuse not to look at the concept.

It's a good topic all of it's own this topic of dependency and laziness and fits especially well in martial arts for that is one of the core things it's meant to teach, self reliance, self discipline. All about self and the lesson that laziness is the result of dependency.

Regards.G.

kewms
10-11-2011, 02:08 PM
Who said anything about trusting your partner to protect your own hands?

If you don't use a tsuba, that's exactly what you're doing.

Katherine

Keith Larman
10-11-2011, 02:16 PM
Graham:

There's a lovely gentleman who lives in my neighborhood who I see driving to the market occasionally. I'd guess he's in his late 80's or early 90's. I can tell you with certainty that his old car does not require an airbag for him as he drives at a velocity slower than I can walk. Now, we might commend him on his safety record. However, his *driving skills* are not exactly being demonstrated, tested, or improved in any significant way whatsoever...

mathewjgano
10-11-2011, 03:43 PM
Matthew. You state a case without addressing my questions. Do you rely, depend, on that safe environment?

Do you see that bottom line dependency on own ability and self far, far, exceeds any 'thing' you think protects you.?

Some people would rather not see this because it would show they have been lazy in their thinking.
In part, I do rely on the safe environment. I try to be alert at all times, but I am definately more alert when walking down an alley at night near Denny Park in Seattle, than in the Beaux Arts Village in Bellevue. Like I said, I always try to maintain awareness of the area around me, but I adjust my attention based on the particulars.
So no, I don't rely on the tsuba to protect me, just as I don't leave my door unlocked in areas I assume are safer. Similarly, I wouldn't remove the lock in order force myself to pay more attention to the door.

I would say all top professionals in all walks of life use this attitude. It's what separates the top sportsmen from the rest. They blame no one, they focus purely on their own ability and improving it, and every time they make a mistake they blame themselves and reprimand their self for being lazy. Such is the upper echelons of discipline.
I believe a little more in the role of happenstance for individual success, but in essence I agree with you here. Motivation and self-determination are key to personal success in anything, be it chess or self-defense.
You're preeching to the choir when it comes to the idea of self-reliance. I think what we disagree on might be the best way to describe it. If all you're saying is it can be useful to not use tsuba to reinforce a serious mindset, then I see no problem. What I disagree with is the idea that laziness is a necessary condition for all accidents. Sometimes it's hard to parse through you laguage, which reflects an ideal strived for more than an absolute reality. When you describe your posts as relating to your standards of teaching it often seems easy to mistake them as admonishing others for not sharing your particular view.
I think I see where you're coming from better now. Thank you for the chance to discuss it.
Take care, Graham,
Matt
p.s. I think Keith's point is a very good one. The question isn't only about safety, it's also about pushing the edge of capability; when that is practiced with serious intent, even with safety in mind, accidents are easier to come about. When approached mindfully, this can still be done in a pretty safe way. I think it's very important for people looking more toward self-defense to practice more like this (i.e. the degree to which the individual wants to focus on this aspect should naturally reflect how vigorous they and their partners are going to practice; how much they are going to "squeeze" into that edge between chaos and order).

graham christian
10-11-2011, 05:08 PM
Graham:

There's a lovely gentleman who lives in my neighborhood who I see driving to the market occasionally. I'd guess he's in his late 80's or early 90's. I can tell you with certainty that his old car does not require an airbag for him as he drives at a velocity slower than I can walk. Now, we might commend him on his safety record. However, his *driving skills* are not exactly being demonstrated, tested, or improved in any significant way whatsoever...

Keith. I see your point. Has he not decided to do so himself? He is the driver of the car. He is responsible for his ability and choice. He is exercising that choice according to you with good effect.

The same principles involved are there for those who want to drive fast. They are responsible, not the car, not the windows, not any part of it. They cause any accident not the car for it only does what you cause it to do.

Once again it's all down to the person, nothing else.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
10-11-2011, 05:17 PM
Keith. I see your point. Has he not decided to do so himself? He is the driver of the car. He is responsible for his ability and choice. He is exercising that choice according to you with good effect.

The same principles involved are there for those who want to drive fast. They are responsible, not the car, not the windows, not any part of it. They cause any accident not the car for it only does what you cause it to do.

Once again it's all down to the person, nothing else.

Regards.G.

Well, therein lies the rub. No one is criticizing him for driving slowly. But you are calling those who bother to drive at normal speeds in cars equipped with proper safety equipment lazy or somehow acting irresponsibly for having it. Feel free to poke along at slow speeds completely in your comfort zone. But some of us have a long commute ahead and aren't content to stay that close to home all the time. It doesn't mean we speed irresponsibly, but we might feel that airbags for our children and passengers are a good idea. Just in case.

graham christian
10-11-2011, 05:24 PM
In part, I do rely on the safe environment. I try to be alert at all times, but I am definately more alert when walking down an alley at night near Denny Park in Seattle, than in the Beaux Arts Village in Bellevue. Like I said, I always try to maintain awareness of the area around me, but I adjust my attention based on the particulars.
So no, I don't rely on the tsuba to protect me, just as I don't leave my door unlocked in areas I assume are safer. Similarly, I wouldn't remove the lock in order force myself to pay more attention to the door.

I believe a little more in the role of happenstance for individual success, but in essence I agree with you here. Motivation and self-determination are key to personal success in anything, be it chess or self-defense.
You're preeching to the choir when it comes to the idea of self-reliance. I think what we disagree on might be the best way to describe it. If all you're saying is it can be useful to not use tsuba to reinforce a serious mindset, then I see no problem. What I disagree with is the idea that laziness is a necessary condition for all accidents. Sometimes it's hard to parse through you laguage, which reflects an ideal strived for more than an absolute reality. When you describe your posts as relating to your standards of teaching it often seems easy to mistake them as admonishing others for not sharing your particular view.
I think I see where you're coming from better now. Thank you for the chance to discuss it.
Take care, Graham,
Matt
p.s. I think Keith's point is a very good one. The question isn't only about safety, it's also about pushing the edge of capability; when that is practiced with serious intent, even with safety in mind, accidents are easier to come about. When approached mindfully, this can still be done in a pretty safe way. I think it's very important for people looking more toward self-defense to practice more like this (i.e. the degree to which the individual wants to focus on this aspect should naturally reflect how vigorous they and their partners are going to practice; how much they are going to "squeeze" into that edge between chaos and order).

Hi Matthew. Thanks for the considered response.

You summed me up perfectly regarding how what I say can come across.

Keith has been been very easy to communicate with even if we have differing views on this topic.

The point you mention re: capability and pushing boundaries is one we have differing views on also.

The only boundaries you are pushing in my opinion are the boundaries of discipline and control so that equals less accidents.

Ha,ha, I even would put it to you that you have less accidents for that reason alone for inside you know the difference between pushing boundaries and being irresponsible in the name of pushing boundaries.

Regards.G.

graham christian
10-11-2011, 05:26 PM
If you don't use a tsuba, that's exactly what you're doing.

Katherine

If that's how you see it then that explains your defence of using one.

Good.

Regards.G.

Gerardo Torres
10-11-2011, 06:52 PM
This can go on forever... :hypno: :crazy:

edshockley
10-23-2011, 10:10 PM
I have trained under Henry Smith Shihan whose weapons come from Chiba and Sugano primarily and Nizam Taleb who learned weapons from Ichimura, Kobayashi and Nishio. Both of my instructiors don't use suba because they hope to force us to be more responsive to the movement of our uke. I also have trained recurrently for more than a decade with Gerooms Sensei in Ohio and they use suba in the Saotome influenced style. (The same was true at the dojo of Gleeson Sensei). I see merit in both practices but the sword work was more spirited in the Saotome system. Perhaps the wooden suba offers a false sense of security but consistently the katas at these other schools approach the speed and force that is only equaled in the encounters between instructors in my own school. What I cannot tell is if it results from a real (or imagined) sense of safety or simply because weapons work is integrated into the curriculum at the other federations. One odd observation is that when I first used a katana I often tore my thumbnail against the inside of the suba in chiburi so perhaps it is a good idea to at least practice sometimes with a bokken equivalent to prepare oneself for the transition?

OwlMatt
10-25-2011, 08:27 AM
This can go on forever... :hypno: :crazy:

Only if people insist on continuing to argue with Graham. I stopped weeks ago, because he made abundantly clear on the first page of this thread that any argument, no matter how substantive, that contradicted his own unpopular viewpoint would be dismissed with a wave of his hand.

kewms
10-25-2011, 09:57 PM
We learned a new sword kata last night. And in one variation, one partner responds to an attempted block by sliding along his attacker's sword until they lock tsubas, then using the resulting closeness to grab the attacker's outside (right) hand. I don't claim to have vast sword experience, but moves like this are not unusual in the sword work that I've seen.

But I'm probably shouting down a well, here, since it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice.

Katherine

kewms
10-25-2011, 10:00 PM
(The same was true at the dojo of Gleeson Sensei). I see merit in both practices but the sword work was more spirited in the Saotome system. Perhaps the wooden suba offers a false sense of security but consistently the katas at these other schools approach the speed and force that is only equaled in the encounters between instructors in my own school. What I cannot tell is if it results from a real (or imagined) sense of safety or simply because weapons work is integrated into the curriculum at the other federations.

My experience is that Gleason Sensei's dojo sets an unusually high standard for weapons work. That may or may not have anything to do with their use of tsubas, except that I would be extremely reluctant to face Gleason Sensei without one.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-26-2011, 11:00 AM
My experience is that Gleason Sensei's dojo sets an unusually high standard for weapons work. That may or may not have anything to do with their use of tsubas, except that I would be extremely reluctant to face Gleason Sensei without one.

Katherine

The example you provided in the post above this one is an example of where the tsuba is clearly required by the technique.

But I am curious why you say you would be reluctant to train with Gleason Sensei without a tsuba. Do you think he would hurt your hands accidentally or intentionally? Or would you be worried that you would accidentally hurt your own hands? Or are you simply pointing out that Gleason Sensei does a lot of techniques that require a tsuba?

I apologize if my line of questioning seems overly aggressive. Sincerely trying to figure something out.

kewms
10-26-2011, 11:06 AM
But I am curious why you say you would be reluctant to train with Gleason Sensei without a tsuba. Do you think he would hurt your hands accidentally or intentionally? Or would you be worried that you would accidentally hurt your own hands? Or are you simply pointing out that Gleason Sensei does a lot of techniques that require a tsuba?

He does use a number of techniques that require a tsuba.

But mostly it's because he tends to push students right to the edge of what they can deal with -- in empty hand practice as well -- and a tsuba gives that extra bit of protection against one's own mistakes.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2011, 11:12 AM
But I'm probably shouting down a well, here, since it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice.
So what is your opinion about, for instance, classical schools like TSKSR?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtYLLy3Tp50

or Kuroda sensei work?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVuGDcggm44

I don't see tsuba in their bokken.

Keith Larman
10-26-2011, 11:29 AM
I swear, sometimes I think some post here just to create argument and annoy others.

The original discussion thread that got this going began with the characterization of those using tsuba as somehow being careless or as a sign of poor training methods. Others have tried to point out that many groups do use tsuba as part of their overall pedagogy and there is precious little that should be characterized there as sloppy or lazy. Of course there are also those who do not use them extensively -- their overall approach does not require it given the larger picture of their training. And then there are those famous people we see out there who do a whole variety of things, but we must keep in mind that with those folk, representatives of their styles of which we are *not* members, well, we are only seeing what they decide to show.

The point here is that some use them extensively. And the tsuba becomes an integral part of the training. To characterize *all* training of that sort as lazy or sloppy is simplistic, naive, uninformed and arrogant. That does not mean that training without is somehow wrong, however.

Do whatever the hell it is your sensei says. And maybe we should all think twice about commenting on what others do absent experience in the bigger picture of their training.

kewms
10-26-2011, 12:01 PM
So what is your opinion about, for instance, classical schools like TSKSR?

Don't know enough about either school to comment intelligently, except that I don't think a student of either style has commented in this thread to this point, so we have no way of knowing how those clips fit into their overall practice.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Don't know enough about either school to comment intelligently, except that I don't think a student of either style has commented in this thread to this point, so we have no way of knowing how those clips fit into their overall practice.

Katherine
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?

kewms
10-26-2011, 12:49 PM
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?

That observation is based on the abundance of comments like this one in the thread itself:

Real swords however is a side issue for it is obvious that if I say no tsuba then I am talking bokken for you can't get a real sword without one. (unless you want to be pedantic then you could find that there are 'some' real katana without them.)

To my knowledge, none of Kuroda Sensei's students is here saying things like:
Reliance or using a tsuba as standard procedure leads to lazyness and complcency.

As for TSKSR, they clearly use tsuba with metal blades:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtjAW2EDHA&feature=related
and therefore can't be seen as "anti-tsuba" generally. The people I've trained with who have studied TSKSR used tsuba when I trained with them.

My own training is primarily Saotome Sensei's aikiken, with a sprinkling of kenjutsu and iaijutsu. (While my main teachers have classical sword experience, they are not licensed to teach classical sword and so I'm not going to cause problems for them by naming specific styles.)

Katherine

Cliff Judge
10-26-2011, 12:54 PM
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?

She provided an anecdote that supports something we have already established in this thread, which is that sometimes, you want to work a tsuba technique. It is good to have a tsuba for that.

There is no reason for any of us to believe that in Katori Shinto ryu or Komagawa Kaishin ryu they have any tsuba techniques.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2011, 01:22 PM
Ah, I got it.

It's about Graham trolling you. Yes, he is good at that.

George S. Ledyard
02-17-2012, 08:09 AM
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?

My God, did this thread really end up as a for and anti tsuba argument? That's as mind numbingly trivial as the old "Certs is a breath mint. No, Certs is a candy mint." commercials.

I think one can easily figure out where one might stand on this issue... For me, the very first time I had a solid oak tsuba break in two and fly across the dojo, my stand on the issue was a done deal. No tsuba, those were my knuckles that would have been clobbered.

The idea that you get wedded to one idea or the other as a reflection of your superior or not adequate technique is ridiculous. Going back as far as you want, different koryu had different preferences for their bokken and shinai. However, no one, to my knowledge had a live blade without a tsuba. The tsuba clearly had a function. Not having one changes how you have to run your technique. Since real swords have tsuba, I go with my practice weapons having tsuba. You don't want to use one, that's your business. As far as my teacher, Saotome Sensei is concerned, you want to protect your hand or not is entirely up to you.

GMaroda
02-17-2012, 10:13 AM
I always figured, since most of my bokken came with a tsuba, I'm going to put it on. It's there for a reason and I hate wasting bits. That's as bad as having screws left over!

graham christian
02-17-2012, 05:30 PM
Maybe some should wonder what's the benefits of training with no tsuba.

Regards.G.

Gerardo Torres
02-17-2012, 07:22 PM
Weapons training is intense and dangerous. In fact if you're not cracking bokuto and getting the occasional bruise, you're simply not training hard enough. What you say here and what you teach about weapons, might get people hurt. So if you're going to recommend "training without tsuba" at least do so responsibly and from a position of demonstrated knowledge and experience in proper weapons training.

graham christian
02-18-2012, 11:09 AM
Weapons training is intense and dangerous. In fact if you're not cracking bokuto and getting the occasional bruise, you're simply not training hard enough. What you say here and what you teach about weapons, might get people hurt. So if you're going to recommend "training without tsuba" at least do so responsibly and from a position of demonstrated knowledge and experience in proper weapons training.

What are you talking about? You know nothing of what I teach about weapons or not but feel you can make such a slur?

Anyone who says blatantly that weapons training is intense and dangerous sounds like they may be being a bit irresponsible by issuing such statements.

Now, if you can answer the question I put then fine. If you feel you would never do so then say so.

Regards.G.

sorokod
02-18-2012, 12:05 PM
You know nothing of what I teach about weapons

Incorrect, I think this is quite illuminating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSjj8eQkI

graham christian
02-18-2012, 12:31 PM
Incorrect, I think this is quite illuminating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSjj8eQkI

I guarantee you cannot see what is being shown in said video or any other of mine. Now, what's the benefits of training with no tsuba?

Regards.G.

sorokod
02-18-2012, 01:04 PM
Is this "guarantee" valid for all the existing videos only, or does it cover future videos as well :-) ?

graham christian
02-18-2012, 01:21 PM
Enough talk. I see you have nothing to say on benefits of no tsuba.

sorokod
02-18-2012, 01:21 PM
As to the with/without tsuba discussion, lookup photos of kaiso Ueshiba with sword and see for yourself.


https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RoudaKg7xbQeCaTGx0g-BtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/M6txUIjyRtTizo2fWzhaYNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JY3Zp-VI7U2wmw8a-bLEANMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CNvQC9KYBOiH2Cd5SSSjxNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DTT9NjDQOMbdDECi4Kelc9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/E_76QmajNixUye-_pvxQXNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/i74CaWFHyKITv34GoWtHntMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/i74CaWFHyKITv34GoWtHntMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

hughrbeyer
02-18-2012, 02:24 PM
Oh, well, pictures of O-Sensei using a bokken without a tsuba, that settles it.

