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Old 03-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
{It's a simple motion, if you can't form a "bridge between heaven and earth" while doing that, then it tells you something is up with your body (and/or mind), right?

.... In fact the OP says "When I swing my sword ... I just can't seem to get the tip of the sword to go straight." This is the point-- he is trying to make his body move an object in a straight line, but it doesn't happen. ...
It's not about swordsmanship, it's about failure to be able to make your body do a simple task the way one wants it done.
My suggestion: The cut should be actively driven (from the center) from the rearward extreme (differs depending on who you talk to), to about the 45 deg. position of the fists as the cut is "thrown". At that point correct structure creates the dynamic -- not active futzing.

If at that point you do not feel a comfortable tension across the shoulder blades pulled passively by the momentum of the sword (some call it the upper cross), instead of muscular action, and which rounds and rolls the shoulders around the spine, forward somewhat, then structure is disconnected and the line of cut will wobble. Your job at that point is to hold your rudder fast -- not to steer.

With connected structure, shoulder stress at the recovery largely goes out of the cut. But if you are more actively stopping the cut at the end it is because the structure is not naturally balancing the recovery moments to come to rest at your belly, and this shows up in shoulder cuff soreness, because the shoulder is handling shear loads it was not made for.

You want to hold that dynamic load in a passive tension bearing at the spine, like your ape great (great^150,000th)-granddad held his weight in full tension swinging from the static limb -- only now you are relatively static and swinging the limb instead. Mechanics are the same, just reversed.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #27
Keith Larman
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Oh no, we are talking about real sword use compared to aikiken again!! (It's just "Aikiken vs reality" rephrased!)
No, Jonathan, I was responding to the OP's question as quoted in my post. I explained that yes, I do barf a bit when I see some people swing bokken. I also explained why. I also explained that much depends on what is important to the person in question. Some don't care at all about much of anything regarding traditional swordsmanship. Cool. Some care a bit. Some care more. I'm not saying one is right and the other wrong for Aikido.

If you're trying to "fix" something that assumes something is broken. The fix will then depend on these larger questions. If the OP is trying to do a "cleaner" cut with proper hasuji and consistency of path then he is rapidly entering into the domain of a much larger set of skills.

You can cut straight without reaching the target. And that may be sufficient given your overall goals of training. However, people vary considerably in terms of their goals hence once needs to ask what those goals are. If the goal is a more fundamentally sound cutting form from the traditional standpoint one needs to pursue that accordingly.

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:22 PM   #28
JW
 
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Re: Sword tip movement

Keith, I agree with your sentiment, so you are preaching to the choir. But I feel like we have a chance to talk about something simple and specific here, and we stopped doing it several posts back.
Distillation, by post number:
1. My "straight" cut goes to the side, any help?
2-10. Do this, do that, it'll be straighter.
11 and up. This isn't good sword work, most aikidoists couldn't even cut the air, much less an actual person. Slicing isn't bashing. Heads are head-height.

I know Steve made the barf comment. I see where this is going, it may just be the natural progression of the thread, so I can be quiet from now on. But I would love to hear any more comments on making the sword stop wobbling or straying to the side.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:00 PM   #29
Fred Little
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
You are not practicing sword. You practice something with bokken. I don't think you can learn how to cut correctly by practicing aikiken. Sign up to learn iaido (or some koryu ) with knowledgeable instructor, he will teach you how to cut.

You are not expecting to learn how to cut from advices by Internet, do you?
Szczepan is largely correct. But I am really quite suprised that he didn't also advise you to forget iaido as a means to anything other than drawing the sword out of the scabbard.

As Sugano Sensei once said when asked about aikido and sword "if you want mochi, go to the mochi maker."

YMMV

Best,

FL

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Old 03-08-2010, 05:50 PM   #30
Keith Larman
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
...I feel like we have a chance to talk about something simple and specific...
That is precisely what I disagree with, it is not simple and specific.

So please, carry on.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:25 PM   #31
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Re: Sword tip movement

Well, ok, let's see if the thread is dead.
(this is a bit like the spirituality thread where no one can talk b/c everyone means something different by "spirituality".. we all have different goals with suburi so can we even converse?)

Steve, regarding your original question, which one of these fits most closely to what you meant?

A. You hold the bokken in front of you. You raise it up, then bring it down, hopefully with a little speed and power, in an arc. You meant the bokken to swing down in a vertical plane, but it sways a little to the side inadvertantly, and you don't know why it is happening, and want to move in a way that makes it go down in a nicer plane.

