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Old 04-17-2007, 03:51 AM   #26
CitoMaramba
 
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Dojo: Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui Group Philippines
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
REALISTIC LIVE BLADE (TM) testing maketh lifespan of Tori very short... Uke will run out of training partner very quickly.

Having say that, I am curious, how does the Kenjutsu students of old train in the old days before shinai and the armour was invented? Serious question.

Boon.
Very carefully

Seriously, from what I've read, they used bokuto (bokken). Some ryu also used an older version of the kendo shinai called fukuro shinai or hikihada (toad skin) shinai.
See the movie "The Last Samurai" for details

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:29 AM   #27
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
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Re: Live tanto in grading

It has been said many times, but it's far easier to stab someone than it it is to protect yourself against an attacker with a knife.

I used to visit a local Tomiki dojo every week and found the shiai practice very interesting. The problem was that, coming from an Aikikai background, it took me a while to pick up the very specific rules about how to attack. I was paired off with a visiting dan grade from another Tomiki dojo, and immediately buried the rubber knife up to the hilt in his ample belly, to the great surprise of both of us! Since then it has become very clear that it can be ridiculously easy to reach someone's vitals with a knife, especially when the attack isn't restricted to the standard shomen/yokomen/tsuki directions.

I would definitely agree that using weapons with an edge is a great eye-opening occasional training aid. On the other hand, amidst the heightened stress - and eventually fatigue - levels of gradings its seems to me very risky to use live blades, particularly with unfamiliar ukes. I have seen so many airborne tanto and bokken as a result of over-enthusiastic blocks or careless handling.

I have fortunately never had to deal with a real-life knife attacker. I suspect that the results would not be nice and clean like they are in the dojo (whichever way the encounter went!).

Alex
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:42 AM   #28
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Wink Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
IMHO, live blade exercise is just nuts. Only two kinds of people do this: those that have been cut, and those who are going to be cut. There is no upside to this. Enough adrenaline should be available without resorting to an additional element of risk. Not only this, but you'll have a hard enough time controlling yourself to the degree necessary for this type of activity. What about the person holding the knife? How much can you control him? Really want your life depending on him? Don't become a statistic...
This is exactly the reason why this is not a game. A responsible Sensei will choose very carefully the student who will be handling the weapon. It will always be a senior student, whom the instructor will trust for being able to stop the attack if uke is not executing his/her defense properly. The responsible Sensei also knows his students. He will manage to take time to brief Tori about his next "victim".
And finally, the blade will turn out not to be that sharp, anyway.

Last edited by Marie Noelle Fequiere : 04-17-2007 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:36 PM   #29
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
And finally, the blade will turn out not to be that sharp, anyway.
Great comments so far. The above caught my eye though.

I think when we are talking about human flesh a blade being "not that sharp" does not add much of a safety factor, if any. Especially if it is being used properly. This gets exponentially worse if the blade we are talking about is a sword. I recently did some tameshigiri training under the guidance of a Japanese Kendo Yudansha. I was able to cut cleanly through a target with a dull iaito, a strike which the Yudansha indicated would cut cleanly through a human wrist. I was quite shocked to hear that proper power placed behind a dull weapon could have this effect.

Luckily the attacks used with "not that sharp" blades are not attacks aimed to kill, but a slip with a "not that sharp" blade has potential for severe damage.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:59 PM   #30
Fred Little
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Having personally witnessed two different incidents involving wooden blades and eyes -- thankfully with no long-term consequences in either case -- in which the weapon was being wielded by a very senior and very capable practitioner, I would go so far as to say that any notion that a senior student's skill is sufficient insurance against a junior student's lacks is a very good precondition for a very bad injury.

Best,

FL
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:52 PM   #31
Keith Larman
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Great comments so far. The above caught my eye though.

I think when we are talking about human flesh a blade being "not that sharp" does not add much of a safety factor, if any. Especially if it is being used properly. This gets exponentially worse if the blade we are talking about is a sword. I recently did some tameshigiri training under the guidance of a Japanese Kendo Yudansha. I was able to cut cleanly through a target with a dull iaito, a strike which the Yudansha indicated would cut cleanly through a human wrist. I was quite shocked to hear that proper power placed behind a dull weapon could have this effect.

Luckily the attacks used with "not that sharp" blades are not attacks aimed to kill, but a slip with a "not that sharp" blade has potential for severe damage.

