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Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-23-2007, 12:54 PM
I am busy translating Kensho Furuya Sensei's book: "Kodo - Ancient Ways" for my Sensei who doesn't read english. Believe me this is no small feat.
On page 186, Furuya Sensei talks about: ".....Sasaki Kojiro, a famous swordsman who invented the "swallow cut".....":confused: .
Now, all the sempais I talked to where baffled. If I could at least have an idea of what this technique is about (could it be about shoving your sword down the opponent's throat?), then it would be easier for me to find a french name for it.
I will be most grateful to anybody who could describe this technique for me.
Thanks you all in advance.

Ron Tisdale
08-23-2007, 12:58 PM
It was based on the movements of a bird (a swallow) in flight, I believe. At least in the movie...

B,
R :shrug:

Michael Hackett
08-23-2007, 01:12 PM
Yeah, that's the way it was described in the book and in the movie "Samurai Triolgy".

Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-23-2007, 01:13 PM
It was based on the movements of a bird (a swallow) in flight, I believe. At least in the movie...

B,
R :shrug:

Now, that's already a huge step forward. But what movie? Did you see it? Can you describe the technique?
Tell me more! Tell me more!

Ron Tisdale
08-23-2007, 01:24 PM
It was a turn and cut kind of thing, as I remember. I think the movie was the one mentioned by Michael.

Best,
Ron

PS Hey Tobs, I see you lurking! :D

Toby Threadgill
08-23-2007, 01:38 PM
Marie,

The swallow tail cut is called tsubame gaeshi.

According to legend it was a technique invented by Sasaki Kojiro, the founder of Gan-ryu kenjutsu. It was reportedly a fast slashing counter cut performed from hasso gamae. As the attacker started his cut, Sasaki responded with his own instantly flicking his blade sideways with the mune deflecting the attackers cut while his cut continued on hitting its target. The blade was then immediately returned to hasso gamae. Legend states that Sasaki Kojiro was inspired to create this technique by watching the tail of a swallow as it flicked instantly from side to side during flight. Sasaki Kojiro was later killed by Miyamoto Musashi in a famous duel occurring on an island near Ogura in Bunzen province.

Hi Ron.... :)

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
www.shinyokai.com

MM
08-23-2007, 01:51 PM
Marie,

The swallow tail cut is called tsubame gaeshi.

According to legend it was a technique invented by Sasaki Kojiro, the founder of Gan-ryu kenjutsu. It was reportedly a fast slashing counter cut performed from hasso gamae. As the attacker started his cut, Sasaki responded with his own instantly flicking his blade sideways with the mune deflecting the attackers cut while his cut continued on hitting its target. The blade was then immediately returned to hasso gamae. Legend states that Sasaki Kojiro was inspired to create this technique by watching the tail of a swallow as it flicked instantly from side to side during flight. Sasaki Kojiro was later killed by Miyamoto Musashi in a famous duel occurring on an island near Ogura in Bunzen province.

Hi Ron.... :)

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
www.shinyokai.com

Ah, that's where I recognized the names. I remember reading a set of fictional books about Musashi's life. In that set, I remember reading about Sasaki Kojiro and the swallow tail cut, but I don't think they ever described it in that amount of detail. It's been awhile since I read them, so my memory could be wrong.

I think it was this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Musashi-Epic-Novel-Samurai-Era/dp/4770019572/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-2538996-0000160?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187894887&sr=1-1

Mark

Marie Noelle Fequiere
08-23-2007, 02:31 PM
Marie,

The swallow tail cut is called tsubame gaeshi.

According to legend it was a technique invented by Sasaki Kojiro, the founder of Gan-ryu kenjutsu. It was reportedly a fast slashing counter cut performed from hasso gamae. As the attacker started his cut, Sasaki responded with his own instantly flicking his blade sideways with the mune deflecting the attackers cut while his cut continued on hitting its target. The blade was then immediately returned to hasso gamae. Legend states that Sasaki Kojiro was inspired to create this technique by watching the tail of a swallow as it flicked instantly from side to side during flight. Sasaki Kojiro was later killed by Miyamoto Musashi in a famous duel occurring on an island near Ogura in Bunzen province.

Hi Ron.... :)

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
www.shinyokai.com

Ah, thank you, Toby, thank you. I owe you a big one. I'm going to print this page and take it to the dojo.
I really love this forum.
Arigato!

David Orange
08-23-2007, 03:27 PM
The swallow tail cut is called tsubame gaeshi.

Toby,

I wonder if that actually refers to a "cut" or an evasion of a cut. It seems I read about this in one of Draeger's books.

I am under the impression that he refered to it as "swallow tail maneuver."