B. You hold a bokken in front, pretending it is a sword. You imagine an opponent about your height and skill level in front of you. You both have proper ma-ai. You see an opening. You try to prevent any telegraphing of your motion, and seek to both raise without presenting an opening and close distance at the same time, while you begin your downward cut. You try to get power without too much windup. You are pretending you have a helmet, so you keep the sword a bit away from you. You move into shikaku ever so slightly as you extend the sword at just the right height to slice into some vulnerable spot on your opponent's head, as you smoothly rotate your body to avoid his attack. As you slice (not chop), your arms and hands connect the sword to your body firmly but with suppleness as you receive the force of your blow, without compromising your control of the sword. The job now done, just as you are about to move to fling your former opponent's blood from your blade, you note to yourself that although most of the above worked fine (hence you didn't mention it in your post), your "blade" did in fact move a bit to the side instead of in your intended direction.

Ohhhh please forgive me everyone it's been a long couple of weeks. Anyway Steve if I read you right it was closer to case A, and we could in theory talk specifically and simply about your body motion as related to the not-as-straight-as-intended bokken arc-plane.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:22 PM   #32
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Re: Sword tip movement

To the OP,

It sounds like you're trying to steer the cut. Rather than worrying about the tip, visualize the target, whatever that may be. Then cut to the target. Your sword will straighten out.

Also, there's a tendency for one's dominant eye to pull the sword off-center. For example, I'm right eye dominant, so if I try to center the sword visually, it'll tend to go to the right of my center. One centuries old fix for this is to then think about cutting along the line of the opposite nostril. If you're right eye dominant, think about cutting along the left side of your nose.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:57 PM   #33
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
It's not about swordsmanship, it's about failure to be able to make your body do a simple task the way one wants it done.
He used word 'sword' - not for example fork, baseball bat or any other object. So we are talking here about swordsmanship. Cutting with a sword is not a simple task at all

It also means to me, he mistakenly thinks that bokken practice and sword practice is the same.There some quite strict rules how to use correctly a sword to cut.

I think you are reading too much from his post.

Nagababa

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:04 PM   #34
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
Szczepan is largely correct. But I am really quite suprised that he didn't also advise you to forget iaido as a means to anything other than drawing the sword out of the scabbard.

As Sugano Sensei once said when asked about aikido and sword "if you want mochi, go to the mochi maker."

YMMV

Best,

FL
I have no idea what he wants to develop with sword cutting. I believe he didn't say a word about it?

Concerning Sugano Sensei, he practiced some time western fencing as well as meditation. It means to me that mochi can be found in some very unexpected places

Nagababa

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #35
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
To the OP,

It sounds like you're trying to steer the cut. Rather than worrying about the tip, visualize the target, whatever that may be. Then cut to the target. Your sword will straighten out.

Also, there's a tendency for one's dominant eye to pull the sword off-center. For example, I'm right eye dominant, so if I try to center the sword visually, it'll tend to go to the right of my center. One centuries old fix for this is to then think about cutting along the line of the opposite nostril. If you're right eye dominant, think about cutting along the left side of your nose.
Joshua, your advice(very valuable) can't help him. In aikiken practice they don't cut target, they simply swinging bokken in very strange ways.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:31 PM   #36
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
It sounds like you're trying to steer the cut. Rather than worrying about the tip, visualize the target, whatever that may be. Then cut to the target. Your sword will straighten out.
Cool, that agrees with Cherie's sensei's tip.

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
If you're right eye dominant, think about cutting along the left side of your nose.
That's a nice tip, thanks for sharing! Next time we do kumitachi practice I'll try it out. (I'll probably need to increase the spatial resolution that I am sensitive to)
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #37
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Re: Sword tip movement

Are you cutting air or are you cutting a target. If your idea of suburi is to bring the ken up and down, then that's probably the reason your tip is all over the place.

Aikiken is about training the spirit. No, not the ghost in you. Your intention is part of that spirit. Face it, as human beings... all of us suffer from attention deficit disorder to some extent. How many of you have done what Osensei has asked you to, to contemplate silently in nature and observe. I bet no one has taken the time to do something like that. So, ok keep it at the dojo then. Cut something (an imaginary target). You will cut straighter. Oh don't use shoulders to power it, just center... but I bet that's standard for everyone here.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:21 AM   #38
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Joshua, your advice(very valuable) can't help him. In aikiken practice they don't cut target, they simply swinging bokken in very strange ways.
Very helpful, this.