This particular argument has all the fascination for me of arguments about which way to hang the roll of toilet paper.

Linda Eskin
02-18-2012, 02:35 PM
I don't train with a tsuba, and in my fairly limited experience (only my own dojo, and visiting two others) I've never seen a tsuba on a bokken. I don't think I've even seen them in videos. O Sensei and his students didn't use them, as far as I can tell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i27obVRzIPc). My teacher's teacher, Morihiro Saito Sensei, didn't use tsuba (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQqHlyPrD6o). We don't have them on any bokken at our dojo. So I don't use one.

"The Last Samurai" is hardly a historical document, but no tsuba there, either (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2lMcgvixN0). And for what it's worth, none here, either (no idea what moving this is, or if it's historically correct): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jW8t5jZyEk

My understanding is that bokken is a weapon in its own right, a blunt hitting instrument (albeit with very concentrated force along the "blade" edge), not a practice sword, although it can be used for training sword technique, too. If you're practicing sword techniques, I guess you should use a tsuba, since real swords have them.

I suppose my answer is very simple: The art/lineage in which I train doesn't use tsuba, so I don't use one. If what you are training in uses them, you should use one. Why is this a pro/con debate?

sorokod
02-18-2012, 02:44 PM
Oh, well, pictures of O-Sensei using a bokken without a tsuba, that settles it.

This particular argument has all the fascination for me of arguments about which way to hang the roll of toilet paper.

I am genuinely interested in seeing photos of the kaiso holding a bokken with tsuba. Can you provide a link?

hughrbeyer
02-18-2012, 03:05 PM
Offhand, I don't recall ever having seen such a picture.

So that definitely settles it.

:rolleyes:

sorokod
02-18-2012, 03:14 PM
Offhand, I don't recall ever having seen such a picture.

So that definitely settles it.

:rolleyes:

I am not sure what you mean by it. It seems that the founder consistently used bokkens without a tsuba. Isn't this something worth considering?

Anyway, I think that the (not very satisfying) answer to the OP's question is "because this is the way the founder did it".

ninjaqutie
02-18-2012, 06:13 PM
To jump in the most recent of conversations:

Most of our people have tsuba, but you should be able to eventually receive a technique and absorb to the point that one isn't necessary. I am nowhere near that and I am more than thankful that I have one. My knuckles sometimes still get bruised, even with a tsuba because the bokken comes over the tsuba as they continue to cut down as I lower my hands to receive. My old dojo used to encourage me to "go for it" and I would have been a lot more hesitant to have done so if I my partner didn't have a tsuba or if I wasn't confident that they could take care of themselves.

Here is a link to two guys at Birankai Summer Camp demonstrating kumitachi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_k0mxkK1e4&feature=related Though these two have tsuba, Birankai doesn't necessarily endorse one way or another. Tsuba or no tsuba, I don't care. I want one; what you have is up to you. Just be prepared to take care of yourself. Traditionally speaking, I have never seen a shinken without a tsuba though.

To answer the original poster "Does anyone know why aikidoka typically train with bokken that have no tsuba? Are there styles/schools within aikido that typically do train with a tsuba? Has anyone trained both ways and has an opinion on which way you prefer and why?":

My dojo mainly uses tsuba, but there are a couple people who do not. I have trained with people who prefer no tsuba. Some is personal preference, some is dojo preference and some is more of a stylistic preference that is passed down from their teacher's teacher. The easiest way to answer your question is the reason your teacher does it that way is because their teacher did it that way and their teacher did it that way... It also depends on if your dojo in particular has a heavy influence of iaido or anything like that. Those dojo's may or may not prefer tsuba for that reason.

sorokod
02-19-2012, 03:00 AM
A way to rephrase the "because this is the way the founder did it" answer is that the founder trained in a way that didn't requite a tsuba. This training was formalised and put down as a methodology by Saito Morihiro sensei as what is called the Iwama style which maintains this feature of bukiwaza.

Other teachers derive their sword training from different sources which explains the variation in approaches. The litigious societies some of us live in are also a contributing factor.

Alic
02-19-2012, 03:56 AM
Originally, I had been of the purists saying "O-sensei didn't use tsuba, so no tsuba" but after today's weapons training, I feel otherwise.

I look at my bokken differently now.

graham christian
02-19-2012, 07:52 AM
A way to rephrase the "because this is the way the founder did it" answer is that the founder trained in a way that didn't requite a tsuba. This training was formalised and put down as a methodology by Saito Morihiro sensei as what is called the Iwama style which maintains this feature of bukiwaza.

Other teachers derive their sword training from different sources which explains the variation in approaches. The litigious societies some of us live in are also a contributing factor.

So now the discussion is getting a bit more open I still don't see much of 'pro's and cons' being mentioned. I see references only to who does and who doesn't and that's about all.

Plenty of why to use a tsuba and the theme is basically once you've been hit or could have been.

This is where I part from the standard 'logic' for to me that is fear based. Now, I'm not saying it is wrong to use a tsuba but when the reason is 'because my hand would have been smashed' then I see no technical reason given, no technical reason why the hand got hit, as if there is no way out of such a position. Held as a solid belief I thus disagree, however that once again doesn't mean it's wrong to use a tsuba. It all depends on what you are practicing and why.

With a live blade then it would be a bit of added security rather than a necessity, in other words I would tell anyone don't rely on it. You can learn whatever fancy ways of using it you like but if you ever rely on it then you may get a nasty surprise somewhere along the line.

regards.G.

kewms
02-19-2012, 11:10 AM
This is where I part from the standard 'logic' for to me that is fear based. Now, I'm not saying it is wrong to use a tsuba but when the reason is 'because my hand would have been smashed' then I see no technical reason given, no technical reason why the hand got hit, as if there is no way out of such a position.

Just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're *not* out to get you.

Which is to say that what you see as fear, some of us see as simply healthy respect for the capabilities of the weapon.

I think several people have pointed out instances in which the tsuba is essential to the form being practiced. The two most common examples in my experience are cases where the two tsubas are locked against each other, and where the form includes a "pulse" movement to jump over the tsuba. There are also lots of forms where the hands are a target; obviously the details of these attacks will be different without a tsuba.

Katherine

graham christian
02-19-2012, 01:05 PM
Just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're *not* out to get you.

Which is to say that what you see as fear, some of us see as simply healthy respect for the capabilities of the weapon.

I think several people have pointed out instances in which the tsuba is essential to the form being practiced. The two most common examples in my experience are cases where the two tsubas are locked against each other, and where the form includes a "pulse" movement to jump over the tsuba. There are also lots of forms where the hands are a target; obviously the details of these attacks will be different without a tsuba.

Katherine

Hi Katherine.
I did point out that the reasons given were fear of what might happen and no technical reason given,

Pointing out instances where the tsuba is important for the form being practiced is also as I said when saying it depends on what you are practicing. So it seems we are in agreement there.

Now if you want to point out the forms where the hands are the target, ahh, now it gets more interesting. This is where the logic of therefor tsuba necessary seems very ligical yet where I say not so. In fact quite the reverse believe it or not.

So I am also saying that anyone who thinks Ueshiba for example didn't use tsuba because he wasn't practicing such 'hand cutting' techniques is wildly misinformed. So it brings us back to my question, what are the benefits of no tsuba especially when practicing such hand cutting forms?

I'll repeat again, that doesn't mean it's wrong to use a tsuba.

Regards.G.

sorokod
02-19-2012, 01:36 PM
Once again I pose a view where people have to look at something they haven't considered before...

Indeed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s) :-)

graham christian
02-19-2012, 02:18 PM
Indeed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s) :-)

Off point once again. But feel free to watch..http://youtu.be/9fTSjj8eQkI

However, not relevant to the discussion.

Unless of course you would like to understand something.

Regards.G.

Tyson Walters
02-19-2012, 03:02 PM
Off point once again. But feel free to watch..http://youtu.be/9fTSjj8eQkI

However, not relevant to the discussion.

Unless of course you would like to understand something.

Regards.G.

This is way off topic... but I don't really understand why this video has been produced, and presented the way it has?

Hip hop and hats?

What were you going for here Graham?

graham christian
02-19-2012, 03:14 PM
Back to the point. I think I was extremely lucky to train with and witness the bokken in use and various points emphasized and demonstrated which showed 'the other side of the coin' so to speak in 'standard beliefs' when it came to it's or the swords use.

Now my teacher was not only a bit 'old school' but even went as far as to say that nearly all armour was a trap for the person wearing it and led to lazyness. (yes, lazyness)

I witnessed a viryual procession of 'swordsmen' (at the time, I didn't know whether they were aikidoka, kendo people or whatever) taking lessons from him in what he called the aikido sword. One of his favourite ways of teaching was showing how the other had become too reliant on the tsuba and demonstrated the fact by continuously hitting their knuckles.

His point was that they had relied too heavily on it's protection and so didn't know what to do when it wasn't there from such an attack.

Pros and cons, that's what I'm talking about. Totally different from should you or shouldn't you.

His favourite corrective hits? Knuckles and elbows. Now that would lead to some saying you must have elbow guards and how dangerous it all is and then we go further down the road of less skill.

The other side of the coin. Good movement and skill=no need for tsuba. That's the other end of the equasion.

Now before anyone goes off into personal this and that without knowing one thing about my own personal methods and skill know this only: Contrary to how most teach the sword or bokken I would not teach anyone until they had practiced Aikido for many years. I let them hold the bokken and try small things only to demonstrate certain principles or sometimes to show them why they shouldn't be thinking they know much about it.

My pre requisite is that a person must be at least quite capable of sen no sen before they can learn much useful about the sword at all. Without that, in my view, it's pretty much a waste of time no matter how competent or flash you look or indeed how many skills you know.

That's my personal view. But the point of the tsuba discussion is learning how to protect your hands and knuckles without a tsuba is also a skill worth learning.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-19-2012, 03:32 PM
This is way off topic... but I don't really understand why this video has been produced, and presented the way it has?

Hip hop and hats?

What were you going for here Graham?

Ha, ha. Hi Tyson. This goes back to when I first came on here. People took those as literal demonstration videos. Much was said about them by 'experts'. For me they were clips taken from classes which I had put together for fun, no one had ever seen themselves on film before.

This fellow keeps trying to use them to show something, even though in the earlier threads I said o'k' in future if I do a demonstration vid I'll purposely show it on here. With sound.

The one I posted was so that if he is so amazed by them then watch this one as he hasn't used that one before. However, in answer to your question it was actually working on the student to get him through a barrier. His barrier was the fear of harming, of actually hitting through in case of hurting someone. Getting someone to cut through with a bokken and at the same time time giving them the feeling that you aint gonna move helps them with this barrier. Nothing actually to do with sword training but on the other hand lots to do with it.

Regards.G.

sorokod
02-19-2012, 03:50 PM
Off point once again. But feel free to watch..http://youtu.be/9fTSjj8eQkI

However, not relevant to the discussion.

Unless of course you would like to understand something.

Regards.G.

The relevant point is that the videos demonstrate that you are in no position to make categorical statements on the subject. Once again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s .

graham christian
02-19-2012, 04:00 PM
The relevant point is that the videos demonstrate that you are in no position to make categorical statements on the subject. Once again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s .

I'm glad you think so.

G.

hughrbeyer
02-19-2012, 06:00 PM
David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply: Knowing that O-Sensei didn't used a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from O-Sensei, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Knowing that Iwama doesn't use a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from Saito Sensei's school, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Since the lineage I study uses a tsuba, I use a tsuba.

Arguing about how one's better than the other seems fairly fatuous to me. It's better not to wear a helmet on a bicycle because then you'll be more careful? Wearing armor means no one is going to target your elbows (or knees)? Cheez.

sorokod
02-19-2012, 06:18 PM
David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply: Knowing that O-Sensei didn't used a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from O-Sensei, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Knowing that Iwama doesn't use a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from Saito Sensei's school, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Since the lineage I study uses a tsuba, I use a tsuba.

Arguing about how one's better than the other seems fairly fatuous to me. It's better not to wear a helmet on a bicycle because then you'll be more careful? Wearing armor means no one is going to target your elbows (or knees)? Cheez.

I don't argue that one is better then the other. I don't think that a linear scale which "better" implies captures the subtlety of different way to practice sword. Your first paragraph is self evident and one can't argue with that. The one thing that puzzles me is David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply what are you trying to convey here?

hughrbeyer
02-19-2012, 08:35 PM
Nothing momentous, just that you'd asked a direct question and even though the conversation has moved on since, I wanted to get back to you.

kewms
02-19-2012, 09:48 PM
I think one can easily figure out where one might stand on this issue... For me, the very first time I had a solid oak tsuba break in two and fly across the dojo, my stand on the issue was a done deal. No tsuba, those were my knuckles that would have been clobbered.

Yup, done that.

And while we could argue all day about whether that incident reflected my partner's lack of control, my lack of skill, or both, I'm just happy to still have a full set of intact, functioning fingers.

Katherine

kewms
02-19-2012, 10:00 PM
Now before anyone goes off into personal this and that without knowing one thing about my own personal methods and skill know this only: Contrary to how most teach the sword or bokken I would not teach anyone until they had practiced Aikido for many years. I let them hold the bokken and try small things only to demonstrate certain principles or sometimes to show them why they shouldn't be thinking they know much about it.

My pre requisite is that a person must be at least quite capable of sen no sen before they can learn much useful about the sword at all. Without that, in my view, it's pretty much a waste of time no matter how competent or flash you look or indeed how many skills you know.

Ah. Very useful context, as such people would be expected to have quite a bit more awareness and control than beginners. We view weapons as integral to aikido and introduce them from the very beginning, hence a need to practice safely even with people who are so new as to be hazardous to themselves and others.

Katherine

Gerardo Torres
02-20-2012, 06:35 PM
Anyone who says blatantly that weapons training is intense and dangerous sounds like they may be being a bit irresponsible by issuing such statements.


I am irresponsible? All I said was that anybody who makes statements about weapons better do so from a position of experience and qualified training given that, you know, it involves blunt instruments whizzing close to your hands, head, etc. Yes, it is supposed to be intense, otherwise there's absolutely no point training with weapons. Yes, it can be dangerous as it involves blunt, piercing or edged weapons. It is also responsible to give these disclaimers.

I'll tell you what is irresponsible: a person who can't even properly hold a bokken - let alone control kissaki or centerline, teaching or giving "advice" about weapons training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSjj8eQkI&feature=youtu.be

Start by understanding that you don't hold a sword by the blade.

graham christian
02-20-2012, 09:08 PM
I am irresponsible? All I said was that anybody who makes statements about weapons better do so from a position of experience and qualified training given that, you know, it involves blunt instruments whizzing close to your hands, head, etc. Yes, it is supposed to be intense, otherwise there's absolutely no point training with weapons. Yes, it can be dangerous as it involves blunt, piercing or edged weapons. It is also responsible to give these disclaimers.

I'll tell you what is irresponsible: a person who can't even properly hold a bokken - let alone control kissaki or centerline, teaching or giving "advice" about weapons training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSjj8eQkI&feature=youtu.be

Start by understanding that you don't hold a sword by the blade.

Really?
You can hold a bokken by any part you like if you want to. Of course, if you don't understand what is in a video then responsibility would suggest admitting that first.

Alas, sounds like you know what was being done in that video, sounds like you know me and what I can or can't do, sounds like you feel you can tell me what is what. You sound like a very wise and intelligent and swordsman.

Regards.G.

sorokod
02-21-2012, 02:06 AM
You can hold a bokken by any part you like if you want to Well, a tsuba will be definitely in your way :-)

graham christian
02-21-2012, 04:41 AM
Just thought......While practicing tegatana you could have a tsuba on your wrist.......

Mmmmm......Now I wonder if there's one for the Jo???......

sorokod
02-21-2012, 10:05 AM
Just thought......While practicing tegatana you could have a tsuba on your wrist.......

I don't think this will work Graham. There are martial disciplins that employ protective clothing, some of them are Japanese. You may want to take a look at Kendo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo) for example.

graham christian
02-21-2012, 10:17 AM
I don't think this will work Graham. There are martial disciplins that employ protective clothing, some of them are Japanese. You may want to take a look at Kendo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo) for example.

Bit literal there but of course there's lots of armour in different disciplines. Like the mushin and fudoshin though.

G.

George S. Ledyard
02-21-2012, 10:22 AM
Yup, done that.

And while we could argue all day about whether that incident reflected my partner's lack of control, my lack of skill, or both, I'm just happy to still have a full set of intact, functioning fingers.

Katherine

Actually, when this has happened to me, it was because we were training full out, with strong intention. It wasn't some lack of skill or control, it was two people pushing the envelope. The main reason most folks can get away with training with no tsuba is that they do not really go for it. If you are doing a per-arranged form in which everyone knows exactly what is going to happen, and the parties are trying to do the form rather than really hit each other, you can have a very controlled exercise and no ones hands get clobbered. Take it up a notch, with both partners looking for that instant of an opening for an entry and the hands will get hit occasionally. This whole argument is like that old one in the NHL. When I was young, hockey goalies thought that wearing a mask was un-manly... They had scars and missing teeth, and occasionally one of them would get a serious concussion, but they were tough boys, all. Finally, the League decided that putting your life at risk, just to be manly, when there was a perfectly good alternative available was just silly.

