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andrew 09-20-2000 09:12 AM

Anybody been injured by weapons practice?
There must be some lessons to be learned from some of you...
andrew

JJF 09-21-2000 02:36 AM

Cut my thumb on a Iai-to once in Iaido practice and my big-toe was hit by a jo once during ken-tai-jo practice. Nothing broken though - yet! :)

Sincerly

- Jorgen Jakob

Tony Peters 09-21-2000 05:13 PM

weapons injuries
 
Yup I've had a few of those. Practicing Hikiotoshi without a tsuba the wife cracked (I do mean cracked) my thumb; Been debating on gluing it place to avoid ever forgeting it again. I've had a jo hit me in the toe (breaking it) during a Kata. My worst though has to be punching a hole in the web of my left hand during a too exuberant noto in iaito class...that hurt...a lot. It also suspended my practicing for a while.

Brian H 10-08-2000 01:16 PM

A good whack every once-a-while just serves to remind you not to stand where the weapons go.

ian 10-09-2000 03:34 AM

how not to grab a tanto
 
I've seen someone hit in the nose with a nice white oak jo when the person in front of him (all facing sensei) did a hasso movement. A bit of blood.

My worst was doing kote-gaeshi on someone attacking with a live blade (tanto). On the throw I stabbed myself in the leg - luckily the wound was only superficial.

[on unarmed injuries - I once was thrown into someone else as an Uke and hit them in the Kidney which caused them to pass out, and the most common injury I have seen is toe or finger nails being pulled out.]

However I am pleased to say that most people are very good with their Zanshin and Miai when doing weapon work with a partner and I have never seen any weapon injuries with an intentional attack.

Ian

ian 10-09-2000 03:43 AM

Saying that, I forgot my own jo injury!

I was moving to the outside (can't remember the technique) of a jo tsuki and the Uke kept following my turn no matter how far out or quickly I stepped. I decided to illustrate the fact that Uke was following me because he was getting used to where I was going to move, by turning the other way - this was just at the point when Uke realised he had been following my movement.

The obvious result was a jo in the ribs which, although it didn't hurt much at the time (though it gave an impressive thud) I had difficulty breathing the next day and could do no exercise for 6 weeks.

I was also hit on the knee once by a fragment of flying bokken, whilst in seiza - Tomita sensei was illustrating that everyone's boken was of very poor quality - a valuable lesson to us all.

Ian

Nick 10-09-2000 06:28 PM

Given, I haven't worked much with weapons outside of kata (I have yet to nail myself in the head with a jo) but I've been lucky. The worst I've gotten was some sore fingers when supplying a half-assed block.

-Nick

Erik 10-09-2000 11:15 PM

Quote:

andrew wrote:
Anybody been injured by weapons practice?
There must be some lessons to be learned from some of you...
andrew

Yea, don't use live blades. They wind up in someone. I have a standing rule and that is any time someone pulls a live blade for tanto practice I get off the mat, go home and never revisit that dojo. Ever.

Like Ian I've had a knife inserted in my body. My instructor decided that I wasn't aware enough and that a live blade would do the trick. I'm convinced she wanted to play with her new toy. Anyways, my technique was good enough and nothing happened there. What did happen is that while the senior instructor (he was leading the class, she was helping me prep for a test) was showing me what happens when you don't pin properly he stuck the knife in my shoulder. He was just careless and I stupidly trusted him. Off to the hospital I went.

The kicker is that the dumbass (yes, that would be a person with the title sensei) instructor got the knife out a week later, which is why I'm convinced it was a toy. Anyways, justice was well served as she proceeded to get herself cut. She finally figured out that knives were not a good thing on the mat after that.

It still amazes me that sending your senior student off to the hospital with a knife wound wasn't enough and that this person was so stupid that she did it again. No dunce cap can possibly be large enough for her.

