Dan Harden wrote:
Lets get off this "cutting trees" stuff. It really isn't a strong point. I shouldn't have brought it up. Its more swordsmith stuff for me.
The martial art internal aspects are my own interests. So is spear work, that is a related but a separate topic. Still its tough to get folk to offer anything interesting.
Why did Ueshiba and Takeda do so much spear work?
Why did takeda and Kodo do jo work?
Or for power?
I wasn't trying to side-track the discussion, just making the point that the cutting-silk scenario seems more dependent on the quality of the swordblade's edge than it does on the internal body skill of the wielder. But I don't have much experience with the sword, in particular Japanese sword work. I'd be interested in hearing about differences and commonalities in the use of sword and spear to train internal body skill.
What aspects of internal martial arts are trained by sword work? What aspects are trained by spear or staff work?
I train with staff ("gun" in Mandarin, similar to the Japanese "bo") and with the long pole. I understand, in a very general way, the relation of that training with dantien (tanden) coordination, breathing and whole-body power. I can also see how the same training informs technique.
I don't train with sword. At the risk of stating the obvious, from what I've seen of aiki-ken and the kenjutsu of other schools, the movement and usage seem very different from spear and staff (including jo).
The "natural" movement (or movement learned and embodied so well it becomes natural) of sword and spear/staff seem very different. Does emphasizing sword over jo suburi, for example, make a difference in empty-hand technique? Does a particular emphasis affect how internal body connection is cultivated and trained?
Ellis Amdur's historical inquiry into the course of Ueshiba Morihei's personal development in weapons work is interesting. I wonder how people training today with both sword and spear/staff find the weapons training with respect to its usefulness in building internal body skill.