I feel the same way about tsuba. All real swords have them. Many koryu bokken and even shinai have them. Kendo shinai have them. They serve a protective function and also allow a whole category of technique to be done that you simply don't do if you don't have tsuba. A tsuba gives a sword an extra dimension, mainly for close in work. You don't have one, you change your technique based on that.

There's not some advantage to not having one, it doesn't make your training better... you are not a better person because you choose to keep your hands exposed to injury.

And please, if you are someone who maintains that you can hold a bokken anywhere, don't come to any seminars with Saotome Sensei... holding your bokken wrong, as if it's a stick and not a sword will illicit a lengthy tirade which the rest of us, who know better, will have to sit through. I was trained that one should treat a bokken as much like a live blade as possible and I teach that to my students. Live blades ALL have tsuba. A bokken without a tsuba is less like a live blade than one with a tsuba. So, we use tsuba. Saotome Sensei and virtually all the seniors who have trained under him all have bokken with tsuba. It is idiotic to maintain that not having a tsuba is some sort of virtue... it's a personal choice, one dictated by how one uses the sword. The way we use a sword, one wants a tsuba. Folks who come to train at our dojo who don't have tsuba, soon get them. They don't have to be told to... the advantages are self evident.

jonreading
02-21-2012, 01:39 PM
1. I think the practically of training weapons lacking a tsuba has more to do with production than fashion. You can purchase tsuba for bokken for additional cost. I also know of several competent craftsmen who have fashioned their own tsuba. There is a measure of safety the tsuba offers as well as the reflection of sword techniques that become more difficult when you have to compete with a tsuba (wrist cutting, for example).
2. Weapons should should always be treated as serious and potentially dangerous. The proper use and awareness of what your weapon is doing is essential to weapons work. To make weapons work a frivolity is simply incomprehensible. If the bokken is representative of a sword, then you are using a dangerous weapon. If the bokken is nothing more than a stick, then you are not practicing sword work. Grab a shinken anywhere you want to, by all means.

I have not purchased a tsuba yet, only because I believe the best ones are custom fit to the sword. Kingfisher woodworks sells a great bokken/tsuba combo. I am not sure if "tradition" plays a relevant role in your decision to use a tsuba. Every day we see non-traditional hakama, gi, tabi, etc.; if we let Mossy Oak hakama in the dojo, are we really arguing about a tsuba? :) (nothing personal, as long as the camo doesn't smell like deer p*$$... :))

sorokod
02-21-2012, 02:05 PM
Bit literal there but of course there's lots of armour in different disciplines. Like the mushin and fudoshin though.

G.

What sort of armour?

BTW, I like mushin and fudoshin too, especially after zanshin.

graham christian
02-21-2012, 02:54 PM
What sort of armour?

BTW, I like mushin and fudoshin too, especially after zanshin.

You lost me there. All types of armour for all types of swordsmen. More pertinent to this thread could possibly be Kote, hence my favourite definition of Kotegeishi.

Most armour I would say was not so much for swords defence though, more battle armour. Motion is king. Always will be.

G.

George S. Ledyard
02-21-2012, 04:40 PM
1. I think the practically of training weapons lacking a tsuba has more to do with production than fashion. You can purchase tsuba for bokken for additional cost. I also know of several competent craftsmen who have fashioned their own tsuba. There is a measure of safety the tsuba offers as well as the reflection of sword techniques that become more difficult when you have to compete with a tsuba (wrist cutting, for example).
2. Weapons should should always be treated as serious and potentially dangerous. The proper use and awareness of what your weapon is doing is essential to weapons work. To make weapons work a frivolity is simply incomprehensible. If the bokken is representative of a sword, then you are using a dangerous weapon. If the bokken is nothing more than a stick, then you are not practicing sword work. Grab a shinken anywhere you want to, by all means.

I have not purchased a tsuba yet, only because I believe the best ones are custom fit to the sword. Kingfisher woodworks sells a great bokken/tsuba combo. I am not sure if "tradition" plays a relevant role in your decision to use a tsuba. Every day we see non-traditional hakama, gi, tabi, etc.; if we let Mossy Oak hakama in the dojo, are we really arguing about a tsuba? :) (nothing personal, as long as the camo doesn't smell like deer p*$$... :))

Disclaimer: No endorsement, actual or implied, can be assumed from the camo hakama which appears briefly in my first kumitachi videos.

Carl Thompson
02-21-2012, 10:18 PM
The main reason most folks can get away with training with no tsuba is that they do not really go for it. If you are doing a per-arranged form in which everyone knows exactly what is going to happen, and the parties are trying to do the form rather than really hit each other, you can have a very controlled exercise and no ones hands get clobbered..

Dear Ledyard sensei

This is not necessarily contradicting your point but I'd just like add for the benefit of others that in some pre-arranged forms such as the kumi-tachi of the founder and his closer students (most notably Saito Morihiro Shihan), the practitioners actually are "trying to hit each other" once both parties know the form well enough for it to be safe. The forms actually fall apart if one merely attacks the air in front of one's opponent or if one changes the target from a strike to the yokomen to a strike against the sword.

So I agree with you regarding when the form demands a particular target such as the sinciput of the head rather than the hand. Some henka do target the hand, wrist or forearm, but as you say, since it's a set form, you know the person will try to hit that area, so you have a chance to build up to intense practice without a tsuba. Outside of the form, especially in competition, it is a different matter.

I always ask myself what the sword practice is trying to ingrain. In one dojo I visited they didn't use tsuba but beginners had to wear a hockey glove until they learned that particular form. In one of their kata, the hand was a specific target from a specific stance that seemed to cultivate a particular Iaido-related reaction in uketachi. Another dojo I visited practised with and without the tsuba, but insisted that bokken without tsuba be gripped as if they had one. In other words, if the teacher came over and put a shinken in your hands, your grip would be the same with the real sword (with tsuba) as it was with the (no-tsuba) bokken. This greatly affected the "shibori" (wringing out) tanren for the cuts and to me it felt like a much more "sword-specific" practice. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, it just depends on what the teacher is trying to achieve.

Regards

Carl

PS: I can't immediately recall myself if there are any pictures or videos of Osensei practising with a real katana. It would be interesting to see how he held it.

graham christian
02-22-2012, 07:17 AM
O.k. Let's take this to another level. Level being the operative word.

At different levels and for different purposes there are reasons to use a tsuba and reasons not to.

For most maybe the reasons for rule their thinking. That's fine.

I have seen a level of use where it was taught that the tsuba then is 'in the way', not useful. I have seen this demonstrated to various swordsmen who tried to attack his wrist. All failed. Lots of Kendo teachers included.

As such I am prepared to share what his reasoning was, and still is, from his perspective at his high level.

1) He said reliance on the tsuba breeds false security.

Now I understand this from the viewpoint of Aikido.

2) He said and demonstrated Aiki Sword, or as he called it Aiki ken as different from other sword forms and the differences were what made it what it was.

3) He said that people not understanding this could only copy 'forms' and miss the whole point.

4) He demonstrated cutting through the opponents weapon and also 'meeting' the opponents weapon, however in Aikiken he also demonstrated never to touch the opponents weapon, no 'fencing', no 'sparring' no cutting through the weapon or meeting it as that isn't Aiki ken or what he called 'true' aikiken.

5) So his way was and is Aikido ken. One move and finish.

6) Now this may take zanshin, fudoshin and even senshin but nonetheless One move based on Aikido principles and it's all over.

Now I like this and these views. The sword in Aikido should represent Aikido and it's principles I would say.

Self defence needs tsuba. Harmony needs no defence. Reaching that level may take much tsuba but I doubt it.

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
02-22-2012, 08:51 AM
O.k. Let's take this to another level. Level being the operative word.

At different levels and for different purposes there are reasons to use a tsuba and reasons not to.

For most maybe the reasons for rule their thinking. That's fine.

I have seen a level of use where it was taught that the tsuba then is 'in the way', not useful. I have seen this demonstrated to various swordsmen who tried to attack his wrist. All failed. Lots of Kendo teachers included.

As such I am prepared to share what his reasoning was, and still is, from his perspective at his high level.

1) He said reliance on the tsuba breeds false security.

Now I understand this from the viewpoint of Aikido.

2) He said and demonstrated Aiki Sword, or as he called it Aiki ken as different from other sword forms and the differences were what made it what it was.

3) He said that people not understanding this could only copy 'forms' and miss the whole point.

4) He demonstrated cutting through the opponents weapon and also 'meeting' the opponents weapon, however in Aikiken he also demonstrated never to touch the opponents weapon, no 'fencing', no 'sparring' no cutting through the weapon or meeting it as that isn't Aiki ken or what he called 'true' aikiken.

5) So his way was and is Aikido ken. One move and finish.

6) Now this may take zanshin, fudoshin and even senshin but nonetheless One move based on Aikido principles and it's all over.

Now I like this and these views. The sword in Aikido should represent Aikido and it's principles I would say.

Self defence needs tsuba. Harmony needs no defence. Reaching that level may take much tsuba but I doubt it.

Regards.G.

1) Would you care to name this allegedly high level swordsman?

2) Kendo has little to do with traditional swordsmanship that is taught in a Ryuha, so trying to imply that there is any carryover whatsoever is inaccurate (to say the least).

3) The information/opinion that you shared is (IMO) dangerous and irresponsible. If you do not believe me, then I would be happy to arrange for a teacher in a traditional Japanese Ryu to attack you with a bokken, so that you can experience for yourself, the results of your assumptions.

Marc Abrams

graham christian
02-22-2012, 09:20 AM
1) Would you care to name this allegedly high level swordsman?

2) Kendo has little to do with traditional swordsmanship that is taught in a Ryuha, so trying to imply that there is any carryover whatsoever is inaccurate (to say the least).

3) The information/opinion that you shared is (IMO) dangerous and irresponsible. If you do not believe me, then I would be happy to arrange for a teacher in a traditional Japanese Ryu to attack you with a bokken, so that you can experience for yourself, the results of your assumptions.

Marc Abrams

The opinion you hold is no different to those who I witnessed.

I have nothing more to add.

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
02-22-2012, 09:53 AM
The opinion you hold is no different to those who I witnessed.

I have nothing more to add.

Regards.G.

Graham:

The GLARING differences:

1) You have been asked to directly name this person and you seem to feel no obligation whatsoever to provide a name of this allegedly, high level swordsman.

2) You have been given an opportunity to demonstrate your "opinion" is an empirical manner (as opposed to things that you have alleged to have witnessed).

You can continue to offer opinions and people will continue to ask for some type of demonstrable, empirical evidence of stated opinions. When you can provide such experiences (such as your meeting with Mark Freeman), people can begin to realistically assess your stated opinions and alleged skills. In absence of that, you continue to proverbially shoot yourself in the foot by avoiding, skirting and denying any necessity for the empirical validations of ideas and skills. This process serves as a genuine foundation for all martial arts. This is particularly the case when people with a greater knowledge base of facts and abilities have presented you with information that runs counter to your stated opinions and alleged abilities.

In other words, if you have nothing more to add to this, then I will continue assert that your position is dangerous and irresponsible when you are acting in a role as a teacher. If you would like to take me up on my offer to put such stated opinions and alleged abilities to the test, please let me know.

Marc Abrams

graham christian
02-22-2012, 10:16 AM
Graham:

The GLARING differences:

1) You have been asked to directly name this person and you seem to feel no obligation whatsoever to provide a name of this allegedly, high level swordsman.

2) You have been given an opportunity to demonstrate your "opinion" is an empirical manner (as opposed to things that you have alleged to have witnessed).

You can continue to offer opinions and people will continue to ask for some type of demonstrable, empirical evidence of stated opinions. When you can provide such experiences (such as your meeting with Mark Freeman), people can begin to realistically assess your stated opinions and alleged skills. In absence of that, you continue to proverbially shoot yourself in the foot by avoiding, skirting and denying any necessity for the empirical validations of ideas and skills. This process serves as a genuine foundation for all martial arts. This is particularly the case when people with a greater knowledge base of facts and abilities have presented you with information that runs counter to your stated opinions and alleged abilities.

In other words, if you have nothing more to add to this, then I will continue assert that your position is dangerous and irresponsible when you are acting in a role as a teacher. If you would like to take me up on my offer to put such stated opinions and alleged abilities to the test, please let me know.

Marc Abrams

Marc. Enough talking. Enough empirical this and that.

I have met one person on here and shared my views briefly on the subject and we briefly did some bokken work.

I have named the teacher repeatedly and yet you still ask.

Forget empirical whatever and trying to tell me what I should do, if you want to know then when you have the time and are visiting then come see me otherwise There is no more to say really. If one of your students comes over here the same applies. I'm sure we can make him welcome.

More importantly though, I just thought of something. If you or anyone is so interested in my Teacher then it would be wise and even beneficial for someone of good standing and charachter (I know you like those words) to arrange a visit. Someone like Stanley Pranin for example for I'm sure he would be a great resource for information unknown about the 'early' years over here. A new source, more info, you'll love it.

If not then opinions can flourish but unfortunately not prosper.

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
02-22-2012, 10:46 AM
Marc. Enough talking. Enough empirical this and that.

I have met one person on here and shared my views briefly on the subject and we briefly did some bokken work.

I have named the teacher repeatedly and yet you still ask.

Forget empirical whatever and trying to tell me what I should do, if you want to know then when you have the time and are visiting then come see me otherwise There is no more to say really. If one of your students comes over here the same applies. I'm sure we can make him welcome.

More importantly though, I just thought of something. If you or anyone is so interested in my Teacher then it would be wise and even beneficial for someone of good standing and charachter (I know you like those words) to arrange a visit. Someone like Stanley Pranin for example for I'm sure he would be a great resource for information unknown about the 'early' years over here. A new source, more info, you'll love it.

If not then opinions can flourish but unfortunately not prosper.

Regards.G.

Graham:

Instead of alluding to a name, simply state it, rather than ask us to search for it. Where in that post, were we given any indication that this person was your teacher. Your teacher is not well-known. You made statements regarding your teacher's training to Henry Ellis, that he told you were simply not true. The early years in England are well documented. Henry Ellis is one, among several sources for good information.

If I am in your area, I would gladly take you up on your offer. The same thing applies to my school as well. That being said, I am not a teacher of a Koryu or Ryuha. I do not pretend that what I know about using a bokken represents any type of legitimate sword use. Simply try what you think you know with one of them and discover some larger realities in this universe. Have your teacher try that with a licensed instructor of a Koryu or Ryuha for that matter.

Everybody is entitled to an opinion. All opinions are not equal and not all opinions should flourish. Opinions that are strongly linked to reality tend to do better than others, except in the religious realm of things. Martial arts are not religious bodies of information. They are firmly rooted in reality. Reality is something that is empirically experienced. Martial arts experiences are no different and should not be treated as simply opinion. Holding people in the martial arts world to a lesser standard should be a taken as an insult by any respectable martial artist.

Marc Abrams

Chris Li
02-22-2012, 10:50 AM
Graham:

Instead of alluding to a name, simply state it, rather than ask us to search for it. Where in that post, were we given any indication that this person was your teacher. Your teacher is not well-known. You made statements regarding your teacher's training to Henry Ellis, that he told you were simply not true. The early years in England are well documented. Henry Ellis is one, among several sources for good information.

If I am in your area, I would gladly take you up on your offer. The same thing applies to my school as well. That being said, I am not a teacher of a Koryu or Ryuha. I do not pretend that what I know about using a bokken represents any type of legitimate sword use. Simply try what you think you know with one of them and discover some larger realities in this universe. Have your teacher try that with a licensed instructor of a Koryu or Ryuha for that matter.

Everybody is entitled to an opinion. All opinions are not equal and not all opinions should flourish. Opinions that are strongly linked to reality tend to do better than others, except in the religious realm of things. Martial arts are not religious bodies of information. They are firmly rooted in reality. Reality is something that is empirically experienced. Martial arts experiences are no different and should not be treated as simply opinion. Holding people in the martial arts world to a lesser standard should be a taken as an insult by any respectable martial artist.

Marc Abrams

Hey, where's the "Like" button? :D

Best,

Chris

graham christian
02-22-2012, 11:55 AM
Graham:

Instead of alluding to a name, simply state it, rather than ask us to search for it. Where in that post, were we given any indication that this person was your teacher. Your teacher is not well-known. You made statements regarding your teacher's training to Henry Ellis, that he told you were simply not true. The early years in England are well documented. Henry Ellis is one, among several sources for good information.

If I am in your area, I would gladly take you up on your offer. The same thing applies to my school as well. That being said, I am not a teacher of a Koryu or Ryuha. I do not pretend that what I know about using a bokken represents any type of legitimate sword use. Simply try what you think you know with one of them and discover some larger realities in this universe. Have your teacher try that with a licensed instructor of a Koryu or Ryuha for that matter.

