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Old 10-10-2011, 11:42 PM   #76
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
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?
In the small town where my mother lives, people do exactly that.

But if you lock your door and fasten your seatbelt, why is it then laziness to use a tsuba? I trust my partner's control, but I don't *depend* on it to protect my hands.

Katherine
 
Old 10-10-2011, 11:48 PM   #77
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Regards.G.
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,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-10-2011 at 11:52 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 10-11-2011, 01:13 PM   #78
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
In the small town where my mother lives, people do exactly that.

But if you lock your door and fasten your seatbelt, why is it then laziness to use a tsuba? I trust my partner's control, but I don't *depend* on it to protect my hands.

Katherine
In my example the tsuba represented the safe town so those people are not relying on the tsuba.

Who said anything about trusting your partner to protect your own hands?

G.
 
Old 10-11-2011, 01:44 PM   #79
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Well for me the conclusion of the logic is that you learn to make fewer mistakes, not more.

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.

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.

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.

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,
Matt
Matthew. You state a case without addressing my questions. Do you rely, depend, on that safe environment?

Do you see that bottom line dependency on own ability and self far, far, exceeds any 'thing' you think protects you.?

Some people would rather not see this because it would show they have been lazy in their thinking.

I would say all top professionals in all walks of life use this attitude. It's what separates the top sportsmen from the rest. They blame no one, they focus purely on their own ability and improving it, and every time they make a mistake they blame themselves and reprimand their self for being lazy. Such is the upper echelons of discipline.

I doubt O'Sensei or his deshi at the time used tsuba on their bokkens. I wonder why?

Anyone can use special circumstances to make a point. A good excuse not to look at the concept.

It's a good topic all of it's own this topic of dependency and laziness and fits especially well in martial arts for that is one of the core things it's meant to teach, self reliance, self discipline. All about self and the lesson that laziness is the result of dependency.

Regards.G.
 
Old 10-11-2011, 02:08 PM   #80
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Who said anything about trusting your partner to protect your own hands?
If you don't use a tsuba, that's exactly what you're doing.

Katherine
 
Old 10-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #81
Keith Larman
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Graham:

There's a lovely gentleman who lives in my neighborhood who I see driving to the market occasionally. I'd guess he's in his late 80's or early 90's. I can tell you with certainty that his old car does not require an airbag for him as he drives at a velocity slower than I can walk. Now, we might commend him on his safety record. However, his *driving skills* are not exactly being demonstrated, tested, or improved in any significant way whatsoever...

 
Old 10-11-2011, 03:43 PM   #82
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Matthew. You state a case without addressing my questions. Do you rely, depend, on that safe environment?

Do you see that bottom line dependency on own ability and self far, far, exceeds any 'thing' you think protects you.?

Some people would rather not see this because it would show they have been lazy in their thinking.
In part, I do rely on the safe environment. I try to be alert at all times, but I am definately more alert when walking down an alley at night near Denny Park in Seattle, than in the Beaux Arts Village in Bellevue. Like I said, I always try to maintain awareness of the area around me, but I adjust my attention based on the particulars.
So no, I don't rely on the tsuba to protect me, just as I don't leave my door unlocked in areas I assume are safer. Similarly, I wouldn't remove the lock in order force myself to pay more attention to the door.

Quote:
I would say all top professionals in all walks of life use this attitude. It's what separates the top sportsmen from the rest. They blame no one, they focus purely on their own ability and improving it, and every time they make a mistake they blame themselves and reprimand their self for being lazy. Such is the upper echelons of discipline.
I believe a little more in the role of happenstance for individual success, but in essence I agree with you here. Motivation and self-determination are key to personal success in anything, be it chess or self-defense.
You're preeching to the choir when it comes to the idea of self-reliance. I think what we disagree on might be the best way to describe it. If all you're saying is it can be useful to not use tsuba to reinforce a serious mindset, then I see no problem. What I disagree with is the idea that laziness is a necessary condition for all accidents. Sometimes it's hard to parse through you laguage, which reflects an ideal strived for more than an absolute reality. When you describe your posts as relating to your standards of teaching it often seems easy to mistake them as admonishing others for not sharing your particular view.
I think I see where you're coming from better now. Thank you for the chance to discuss it.
Take care, Graham,
Matt
p.s. I think Keith's point is a very good one. The question isn't only about safety, it's also about pushing the edge of capability; when that is practiced with serious intent, even with safety in mind, accidents are easier to come about. When approached mindfully, this can still be done in a pretty safe way. I think it's very important for people looking more toward self-defense to practice more like this (i.e. the degree to which the individual wants to focus on this aspect should naturally reflect how vigorous they and their partners are going to practice; how much they are going to "squeeze" into that edge between chaos and order).