As I understand it, it refers to a situation in which A is cutting toward the side of B's head but B cuts under the strike, toward A's right wrist. A lets go the sword with his right hand and brings it around behind him with his left hand, continuing the arc of his yokomen uchi. As he brings the sword over his head to cut down, he re-graps with his right hand and completes the cut. That bringing the sword around and over with one hand is what I thought tsubame gaeshi referred to.

For what that may or may not be worth.

However, I see that in judo, the term refers to withdrawing your foot when the opponent attempts a sweep, then sweeping his foot with the foot he was trying to sweep:

http://www.judoinfo.com/images/animations/blue/tsubamegaeshi.htm

That's similar, in principle to the sword technique describe above--avoiding his "cut" and returning (gaeshi).

Howeverer, in toyama ryu, it's described as: "A kesa (downward diagonal) cut is followed immediately with a gyaku kesa (upward diagonal) cut. The two cuts are performed from both sides of the target."

This can be seen in the happo giri of toyama ryu, when the swordsman cuts down right to left, then follows that same path cutting up from left to right. And, as stated in the quote, it can also be done from the opposite direction--cutting down left to right, then up right to left.

Best wishes.

David

Toby Threadgill
08-23-2007, 05:29 PM
Hi David,

The problem with any topic like this is that its based on old legendary tales often compounded by the mythic reputations of the individuals involved. Since Gan ryu essentially died with Sasaki Kojiro we have nothing beyond his reputation and stories from a limited number of unconfirmed eyewitness accounts to go on.

That accepted, three things tend to discount the idea of an evasion then cut

First, the technique is also referred to by some as "tsubame giri".

Second, according to legend, Sasaki Kojiro could perform the tsubame gaeshi so fast that eyewitnesses and opponents could hardly see it or describe it. If true, this would account for his great success with the technique and opponents difficulty in developing an effective counter to it.

Third, is the name. Have you ever seen a swallow flying. The tail really does flick back and forth in a small, fast and sharp fashion. The previous description of the cut I provided does mimic the movement of a swallows tail.

FWIW.....My teacher demonstrated three different versions of this technique that he said he learned from his teacher, Namishiro Matsuhiro. One that changes from a downward to upward cut with the flicking deflection. The next, a downward cut that countinued downward with the flicking deflection occurring impreceptibly mid cut. And the last, a downward cut that flicked upward and then flicked back downward again into the target. Takamura sensei claimed he was told that the second version I described was Sasaki's tsubame gaeshi...but there is no way to confirm such a claim.

Similar to the legendary description of reported eyewitnesses, the deflection in first two versions is virtually impossible to see but is easily felt during kumitachi. I have no idea where Namishiro sensei learned these versions of tsubame giri (gaeshi) so the ultimate source of these techniques as performed by Takamura sensei's are unknown.

All my best,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

David Orange
08-23-2007, 05:59 PM
The problem with any topic like this is that its based on old legendary tales often compounded by the mythic reputations of the individuals involved. Since Gan ryu essentially died with Sasaki Kojiro we have nothing beyond his reputation and stories from a limited number of unconfirmed eyewitness accounts to go on.

And various styles pick up the same or similar terms for their techniques as we saw with the judo technique and the toyama ryu technique. I don't recall at all what Draeger was refering to--if it even was Draeger who mentioned it!

Thanks.

David

Keith Larman
08-23-2007, 07:55 PM
FWIW.....My teacher demonstrated three different versions of this technique that he said he learned from his teacher, Namishiro Matsuhiro. One that changes from a downward to upward cut with the flicking deflection. The next, a downward cut that countinued downward with the flicking deflection occurring impreceptibly mid cut. And the last, a downward cut that flicked upward and then flicked back downward again into the target. Takamura sensei claimed he was told that the second version I described was Sasaki's tsubame gaeshi...but there is no way to confirm such a claim.

Hey, Toby...

FWIW the late Kobayashi-sensei used tsubamegaeshi as the final cut in one of his "kengi". His description matches your second version fwiw. So now I'm going to have to ask the chief instructors and his family if they know where he learned that particular cut... I'd never really thought about its origins until this thread... Interesting. Much of what he did in the kengi's were from Tohei. But once we split off there were some changes made here and there...

Fun cut to try on tatami too... I personally find it devilishly difficult to get a clean cut -- too much happening at once and I find myself muscling through it. Great when it works out though.

Bronson
08-24-2007, 12:59 AM
So now I'm going to have to ask the chief instructors and his family if they know where he learned that particular cut...

Hey Keith,

I would really be interested in reading/hearing what you find out. Could you keep me posted?

Bronson

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2007, 09:01 AM
Hi Toby and Keith,

Have either of you work with (pardon the bad spelling) gaschiuki from YSR sword? How similar is what you are describing (in terms of the parry/block) with that waza?