Just my 2 cents.
LC
Just to chime in on this aspect... Draw-cut swords do not need to be razor sharp to cut and do serious damage. My customers all want to have "scary" sharp blades and that's cool if the target being cut is soft, wet tatami. But the best cutting blades are vastly more than just the edge and edge angle. One I did recently for a senior instructor in a sword style. Yes, it was sharp. But the overall geometry was very traditional and he was quite surprised at how well it cut on a variety of targets, even feeling better than thinner blade he owned that were "supposed" to be the sharpest stuff out there. The reasons are complex, but the overall cross section of the blade plays an enormous roll in all of this. And people have been seriously injured with "unsharp" iaito including deep cuts. A well performed cutting motion with even a dull blade can have devastating consequences.

I walked out of a demo one day because the sensei kept grabbing the tanto (apparently a live but dull blade) with his bare hand on the blade and over the edge. I would love to see him do that with any real tanto with a decent edge. Just a quick tug on the blade and he would be looking at a handful of stitches. I just couldn't watch.

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:45 AM   #32
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Live tanto in grading

We use live tanto for yudansha exams, but I've already covered the reasons why previously, suffice to say we are not trying to recreate a realistic environment but have other reasons.

Anyway, funny thing happened last night at training. Using a wooden knife I was teaching our beginners tantodori to some white belts. One of whom had done ninjitsu before and was treating it a bit like a shuriken (i.e. thought that throwing it at the other person was what we were trying to do). I explained that we wanted to make sure we didn't disarm ourselves and that if I had the knife concealed he wouldn't know what was coming anyway. I demonstrated this by stepping in and starting a shomenuchi by cutting up towards his neck (the intention being to make him move his head backwards and so expose his throat). He responded by reflex I suppose and stepped in and punched me in the stomach, so I stopped the attack before it made contact with his head (it was obvious that he wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and I didn't want to hurt him). I stopped the tanto and then he actually jerked his head forwards into the blade.

I stopped the attack before it made contact and he headbutted the knife.....

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:42 AM   #33
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Live tanto in grading

To be fair paired technique with live blade is relatively safe. Yes accident can always happens, but parried practice
Even if the attacker had the choice of the technique, we know the side it is coming from, that there will be no feint, most of the time attacks are started out of distance and the attacker is striking out of his space. (But most of our attacks are, even with open hands).

Making sure that last to bit do not happen naturally and the will make thinks a bit more leery but still feasible.
I think that having our opponent staking outside of the is space is what we want to create but we should create it and when we get it for free we should know why we get it for free.

I have been doing medieval fencing for as long as I have been doing aikido, and so far I am not aware of a safe way to spare with a live blade (other that being armoured with defeat the purpose) regardless of the context.

You do not need a Shiken a shinai (and a fencing/kendo helmet will do the trick perfectly). And instead of being split in half, the worst most likely injury you risk is a broken collar bone, so your opponents can almost welly you to his heart content.
But that is sparing not form work. Sparing is there to so how you what you did not understand in form-work.

My understanding of form work and paired practice is really there to make understand how it works. So of course we are going to place ourselves in situation where it is going to work.
If we go back to the bokken, a fight is very rarely start in a bind like we do (ie with the weapons crossed), even with thrust/no cut to speak of weapon like small-sword or late spanish rapier. It is just a convenient way to start and make the output of our opponent consistent enough.
I feel like it is the same with any weapon we use in aikido.

phil
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:17 PM   #34
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Live tanto in grading

If you want to check your skill level or that of a person testing let the attacker use a water soluble marker preferably in red. Go at it for real and then count the cuts on nage when your done.

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Old 05-09-2007, 11:43 AM   #35
ficklampa
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Re: Live tanto in grading

i have hear that stories that they use bokkens.
and people actually died, thus they started training with shinai.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:01 PM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
I stopped the attack before it made contact and he headbutted the knife.....
Damn Ninjas....Makes you wonder how they survived all these years!

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:05 PM   #37
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Having personally witnessed two different incidents involving wooden blades and eyes -- thankfully with no long-term consequences in either case -- in which the weapon was being wielded by a very senior and very capable practitioner, I would go so far as to say that any notion that a senior student's skill is sufficient insurance against a junior student's lacks is a very good precondition for a very bad injury.

Best,

FL
Reminds me of a lot of blood at one of the aiki expos from a "miss" with a bokken...even a bokken can draw quite a bit of blood. No eyes involved in that one though...scalps just bleed like crazy!

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:07 PM   #38
Lan Powers
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Re: Live tanto in grading

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
If you want to check your skill level or that of a person testing let the attacker use a water soluble marker preferably in red. Go at it for real and then count the cuts on nage when your done.
Used to play with friends that way all the time....both having markers and working on all the good stuff (timing, distance, etc.)
Very revealing (and a hell of a lot of fun too, if you like that sort of thing.)
Lan

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