Anyone playing with live knives on a regular basis is either insane or an idiot. There are so many safer alternatives that it just makes no sense whatsoever.

andrew 10-10-2000 04:02 AM

Quote:

Anyone playing with live knives on a regular basis is either insane or an idiot. There are so many safer alternatives that it just makes no sense whatsoever. [/b]
Yeah, there's a story I was told about a demo in our club (years before I was there, different sensei to now) where a live tanto was used. Flew out of somebodys hand during a block and hit the face of a junior student in seiza. Luckily it was the flat of the blade, ie cut not maimed.
andrew

Catherine 10-10-2000 04:45 PM

I'm very glad that my dojo doesn't allow live blades... we have some small children on the mat at times, and little boys + live knives = blood. It would not be fun.

Yozzer 10-11-2000 03:18 AM

Here's an unpleasant story.

One rainy day (one of many; I'm from England) I arrived at the dojo with my large golf umbrella. While getting changed I pointed out that it was around the same size as a bokken (you can see this coming already can't you).

During the practice Sensei was attacking us with bokken for tai sabaki practice. After a few minutes he asked if he could use my umbrella, I agreed.

Thus, we started practicing tai sabaki from an attack by a colourful umbrella. Very surreal.

Unfortunately one of the students didn't get his movement right and caught the point of the umbrella (it wasn't sharp) in his ear, which ripped right through.

All ended well his ear was stitched with no lasting damage. My umbrella was ok once I straightened it. I actually think he was lucky it wasn't a bokken that was used as you all know they don't bend and would probably have done more damage.

A usefull tip for such incidents, DON'T go to the hospital in your gi, they make you wait a very long time. The old serves you right attitude.

Paul


ian 10-11-2000 05:08 AM

slice
 
Although live blades are very dangerous I think they can be an aid to training if used very occasionally and only when both Uke and Nage are very experienced in that technique (it even helps to practice with a wooden tanto first), and not with a 'scrappy attitude' or with Uke or Nage who is tired. The reason I say they are useful is that, as a Nage it really makes you scared to face a real weapon and it takes a lot to overcome this fear and pull off a smooth technique (it was probably my tension that caused my earlier leg stabbing incident). However other than for 'shock' value (and also to impress upon newer students just how dangerous knives are) routine use of a live blade is best avoided - use them enough and someone is bound to end up hurt.

Ian

andrew 10-11-2000 05:22 AM

Quote:

Catherine wrote:
I'm very glad that my dojo doesn't allow live blades... we have some small children on the mat at times, and little boys + live knives = blood. It would not be fun.
Well, if you get 10 grown men using live blades, at LEAST one is likely to be far less sensible than any child.
andrew

akiy 10-11-2000 08:48 AM

Re: slice
 
Quote:

ian wrote:
Although live blades are very dangerous I think they can be an aid to training
[snip]

I agree with Erik up above and have to say that training with live blades in an aikido context is, in my mind, not wise and only leads to unnecessary injuries. You can and should be able to train with the mindset you described above with a "fake" knife.

-- Jun

George S. Ledyard 10-11-2000 04:12 PM

Re: Re: slice
 
Quote:

akiy wrote:
Quote:

ian wrote:
Although live blades are very dangerous I think they can be an aid to training
[snip]

I agree with Erik up above and have to say that training with live blades in an aikido context is, in my mind, not wise and only leads to unnecessary injuries. You can and should be able to train with the mindset you described above with a "fake" knife.

-- Jun

For those that want to push the envelope youcan do what I do and take a live blade and grind it so that it is not very sharp any more. It will still provide a fair amount of mental tension as it is fairly dangerous but will be a lot more forgiving than a sharpened live blade.

If one is going to do anything other than straight forward kihon tanto dori you should wear eye protection. There is simply no reason to catch a tip in the eye just so you can play more realistically. This isn't the traditional approach but it is the sensible one.

George S. Ledyard 10-11-2000 04:22 PM

Re: slice
 
Quote:

ian wrote:
Although live blades are very dangerous I think they can be an aid to training if used very occasionally and only when both Uke and Nage are very experienced in that technique (it even helps to practice with a wooden tanto first), and not with a 'scrappy attitude' or with Uke or Nage who is tired. The reason I say they are useful is that, as a Nage it really makes you scared to face a real weapon and it takes a lot to overcome this fear and pull off a smooth technique (it was probably my tension that caused my earlier leg stabbing incident). However other than for 'shock' value (and also to impress upon newer students just how dangerous knives are) routine use of a live blade is best avoided - use them enough and someone is bound to end up hurt.