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-11-2011 at 03:50 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 10-11-2011, 05:08 PM   #83
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Graham:

There's a lovely gentleman who lives in my neighborhood who I see driving to the market occasionally. I'd guess he's in his late 80's or early 90's. I can tell you with certainty that his old car does not require an airbag for him as he drives at a velocity slower than I can walk. Now, we might commend him on his safety record. However, his *driving skills* are not exactly being demonstrated, tested, or improved in any significant way whatsoever...
Keith. I see your point. Has he not decided to do so himself? He is the driver of the car. He is responsible for his ability and choice. He is exercising that choice according to you with good effect.

The same principles involved are there for those who want to drive fast. They are responsible, not the car, not the windows, not any part of it. They cause any accident not the car for it only does what you cause it to do.

Once again it's all down to the person, nothing else.

Regards.G.
 
Old 10-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #84
Keith Larman
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Keith. I see your point. Has he not decided to do so himself? He is the driver of the car. He is responsible for his ability and choice. He is exercising that choice according to you with good effect.

The same principles involved are there for those who want to drive fast. They are responsible, not the car, not the windows, not any part of it. They cause any accident not the car for it only does what you cause it to do.

Once again it's all down to the person, nothing else.

Regards.G.
Well, therein lies the rub. No one is criticizing him for driving slowly. But you are calling those who bother to drive at normal speeds in cars equipped with proper safety equipment lazy or somehow acting irresponsibly for having it. Feel free to poke along at slow speeds completely in your comfort zone. But some of us have a long commute ahead and aren't content to stay that close to home all the time. It doesn't mean we speed irresponsibly, but we might feel that airbags for our children and passengers are a good idea. Just in case.

 
Old 10-11-2011, 05:24 PM   #85
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
In part, I do rely on the safe environment. I try to be alert at all times, but I am definately more alert when walking down an alley at night near Denny Park in Seattle, than in the Beaux Arts Village in Bellevue. Like I said, I always try to maintain awareness of the area around me, but I adjust my attention based on the particulars.
So no, I don't rely on the tsuba to protect me, just as I don't leave my door unlocked in areas I assume are safer. Similarly, I wouldn't remove the lock in order force myself to pay more attention to the door.

I believe a little more in the role of happenstance for individual success, but in essence I agree with you here. Motivation and self-determination are key to personal success in anything, be it chess or self-defense.
You're preeching to the choir when it comes to the idea of self-reliance. I think what we disagree on might be the best way to describe it. If all you're saying is it can be useful to not use tsuba to reinforce a serious mindset, then I see no problem. What I disagree with is the idea that laziness is a necessary condition for all accidents. Sometimes it's hard to parse through you laguage, which reflects an ideal strived for more than an absolute reality. When you describe your posts as relating to your standards of teaching it often seems easy to mistake them as admonishing others for not sharing your particular view.
I think I see where you're coming from better now. Thank you for the chance to discuss it.
Take care, Graham,
Matt
p.s. I think Keith's point is a very good one. The question isn't only about safety, it's also about pushing the edge of capability; when that is practiced with serious intent, even with safety in mind, accidents are easier to come about. When approached mindfully, this can still be done in a pretty safe way. I think it's very important for people looking more toward self-defense to practice more like this (i.e. the degree to which the individual wants to focus on this aspect should naturally reflect how vigorous they and their partners are going to practice; how much they are going to "squeeze" into that edge between chaos and order).
Hi Matthew. Thanks for the considered response.

