George S. Ledyard wrote:
This will not work if you are trying to actually cut something with a sword.
Also, from the standpoint of the unity of sword and empty hand, that type of flicking cut will not relate properly to empty hand technique whereas a proper cut with the sword, which utilizes extension and projection of energy into the tip does equate directly to how we use our hands in empty hand technique.
George, maybe I misunderstod you, but are you saying that you keep you wrist solid through-out the cut?
The cut (according to M. Saito sensei) should be (starting from the top position with hands in front of and over your head and with a lot of simplification in the text) relaxed little fingers (but with contact with the hilt) and wrist - start the decent, mainly by using the left hand - as the cut proceeds tighten the grip using mainly your little and ring fingers - as you finish it the speed should be at its maximum and you finish by "wringing out the towel" with your hands (japanese style i.e. both hands moving more on top of the bokken), which accelerates the bokken further in the end and at the same time alow you to control and stop the bokken.
At the duration of the cut I would certainly say that my wrists have been at different angles.
Incidently this cut recembles the cut in Katori Shinto ryu katas (the little experience I have of it) with bokken more than that of standard contemporary Iaido cuts. It (i.e. hand, body and feet movement of the sword cut) also tranfere perfectly to the taijutsu (which is the whole idea of the riai of aikido).
I know you know the details of Saito's weapons George, but I was little confused by your coment w.r.t the wrist not moving.