Ian

As far as I am concerned use of live blades for Aikido should never be done in a "class" situation. It should be done one on one in an environment which will not endanger anyone else and will produce a minimum of distractions. And frankly I can't see any advantage to using a live blade unless one is seriously and I mean seriously into combat application.

I trained for a time in a style of eskrima. My teacher had trained very intensely in the Phillipines with the Grand Master of the style. They were very serious about their art and did do practice with live blades. My teachers arms were covered with scars. If one is training with live blades and there is any degree of intention in the attacks you are going to get cut. So you have to ask yourself whether it is worth it to you to take that kind of risk. Since most people will never in their lives use a technique for self defense, it doesn't seem to justify the risk for most people.

Nick 10-11-2000 04:34 PM

"You shouldn't think of a bokken as a fake steel sword, you should think of it as a real wooden sword that can cause serious injury or death."

-George Leonard, "The Way of Aikido."


Satori109 10-11-2000 05:00 PM

I feel that training with a live blade (in a safe invironment with serious and experienced students) is a very important thing. A bokken gives you a false subconcious sense of security. This means that if a student is faced with a live weapon, he or she hesitates. This hesitation will, most likely, cost the victim their life. Given the choice of where I want a live weapon to be used on me and whom I want to be using it, I choose the dojo! I am willing to get a few cuts and maybe even some stitches to attain this mental preperation that will help to save my life. Understand that I still feel it is important to do this with the upmost caution and in a mature and serious environment and only with the students with the most bokken experience. I also wish to point out that the possibility of meeting up with an attacker with a live blade is a very real possibility. I live in a rual area in Tennessee and even here there was a case in which a person was decapitated with a sword (scary huh). Thanks for reading and posting. Kevin Ashworth



[Edited by Satori109 on October 11, 2000 at 05:04pm]

Nick 10-11-2000 06:18 PM

Quote:

Satori109 wrote:
This means that if a student is faced with a live weapon, he or she hesitates. This hesitation will, most likely, cost the victim their life. Given the choice of where I want a live weapon to be used on me and whom I want to be using it, I choose the dojo!
Understandable. However, in the dojo if you do 'hesitate' it might still cost you your life. In my experience, it is actually 'safer' to attack wholeheartedly than poorly, so your uke would have to be an extremely experienced and controlled swordsman, which, as wonderful as they are, can be hard to come by. By controlled I mean they must be able to stop a sword at the fraction of an inch.

Also- well made katana are EXTREMELY sharp. The bokken that accidentally brushes across our leg could mean a wodden leg with a live blade, along with the danger of damaging an expensive and beautiful katana.

Couple things to ponder...


ian 10-12-2000 03:00 AM

blood everywhere!
 
I would agree that sharpening a live blade is definately a bad idea, and playing with a live blade long enough guarantees an injury.

A novel alternative to the scaryness of a live blade is a nice thick red marker pen. Although it doesn't have the feel of a tanto it is useful to demonstrate just how difficult it is to avoid being cut in a realistic situation. If people are afraid of staining their gi, it can be done on a special evening where people wear old white T-shirts.

(Whether the philosophy of accepting death as part of life should also extend to accepting a stained gi as part of training is another question).

Ian

akiy 10-12-2000 09:08 AM

I think that one of the things that people forget is that the knife attacks we practice in aikido are not even close to that which someone with even a week or two of basic knife fighting techniques would do. Heck, I haven't had any formal knife fighting classes, but I wouldn't attack in the shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, tsuki, and/or slash attacks that we most commonly see trained in aikido. That'd be most silly in my mind...

What we do with tanto attacks in aikido is, in my mind, stylized, just like pretty much everything else that we do. As my teacher says, the only place someone will leave a fist out and wait kindly for kotegaeshi to be applied onto it is in the aikido world.