Thread hijackers, you can all pat yourselves on the back, congratulate yourselves on a victory, and rest secure in your inherent superiority over anyone doing "aikiken". You win. Really, you're all that and a bag of chips. Now maybe you could leave the thread alone and go be superior somewhere else (like on a real-honest-to-god "swordsmanship" forum).

Last edited by lbb : 03-09-2010 at 06:22 AM. Reason: because I felt like it
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:38 AM   #39
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Re: Sword tip movement

something to consider, how you raise your sword up affects how you cut down. the amount of muscle you use to raise your sword, is the same amount of muscle tension you have to overcome while cutting down (muscle fibers always pull, not push). tension often what is causing the wobbliness in the cut. that means the less muscle you use to raise, the less you have to deal with when you cut down. one other thing to consider, folks tend to think about stopping the blade while cutting, and usually trying to stop the blade with the right hand which contributes to the wobbliness. imagine that you have a third hand (won't use the third leg image ) ) that sticks out from your hara to stop the blade.

so starting and stopping are, for me anyway, the things that make the blade wobble during the cut. interesting isn't it that the beginning and ending messing up the middle.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:23 AM   #40
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Very helpful, this.

Thread hijackers, you can all pat yourselves on the back, congratulate yourselves on a victory, and rest secure in your inherent superiority over anyone doing "aikiken". You win. Really, you're all that and a bag of chips. Now maybe you could leave the thread alone and go be superior somewhere else (like on a real-honest-to-god "swordsmanship" forum).
Hi Mary,
I actually stick very closely to the topic. I don't assume what the author wants to develop with cutting, what he wants to cut etc.
Don't be upset by my posts. I decided to post to help him to get rid of illusions that by learning aikiken he learn how to use a sword.

Many people touch a bokken and imagine they become instantly a samurai. I believe, to practice correctly aikiken you must first master the use of a real sword. Many shihans(i.e. Nishio sensei, Chiba sensei, Kanai sensei) that developed extensive use of weapons in aikido, had excellent background(high ranks) in sword practice.
There is nothing superior in my remarks, I'm simply referring to the facts.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #41
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Many people touch a bokken and imagine they become instantly a samurai.
Many people read posts on an internet forum and imagine that they know the intimate details of the poster's mind. I respect and value what you have to say, Szczepan, and I've stuck up for you in the past, but you know swordsmanship -- you don't know the contents of other people's minds.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:02 AM   #42
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Sword tip movement

A few years ago Kondo sensei (of Daito-ryu) told a few of us that one of the highest forms of aiki is being able to cut straight. He told us to study it over and over again. He also did not explain much more and left it at that... His English wasn't good enough and our Japanese wasn't good enough and we had no one to translate.

In Shinkage-ryu we spend a great deal of time practicing straight cuts. In fact the first set of kata called Hojo is almost exclusively straight cuts. One thing we work on is keeping our hips square to the opponent. If your hips aren't square (belly button or belt knot facing straight ahead) you'll likely pull your straight cut slightly gyaku or jun.

Another thing I've seen is people not used to swinging swords is they tend to have a weak grip in one or both hands. This can lead to poor cuts. You might just need to strengthen your grip some with more suburi. Something that I like doing is sledge hammer levering. Do that for a few weeks and even a Shinkage-ryu bokuto will feel like a feather!.

Chris Covington
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:19 AM   #43
Keith Larman
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Very helpful, this.

Thread hijackers, you can all pat yourselves on the back, congratulate yourselves on a victory, and rest secure in your inherent superiority over anyone doing "aikiken". You win. Really, you're all that and a bag of chips. Now maybe you could leave the thread alone and go be superior somewhere else (like on a real-honest-to-god "swordsmanship" forum).
I tried very hard to avoid any implication of superiority of anything. I practice Aikiken myself, usually daily as a break from my work. I do, however, also believe that some questions give the appearance of being easily answerable while hiding a myriad of vastly more complex questions that are not being asked. This is was one of those for me. In my training there have been many times when I've asked the same question only to be told to keep practicing. Over time you begin to realize that the question asked was not really answerable as there were 1000 things unasked, each arguably more important than the one asked. Or maybe a better analogy for me is the solving of a rubic's cube. People will get one surface correct and then ask what to do next. They don't want to hear that they have to destroy everything they've accomplished to "fix" the whole thing.

