Thread: Why no tsuba?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:48 PM   #77
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,232
Re: Why no tsuba?

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I like your logic that accidents are a good teacher but the conclusion?
Not for me.Quite the opposite.
Well for me the conclusion of the logic is that you learn to make fewer mistakes, not more.

When you have an accident it is telling you something was out. No zanshin or no correct movement or no connection or.......

Now as you already know what they are then the accident tells you you were lazy. To think it's good to have more accidents?

Many places have many accidents and call it real tough training. Lazy. Ill disciplined.
I'm sure many people will call rough training "realistic" or any other number of things while actualy being little more than quick ways to wear out a body. I'm usually the first person to avoid injury for the sake of looking tough. Also, I haven't been to many places, but my experience would suggest that while accidents do definately tell you something was wrong, they don't automatically denote laziness. To my mind there are acceptible thresholds of risk established between training partners based on their combination of ability as well as how far they want to push that ability. Operating within those established norms isn't lazy. The accident isn't proof of laziness, it's proof of a mistake in action. Accidents which might be described as the result of deviating from the established thresholds of intensity would denote laziness or worse. I strive for zero mistakes, but I accept they can happen and take precautions. So far I've yet to hit anyone, despite my acceptance for the idea that mistakes/accidents can be viewed as good teaching moments.

If you use tsuba fine but everytime yours gets hit then it isn't lucky it's bad movement. If you acknowledge this to yourself then it's all good and you can carry on using tsuba. If you don't look at it that way then you are either unaware that you should or not disciplined enough. Lazy.
Not literally every time, like for techniques which are designed to practice using the tsuba purposefully. If you're not trying your best, then you're being lazy. The tsuba is coincidental to that fact of training.

The tone of this post Matthew is merely a reflection of the discipline I insist on and not directed at your response or you.
Sure, it's what you ask of your students and doesn't necessarily need to be adopted by anyone else, and I'm not making a case to suggest it's ok to damage anyone. Our ukemi for the kirikaeshi involves dropping the front hand in case tsuba doesn't do the trick. I've never been hit on the knuckles because I also use tsuba. As my practice got better, the need for tsuba diminished. Most of the techniques I've practiced, the tsuba is just along for the ride. Removing the tsuba is adding risk by removing lines of defense. All other thing being equal, it's adding pressure to the training by removing some of the things used for adding to the protection, which can be viewed as demanding higher standards by creating a degree of risk. I'm sure it's compensated for through a measured degree of intensity based on that.

By the way, in your nice safe neighbourhood do you therefore leave your doors open, keys in the car, notes on your front door of your whereabouts? Do you DEPEND on that safe neighbourhood?
No of course you don't and that's my point. If you did what would you call yourself?

Anyway, enough on this topic from me. I'll put my sword away now.

In this case I consider the use of tsuba as locking your door even though you live in a safer neighborhood. I'd put my sword away, but all I have at the moment is this pen. Strange that it looks like a keyboard!
Take care,

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-10-2011 at 10:52 PM.