If you want a bit of "reality" training with regards to knife fighting, give uke a red magic marker and have him or her really try to tag you. Granted, it won't really show how "deep" the cuts would have been, but it's still the difference (as is being discussed in a different thread) between having good intent in an attack (ie the aikido way) versus having an intent to harm.

This is one of the reasons why I don't see why working with a live blade in aikido is very conducive to anything in reality. It's like walking two feet into ocean so your ankle gets wet and believing you know how to scuba dive.

Just my thoughts this morning.

-- Jun

ian 10-12-2000 09:22 AM

runnnn!
 
I think there is a lot of truth in what Jun says. I was once attacked in the street with a knife (a very stange looking one). I didn't realise for quite a while that he actually had a knife. I don't think I would have survived without my Aikido basics (Miai and moving off centre line) - but it was very scrappy. Luckily I had only a few cuts but my T-shirt looked like James T. Kirk's do after a brawl.

Ian

P.S. some knives you can buy now are almost impossible to remove from someone's hand. As is always advised - best thing is to run.

Erik 10-12-2000 11:43 AM

Re: runnnn!
 
Quote:

ian wrote:
I think there is a lot of truth in what Jun says. I was once attacked in the street with a knife (a very stange looking one). I didn't realise for quite a while that he actually had a knife. I don't think I would have survived without my Aikido basics (Miai and moving off centre line) - but it was very scrappy. Luckily I had only a few cuts but my T-shirt looked like James T. Kirk's do after a brawl.

Ian

P.S. some knives you can buy now are almost impossible to remove from someone's hand. As is always advised - best thing is to run.
Now a couple of stories.

The careless instructor I mentioned above, the one without a dunce cap used to tell an interesting story. He used to train in New York many years ago and one of his fellow students found a teenager in his car. He had broken in. So this guy, I believe a Sandan in Aikido and with other experience, has a confrontation with the teenager. He gets stabbed and dies. Very careless and the way the story was told he expressed exactly that sentiment before he died.

On the positive side, I do know a 6th kyu who disarmed a knife using sankyu. The guy came up behind her, figured she would be an easy target, and left the knife exposed. She got ahold of his wrist and bingo. I guess I should mention that she was a former LA Cop, but the point being what we do isn't entirely useless.

Still, a trained knife fighter is very bad news indeed. I want to be elsewhere.

Michael Hackett 10-13-2000 07:22 PM

I'm a rank beginner, but with over 28 years as a law enforcement officer have seen my share of combat wounds - saw a few in the Marines as well.

A friend of mine is a Seal Beach, CA cop and a 4th Dan Karateka, 2d Dan Judo, and Army Reserve Major - a serious warrior type. Anne was off-duty and armed with a .40 caliber pistol when she was confronted by a young street gangster with a knife. He walked up behind her as she was withdrawing $40.00 from an ATM. She quietly looked him over and noted his description. Equally quiet, she handed over the $40 and watched him flee down the street.

Several of her fellow officers were aghast that she would let that happen and commented that "I would've done....." Anne quietly replied that she wasn't about to kill someone over $40 and she wasn't going to get cut up badly subduing someone armed with a knife.

Later she identified the kid and he's still doing time for armed robbery. No one got hurt and justice was served. Anne had lots of practice disarming those with knives and had a lot more practice making good, solid life and death decisions. Would she have taken his life or suffered injuries? Sure, if she had to. Maybe someday I will develop her wisdom and confidence.

RoninKivjoru 10-16-2000 04:35 PM

Blades in the Dojo
 
I am a beginner in Aikido (Just started this fall) in a class taught at the University of Kansas. After only a semester of training, our Sensei brings his Katana to class to practice ma-ai, or proper spacing. He uses the blade only in a downward motion and calls out the movement we are to make to avoid the blade. We've done it several times already with bokken, but the idea of the real blade adds a sense of anxiety to the excersize. Since the basic ideas of Ki-Aikido is learning to relax under any situations, I feel that the brade is an excellent tool for the class room.
Chris Owen


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