The cut doesn't exist in isolation.

A person with an incorrect grip will pull their elbows out to the side causing them to not get correctly "behind" the tsuka. This makes it very difficult to get a straight cut. Fix the grip.

A person with a correct grip can still push out their elbows. With the elbows out the person cannot get behind the tsuka correctly during the cut. Keep the elbows in correctly.

A person with a correct grip and elbows in will often push the sword too far forward, basically pushing their shoulders out of proper alignment. As the arms come down the realignment of the shoulders being out of phase can cause wobble. Keep the shoulders correctly in place throughout the arc of the cut.

A person with incorrect alignment of the hips to their shoulders (hence to the target) will often find themselves rotating slightly during the cut causing the shoulders to come out of alignment. Fix the body alignment.

A person with poor posture will often have to compensate throughout the movement causing alignment issues.

Footwork is always an issue as too much movement in any one direction can cause the same issues of rotation within the body. Remember that power is generated from the one-point/hara/dantien/whatever and sent through the body. The sword cuts, you guide, and power is a result of the entire body. When that does not happen muscles have to compensate and it becomes extremely difficult to keep a consistent path to the sword.

Overextension in any part of the body tends to cause wobbles as balance is thrown off. Control, control, control.

Hand dominance is a constant issue. Often hints such as "focus on the left hand for power, right hand for guidance" are given to a person who needs that advice due to how they're swinging. The same advice to someone else will just make their cut worse. The reality is that the hands have to work together seamlessly with the entire body transmitting movement. So advice here usually has to be given very carefully depending on the person's needs.

For some a lighter sword will help fix issues, especially if they're throwing themselves off balance. Other times a heavier sword will make the difference for the exact same issues. Control is the underlying thing being addressed. Sometimes having a lighter sword allows the person to find the proper "groove" for cutting. Sometimes a heavier sword slows them down enough for them to find the proper "groove" for cutting. So YMMV.

Keep in mind that everything as described up above may be slightly different depending on what style you study. Some styles do bigger cuts, some smaller. Some slashing, some cleaving. Some are very fast with small movements, some are bigger, mean, cut them in half type things. Some emphasize being square (hips/shoulders) to the opponent, others not so much. Some emphasize foot alignment as well that is square, others not so much. Those changes alone will dramatically change how cuts are done. So each style will address most of the above issues slightly differently because each thing affects the other. The individual "tips" exist as part of a larger whole. What works with one will be absolutely wrong for another because internal consistency is what matters. Later styles of swordsmanship tended to emphasize draw/cut movements. Some earlier styles (some regional differences as well) will emphasize a slightly different grip which allows a more "leveraged" fast movement of the blade. Watch Toby Threadgill's demos on youtube with the sword. Compare how the sword moves with someone doing something like iai. Very different in subtle ways. Neither is incorrect. But each does what they do with an internal consistency that is critical to proper form.

In the end (after that long post) my point originally was that most advice regarding swordsmanship cries out for a larger context to ensure that the internal consistency is there. I do iai differently at times than I do my aikiken. Because they are different. And I've seen many aikiken demonstrations by high ranking people of many styles and there are more differences than similarities. Straightening out a cut depends on what you're doing wrong. What's "wrong" or "right" depends on who you study with and how they do things.

This is not an issue of superiority. I enjoy aikiken. I would not give advice to someone from another style, however, because I don't know what they might be doing wrong. Because I wouldn't know what is "right" in their style.

But yes, there are basic things. Smooth cut. Don't over muscle. Slow down. Get good extension without over-committing. For the rest? Ask your sensei to watch and fix what you're doing wrong.

Now I'm sure some think I'm being an elitist snob anyway (I get e-mail, yes, I get e-mail...) I don't think it is a highjack but an attempt to see the larger picture.

That said, please do not hesitate to put me in your ignore list. Or just scroll right past.

So please pardon the intrusion in your thread. I was trying to answer the OP's questions as sincerely as possible.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:40 AM   #44
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I don't assume what the author wants to develop with cutting, what he wants to cut etc.
Don't be upset by my posts. I decided to post to help him to get rid of illusions that by learning aikiken he learn how to use a sword.