Best, and thanks,
Ron

Josh Reyer
08-24-2007, 09:23 AM
Hi Toby and Keith,

Have either of you work with (pardon the bad spelling) gaschiuki from YSR sword? How similar is what you are describing (in terms of the parry/block) with that waza?

Best, and thanks,
Ron

Gasshi-uchi. As I understand it, gasshi-uchi is similar to Ono-ha Itto-ryu's kiri-otoshi, if anyone knows that. There's no flick in the deflection; the YSR swordsman simply times his jodan attack a split second later than the opponent's, cutting straight down his own center line. Apparently, starting that split-second later causes the deflection of the opponent's sword.

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2007, 10:59 AM
Thanks Josh. At least the variation taught in Doshinkan aikido uses a slight C shape to the cut to aid in the deflection. Timing is important, but it's not all timing...

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
08-24-2007, 11:08 AM
Hey Keith,

I would really be interested in reading/hearing what you find out. Could you keep me posted?

Bronson

No problem. My little girl and I are taking Mrs. K a bag of fresh plums from my tree on Saturday (she makes both fruit instilled vodka and plum jam). I'll ask Mrs. K then if she happens to know since apart from being Kobayashi's wife she was also knew Tohei quite well back in the day. Most even in Seidokan don't realize how involved Mrs. K was in Aikido going back quite a while even before meeting Kobayashi-sensei.

Keith Larman
08-24-2007, 11:12 AM
Hi Toby and Keith,

Have either of you work with (pardon the bad spelling) gaschiuki from YSR sword? How similar is what you are describing (in terms of the parry/block) with that waza?

Best, and thanks,
Ron

I'm not familiar with it in YSR.

I hae been taught that it is not so much a parry as sort of "feinting" the original cut causing the opponent to move to the parry then quickly dropping and reversing into the horizontal cut in the opening. I've just reread Toby's post and I must have misread what he wrote because it is somewhat different. I need to remind myself not to post after I've been lacquering stuff... ;)

But still... This is aiki-ken and I'm not so sure we should be comparing it with more formal sword styles. I've been involved with swords, swordsmanship, making swords for koryu guys, etc. long enough to not have any illusions about what we do.

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2007, 11:15 AM
:) Gotcha!

I think you are correct...

B,
R

Josh Reyer
08-24-2007, 11:33 AM
Thanks Josh. At least the variation taught in Doshinkan aikido uses a slight C shape to the cut to aid in the deflection. Timing is important, but it's not all timing...

Best,
Ron

Ron, is YSR in Doshinkan via Utada-kancho studying it at Yoshinkan Hombu, or from another line?

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2007, 11:43 AM
Spot on. Also from Kushida Sensei's exposure on a number of fronts.

Best,
Ron (I think we should heed Keith's warning though...I'm pretty sure even the classes at the hombu don't qualify as learning the finer points of the art and going all the way through the licensing system. It's way too easy for me to attribute too much importance to that exposure.)

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2007, 11:45 AM
I need to remind myself not to post after I've been lacquering stuff...

Just caught this...good one! :D did you add this on the edit?

Toby Threadgill
08-25-2007, 09:24 AM
Hi Joshua,

The two are different. We do a version of what you describe as Itto ryu's kiri otoshi in the same set with our version of tsubame giri. Our kiri otoshi is called aiuchi and is taught as the fist kata in the 4th chuden kumitachi set (kaze). 4 other kata are taught in this set. Kuramasu, shinkage, yokokaze and hissho. Hissho is the name we use for tsubame giri.

Keith....Interesting about Kobayashi. And you are right about it being very difficult to execute in tameshigiri. Frequent scooped cuts.

All my best,

Toby Threadgill

Keith Larman
08-25-2007, 10:24 PM
<SNIP>
Keith....Interesting about Kobayashi. And you are right about it being very difficult to execute in tameshigiri. Frequent scooped cuts.

All my best,

Toby Threadgill

Yeah, I don't think I've ever managed to get a really clean cut. I'm usually looking at a very nicely formed arcing scoop... Which would be great if it was what I wanted...

Keith Larman
08-25-2007, 10:27 PM
Just caught this...good one! :D did you add this on the edit?

Yup. Reread the posts with a somewhat clearer head and edited my post. Gotta love those great chemicals. I've often wondered if Japanese Craft Lore has the equivalent of the western "Mad Hatter" (mercury used to clean hats drove many "hatters" insane over time). Some of the stuff used in Japanese crafts is really nasty. And I have to remind myself to put on the proper gear when working with that stuff...

philippe willaume
09-10-2007, 01:37 PM
Gasshi-uchi. As I understand it, gasshi-uchi is similar to Ono-ha Itto-ryu's kiri-otoshi, if anyone knows that. There's no flick in the deflection; the YSR swordsman simply times his jodan attack a split second later than the opponent's, cutting straight down his own center line. Apparently, starting that split-second later causes the deflection of the opponent's sword.

