Re: Why no tsuba?
I swear, sometimes I think some post here just to create argument and annoy others.
The original discussion thread that got this going began with the characterization of those using tsuba as somehow being careless or as a sign of poor training methods. Others have tried to point out that many groups do use tsuba as part of their overall pedagogy and there is precious little that should be characterized there as sloppy or lazy. Of course there are also those who do not use them extensively -- their overall approach does not require it given the larger picture of their training. And then there are those famous people we see out there who do a whole variety of things, but we must keep in mind that with those folk, representatives of their styles of which we are *not* members, well, we are only seeing what they decide to show.
The point here is that some use them extensively. And the tsuba becomes an integral part of the training. To characterize *all* training of that sort as lazy or sloppy is simplistic, naive, uninformed and arrogant. That does not mean that training without is somehow wrong, however.
Do whatever the hell it is your sensei says. And maybe we should all think twice about commenting on what others do absent experience in the bigger picture of their training.