Everybody is entitled to an opinion. All opinions are not equal and not all opinions should flourish. Opinions that are strongly linked to reality tend to do better than others, except in the religious realm of things. Martial arts are not religious bodies of information. They are firmly rooted in reality. Reality is something that is empirically experienced. Martial arts experiences are no different and should not be treated as simply opinion. Holding people in the martial arts world to a lesser standard should be a taken as an insult by any respectable martial artist.

Marc Abrams

The last paragraph is my sentiments exactly. The teacher is real. What he recalls on history is his experiences not someone elses, thus another reality you don't know. What I witnessed was real. You not being there is also real and so you have only opinion. All opinion given honestly has merit.

He is still here, that's real.

Empirically experienced? How about experienced? forget the empirical additives.

In this real world of image and accreditations it becomes a playground for the biggest crooks and deceptive egos. All you need is the right documents and the right image and voila, perfect con man.

So forget all the academic reasoning and politics. For me an expert is someone who can do, not talk. If you think I have to repeat the name that I have told you on numerous occasions then it only shows me it's not worth saying to you as you tend to forget rather easily. It's on my profile so you don't have to look far.

Bottom line, he's there now, very real. If you cannot do , that is visit him yourself or someone as I described then you have my recollections. Shared information on a sharing information site.

Dan is an example of my way of thinking. I am not interested is his accreditations or image for they tell me nothing. He does what he says he does and that's all. That's as far as my interest goes.

I don't need to see any board tell me about him or to know his history or his qualifications or who his teacher was or even what he eats for breakfast. He can do what he says he can do. As for relationship to Aikido that's something else but nonetheless does not blind me away from the fact of ability.

You say Ihtbf and if I'm not mistaken agreed with or even said 'put up or shut up' yet all you seem to do is continuously ask for information, data. Do you not see this as contradictory?

Questioning what I say is a waste of time if all you can do is put it down for you have the choice to put up and come see for yourself, go visit my teacher, or carry on with your opinions.

There is much more to Aikido than the dojo and thus the message of Takemuso. This is not the wild west you know. (Although many places in London I visit are not far from it)

There is also much more to the sword practice than pretending you're a samurai and contesting with some master from some koryu for the practice alone builds strong spirit and charachter and this far outweighs any cowboy mentality of who's the faster draw. The foundations of which have served me personally very well in situations I would imagine you have never even been near but I try to keep away from such personal experiences as it's not about me.

Once again, nothing to prove. Been through that phase. Even been through the phase of going out sharing with all and sundry. Proving to me is now boring. Sharing, teaching and learning is my only interest.

So all those who want proof? Don't worry, you'll get over it when you realize it's a neverending path to nowhere.

So I think I have no more to say to you on the subject for my parameters are different to yours.

I respect all opinions. If I want to know more it is for me to go experience myself. Very simple.

Regards.G.

DH
02-22-2012, 01:43 PM
Marc. Enough talking. Enough empirical this and that.

I have met one person on here and shared my views briefly on the subject and we briefly did some bokken work.

I have named the teacher repeatedly and yet you still ask.

Forget empirical whatever and trying to tell me what I should do, if you want to know then when you have the time and are visiting then come see me otherwise There is no more to say really. If one of your students comes over here the same applies. I'm sure we can make him welcome.

More importantly though, I just thought of something. If you or anyone is so interested in my Teacher then it would be wise and even beneficial for someone of good standing and charachter (I know you like those words) to arrange a visit. Someone like Stanley Pranin for example for I'm sure he would be a great resource for information unknown about the 'early' years over here. A new source, more info, you'll love it.

If not then opinions can flourish but unfortunately not prosper.

Regards.G.
I would like to come visit you while I am in England in mid April; train and buy you dinner after.
Dan

sorokod
02-22-2012, 01:44 PM
Mmmm.... surrealy martial.

Michael Douglas
02-22-2012, 02:01 PM
... If you think I have to repeat the name that I have told you on numerous occasions then it only shows me it's not worth saying to you as you tend to forget rather easily. It's on my profile so you don't have to look far....
Is Graham trying not to type "mike muspratt"?; that's the name (all lower case) on his profile page.

DH
02-22-2012, 02:54 PM
David Soroko wrote:
The relevant point is that the videos demonstrate that you are in no position to make categorical statements on the subject. Once again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s .
I'm glad you think so.
G.
This is going to continue to come up thread after thread because it is generally felt that there are people here talking way over their paygrade...thread after thread. They don't "hear" themselves in light of more experienced people in Budo.
Many people who have skills either ignore this tripe or are sort of outraged that these people see themselves with any qualities that would add relevance to many discussions here. More so that they are teaching people this stuff in the name of Aikido or Budo. It's dangerously inept. People keep bringing it up out of concern for the community at large, for Aikido's integrity, and for general safety-particularly with weapons.

Graham
I have been trying to tell you this for a year or so. Saying those videos were not demonstrations but rather some sort of mumbo jumbo of making a point in class that none of us are capable of seeing fails on its face. You are talking to a room full of teachers, many with far more experience than you. FWIW, there is no reason, none what-so-ever, for any lesson in any class what-so-ever to engender the type of movement you display with a weapons, for any reason in a budo. From our stand point; the way you hold a sword, handle a sword, swing a sword, your maai, your entry, your placement, your hasuji, your footwork is totally wrong. I would be the first to give you affirmation when I can see anything that is:

Traditionally correct
Martially correct
or even mechanically sound.


Most of us have talked about it and just can't find anything relating to weapons. If you want to present a case that all of your videos are you showing every single thing that one could do wrong with a sword as THEE lesson...then you may have a point. Otherwise, I think you are harming yourself and your own reputation in a community of very capable and even expert adepts in weapons use. For those who care about the safety, veracity and competent use of weapons they will continue to challenge what you say and allegedly know, in light of what you show.
You seem a nice fellow. Take this as a word to the wise.

For the community at large
This is yet another case where you need to step up and do some self monitoring. Every day that you sit idle and grant and acknowledge equanimity of view to just anyone in your art....much less a teacher...is yet another day that you continue to see people leaving your art in droves world over. Attendance is down, the reputation of the at is down. As four Shihan-unrelated- said to me this year; "Aikido is all but dead." Bill Gleason said "Aikido has become a disgrace" and he told me to quote him. You guys need to step up and make some sort of standard that will bear testing in the internet era. I think Aikido should be one of the most powerful arts the world has seen with it's aiki and principles intact, being able to work cross platform with anyone. I can use it that way....and every one of you should have that as your goal and take the art back to the level last seen in Morihei Ueshiba.
FWIW, generally accepted equanimity, in opinion, unhindered and unrestrained is the chief reason many of the truly competent people will no longer offer anyone advice here. Their voices are drowned in a sea of meaningless and even dangerous advice.
As Fred Little stated:
There are a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs......

Day by day you make your arts reputation, you make your aikiweb experience.
Dan

phitruong
02-22-2012, 04:07 PM
got whack in the knuckles once too often. not fun. reminded me when i got whack with the rulers by the teachers when i misbehaved in school (did that quite a bit. damn that evil phi always got me into trouble!). going to do some custom tsuba for bokkens.

reminded me of the comment, we should believe in god, because if god doesn't exist, we would still be ok; but if god happens to exist and we don't believe, then we are screwed. methink, i'll go with fear and paranoid, so far it kept folks away from my foods and drinks, not to mention go nowhere near Janet's kimchee! :D

kewms
02-22-2012, 04:46 PM
158 posts? Really?

It's hard to tell much from video, so I'm not going to form an opinion about what Graham can or can't do. But I would find his position on tsubas much more convincing if the linked videos involved attacks that might at least sting a little bit. With beginners, almost anything works and almost anyone can look like O Sensei.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
02-22-2012, 04:59 PM
reminded me of the comment, we should believe in god, because if god doesn't exist, we would still be ok; but if god happens to exist and we don't believe, then we are screwed. methink, i'll go with fear and paranoid, so far it kept folks away from my foods and drinks, not to mention go nowhere near Janet's kimchee! :D

Well, I don't believe in an afterlife but I do believe in an afterburn :)

Me, I don't like to be videotaped training because I already KNOW the errors in structure I'm making and don't want to rub my nose in them....

Gerardo Torres
02-22-2012, 05:40 PM
YouTube is full of footage of accidents with katana, with results too graphic to post here. It usually starts with some unqualified person or group playing around, wearing hakama and swinging bokken, then some newbie feels entitled to use a real sword to do some "iai" or whatnot... and ugliness ensues. Even if you stick to wooden swords there's the possibility of serious injury if you don't know what you're doing. Something to consider.

sorokod
02-22-2012, 05:43 PM
158 posts? Really?
It's hard to tell much from video, so I'm not going to form an opinion about what Graham can or can't do.

Its not your general take on Aikido videos because: "I would find his position on tsubas much more convincing if the linked videos involved attacks that might at least sting a little bit" so there must be something specific in those videos that make it hard for you "to tell much". What is it?

kewms
02-22-2012, 06:11 PM
Its not your general take on Aikido videos because: "I would find his position on tsubas much more convincing if the linked videos involved attacks that might at least sting a little bit" so there must be something specific in those videos that make it hard for you "to tell much". What is it?

As I said, with beginners, almost anything works. I'm not sure the attacker could hit a wine glass hard or accurately enough to break it, much less connect with or do damage to a moving human target. And so it doesn't really matter whether Graham uses a tsuba or not: his wrist isn't going to get hit hard enough for him to care.

Katherine

sorokod
02-22-2012, 06:21 PM
As I said, with beginners, almost anything works. I'm not sure the attacker could hit a wine glass hard or accurately enough to break it, much less connect with or do damage to a moving human target. And so it doesn't really matter whether Graham uses a tsuba or not: his wrist isn't going to get hit hard enough for him to care.

Katherine

But it is not the uke's abilities we are talking about but the teacher's. Shouldn't the teacher be technically sound regardless of how weak the uke is? Also, you don't hesitate to say that the uke is no good, why hesitate in regards to the nage?

kewms
02-22-2012, 06:36 PM
But it is not the uke's abilities we are talking about but the teacher's. Shouldn't the teacher be technically sound regardless of how weak the uke is?

Yes.

But please go back and read my original post.

I am not taking a position on the technical soundness of Graham's weapons work. Video can be misleading. As an instructor myself, I know how difficult it can be to talk and demonstrate at the same time. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But before I pay much attention to his opinion on tsubas -- or much of anything else -- I'd like to see him face an attacker who might actually be capable of hurting him.

Katherine

sorokod
02-22-2012, 06:53 PM
...I'd like to see him face an attacker who might actually be capable of hurting him.


:-)

I have no doubts regarding the soundness of what Graham does and so don't think this will happen.

hughrbeyer
02-22-2012, 07:52 PM
Just to get back to tsubas for a moment--anyone who's had their tsuba break and fly across the room should replace it with one from Kingfisher--triple laminated, just about indestructible--I haven't found it hard to retrofit to another bokken.

graham christian
02-22-2012, 10:21 PM
This is going to continue to come up thread after thread because it is generally felt that there are people here talking way over their paygrade...thread after thread. They don't "hear" themselves in light of more experienced people in Budo.
Many people who have skills either ignore this tripe or are sort of outraged that these people see themselves with any qualities that would add relevance to many discussions here. More so that they are teaching people this stuff in the name of Aikido or Budo. It's dangerously inept. People keep bringing it up out of concern for the community at large, for Aikido's integrity, and for general safety-particularly with weapons.

Graham
I have been trying to tell you this for a year or so. Saying those videos were not demonstrations but rather some sort of mumbo jumbo of making a point in class that none of us are capable of seeing fails on its face. You are talking to a room full of teachers, many with far more experience than you. FWIW, there is no reason, none what-so-ever, for any lesson in any class what-so-ever to engender the type of movement you display with a weapons, for any reason in a budo. From our stand point; the way you hold a sword, handle a sword, swing a sword, your maai, your entry, your placement, your hasuji, your footwork is totally wrong. I would be the first to give you affirmation when I can see anything that is:

Traditionally correct
Martially correct
or even mechanically sound.


Most of us have talked about it and just can't find anything relating to weapons. If you want to present a case that all of your videos are you showing every single thing that one could do wrong with a sword as THEE lesson...then you may have a point. Otherwise, I think you are harming yourself and your own reputation in a community of very capable and even expert adepts in weapons use. For those who care about the safety, veracity and competent use of weapons they will continue to challenge what you say and allegedly know, in light of what you show.
You seem a nice fellow. Take this as a word to the wise.

For the community at large
This is yet another case where you need to step up and do some self monitoring. Every day that you sit idle and grant and acknowledge equanimity of view to just anyone in your art....much less a teacher...is yet another day that you continue to see people leaving your art in droves world over. Attendance is down, the reputation of the at is down. As four Shihan-unrelated- said to me this year; "Aikido is all but dead." Bill Gleason said "Aikido has become a disgrace" and he told me to quote him. You guys need to step up and make some sort of standard that will bear testing in the internet era. I think Aikido should be one of the most powerful arts the world has seen with it's aiki and principles intact, being able to work cross platform with anyone. I can use it that way....and every one of you should have that as your goal and take the art back to the level last seen in Morihei Ueshiba.
FWIW, generally accepted equanimity, in opinion, unhindered and unrestrained is the chief reason many of the truly competent people will no longer offer anyone advice here. Their voices are drowned in a sea of meaningless and even dangerous advice.
As Fred Little stated:
There are a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs......

Day by day you make your arts reputation, you make your aikiweb experience.
Dan

Mmmm. Think you're missing the point once again. The thread is tsuba and the thrust of my comments I related to my old teacher and what I witnessed. I witnessed such comments as yours then so it's all old news to me.

Looks like I witnessed and experienced what you haven't by the looks of things. That means nothing really but alas I thought it may be interesting to hear another side of the coin.

If I took up some other sword art no doubt I would learn various nuances and techniques etc. but as I said this isn't about me.

He did things with the sword and bokken I doubt you could come close to. Some things I witnessed you would only find in some book of fiction. Thus I have seen potential. By a man with all of his fingers and knuckles still intact who didn't use a tsuba.

Then we come to the point of what he taught. Once again I witnessed 'others opinions of what should be versus his demonstration. He demonstrated with ease whilst they were lost for it didn't fit with what they knew. So you and your experts views may well fall into this category.

I heard his explanations so have a handle on what his 'secret' was, which in fact is no secret but as he said a failure of others to understand the relationship of Aikido and the sword.

He did say one of the tests he had to pass in his learning of such skills however which I will leave up to you swordsmen out there to recognise, or not, It involved a piece of paper. Now, if you are aware of such a test you can tell me what it involved. I'm sure I couldn't do that one as yet along with the fact that I don't personally have or train with a live blade.

Once again doing. What I saw him do I don't see anywhere near that on videos, aikido videos.

I've heard him explain to those from other arts how without shin shin toitsu as he called it then 90% of what they learned technically was a waste of time. By shin shin toitsu he was talking in the realms of sen no sen etc.

Didn't I read somewhere recently something written by you where you were explaining how you were just learning how the bokken returns to center after cutting or bounces back to so to speak? Didn't I read somewhere how you now make the end of a weapon 'heavy' via your experiments with your 'aiki'?

Do you consider this new?

Don't worry yourself about my reputation thank you based on what I show for I show nothing to astound or impress others, purposely I might add.

People leaving in droves? Maybe in the U.S. or big organizations so I suggest they look at themselves. London has many various Aikido styles and clubs all over the place. But hey, doomsday merchants arise in all fields of activity, nothing new there, especially ones who consider they are the elite. Standard procedure. Politics.

Anyway, you enjoy your challenging but more importantly just focus on what you do and have success and may all you teach learn well.

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
02-23-2012, 09:03 AM
Mmmm. Think you're missing the point once again. The thread is tsuba and the thrust of my comments I related to my old teacher and what I witnessed. I witnessed such comments as yours then so it's all old news to me.

Looks like I witnessed and experienced what you haven't by the looks of things. That means nothing really but alas I thought it may be interesting to hear another side of the coin.

If I took up some other sword art no doubt I would learn various nuances and techniques etc. but as I said this isn't about me.

He did things with the sword and bokken I doubt you could come close to. Some things I witnessed you would only find in some book of fiction. Thus I have seen potential. By a man with all of his fingers and knuckles still intact who didn't use a tsuba.

Then we come to the point of what he taught. Once again I witnessed 'others opinions of what should be versus his demonstration. He demonstrated with ease whilst they were lost for it didn't fit with what they knew. So you and your experts views may well fall into this category.

I heard his explanations so have a handle on what his 'secret' was, which in fact is no secret but as he said a failure of others to understand the relationship of Aikido and the sword.

He did say one of the tests he had to pass in his learning of such skills however which I will leave up to you swordsmen out there to recognise, or not, It involved a piece of paper. Now, if you are aware of such a test you can tell me what it involved. I'm sure I couldn't do that one as yet along with the fact that I don't personally have or train with a live blade.

Once again doing. What I saw him do I don't see anywhere near that on videos, aikido videos.

I've heard him explain to those from other arts how without shin shin toitsu as he called it then 90% of what they learned technically was a waste of time. By shin shin toitsu he was talking in the realms of sen no sen etc.

Regards.G.

