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Old 10-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #30
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 197
Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

Mary makes a good point about intense kata; in my opinion this is a necessary step towards more free-form training. There's a lot of depth in (at least classical weapons) kata that can and should be explored, with increasing intensity. There's also room for exploration within kata (different "beginnings" and "endings", omote/ura, counters, etc.). At the highest levels, when experts perform kata with high intensity, it starts to look less and less like the original kata beginners learn (it looks like something else, more flowing and dangerous).

If I were to venture into higher-intensity "sparring" with a weapon with the objective of improving the use of such a weapon as originally intended, I would first consider:

- Training in realistic kata as mentioned by others.

- That the way you wield and cut with a real sword (assuming this is your weapon of choice) doesn't get lost in a game of whacking with a stick or shinai. Hitting =/= cutting.

- That the abilities involved in sports don't necessarily translate to the requirements of moving and cutting with real weapons, and against multiple opponents.

- That you understand what works and what doesn't work (training under a professional who knows the instrument and the trade is needed to figure this out). I've seen occasions where a feisty opponent "spars" and doesn't know he's been cut and "keeps going" -- a case of fighting/sparring priorities pushing learning and logic aside.

- That weapons, especially bladed weapons, are great equalizers. Unlike with empty hands, and technique being equal, the "fighting" disposition one player might have over another is not necessarily going to give them a winning or dominating edge, not with 3-ft razor blades in the middle.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 10-18-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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