Hello

I hope it does, this is what a zhornhaw (strike of warth) is all about.

About the swallow tail cut)
May be it is all of them.

I do not know if it helps, but another cut called the krumphaw. (crooked/curved strike cut)
And a deflection done from that cut, “as soon as the blade clangs” we either reverse the sword to strike with the short edge at the head.
There is another cut where you do that even before contact between the sword (a shielhaw, glancing strike)

Both have tat in common the structure of the deflection comes from the position of the sword swinging to the left via the handle during the cut. (if the cut was originally from the right

In long sword taking the short edge, put your wrist elbow in a very strong alignment, however because stiking efficiently with the short edge is relatively difficult to teach beginner, I use a version where you make the shape but using the long edge . (The only edge you have on a tachi/katana).

If we assume that the “drying pole” was as the legend has it an almost straight and quite long sword). Either would work a treat, after all a long sword is longer than a katana/taschi

But what I am trying to get at is may be the swallow tail cut is more akin to a given long sword cut name and is collection of possibilities using the same principle rather than a very strict single cut description.

phil

louiev
09-11-2007, 02:39 AM
fwiw, please see:

http://nonbiri.boo.jp/sinwa%2017.html

note the grip on the 2nd to the last pic.

louiev
09-11-2007, 02:40 AM
Pictures of the same statue at

http://www.edita.jp/kagoshima-food/one/kagoshima-food528611.html

CitoMaramba
09-11-2007, 05:27 AM
Woodcut of a Kabuki actor playing the part of Sasaki Kojiro, supposedly about to perform Tsubame-Gaeshi
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/94/Sasaki_kojiro.jpg

philippe willaume
09-12-2007, 12:16 PM
Pictures of the same statue at

http://www.edita.jp/kagoshima-food/one/kagoshima-food528611.html

it is my understanding that the statue and the drawings are way posterior to the events so it not likely that they can be relied upon.

phil

Ron Tisdale
09-12-2007, 12:26 PM
Woodcut of a Kabuki actor playing the part of Sasaki Kojiro, supposedly about to perform Tsubame-Gaeshi

And apparently getting whacked rather handily with an oar for his trouble... :D

Best,
Ron (damn oars, always showing up in bad places...)

CitoMaramba
09-12-2007, 12:50 PM
And apparently getting whacked rather handily with an oar for his trouble... :D

Best,
Ron (damn oars, always showing up in bad places...)

Hehehe.. I guess it's our idol, "Ruler of a Cave, never take a bath" Musashi at the other end of that boat oar...

philippe willaume
09-12-2007, 12:54 PM
i think that it works on the same principle as that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGZTMVd8Cu8

phil

Aikibu
09-13-2007, 07:06 PM
Hehehe.. I guess it's our idol, "Ruler of a Cave, never take a bath" Musashi at the other end of that boat oar...

It is.... One of his duals featured him crippling/killing his opponent with a boat oar.

I can referance later when I get home it if anyone wants specifics...

William Hazen

CitoMaramba
09-14-2007, 01:43 AM
It is.... One of his duals featured him crippling/killing his opponent with a boat oar.

I can referance later when I get home it if anyone wants specifics...

William Hazen

It must be a woodcut of the climactic moment of a Kabuki play about the duel between Sasaki Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi at Ganryu Island. I can't translate the kanji but if one looks closely you can see the setting is on a beach (wonder how they replicated that on a kabuki stage?). Anyway, the story goes that Musashi woke up late, and spent the boat trip to the island whittling on a spare boat oar (eku) with his wakizashi, until it resembled a crude bokken. It was this boat oar /bokken that he used to mortally wound Sasaki just as the latter was performing tsubame gaeshi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasaki_Kojiro

Aikibu
09-14-2007, 11:58 AM
It must be a woodcut of the climactic moment of a Kabuki play about the duel between Sasaki Kojiro and Miyamoto Musashi at Ganryu Island. I can't translate the kanji but if one looks closely you can see the setting is on a beach (wonder how they replicated that on a kabuki stage?). Anyway, the story goes that Musashi woke up late, and spent the boat trip to the island whittling on a spare boat oar (eku) with his wakizashi, until it resembled a crude bokken. It was this boat oar /bokken that he used to mortally wound Sasaki just as the latter was performing tsubame gaeshi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasaki_Kojiro

Thanks for the info Cito...:)

William Hazen