Graham:

It would be great if your teacher, Mike Muspratt Sensei, could speak for himself here. What little I could find on him was related to you saying that your teacher was a student of Noro Sensei and Tohei Sensei. In this post you talk about your teacher's understanding of Shin Shin Toitsu (Ki Society). Maybe, you could ask your teacher to answer these questions, or encouraged him to post directly:

1) Ken Williams Sensei was the founder of Ki Society in England. What relationship did your teacher have with Williams Sensei?
2) Tohei Sensei spent little real time teaching in England. How many face-to-face hours did your teacher have with Tohei Sensei? (This is particularly pertinent since you claim that he was a student of Tohei Sensei). Was he a direct student of Tohei Sensei, or a student in that organization?
3) Tohei Sensei was never a student of any formal school of swordsmanship. How is that you can claim that your teacher had the understandings derived from Tohei Sensei regarding the relationship between the sword and Aikido? Does your teacher have any knowledge of what experiences Tohei Sensei had with any training in schools of swordsmanship? If so, please explain?

Simply put, some things that you report do not really seem entirely clear and accurate. Bear in mind that besides the wealth of a lot of public information regarding Tohei Sensei, I have a direct, first-hand source of information regarding Tohei Sensei (private and public information). I would greatly appreciate it if you could try and clear some of these things up for me (and the larger Aikido community).

Marc Abrams

graham christian
02-23-2012, 10:50 AM
Graham:

It would be great if your teacher, Mike Muspratt Sensei, could speak for himself here. What little I could find on him was related to you saying that your teacher was a student of Noro Sensei and Tohei Sensei. In this post you talk about your teacher's understanding of Shin Shin Toitsu (Ki Society). Maybe, you could ask your teacher to answer these questions, or encouraged him to post directly:

1) Ken Williams Sensei was the founder of Ki Society in England. What relationship did your teacher have with Williams Sensei?
2) Tohei Sensei spent little real time teaching in England. How many face-to-face hours did your teacher have with Tohei Sensei? (This is particularly pertinent since you claim that he was a student of Tohei Sensei). Was he a direct student of Tohei Sensei, or a student in that organization?
3) Tohei Sensei was never a student of any formal school of swordsmanship. How is that you can claim that your teacher had the understandings derived from Tohei Sensei regarding the relationship between the sword and Aikido? Does your teacher have any knowledge of what experiences Tohei Sensei had with any training in schools of swordsmanship? If so, please explain?

Simply put, some things that you report do not really seem entirely clear and accurate. Bear in mind that besides the wealth of a lot of public information regarding Tohei Sensei, I have a direct, first-hand source of information regarding Tohei Sensei (private and public information). I would greatly appreciate it if you could try and clear some of these things up for me (and the larger Aikido community).

Marc Abrams

Marc.
I think you'll find Tohei taught his own bokken work. How anyone can believe a Japanese of that era in the martial world didn;t have some and probably lots of sword training is beyond me. I need no books to tell me that.

Having said that I I have read other teachers mentioning sword or bokken training done with Tohei. In the video on Tohei posted here on the spiritual forum at the end of it he was using a bokken and explaining some principles before it cuts off. He was actually being a bit dismisssive of what many see as formal if I'm not mistaken.

Simply put what I say is clear and accurate. Whether you or anyone else want to join up the dots and cross the t's to do with him is up to you, I've pointed out a way for you or anyone to do so if they so wish.

I can share my experiences, only he can share his.

Questions 1, 2, and 3 therefor are not for me.

I mentioned to my friend only last night about what was being said here on Aikiweb regarding bokken and tsuba and how 'they' don't seem to have any idea about what Mike taught us. I then told him how I had mentioned that anyone of good standing could contact him and learn a whole load of stuff they are unaware of. We had quite a laugh over it.

You see, we KNOW him. Up to this point in time he has had no desire to involve himself in the politics and waffle of the so called intellectual Aikido set. Very much a man of my way or the highway attitude. Very much a man of correct way of doing things and this includes approached in the right manner, for ethical reasons and sound purpose. In other words, not to satisfy mere curiosity.

So I mentioned to Bob that you never know he may like to have his story told and so Bob said he is due to visit him soon so he will ask. I don't know if you read it but I reported how my friend (Bob) recently turned up to find him very ill and the family very worried. Bob soon changed that scene and he was back in the dojo teaching six weeks later (he hadn't been able to for six months) The student returns to help the master. Excellent

So patience may bring you what you are looking for.

Now let me see. Mmmmm. He did know and have a good relationship with those in charge of the nearby Yoshinkan dojo in bushey for at least ten years, probably much more than that and maybe even up to today. So if you come across or anyone knows the sensei(s) from that dojo from 70's up to 90's plus then they will know him quite well I would think.

There was a Japanese student of 20+ years still there when I left, Yoshi, who ran a hairdressers shop in Golders green. He has since moved back to Japan. But he had many contacts in the Japanese community and and martial world as well as chinese as he often brought them to visit. So someone reading this may know him. I learned much from him as to Japanese ways and customs and he loved the bokken. Ha, ha, to him Ki was simple and anyone came near him complaining or saying how bad anything is he would simply reply 'bad Ki, go!' I even saw him do it in his shop to one of his staff. He simply said 'today you bad Ki, go home!'

Now Tohei. Another friend of Mikes and aquaintance of mine went to Japan and thought he would pay Tohei a visit. I don't know how lucky he was or how he managed it but he was allowed brief meeting. (maybe because he was a foreigner who looked like a sumo and was always full of self importance) Anyway, he introduced himself and proceded to say (knowing him, boast) how he had been practicing shin shin toitsu in England and apparently Tohei just nodded politely and let him waffle on. Until Tohei enquired about his teacher. On hearing the name Mike Muspratt apparently Tohei only had a frown and puzzled look on his face. When he explained more about him and where he lived he said Tohei suddenly brightened up and got excited saying 'Ohhhh, yellow hair!' He then dissappeared and brought back a bunch of presents for 'yellow hair' including a hakama which was later passed down to me.

This showed a certain connection to me and personally I needed know nothing more. I leave all that to you scholarly folk.

Me personally, not interested in who your teacher is and who his was and on and on but see that some think it's so important to know all these details. So if Mike does agree then it would be good for him to have his story told and good for those into history to have some added data but in the big scheme of things, no big deal. If it makes him happy then I will be happy.

Who knows, you may convince him to use a tsuba ha, ha.

Regards.G.

Chris Li
02-23-2012, 11:04 AM
Marc.
I think you'll find Tohei taught his own bokken work. How anyone can believe a Japanese of that era in the martial world didn;t have some and probably lots of sword training is beyond me. I need no books to tell me that.

What if Tohei himself told you that? He was never coy about it, he really had no formal sword training - although he often taught with a bokuto. He even wrote it down, in "Ki no Kakuritsu".

That doesn't mean that what he was doing was bad (or good), but the assumption that anyone Japanese must have sword training is...mistaken, IMO.

Best,

Chris

kewms
02-23-2012, 11:09 AM
I thought the debate was about what Graham himself can (or can't) do. We all have teachers who can do things that we personally can't: that's why we are their students.

On the issue of tsuba specifically, we can all trace our lineage to a teacher who was so untouchable that he didn't need one. But none of us are O Sensei.

There are two ways to accommodate that reality: back off the intensity of weapons work, or take advantage of the added protection a tsuba offers. Which approach you choose is going to depend on your training philosophy generally, and what you hope to learn from weapons.

Katherine

Marc Abrams
02-23-2012, 11:57 AM
Graham:

Folksy stories are quite quaint! Far cry from facts. Obviously, facts are not all that important to you. Impressions and opinions and quaint stories seem to satisfy you. That is fine by you, but that is not how much of the world at large deals with the creation of and analysis of knowledge. Establishing facts about Aikido is an important element in accurately understanding our art. You might not believe this, but you might find yourself in the minority on this point.

You made a statement regarding your teacher's position on no tsuba on the bokken and directly related it to Ki Society teachings. NOBODY BUT YOU made that claim. I have simply asked for some more information, particularly since that information appears to be less than accurate and clear. All I get back are some nice folksy stories, followed by a position that facts are not really needed. I hope that there is more substance to this position than you have put forth so far.

Still waiting......

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
02-23-2012, 12:59 PM
That doesn't mean that what he was doing was bad (or good), but the assumption that anyone Japanese must have sword training is...mistaken, IMO.

Best,

Chris

You're being kind. Mistaken is a very nice word to be using here.

Graham -- look up the Haitorei Edict of 1876. That was 136 years ago. Heck, back in the 1930's it was still almost 60 years... Sword training, sword making, sword crafts nearly died out during Meiji. It was a niche thing at best as Japan was modernizing. And WWII almost killed it completely.

phitruong
02-23-2012, 01:48 PM
Still waiting......

Marc Abrams

don't you have something better to do than waiting around for his answers? go practice your sword works or eating a carrot of something and stop loitering around! :)

as a side note, anyone know a good dimension(s) for tsuba? going to carve some out of a few pieces of left over wood. a friend has a wood router that might come in handy.

DH
02-23-2012, 01:51 PM
You're being kind. Mistaken is a very nice word to be using here.

Graham -- look up the Haitorei Edict of 1876. That was 136 years ago. Heck, back in the 1930's it was still almost 60 years... Sword training, sword making, sword crafts nearly died out during Meiji. It was a niche thing at best as Japan was modernizing. And WWII almost killed it completely.
Hi Bud
Know one knows it more than the Japanese themselves, who know full well they can pick up a sword and have instant credibility beyond all evidence to the contrary. None-the-less budo people looking for a teacher will forever chose an Asian face over a white one-even when the white one can kick the Asian one all over the park and back. It just doesn't matter- they're Asain!!
I think people demonstrate regularly that they are not really interested in reality or vetted information as opposed to myths. Myths are more fun. I have run into people who have stated flat out that "To me Aikido is what ______ Sensei says it is." Somehow they think this is a display of love and loyalty. I think it's cultish.
Case in point:

Graham writes: How anyone can believe a Japanese of that era in the martial world didn;t have some and probably lots of sword training is beyond me. I need no books to tell me that.

And that is what is wrong with Budo. "I need no books to tell me that!" In other words, He is finished learning. People have on several levels just stopped thinking.
Trying to get them to re-examine things in light of hard facts is a waste of time.
The bigger the art, the less effort people put into quality control.
The less effort put into quality control and censuring of misinformation
Then the more you have some seriously strange, even dangerous, practices out there...representing your art!
Dan

DH
02-23-2012, 01:56 PM
There are a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs...... Fred Little

You make your Aikido and you make your Aikiweb by the decisions and choices you make.

Dan

hughrbeyer
02-23-2012, 02:00 PM
as a side note, anyone know a good dimension(s) for tsuba? going to carve some out of a few pieces of left over wood. a friend has a wood router that might come in handy.

Don't, it's pointless. Or see my note above. Or if you must, drill two holes across the grain, one on either side of the bokken. Drive and glue in a dowel. Then at least when the tsuba fails, it won't go flying across the room.

Or go the whole hog and laminate one up like Kingfisher does.

DH
02-23-2012, 02:12 PM
Don't, it's pointless. Or see my note above. Or if you must, drill two holes across the grain, one on either side of the bokken. Drive and glue in a dowel. Then at least when the tsuba fails, it won't go flying across the room.

Or go the whole hog and laminate one up like Kingfisher does.

Think leather-rawhide. Thick and glue up your own thickness. the hole you cut, when dampened will stretch to fit and then dry. You can always get those plastic habaki to hold it place.
Dan

Marc Abrams
02-23-2012, 02:24 PM
don't you have something better to do than waiting around for his answers? go practice your sword works or eating a carrot of something and stop loitering around! :)

as a side note, anyone know a good dimension(s) for tsuba? going to carve some out of a few pieces of left over wood. a friend has a wood router that might come in handy.

Phi:

I will hop to it ;) ! Us scholarly folk are very patient you know. Don't forget that eating a lot of carrots keeps our eyes strong so that we can remain eagle-eyed for inaccuracies.... As to the Tsuba, I found it more cost effective to buy mine from Kingfisher (amount of time taken, vs. hourly wage, vs buying it....).

Tha a a a t s A L L F o l k s....

Marc Abrams

phitruong
02-23-2012, 02:30 PM
Think leather-rawhide. Thick and glue up your own thickness. the hole you cut, when dampened will stretch to fit and then dry. You can always get those plastic habaki to hold it place.
Dan

i am thinking leather sandwich wood. wonder if i can put some steel spikes into the tsuba for some close-up works, maybe even a steel grater. :D

Demetrio Cereijo
02-23-2012, 02:53 PM
There are two ways to accommodate that reality: back off the intensity of weapons work, or take advantage of the added protection a tsuba offers. Which approach you choose is going to depend on your training philosophy generally, and what you hope to learn from weapons.

Katherine

There is also a third one:

Every type of work requires the appropiate tool. There are a lot of things in between shinai and shinken. Use them for what they are for.

Keith Larman
02-23-2012, 02:59 PM
Hi Bud
Know one knows it more than the Japanese themselves, who know full well they can pick up a sword and have instant credibility beyond all evidence to the contrary.

Yup, and the same extends in to the craft of the sword. I've had no shortage of people tell me I can't polish or mount swords because I'm not Japanese. It doesn't seem to matter to them that I'm *not* working on antiques anyway as I *do* know better. I.e., I know I *don't* know enough to work on antiques. But then I get to see blades in fresh polish from Japan and cringe knowing full well there are a couple non-Japanese I know who at least wouldn't have rounded out the damned lines and destroyed the overall shape. But when I'm with craftsmen and we start comparing things then those questions become irrelevant. And we talk, drink, share secrets, tell a few lies and get on with our lives. Then I come back to the on-line world and read page after page of blathering BS from people who wouldn't know a koto blade from a WWII entrenching tool... And so it goes. But we've been having this discussion for a long time, neh? Preaching, choir, etc.

In the end the work has to speak for itself. Just like waza.

And that is what is wrong with Budo. [I]"I need no books to tell me that!"

Some just don't know how little they know... Things get said, get repeated, and soon something totally ridiculous becomes "common knowledge". All with the best of intentions I suppose.

Marc Abrams
02-23-2012, 03:40 PM
Some just don't know how little they know... Things get said, get repeated, and soon something totally ridiculous becomes "common knowledge". All with the best of intentions I suppose.

Keith:

I love the expression that the road to success is littered with the bodies of those with good intentions. I think that those in pursuit of excellence and knowledge have an obligation to ensure that the roadkill is pushed to the shoulder of the road so as not to impede upon the already difficult path ahead. :D :D :D .

Regards,

Marc Abrams

graham christian
02-23-2012, 04:24 PM
What if Tohei himself told you that? He was never coy about it, he really had no formal sword training - although he often taught with a bokuto. He even wrote it down, in "Ki no Kakuritsu".

That doesn't mean that what he was doing was bad (or good), but the assumption that anyone Japanese must have sword training is...mistaken, IMO.

Best,

Chris

So he taught bokken. As I said. Therefor he must have learned it first. As I said. I didn't say anyone Japanese. Why misquote me? Strange for a translator.

G.

Chris Li
02-23-2012, 04:31 PM
So he taught bokken. As I said. Therefor he must have learned it first. As I said. I didn't say anyone Japanese. Why misquote me? Strange for a translator.

G.

1) Lot's of people teach sword stuff without having learned it well (or at all), just take a look at:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.332243843483592.72133.237561086285202&type=3

2) Your words, my emphasis:

I think you'll find Tohei taught his own bokken work. How anyone can believe a Japanese of that era in the martial world didn;t have some and probably lots of sword training is beyond me. I need no books to tell me that.


Best,

Chris

Gary David
02-23-2012, 04:42 PM
Marc.
I think you'll find Tohei taught his own bokken work. How anyone can believe a Japanese of that era in the martial world didn;t have some and probably lots of sword training is beyond me. I need no books to tell me that.

Having said that I I have read other teachers mentioning sword or bokken training done with Tohei. In the video on Tohei posted here on the spiritual forum at the end of it he was using a bokken and explaining some principles before it cuts off. He was actually being a bit dismisssive of what many see as formal if I'm not mistaken.

.

Graham
As I have said before Tohei Sensei came to our dojo to teach a regular class several times as he had a direct relationship with our instructior from the 50's in Hawaii, I went to a number of seminars and to his demos when he was here in the 70's..... the only weapons work we did was some Jo....mostly the 22 Jo Kata. He didn't do bokken work any of the times I was present. My instructor had very good Jo skills, but it was very clear they had not come from Tohei Sensei.and Tohei Sensei had sat on his promotional board in Hawaii when Ishisaka Sensei took his shodan.

Gary

graham christian
02-23-2012, 04:42 PM
Graham:

Folksy stories are quite quaint! Far cry from facts. Obviously, facts are not all that important to you. Impressions and opinions and quaint stories seem to satisfy you. That is fine by you, but that is not how much of the world at large deals with the creation of and analysis of knowledge. Establishing facts about Aikido is an important element in accurately understanding our art. You might not believe this, but you might find yourself in the minority on this point.