Many people touch a bokken and imagine they become instantly a samurai. I believe, to practice correctly aikiken you must first master the use of a real sword. Many shihans(i.e. Nishio sensei, Chiba sensei, Kanai sensei) that developed extensive use of weapons in aikido, had excellent background(high ranks) in sword practice.
There is nothing superior in my remarks, I'm simply referring to the facts.
There is little factual in those remarks. I don't fault the recommendation of swordwork and sword cutting, and it is much fun -- but to say it is sine qua non is simply silly. I never cut a makiwara until two years ago, and never did a darn thing but bokken work until then; my cuts are as clean as you please. I practice to cut through the partner and his attack in every kumitachi and in every tai-jutsu technique by the same exact principle.

The instrument is irrelevant, the nature of the action is critical. A man can bash someone over the head with three foot piece of steel as a well as of wood but he would not be cutting with his piece of steel in that instance. Chopping, mebbe ... and not even very well, at that.

A cut is not a collision -- it is a shear. Cutting is an action all its own. It matters not whether you do it with the sword, stick, hand or hip. If it is a cut it works as a cut to deeply sever structural connections, be it wood, steel or flesh doing the shearing or cutting action -- and if not, it does not work any better than the kinetic collision of mass on mass -- of whatever substance.

The difference is huge, and obvious once you see it. I cannot lay a blade against his neck and whack him with it, but I can surely cut him. Atemi, throws, pins, locks, are no different, once you see the operation of that same principle in them.


Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-09-2010 at 10:44 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #45
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Re: Sword tip movement

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Very helpful, this.
hahahahahaha

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Old 03-09-2010, 11:56 AM   #46
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Re: Sword tip movement

Erick, I like your two cents animation

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:07 PM   #47
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Re: Sword tip movement

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I tried very hard to avoid any implication of superiority of anything. I practice Aikiken myself, usually daily as a break from my work. I do, however, also believe that some questions give the appearance of being easily answerable while hiding a myriad of vastly more complex questions that are not being asked. This is was one of those for me. In my training there have been many times when I've asked the same question only to be told to keep practicing. Over time you begin to realize that the question asked was not really answerable as there were 1000 things unasked, each arguably more important than the one asked. Or maybe a better analogy for me is the solving of a rubic's cube. People will get one surface correct and then ask what to do next. They don't want to hear that they have to destroy everything they've accomplished to "fix" the whole thing.

The cut doesn't exist in isolation.

A person with an incorrect grip will pull their elbows out to the side causing them to not get correctly "behind" the tsuka. This makes it very difficult to get a straight cut. Fix the grip.

A person with a correct grip can still push out their elbows. With the elbows out the person cannot get behind the tsuka correctly during the cut. Keep the elbows in correctly.

A person with a correct grip and elbows in will often push the sword too far forward, basically pushing their shoulders out of proper alignment. As the arms come down the realignment of the shoulders being out of phase can cause wobble. Keep the shoulders correctly in place throughout the arc of the cut.

A person with incorrect alignment of the hips to their shoulders (hence to the target) will often find themselves rotating slightly during the cut causing the shoulders to come out of alignment. Fix the body alignment.

A person with poor posture will often have to compensate throughout the movement causing alignment issues.

Footwork is always an issue as too much movement in any one direction can cause the same issues of rotation within the body. Remember that power is generated from the one-point/hara/dantien/whatever and sent through the body. The sword cuts, you guide, and power is a result of the entire body. When that does not happen muscles have to compensate and it becomes extremely difficult to keep a consistent path to the sword.

Overextension in any part of the body tends to cause wobbles as balance is thrown off. Control, control, control.

Hand dominance is a constant issue. Often hints such as "focus on the left hand for power, right hand for guidance" are given to a person who needs that advice due to how they're swinging. The same advice to someone else will just make their cut worse. The reality is that the hands have to work together seamlessly with the entire body transmitting movement. So advice here usually has to be given very carefully depending on the person's needs.

For some a lighter sword will help fix issues, especially if they're throwing themselves off balance. Other times a heavier sword will make the difference for the exact same issues. Control is the underlying thing being addressed. Sometimes having a lighter sword allows the person to find the proper "groove" for cutting. Sometimes a heavier sword slows them down enough for them to find the proper "groove" for cutting. So YMMV.

