Re: Why no tsuba?
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.