You made a statement regarding your teacher's position on no tsuba on the bokken and directly related it to Ki Society teachings. NOBODY BUT YOU made that claim. I have simply asked for some more information, particularly since that information appears to be less than accurate and clear. All I get back are some nice folksy stories, followed by a position that facts are not really needed. I hope that there is more substance to this position than you have put forth so far.

Still waiting......

Marc Abrams

Alas the stories are facts. Quaint reply though.

You see also that you changing facts could be the problem, maybe you're unaware of your own action. I didn't relate it to Ki Society teachings thank you very much. Did I mention Ki society? No. Did I say exactly where he learned the sword and who from? No. So the assumptions are yours.

Now if you equate what I said with the Ki Society then I would assume you are talking about me saying what he said about shin shin toitsu. Now in brackets I explained how he meant by this what you would call sen no sen etc. Now his description of shin shin toitsu as a sen no sen was 'the tying of minds'

Now, the term and his use of it came from Tohei but his seeing how it applied to his sword work may or may not.

I report facts thank you. That's how he spoke yet strange how none of us leapt to the conclusion that he must have learned the sword from Tohei or even Noro. We don't know who else he trained with and consider it nosey to pry. I relate only what he told us. All else is private until offered.
G.

graham christian
02-23-2012, 04:51 PM
1) Lot's of people teach sword stuff without having learned it well (or at all), just take a look at:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.332243843483592.72133.237561086285202&type=3

2) Your words, my emphasis:

Best,

Chris

Tohei aint lot's of people. Therefor your emphasis irrelevent. Who's that fella who said Tohei was the best he had ever met in Aikido and learned bokken and jo from him? Takeguchi Sensei if that's the right spelling. I wonder where Seagal learned his? I wonder if there are any shihan who don't teach or haven't learned bokken?

G.

graham christian
02-23-2012, 05:01 PM
Graham
As I have said before Tohei Sensei came to our dojo to teach a regular class several times as he had a direct relationship with our instructior from the 50's in Hawaii, I went to a number of seminars and to his demos when he was here in the 70's..... the only weapons work we did was some Jo....mostly the 22 Jo Kata. He didn't do bokken work any of the times I was present. My instructor had very good Jo skills, but it was very clear they had not come from Tohei Sensei.and Tohei Sensei had sat on his promotional board in Hawaii when Ishisaka Sensei took his shodan.

Gary

So what are you saying? It's a fact he learned it. It's a fact he taught it. It's probably also a fact he didn't emphasise it in the way some other shihan did or do. My teacher emphasized it, I don't. I use it more for an aid to learning as do some shihan and no doubt many teachers. I do emphasize the relationship of weapons to the motions and techniques though. I assume this is general knowledge in Aikido but by the looks of some of the statements given maybe not.

Tohei use it in this way in the video on this site. There in black and white.

Regards G.

Gary David
02-23-2012, 05:04 PM
Tohei aint lot's of people. Therefor your emphasis irrelevent. Who's that fella who said Tohei was the best he had ever met in Aikido and learned bokken and jo from him? Takeguchi Sensei if that's the right spelling. I wonder where Seagal learned his? I wonder if there are any shihan who don't teach or haven't learned bokken?

G.

Graham
Steven Seagal came out of the dojo I trained in, took his shodan in 1974 in Los Angeles and completed the Rondori part at Cal State Fullerton during a Tohei Sensei week end seminar. To my knowledge Steven's weapons work at that time and to the level it was then was a result of Ishisaka Sensei's training in the dojo. I don't recall that Steven Seagal spent more that a year or so with Tohei Sensei in Japan before he was off to the dojo in Osaka. Not much time spent in direct contact.

Gary

Fred Little
02-23-2012, 05:07 PM
I wonder if there are any shihan who don't teach or haven't learned bokken? G.

While I'm sure he had some exposure to aiki-ken while he was training at Hombu, when I trained at NY Aikikai (1987-88) I never saw Yamada Sensei pick up a bokken, nor have I subsequently seen do him so on any one of a number of occasions when I saw him at seminars (or, for that matter, in any photos or videos). The late Sugano Sensei's "introduction" of suburi in some classes shortly after his arrival at NY Aikikai was taken as something of an innovation. (And even he discouraged people from making too much of his sword work with the phrase "If you want mochi, go to the mochi maker.").

So there's one.

FL

graham christian
02-23-2012, 05:11 PM
You're being kind. Mistaken is a very nice word to be using here.

Graham -- look up the Haitorei Edict of 1876. That was 136 years ago. Heck, back in the 1930's it was still almost 60 years... Sword training, sword making, sword crafts nearly died out during Meiji. It was a niche thing at best as Japan was modernizing. And WWII almost killed it completely.

Yeah, like the Americans banned booze and guns are banned in the uk. Try banning the sword in Japan, a national symbol almost. By niche I take it you mean martial arts, official or unaofficial. Which equates precisely with what I said.

Common sense it greater than official edicts any day.

G.

Marc Abrams
02-23-2012, 05:15 PM
Alas the stories are facts. Quaint reply though.

You see also that you changing facts could be the problem, maybe you're unaware of your own action. I didn't relate it to Ki Society teachings thank you very much. Did I mention Ki society? No. Did I say exactly where he learned the sword and who from? No. So the assumptions are yours.

Now if you equate what I said with the Ki Society then I would assume you are talking about me saying what he said about shin shin toitsu. Now in brackets I explained how he meant by this what you would call sen no sen etc. Now his description of shin shin toitsu as a sen no sen was 'the tying of minds'

Now, the term and his use of it came from Tohei but his seeing how it applied to his sword work may or may not.

I report facts thank you. That's how he spoke yet strange how none of us leapt to the conclusion that he must have learned the sword from Tohei or even Noro. We don't know who else he trained with and consider it nosey to pry. I relate only what he told us. All else is private until offered.
G.

Graham:

Your attempts at verbal sophistry are not very sophisticated or effective. Instead of trying to explain your way out of this one in a manner that is evasive at best, why don't you simply report back to us what your teacher said in response to the questions that I asked. If you choose to add to it, who he learned his "swordsmanship" from, by all means add it. Until then, Ta ta...

Marc Abrams

Chris Li
02-23-2012, 05:18 PM
Tohei aint lot's of people. Therefor your emphasis irrelevent. Who's that fella who said Tohei was the best he had ever met in Aikido and learned bokken and jo from him? Takeguchi Sensei if that's the right spelling. I wonder where Seagal learned his? I wonder if there are any shihan who don't teach or haven't learned bokken?

G.

Lots of them - some of them even state it right out:

I did go to one of the all-shihan meetings recently. Nidai Doshu asked if anyone had any more questions, and I said, "We should stop doing tachi-dori and jo-dori in public demos. There are lots of real swordsmen in the audience, people who've really trained with swords, and they know that we can't really do such techniques. We are making fools of ourselves." There was dead silence in the room. Finally Doshu changed the subject. Later, Saito-sensei came up to me. I thought he'd be angry, but he slapped me on the back and said, "Yoku itte kureta.'("Thanks for saying what needed to be said"). Well, maybe it needed to be said but nothing's changed, has it?

---Yoshio Kuroiwa

Fred mentioned Yamada - he's stated flat out that he never really studied the sword. In fact, he used to discourage people who tried.

Anyway, my comment wasn't about whether Tohei was any good or not, or what people "think" they learned from him - it was about whether or not he had any experience with the sword.

Best,

Chris

graham christian
02-23-2012, 05:19 PM
While I'm sure he had some exposure to aiki-ken while he was training at Hombu, when I trained at NY Aikikai (1987-88) I never saw Yamada Sensei pick up a bokken, nor have I subsequently seen do him so on any one of a number of occasions when I saw him at seminars (or, for that matter, in any photos or videos). The late Sugano Sensei's "introduction" of suburi in some classes shortly after his arrival at NY Aikikai was taken as something of an innovation. (And even he discouraged people from making too much of his sword work with the phrase "If you want mochi, go to the mochi maker.").

So there's one.

FL

Mmmm. Which one? Yamada? You never saw it, so he didn't seem to emphasize it. Does that mean he never learned it or for that matter taught it?

It would be interesting to find one, maybe the odd one in the multitude.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman
02-23-2012, 05:32 PM
Yeah, like the Americans banned booze and guns are banned in the uk. Try banning the sword in Japan, a national symbol almost. By niche I take it you mean martial arts, official or unaofficial. Which equates precisely with what I said.

Common sense it greater than official edicts any day.

G.

By all means continue to use your "common sense"; it has served you so well so far. Forget the actual history, that's for those losers who can't make up their own!

graham christian
02-23-2012, 05:40 PM
Graham
Steven Seagal came out of the dojo I trained in, took his shodan in 1974 in Los Angeles and completed the Rondori part at Cal State Fullerton during a Tohei Sensei week end seminar. To my knowledge Steven's weapons work at that time and to the level it was then was a result of Ishisaka Sensei's training in the dojo. I don't recall that Steven Seagal spent more that a year or so with Tohei Sensei in Japan before he was off to the dojo in Osaka. Not much time spent in direct contact.

Gary

Gary. What's with the Tohei connection? You lost me.

G.

Gary David
02-23-2012, 05:50 PM
Gary. What's with the Tohei connection? You lost me.

G.

Keith I got that Graham was indicating that Steven had received his weapons training from ToheiSensei. I don't think there was much time to do that and I didn't see in my limited time around Tohei Sensei that the bokken was of much interest to him....so Jo but not much. In those days he seemed to like Randori alot....
Gary

graham christian
02-23-2012, 06:13 PM
While I'm sure he had some exposure to aiki-ken while he was training at Hombu, when I trained at NY Aikikai (1987-88) I never saw Yamada Sensei pick up a bokken, nor have I subsequently seen do him so on any one of a number of occasions when I saw him at seminars (or, for that matter, in any photos or videos). The late Sugano Sensei's "introduction" of suburi in some classes shortly after his arrival at NY Aikikai was taken as something of an innovation. (And even he discouraged people from making too much of his sword work with the phrase "If you want mochi, go to the mochi maker.").

So there's one.

FL

Oh well you just did me a favour, just watched two nice videos of Yamada Sensei and Sugano Sensei with bokkens. ( no tsuba of course)

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
02-23-2012, 07:20 PM
Link or it didn't happen.

graham christian
02-23-2012, 08:24 PM
Link or it didn't happen.

What a strange thing to say. Link or you don't know maybe. anyway, there's one....

http://youtu.be/h6nsQTcf1_0

And there's another..

http://youtu.be/srvrArVg-L4

G.

hughrbeyer
02-23-2012, 08:39 PM
Aw, muffin...

it didn't happen.

Chris Li
02-23-2012, 09:01 PM
What a strange thing to say. Link or you don't know maybe. anyway, there's one....

http://youtu.be/h6nsQTcf1_0

And there's another..

http://youtu.be/srvrArVg-L4

G.

I must have missed the part where Yamada had a bokken. Maybe you could give us the time marker?

Yamada has, actually, taught bokken - once that I've heard of, but it's very unusual for him.

Best,

Chris

Carsten Möllering
02-24-2012, 02:25 AM
I wonder if there are any shihan who don't teach or haven't learned bokken?
Endo Seishiro shihan explicetly does not teach sword. At least not during seminars.
Nor does Shimizu Makoto shihan, who is his student.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 07:24 AM
I must have missed the part where Yamada had a bokken. Maybe you could give us the time marker?

Yamada has, actually, taught bokken - once that I've heard of, but it's very unusual for him.

Best,

Chris

Aha, a mistake! Yes, I suppose that must be Tamura Sensei then. Y ou got me, I will live in shame the rest of my life ha, ha.

No, seriously though, we still haven't found any shihan who never taught or learned bokken.

As I said, it's a no brainer to me that somewhere along the line they learned or tauhgt bokken also that being in the martial arts world and Japanese somewhere along the line they would have a sword and know quite a lot about it's use. I bet Yamada's got a samurai sword in his house.

Regards.G.

Fred Little
02-24-2012, 08:18 AM
Aha, a mistake! Yes, I suppose that must be Tamura Sensei then. Y ou got me, I will live in shame the rest of my life ha, ha.

No, seriously though, we still haven't found any shihan who never taught or learned bokken.

As I said, it's a no brainer to me that somewhere along the line they learned or tauhgt bokken also that being in the martial arts world and Japanese somewhere along the line they would have a sword and know quite a lot about it's use. I bet Yamada's got a samurai sword in his house.

Regards.G.

I believe Harry Frankfurt had some useful observations that are very much to the point, and which echo and amplify the unintentional hilarity induced by the use of the phrase "no brainer" above.

It does seem fitting to construe carelessly made, shoddy goods
as in some way analogues of bullshit. But in what way? Is the
resemblance that bullshit itself is invariably produced in a
careless or self-indulgent manner, that it is never finely crafted,
that in the making of it there is never the meticulously attentive
concern with detail to which Longfellow alludes? Is the bullshitter
by his very nature a mindless slob? Is his product necessarily
messy or unrefined? The word shit does, to be sure, suggest this.
Excrement is not designed or crafted at all; it is merely emitted,
or dumped. It may have a more or less coherent shape, or it may
not, but it is in any case certainly not wrought.
The notion of carefully wrought bullshit involves, then, a
certain inner strain. Thoughtful attention to detail requires
discipline and objectivity. It entails accepting standards and
limitations that forbid the indulgence of impulse or whim. It is
this selflessness that, in connection with bullshit, strikes us as
inapposite. But in fact it is not out of the question at all. The
realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays
closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of
bullshit so unmitigated that they can serve among the most
indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept. And in these
realms there are exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who — with
the help of advanced and demanding techniques of market
research, of public opinion polling, of psychological testing, and
so forth — dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word
and image they produce exactly right.
Yet there is something more to be said about this. However
studiously and conscientiously the bullshitter proceeds, it
remains true that he is also trying to get away with something.
There is surely in his work, as in the work of the slovenly
craftsman, some kind of laxity which resists or eludes the
demands of a disinterested and austere discipline. The pertinent
mode of laxity cannot be equated, evidently, with simple
carelessness or inattention to detail. I shall attempt in due course
to locate it more correctly. --H.G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit

DH
02-24-2012, 08:18 AM
As I said, it's a no brainer to me that somewhere along the line they learned or tauhgt bokken also that being in the martial arts world and Japanese somewhere along the line they would have a sword and know quite a lot about it's use. I bet Yamada's got a samurai sword in his house.
Regards.G.
This is astonishing, from a first year student...okay, but from an Aikido teacher in 2012? Amazing.

Graham
You don't get a Katana (and by the way, other than children no one calls the various forms of Japanese swords Samurai swords anymore) and then magically know something about it's use. The shear hubris of that is beyond the pale. Nor does being a Japanese Shihan in some art or other qualify you to use one. There are plenty of children who pick them up as well as people like this (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.332243843483592.72133.237561086285202&type=3) who all think they know how to use one to.
It was interesting to see yet again the type of sword work in that video as it reminded me of the Shihan meeting in Japan where one of them said in front of Doshu "We have to stop doing these types of displays. There are real swordsmen in the audience and they are laughing at us." And two other Shihan thanked the guy who said it for taking the risk.
It was bad enough back then to embarrass yourself in a public demo, worse now to an international audience.
One Koryu Menkyo I know once muttered "It's too bad we arent living in an age where you actually had to use them. Then they'd all be dead and we wouldn't have to worry about them passing along that nonsense to other people."

Chris, doesn't this take you back to the Iai and Aikido list era when so many were getting their first (non shihan filtered information) education?

DH
02-24-2012, 08:22 AM
I believe Harry Frankfurt had some useful observations that are very much to the point, and which echo and amplify the unintentional hilarity induced by the use of the phrase "no brainer" above.
I continue to bow to you Fred! It's a joy to see you at play.
Dan

Keith Larman
02-24-2012, 08:31 AM
I bet Yamada's got a samurai sword in his house..

So does my elderly mother-in-law...

Cliff Judge
02-24-2012, 08:39 AM
I don't imagine that I should worry that future generations, wondering what Aikido people in the early 21st century thought about tsubas, will read very far into this thread.

But it worries me that beginners might think of a tsuba on a bokken as a real piece of protective equipment.

The two times I hand my hands whacked so hard that I had throbbing aches that lasted for months, I had a tsuba on my bokken. It did not stand in the way of my partner's bokken, since the angle and maai were both incorrect for the form we were practicing, and we were going at it with more intensity than we should have.

(The only time I actually broke a finger, I was putting on my hakama, but that's a story for another thread.)

I really think tsubas are just for practicing particular techniques that use them. They are for things that should happen, not for things that should NOT happen.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 09:30 AM
I believe Harry Frankfurt had some useful observations that are very much to the point, and which echo and amplify the unintentional hilarity induced by the use of the phrase "no brainer" above.

I think you will find excrement goes through and is the result of very sophisticated and meticulous process. Internal power, the blood system, the organs, the functions nutritionslly, etc.etc. All fascinating stuff. If only humans could be in such harmonious alignment.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 09:38 AM
This is astonishing, from a first year student...okay, but from an Aikido teacher in 2012? Amazing.