Keep in mind that everything as described up above may be slightly different depending on what style you study. Some styles do bigger cuts, some smaller. Some slashing, some cleaving. Some are very fast with small movements, some are bigger, mean, cut them in half type things. Some emphasize being square (hips/shoulders) to the opponent, others not so much. Some emphasize foot alignment as well that is square, others not so much. Those changes alone will dramatically change how cuts are done. So each style will address most of the above issues slightly differently because each thing affects the other. The individual "tips" exist as part of a larger whole. What works with one will be absolutely wrong for another because internal consistency is what matters. Later styles of swordsmanship tended to emphasize draw/cut movements. Some earlier styles (some regional differences as well) will emphasize a slightly different grip which allows a more "leveraged" fast movement of the blade. Watch Toby Threadgill's demos on youtube with the sword. Compare how the sword moves with someone doing something like iai. Very different in subtle ways. Neither is incorrect. But each does what they do with an internal consistency that is critical to proper form.

In the end (after that long post) my point originally was that most advice regarding swordsmanship cries out for a larger context to ensure that the internal consistency is there. I do iai differently at times than I do my aikiken. Because they are different. And I've seen many aikiken demonstrations by high ranking people of many styles and there are more differences than similarities. Straightening out a cut depends on what you're doing wrong. What's "wrong" or "right" depends on who you study with and how they do things.

This is not an issue of superiority. I enjoy aikiken. I would not give advice to someone from another style, however, because I don't know what they might be doing wrong. Because I wouldn't know what is "right" in their style.

But yes, there are basic things. Smooth cut. Don't over muscle. Slow down. Get good extension without over-committing. For the rest? Ask your sensei to watch and fix what you're doing wrong.

Now I'm sure some think I'm being an elitist snob anyway (I get e-mail, yes, I get e-mail...) I don't think it is a highjack but an attempt to see the larger picture.

That said, please do not hesitate to put me in your ignore list. Or just scroll right past.

So please pardon the intrusion in your thread. I was trying to answer the OP's questions as sincerely as possible.
This is excellent post !!! It gives you an idea why it is not possible to fully respond by Internet how to cut correctly. That is why I adviced OP to find a good sword instructor.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #48
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Sword tip movement

How do you put aiki into a sword? How does ken become aikiken?
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:06 PM   #49
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Re: Sword tip movement

Keith- thanks for the post, that was very rich. The note about different styles having different sets of internally consistant "rules" or guidelines is important, throws a real wrench in the works for discussion. But also excellent fuel for discussion!
One thought, do you think there are any universal ideas that dictate some aspects of these rulesets? My thought-- the ability to minimize muscle use (maximize ki and "kokyu" use) is a sort of super-rule that lots of the other rules of any given style are sort of subservient to. To relax and use whole-body ki instantly puts huge restraints of what patterns of movements would be allowed. This is my theory-in-progress so any opinions appreciated.

Chris--
Quote:
Chris Covington wrote: View Post
A few years ago Kondo sensei (of Daito-ryu) told a few of us that one of the highest forms of aiki is being able to cut straight.
That is a SWEET story considering the Mochizuki "You guys don't know $#!^ about the sword" story!

Quote:
Chris Covington wrote: View Post
In Shinkage-ryu we spend a great deal of time practicing straight cuts. In fact the first set of kata called Hojo is almost exclusively straight cuts. One thing we work on is keeping our hips square to the opponent.
Sounds like something I've heard about Nishio Sensei's style. Definitely something that can be pretty divisive when conversing across style lines.

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
How do you put aiki into a sword? How does ken become aikiken?
I've thought about that too.. 2 lines of thought are tempting to me. #1 is what Kondo sensei said (above). That is, unification of living, behaving bodies (aiki) cannot be done unless you have met that challenge within your own body ("building a budo body" or "putting aiki in your body" etc). #2 is that I have been fascinated with George Ledyard sensei's writings for a while, and although I still have a lot to learn, I am seeing that some of the more difficult ideas that fall under the term "aiki" (the part that happens before and at the beginning of an encounter, before physical contact) could be something that paired weapons practice really can give you... what do you think?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #50
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Re: Sword tip movement

Sorry for the slow response, I'm not caught up on all the discussion but before I hit the sack I thought I'd respond to Jonathan...

Definitely closer to A. I'm far more interested in the bokken as a tool to improve my Aikido. I've played around a tiny bit with both Iaido and Kendo, but for better or worse, Aikido is what I love to practice.

So this wobble concerns me, not because my sword cuts look sloppy, but because it's amplifying a problem in my movement. Which, I assume, is likely causing problems in various Aikido techniques.

Again, like I said early on. I'm not expecting to find the answer to this over the net. I'm sure Baker Sensei will get me back on the right track in the next week or so. I just felt like chatting about it as it was something on my mind.
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