Graham
You don't get a Katana (and by the way, other than children no one calls the various forms of Japanese swords Samurai swords anymore) and then magically know something about it's use. The shear hubris of that is beyond the pale. Nor does being a Japanese Shihan in some art or other qualify you to use one. There are plenty of children who pick them up as well as people like this (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.332243843483592.72133.237561086285202&type=3) who all think they know how to use one to.
It was interesting to see yet again the type of sword work in that video as it reminded me of the Shihan meeting in Japan where one of them said in front of Doshu "We have to stop doing these types of displays. There are real swordsmen in the audience and they are laughing at us." And two other Shihan thanked the guy who said it for taking the risk.
It was bad enough back then to embarrass yourself in a public demo, worse now to an international audience.
One Koryu Menkyo I know once muttered "It's too bad we arent living in an age where you actually had to use them. Then they'd all be dead and we wouldn't have to worry about them passing along that nonsense to other people."

Chris, doesn't this take you back to the Iai and Aikido list era when so many were getting their first (non shihan filtered information) education?

i'm astonished that your astonished. I'm also astonished by your continuous reference to things that never happened. Never done a sword demo, never shown one either.

I'm also astonished by your use of comparisons to sword arts missing the only point that matters, Aikido or any Aikiken is of itself and nothing to do with them. When people do in order to put down then it merely shows me their lack of understanding of Aikido.

Regards.G.

DH
02-24-2012, 09:45 AM
It continues to amaze me that there is such a profound ignorance about weapons here in 2012 after almost twenty years of International correspondence. I think it proves my observation that "Education does not equal access to information." Learning really has to be a voluntary thing. Nothing is so sad as to see budo people ( more so teachers who will ruin others) burying their head in the sand at the first ray of light.
On the flip side we have to be thankful that the vast majority are reading, sharing and absorbing. I am traveling and meeting quite a few of ya'll and it is not that bad...at all. My seminars are a bit unique in that they draw teachers from the Aikido, Koryu, ICMA, Karate, BJJ, MMA, and FMA all into one room. As several of your shihan have noted "I don't think this has ever happened before." In some ways it is like the old Aikido friendship seminars but it involved more teachers and from a broader range of Budo.

It is a delight to see that most of us are way past this level of understanding. In fact it is fascinating to sit at tables with Aikido-ka and when we talk about these type of issues, everyone at the table is sort of nodding and wanting to move forward in the discussion. There is so much agreement and recognition of having grown from good information in the past that it is building bridges between the various budo communities.
The people who have never responded to the information available sort of marginalize themselves.
Dan

DH
02-24-2012, 09:51 AM
i'm astonished that your astonished. I'm also astonished by your continuous reference to things that never happened. Never done a sword demo, never shown one either.

I'm also astonished by your use of comparisons to sword arts missing the only point that matters, Aikido or any Aikiken is of itself and nothing to do with them. When people do in order to put down then it merely shows me their lack of understanding of Aikido.

Regards.G.
I have no idea what you are talking about or trying to say. Your syntax frequently reads like Yoda "Hmmm... strange this is...hmm. Yes, people do things as such...hmm."
Restate it and try to be more clear.
Dan

Marc Abrams
02-24-2012, 10:15 AM
Graham:

Stepping back and watching what you are doing is akin to a man caught in quicksand who is digging down underneath himself to find solid ground. People far more skilled, knowledgeable and able than you are pointing out major areas in which they disagree with what you say and what you do. You become defensive and try and wiggle your way out of it with words and then feign puzzlement regarding the use of the internet. You might want to consider stepping back and really listening to what people are saying to you. You might want to step back and consider the necessity of testing these things out with some of these people with an open mind and willingness to acknowledge mistakes, gaps of understanding and lack of ability (For example, Dan's generous and kind invitation to you).

You seem to end up in these situations time and again without any awareness of how YOU are creating this reality. Threads leave the topic and digress to trying to get you to recognize what you are doing to create these impasses. People continue to engage you because they see the positive potential in you. The more you continue with this pattern, the fewer roads will be left open to you. Those roads really do lead to better things. Stop trying to defend what you think that you know and begin to embrace that which you really don't know. This pattern is causing more thread digression than any other thing lately. Kindly step back, take notice and make the appropriate changes for your own betterment.

Marc Abrams

Gary David
02-24-2012, 10:46 AM
i'm astonished that your astonished. I'm also astonished by your continuous reference to things that never happened. Never done a sword demo, never shown one either.

I'm also astonished by your use of comparisons to sword arts missing the only point that matters, Aikido or any Aikiken is of itself and nothing to do with them. When people do in order to put down then it merely shows me their lack of understanding of Aikido.

Regards.G.

Graham
You have your reality, you have expressed it many times, having stated or implied that what you have and do is a true understanding of Aikido....your understanding a true rendition of the founder approach. I am good with that....it is after all your reality. I also agree that Aikiken and Aikijo are in and of themselves stand alone.....some connection to real weapons work, but not real weapons work. They are both there to provide training in movement......understanding timing, space and a bunch of other things that can help with your empty hand art. To me the most important aspect of using the boken and jo are that their use requires that both hands, both sides and the whole are in play. The sadness here is the use of both sides, the balance and wholeness it provides, is lost the moment these tools are placed back in the rack. A further problem with both is neither teaches small movements in and of themselves......this has to be added by someone who understands small movements.....and most don't ..... the larger movements gets them by.

It is perfectly ok to stay were you are, were many are....it is perfectly ok.

My reality is like driving down the road.....I can see the landscape is changing, I can see that more exists beyond the fence I have around my yard and even at 69 I still want to learn and experience. To me the essentials needed to move on are what Dan and other are talking about and trying to help with. For me the best chance of this is with folks like Dan, John, Walter, Chris, Doug, Marc, David, Fred, Keith and others who are like them who have some connection to realities closer to mine.

Oh by the way.....your boken clips up on You Tube are a demo...so you have at least shown your approach to Aikiken rather than sword.

just go straight

Gary

phitruong
02-24-2012, 10:49 AM
But it worries me that beginners might think of a tsuba on a bokken as a real piece of protective equipment.

.

80/20 rule, methink. as in, 80% of the time, you don't need the tsuba, but use our other protective equipment, our noggin, to be careful and not going beyond our capabilities before we are ready. the other 20% of the time, shit happens, and this is where we will need the tsuba, wrist braces, and so on and so forth. or we can just switch over to shield and battle axe, which is my preference (wonder if you can do aiki stuffs with shield and battle axe, i meant can you aikiage with the shield and loft the other bugger's legs off at the ankles?). :)

Carsten Möllering
02-24-2012, 11:18 AM
It continues to amaze me that there is such a profound ignorance about weapons here in 2012 after almost twenty years of International correspondence. ...
I've had similar discussions with two representatives of ki-aikido (Yoshigasaki) here in Germany for a long time.
I finally realized that we were talking about completely different things when using the terms "aikido", iki", "aikiken" and so on. The points we made were identical to this discussion here.

At last both sides drew back and both sides stopped talking. We both realized that we can not get together. We both used the same words. But our practice and our understanding is completely different, often diametrically opposed. And allthough what they practice is called aikido, there is no connection to what I understand as such.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 12:01 PM
Graham
You have your reality, you have expressed it many times, having stated or implied that what you have and do is a true understanding of Aikido....your understanding a true rendition of the founder approach. I am good with that....it is after all your reality. I also agree that Aikiken and Aikijo are in and of themselves stand alone.....some connection to real weapons work, but not real weapons work. They are both there to provide training in movement......understanding timing, space and a bunch of other things that can help with your empty hand art. To me the most important aspect of using the boken and jo are that their use requires that both hands, both sides and the whole are in play. The sadness here is the use of both sides, the balance and wholeness it provides, is lost the moment these tools are placed back in the rack. A further problem with both is neither teaches small movements in and of themselves......this has to be added by someone who understands small movements.....and most don't ..... the larger movements gets them by.

It is perfectly ok to stay were you are, were many are....it is perfectly ok.

My reality is like driving down the road.....I can see the landscape is changing, I can see that more exists beyond the fence I have around my yard and even at 69 I still want to learn and experience. To me the essentials needed to move on are what Dan and other are talking about and trying to help with. For me the best chance of this is with folks like Dan, John, Walter, Chris, Doug, Marc, David, Fred, Keith and others who are like them who have some connection to realities closer to mine.

Oh by the way.....your boken clips up on You Tube are a demo...so you have at least shown your approach to Aikiken rather than sword.

just go straight

Gary

Thank you. The clips are not a demo by the way.

I understand your reality too and may it serve you well. I have no need to make others choices or paths wrong.

The peolple you mention, along with your good self have found something they need so good for them. Your mention of smaller and comparing to larger must be something you relate to such I take it. Then that's all good too.

One thing I know is that they don't know or understand my Aikido. I can tell by their comments.

Energy motion, yin and yang, intention, non resistance, stillness, circles of all sizes, triangles, spirals, relationships to motion, timing, space, all old news to me. Categorizing my Aikido they are well off the mark, nowhere near, so I need no advice from such and neither do I ask for any.

I do not advise them on what they do although I could easily but it would be bad manners to do so.

This thread is tsuba. What I said about it stands. Trying to use 'special circumstances and techniques where it would be needed' is a totally different subject and thus to me merely mischief. Of course in such special training it's necessary but I see only one (or few) do this particular training.

The effort given to make wrong is quite amusing. What a waste of time and energy.

Your approach is open minded and I applaud it.

Your saying, just go straight is a good one. Maybe I'll make one to sign off on. Mmmm.

Something like Fudoshin....

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 12:35 PM
I have no idea what you are talking about or trying to say. Your syntax frequently reads like Yoda "Hmmm... strange this is...hmm. Yes, people do things as such...hmm."
Restate it and try to be more clear.
Dan

That's right Dan. That's me. I am nicknamed such by friends along with such other terms of endearment including wise wombat senior and such things. All good fun but nonetheless me.

Dan accepting me as me not methinks....Mmmmm...... many misunderstandings ahead... may lay

Mmmmmmmmm. Cometh understanding I am.....hmmm. Good the force is...

Regards G.

DH
02-24-2012, 03:22 PM
Thank you. The clips are not a demo by the way.

Your approach is open minded and I applaud it.
Regards.G.
Your clips are a demo- and you are the only one who doesn't understand why that is, and what you continue to reveal month after month.
And Gary is not open to... say...budo nonsense. In fact he is highly selective and experienced through exposure to all sorts of good teachers and to all sorts of bogosity. I have noted in the past that many people misread his old gentlemanly demeaner for approval.....to their detriment.
Dan

DH
02-24-2012, 03:41 PM
I've had similar discussions with two representatives of ki-aikido (Yoshigasaki) here in Germany for a long time.
I finally realized that we were talking about completely different things when using the terms "aikido", iki", "aikiken" and so on. The points we made were identical to this discussion here.

At last both sides drew back and both sides stopped talking. We both realized that we can not get together. We both used the same words. But our practice and our understanding is completely different, often diametrically opposed. And allthough what they practice is called aikido, there is no connection to what I understand as such.

Hi Carsten
I think the overiding point I see often in aikido (and no, not even close to always, I know many responsible teachers) is to accept all practices as equal. This defies any standard, and appreciable realization of having to produce measurable results. Facing someone with skill with weapons will clearly demonstrate someone's lack and that....right quick.
Everyone does not get an "A." And for some their practices range from deluded to irresponsible to being ouright dangerous to themselves and others.
Dan

graham christian
02-24-2012, 03:59 PM
Your clips are a demo- and you are the only one who doesn't understand why that is, and what you continue to reveal month after month.
And Gary is not open to... say...budo nonsense. In fact he is highly selective and experienced through exposure to all sorts of good teachers and to all sorts of bogosity. I have noted in the past that many people misread his old gentlemanly demeaner for approval.....to their detriment.
Dan

Wow! Didn't know you could see something thats not a demo as a demo. That's quite a trick. Didn't know you were a spokesman for Gary either. Didn't see any gentlemanly demeaner as approval either.

Gentlemanly demeaner however is very takemuso and his communications quite clear and straight. No need for you to explain anything about him to me thank you.

Budo is love not nonsense.

Regards,G.

DH
02-24-2012, 04:13 PM
Wow! Didn't know you could see something thats not a demo as a demo. That's quite a trick. Didn't know you were a spokesman for Gary either. Didn't see any gentlemanly demeaner as approval either.

Gentlemanly demeaner however is very takemuso and his communications quite clear and straight. No need for you to explain anything about him to me thank you.

Budo is love not nonsense.
Regards,G.
Graham
It is watching people move with weapons in their hand. And everyone....every one...that I know who is capable would think the same way. From a certain standpoint you have shown us enough; the way you hold a sword, handle a sword, swing a sword, your maai, your entry, your placement, your hasuji, your footwork is totally wrong. As I said, I would be the first to give you affirmation when I can see anything that is:
Traditionally correct
Martially correct
or even mechanically sound.
It will not change when you do a demo.
This tied into the comments I made about Gary. Many of us are trying to be nice -to you as a person- while we are striving to explain what your videos and dialogue reveal and give you a better education than that which is demonstrated in your responses. Hopefully it will be beneficial to your future endeavors.

Budo is love, not nonsense.
To some
Budo as love is nonsense

Dan

Gary David
02-24-2012, 04:27 PM
Wow! Didn't know you could see something thats not a demo as a demo. That's quite a trick. Didn't know you were a spokesman for Gary either. Didn't see any gentlemanly demeaner as approval either.

Gentlemanly demeaner however is very takemuso and his communications quite clear and straight. No need for you to explain anything about him to me thank you.

Budo is love not nonsense.

Regards,G.

Graham
While not declared a demo your clips are a demonstration of your approach and skills....it just is. As for Dan.....while he is not signing checks for me or binding me to contracts I do call him friend......I value his experiences, his approaches and what he has to offer. Dan is one of several whose knowledge I value at a high level, and along with John Clodig, I have the opportunity to tap. I am sure there are others out there that I just have not yet bumped into.....every day offers that opportunity as long as I stay open to the possibility. This is the only bit of sage wisdom I would offer.....keep open to the possibilities.

And as a parting note...I kinda look like my avatar....

Just go straight

Gary

OwlMatt
02-24-2012, 04:45 PM
I peak into this thread every few months, just to see if (a) Graham is still arguing, and (b) people still think they're going to get anywhere arguing with Graham.

I am both appalled and amused to find both.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-24-2012, 05:21 PM
I peak into this thread every few months, just to see if (a) Graham is still arguing, and (b) people still think they're going to get anywhere arguing with Graham.

I am both appalled and amused to find both.
+1

graham christian
02-24-2012, 05:46 PM
Graham
It is watching people move with weapons in their hand. And everyone....every one...that I know who is capable would think the same way. From a certain standpoint you have shown us enough; the way you hold a sword, handle a sword, swing a sword, your maai, your entry, your placement, your hasuji, your footwork is totally wrong. As I said, I would be the first to give you affirmation when I can see anything that is:
Traditionally correct
Martially correct
or even mechanically sound.
It will not change when you do a demo.
This tied into the comments I made about Gary. Many of us are trying to be nice -to you as a person- while we are striving to explain what your videos and dialogue reveal and give you a better education than that which is demonstrated in your responses. Hopefully it will be beneficial to your future endeavors.

Budo is love, not nonsense.
To some
Budo as love is nonsense

Dan

Moving with a weapon in your hand. (a bokken) Purpose is what matters and only a demo or dedicated class to such a weapon would fit your description. I could use it as a walking stick to demonstrate a point if I want to. You cannot tell me what principle was being shown in any of the different motions in those clips so can only relate to something else.

Trying to educate me? Now there's a mistake. Try listening and sharing instead as I'm not your student. That would be an education.

I wouldn't be surprised if I knew one hundredth of the knowledge of weapons compared to you
but those few principles I know I know quite fully and wouldn't be surprised either to find that far exceeds yours.

What your view on Aikiken or Aikido sword is I wouldn't have a clue for I've only ever heard you say how useless it is. I don't think you know what it is or have a definition for it because your too busy comparing it to other sword arts from what I can see.

But it's all irrelevant for the principles I teach I know and the students who through practice grasp them and use them find them more than effective in all kinds of situations. Now that's all I need to know, it far exceeds your opinion.

I don't expect you or your friends to understand any clip of mine so nothing you say surprises me really. I let you blissfully believe you do.

Budo is Love. Budo as Love is Aikido.

Regards.G.

Gerardo Torres
02-24-2012, 05:52 PM
I peak into this thread every few months, just to see if (a) Graham is still arguing, and (b) people still think they're going to get anywhere arguing with Graham.

I am both appalled and amused to find both.
Yep. And there's no end in sight:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=303756#post303756

kewms
02-24-2012, 05:53 PM
Moving with a weapon in your hand. (a bokken) Purpose is what matters and only a demo or dedicated class to such a weapon would fit your description. I could use it as a walking stick to demonstrate a point if I want to.

I've actually seen Saotome Sensei use a bokken as a walking stick. And many jo forms start from a hiking staff grip.

No matter what the purpose, the way a person holds their own body, with or without a weapon, is extremely revealing.

Katherine

graham christian
02-24-2012, 06:15 PM
Graham
While not declared a demo your clips are a demonstration of your approach and skills....it just is. As for Dan.....while he is not signing checks for me or binding me to contracts I do call him friend......I value his experiences, his approaches and what he has to offer. Dan is one of several whose knowledge I value at a high level, and along with John Clodig, I have the opportunity to tap. I am sure there are others out there that I just have not yet bumped into.....every day offers that opportunity as long as I stay open to the possibility. This is the only bit of sage wisdom I would offer.....keep open to the possibilities.

And as a parting note...I kinda look like my avatar....

Just go straight

Gary

Gary. On one level it is but how many see it. Criticism does not show understanding and most often shows quite the opposite. My Aikido clips show only people come, people follow, people go down. My clips show only I do something and this happens. My clips show I do so from a relaxed, calm almost slow looking way. Why the effects happen that do happen these 'experts' say and are well off the mark. So obviously they don't know why.

They have a choice. Admit it happens and they don't see how, which means humility and saying you don't know or else assume it must be down to the uke, or no center, or well anything to fit with the non understanding. Simple really.

So simple they can't see it. Outside of their norm. My words show my approach, not video. Funny thing is those I know in life and martial arts who know my words, know me, and thus know my approach understand my videos.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-24-2012, 06:32 PM
I've actually seen Saotome Sensei use a bokken as a walking stick. And many jo forms start from a hiking staff grip.

No matter what the purpose, the way a person holds their own body, with or without a weapon, is extremely revealing.

Katherine

Can be revealing. Depends who it is thats looking. Even then I wouldn't trust many 'experts' views.

How they hold their body can be very deceptive too. Too many stuck on physical posture for my liking.

Yes, many things can be done with the bokken or jo from many positions other than 'standard' suburi and such. To me they are more like kata with a weapon or even joint kata.

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
02-24-2012, 09:15 PM
Aha, a mistake! Yes, I suppose that must be Tamura Sensei then. Y ou got me, I will live in shame the rest of my life ha, ha.

I held back from this thread a bit because I wanted to see how it developed (and I have a life), but I'm unwilling to pass on without raising this one moment up to the light. Let's review the state of play as of my last post, shall we?

* Graham claimed sword knowledge through a lineage going back to Tohei Sensei.

* Others disputed Tohei's sword knowledge.

* Graham justified it by saying any Japanese martial artist of his generation would have sword knowledge.

* Others disputed that claim by naming several Japanese shihan who did not show or claimed not to have good sword knowledge, including the claim that Yamada Sensei never taught sword. (#192)

* Graham responded by saying he found videos on YouTube of Yamada with a bokken (#200).

* I asked for the link.

* Graham responded with two links, neither of which shows Yamada with a bokken. (#202)

That post, and Graham's prior post, were false. Neither video shows what Graham claimed it did.

Graham, I am inclined to take exception to this.

DH
02-24-2012, 11:34 PM
Hi Hugh
This is more what Graham was looking for (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOI465Km0Tg&feature=related)
Of course this being a very early film it doesn't refute the statement that he didn't teach sword throughout his career. In light of what you now know- I would suggest you watch starting at about 4:00 and when you get to about 4:08 when Yamada starts moving with a sword; watch in stop action.
Dan

kewms
02-25-2012, 01:04 AM
Really? Oy.

Katherine

hughrbeyer
02-25-2012, 07:51 AM
A respectable piece of digging, Dan, but at this point I'm less interested in the original point at issue than I am in the fact that when Graham couldn't find what he wanted, he misrepresented what he did find.

hughrbeyer
02-25-2012, 08:05 AM
Oh, but I did as you suggested. All I can say is I admire their... enthusiasm.

graham christian
02-25-2012, 09:42 AM
I held back from this thread a bit because I wanted to see how it developed (and I have a life), but I'm unwilling to pass on without raising this one moment up to the light. Let's review the state of play as of my last post, shall we?

* Graham claimed sword knowledge through a lineage going back to Tohei Sensei.

* Others disputed Tohei's sword knowledge.

* Graham justified it by saying any Japanese martial artist of his generation would have sword knowledge.

* Others disputed that claim by naming several Japanese shihan who did not show or claimed not to have good sword knowledge, including the claim that Yamada Sensei never taught sword. (#192)

* Graham responded by saying he found videos on YouTube of Yamada with a bokken (#200).

* I asked for the link.

* Graham responded with two links, neither of which shows Yamada with a bokken. (#202)

That post, and Graham's prior post, were false. Neither video shows what Graham claimed it did.

Graham, I am inclined to take exception to this.

Hugh. You should take exception because what you say above is incorrect. However I don't take exception to it but it does show you haven't quite read things properly.

1) I claimed knowledge from one teacher. Others put 2 and 2 together taking lineage of that teacher into account, not me. I specifically stated I don't know where he learned it.

2) As I said others equated with Tohei, their problem not mine. I equated shin shin toitsu as explained by the teacher, not Toheis art but sen no sen or as he said tying of minds. This I pointed out, once again I do the same.

3) Japanese of that generation in martial arts have knowledge of sword. Yet to find one that doesn't. No justification. Common sense. Maybe most Americans in the relevant states have knowledge of guns.

4) None were false, in fact I've just corrected you on those points so that means what you say is false. I prefer to say mistaken for my intention isn't to try to disgrace you.

5) The videos I found, and enjoyed, I said were of Sugano and Yamada using bokken. Since then I found the Sugano part is correct but the yamada part is incorrect and that the other was not him. This I stated, so I have already corrected that thank you.

If you read the thread properly you will find Yamada did know and use the bokken. The only thing is who emphasised it and who didn't, who used it regularly and who hardly ever. Then even more to the point, who used tsuba, who didn't and when it is used and when it isn't and opinions on the whys and wherefores.

My offerings are my experience and my views on the subject.

Fudoshin.

Regards.G.

graham christian
02-25-2012, 09:50 AM
Hi Hugh
This is more what Graham was looking for (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOI465Km0Tg&feature=related)
Of course this being a very early film it doesn't refute the statement that he didn't teach sword throughout his career. In light of what you now know- I would suggest you watch starting at about 4:00 and when you get to about 4:08 when Yamada starts moving with a sword; watch in stop action.
Dan

Lovely video. Straight to my collection. Nice.

Regards.G.

OwlMatt
02-25-2012, 10:28 AM
I'd like to suggest that we all just stop arguing with Graham, in this thread and in others.

This thread stopped being what it is supposed to be at the moment Graham stepped in (#16) with an inflammatory and condescending assertion--one I suspect he is entirely unqualified to make--intended not to further constructive conversation but to let us all know how great he is. Since then, this thread has been nothing but well-intended AW members trying to get Graham to see reason.

It should be clear after four months (four months!) that Graham is not and never was interested in seeing reason.

The death of this thread is long overdue. Let's just let it die, and guard ourselves against Graham in the future. The only winning move, as a disembodied computer voice once said to Matthew Broderick, is not to play.

Keith Larman
02-25-2012, 10:39 AM
The problem, I think, is not that anyone really expects Graham to change. He seems quite happy being what he thinks he is. The problem is with those who come across threads that Graham participates in. Leaving his assertions unchallenged can to some seem like tacit agreement. Sure, it becomes rather surreal after a while, but as the threads keep going someone still needs to step up and say "No, that's completely contrary to my understanding." I suspect that as long as Graham keeps posting people will be replying because you simply can't let some things go by unchallenged. Over time people hopefully come to their own conclusions regarding the truth-value of his assertions, just as you have. And that's what discussions are all about.

hughrbeyer
02-25-2012, 01:19 PM
Last post to you, Graham:

Hugh. You should take exception because what you say above is incorrect. However I don't take exception to it but it does show you haven't quite read things properly.

1) I claimed knowledge from one teacher. Others put 2 and 2 together taking lineage of that teacher into account, not me. I specifically stated I don't know where he learned it.

2) As I said others equated with Tohei, their problem not mine. I equated shin shin toitsu as explained by the teacher, not Toheis art but sen no sen or as he said tying of minds. This I pointed out, once again I do the same.

3) Japanese of that generation in martial arts have knowledge of sword. Yet to find one that doesn't. No justification. Common sense. Maybe most Americans in the relevant states have knowledge of guns.

4) None were false, in fact I've just corrected you on those points so that means what you say is false. I prefer to say mistaken for my intention isn't to try to disgrace you.

5) The videos I found, and enjoyed, I said were of Sugano and Yamada using bokken. Since then I found the Sugano part is correct but the yamada part is incorrect and that the other was not him. This I stated, so I have already corrected that thank you.

If you read the thread properly you will find Yamada did know and use the bokken. The only thing is who emphasised it and who didn't, who used it regularly and who hardly ever. Then even more to the point, who used tsuba, who didn't and when it is used and when it isn't and opinions on the whys and wherefores.

My offerings are my experience and my views on the subject.

Fudoshin.

Regards.G.

Your 1-3 are irrelevant to the issue I have with you.

4: My summary of the conversation was correct, thank you. You haven't, so far as I know, "disgraced" me. You have insulted me.

5: I guess I can choose between a deliberate misrepresentation of the videos and the idea that you can't tell one shihan from another. These weren't old videos like the one Dan posted, Graham--Yamada looks like Yamada in them.

<Snappy conclusions all deleted as being Jun-bait>

Okay, that's all.

Michael Douglas
02-25-2012, 01:34 PM
Back on-topic, slightly.

Here's a question ;
Why do we not see M.Ueshiba using a tsuba on his bokken in the existing photos and films?

I guess it could be a poll, but even listing certain optional answers would rub a lot of folks up the wrong way - so I won't.

This is an important question by the way, not being flippant.

graham christian
02-25-2012, 02:11 PM
Last post to you, Graham:

Your 1-3 are irrelevant to the issue I have with you.

4: My summary of the conversation was correct, thank you. You haven't, so far as I know, "disgraced" me. You have insulted me.

5: I guess I can choose between a deliberate misrepresentation of the videos and the idea that you can't tell one shihan from another. These weren't old videos like the one Dan posted, Graham--Yamada looks like Yamada in them.

<Snappy conclusions all deleted as being Jun-bait>

Okay, that's all.

I'm interested. You don't have to post, you can p.m. me, but I am interested in what 'insulted' you and how so.

Deliberate misrepresentation? I think you will find putting a video and calling the Shihan the wrong name could not be done deliberately, especially on here.

Regards.G.

Marc Abrams
02-25-2012, 02:38 PM
Last post to you, Graham:

Your 1-3 are irrelevant to the issue I have with you.

4: My summary of the conversation was correct, thank you. You haven't, so far as I know, "disgraced" me. You have insulted me.

5: I guess I can choose between a deliberate misrepresentation of the videos and the idea that you can't tell one shihan from another. These weren't old videos like the one Dan posted, Graham--Yamada looks like Yamada in them.

<Snappy conclusions all deleted as being Jun-bait>

Okay, that's all.

Hugh:

Opinions have been put out there regarding the using and not using the tsuba. Not all opinions are the same and not all opinions merit the same weight of considerations. I would like you to consider these two posts

1) Fred Little
Dear Mary,

As the old saying goes, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. When someone repeatedly posts counterfactual statements and attempts to hide behind a (mis)characterization of those counterfactual statements as perfectly valid personal opinions, it is not surprising that such a person should attract vigorous counterarguments.

There are some people who object to such vigorous responses, it is true. My primary objection to them is that they simply take a good deal of time to put together and have a limited effect when directed at those who are simply ineducable. As I grow older and more careful regarding how I choose to spend my limited time, increasingly, my choice with such individuals is to ignore them and to avoid situations where it is necessary to interact with them. For better or for worse, with an occasional exception (whether well- or ill-chosen) this means generally avoiding any interaction on Aikiweb but the most basic transfer of inarguably objective fact.

I'm hardly alone in this. Indeed, I know a number of very skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who simply don't post here at all because doing so exposes them to endless streams of mindless rejoinders from ill-informed, poorly trained, and notably unaccomplished practitioners who are suffering from meta-cognitive failure (http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/edPsybook/Edpsy7/edpsy7_meta.htm) to such an extreme degree that the result calls to mind the old proverb about the inadvisability of wrestling pigs.

But I don't see this as a problem with Aikiweb alone. I see this as a fundamental problem with what, for lack of a better phrase, is termed "the aikido community." Having been trained to not only politely tolerate, but in some cases actually celebrate their own teachers' failings, there are a great many students of the art who have actively damaged not only their own critical thinking ability, but their capacity for moral reasoning. It may not be dead, but for many practitioners, it has certainly gone to sleep.

In that circumstance, the wake-up call often sounds harsh indeed; but like an alarm clock, hitting the snooze button only buys a few more minutes of restive dormancy. And that is, I think, about all I have to say about that.

Best regards,

FL

2) Mine- in this same thread.:

Graham:

Stepping back and watching what you are doing is akin to a man caught in quicksand who is digging down underneath himself to find solid ground. People far more skilled, knowledgeable and able than you are pointing out major areas in which they disagree with what you say and what you do. You become defensive and try and wiggle your way out of it with words and then feign puzzlement regarding the use of the internet. You might want to consider stepping back and really listening to what people are saying to you. You might want to step back and consider the necessity of testing these things out with some of these people with an open mind and willingness to acknowledge mistakes, gaps of understanding and lack of ability (For example, Dan's generous and kind invitation to you).

You seem to end up in these situations time and again without any awareness of how YOU are creating this reality. Threads leave the topic and digress to trying to get you to recognize what you are doing to create these impasses. People continue to engage you because they see the positive potential in you. The more you continue with this pattern, the fewer roads will be left open to you. Those roads really do lead to better things. Stop trying to defend what you think that you know and begin to embrace that which you really don't know. This pattern is causing more thread digression than any other thing lately. Kindly step back, take notice and make the appropriate changes for your own betterment.

Marc Abrams

Those two posts, when taken together, point out a tendency that is placing a disproportionate amount of attention upon opinions and claims that are considered by many to be suspect, inaccurate, etc.. If someone will not answer questions directly and we are always veering off course, then maybe we should try and point that out and move back on topic with those who are actually willing to engage in an honest discussion about the topic.

Oh, the topic was on the tsuba. We in Aikido can at best, use the sword to highlight certain principles in action (kata practice or otherwise). We should acknowledge that unless we are certified teachers in traditional schools of swordsmanship, that we really do not have a great depth of knowledge regarding the sword. We really can offer little in the way of some deep understandings that would help us answer why certain schools use or do not use a tsuba for certain kata (or other types of practice). I am wise enough to know the areas that I am ignorant in and I usually try and ask some intelligent questions to those in the know, who can educate me and help deepen my knowledge base.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

kewms
02-25-2012, 08:34 PM
3) Japanese of that generation in martial arts have knowledge of sword. Yet to find one that doesn't. No justification. Common sense. Maybe most Americans in the relevant states have knowledge of guns.

As an American I can confidently say: no, knowledge of guns is not universal, even in parts of the country where gun ownership is common. And there are plenty of people who own guns but are completely incompetent in their use.

As for Japanese martial artists' knowledge of the sword, what is your metric? Willingness to be filmed waving a sword around? Or actual training to some degree of competence? As with guns, there can be a wide difference between real and perceived skill level.

Katherine

graham christian
02-25-2012, 08:54 PM
As an American I can confidently say: no, knowledge of guns is not universal, even in parts of the country where gun ownership is common. And there are plenty of people who own guns but are completely incompetent in their use.

As for Japanese martial artists' knowledge of the sword, what is your metric? Willingness to be filmed waving a sword around? Or actual training to some degree of competence? As with guns, there can be a wide difference between real and perceived skill level.

Katherine

I see you are veering what I say towards competence. Still yet to find a Japanese of said era in said martial arts who didn't have a level of competance with bokken.

But I feel that's not your point, your point appears to be solely a bugbear with my bokken knowledge and competence.

First differentiation needed is that it can be used frequently to demonstrate principles. Those who don't know this will see what they want to see.

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
02-25-2012, 09:10 PM
Thanks, Marc, I already know how to value the various opinions expressed. I was actually done with the topic of using a tsuba back on page one.

kewms
02-25-2012, 09:30 PM
Actually, I had a couple of points. Rather than let you put words in my mouth, why don't I just tell you what they are?

* First, the claim that "all" Japanese martial artists of a given era have sword knowledge is not nearly as obvious as you seem to think.
* Second, even if they do have (or are willing to claim) "knowledge," that doesn't mean they have any degree of competence whatsoever.
* So exactly what is the point of bringing this large collection of martial artists with "sword knowledge" into the thread? That randomly waving sticks around is okay because lots of people do it?

I'm also having trouble with this whole notion that aikido principles are so unique among the martial arts that, when demonstrating them with a bokken, apparent incompetence can actually hide total mastery. You may believe that, but that's not what any of the teachers in my lineage claim, and it's certainly not what I've felt in their classes.

Yes, I'm completely ignoring the whole "using bokken to demonstrate principles" line of argument. Balance is balance. Openings are openings. If your "demonstration of principles" allows someone to lop off your head, your principles are unsound.

Katherine