You summed me up perfectly regarding how what I say can come across.

Keith has been been very easy to communicate with even if we have differing views on this topic.

The point you mention re: capability and pushing boundaries is one we have differing views on also.

The only boundaries you are pushing in my opinion are the boundaries of discipline and control so that equals less accidents.

Ha,ha, I even would put it to you that you have less accidents for that reason alone for inside you know the difference between pushing boundaries and being irresponsible in the name of pushing boundaries.

Regards.G.
 
Old 10-11-2011, 05:26 PM   #86
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
If you don't use a tsuba, that's exactly what you're doing.

Katherine
If that's how you see it then that explains your defence of using one.

Good.

Regards.G.
 
Old 10-11-2011, 06:52 PM   #87
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Re: Why no tsuba?

This can go on forever...
 
Old 10-23-2011, 10:10 PM   #88
edshockley
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Re: Why no tsuba?

I have trained under Henry Smith Shihan whose weapons come from Chiba and Sugano primarily and Nizam Taleb who learned weapons from Ichimura, Kobayashi and Nishio. Both of my instructiors don't use suba because they hope to force us to be more responsive to the movement of our uke. I also have trained recurrently for more than a decade with Gerooms Sensei in Ohio and they use suba in the Saotome influenced style. (The same was true at the dojo of Gleeson Sensei). I see merit in both practices but the sword work was more spirited in the Saotome system. Perhaps the wooden suba offers a false sense of security but consistently the katas at these other schools approach the speed and force that is only equaled in the encounters between instructors in my own school. What I cannot tell is if it results from a real (or imagined) sense of safety or simply because weapons work is integrated into the curriculum at the other federations. One odd observation is that when I first used a katana I often tore my thumbnail against the inside of the suba in chiburi so perhaps it is a good idea to at least practice sometimes with a bokken equivalent to prepare oneself for the transition?
 
Old 10-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #89
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
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This can go on forever...
Only if people insist on continuing to argue with Graham. I stopped weeks ago, because he made abundantly clear on the first page of this thread that any argument, no matter how substantive, that contradicted his own unpopular viewpoint would be dismissed with a wave of his hand.

 
Old 10-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #90
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

We learned a new sword kata last night. And in one variation, one partner responds to an attempted block by sliding along his attacker's sword until they lock tsubas, then using the resulting closeness to grab the attacker's outside (right) hand. I don't claim to have vast sword experience, but moves like this are not unusual in the sword work that I've seen.

But I'm probably shouting down a well, here, since it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice.

Katherine
 
Old 10-25-2011, 10:00 PM   #91
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Ed Shockley wrote: View Post
(The same was true at the dojo of Gleeson Sensei). I see merit in both practices but the sword work was more spirited in the Saotome system. Perhaps the wooden suba offers a false sense of security but consistently the katas at these other schools approach the speed and force that is only equaled in the encounters between instructors in my own school. What I cannot tell is if it results from a real (or imagined) sense of safety or simply because weapons work is integrated into the curriculum at the other federations.
My experience is that Gleason Sensei's dojo sets an unusually high standard for weapons work. That may or may not have anything to do with their use of tsubas, except that I would be extremely reluctant to face Gleason Sensei without one.

Katherine
 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:00 AM   #92
Cliff Judge
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
My experience is that Gleason Sensei's dojo sets an unusually high standard for weapons work. That may or may not have anything to do with their use of tsubas, except that I would be extremely reluctant to face Gleason Sensei without one.

Katherine
The example you provided in the post above this one is an example of where the tsuba is clearly required by the technique.

But I am curious why you say you would be reluctant to train with Gleason Sensei without a tsuba. Do you think he would hurt your hands accidentally or intentionally? Or would you be worried that you would accidentally hurt your own hands? Or are you simply pointing out that Gleason Sensei does a lot of techniques that require a tsuba?

I apologize if my line of questioning seems overly aggressive. Sincerely trying to figure something out.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #93
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
But I am curious why you say you would be reluctant to train with Gleason Sensei without a tsuba. Do you think he would hurt your hands accidentally or intentionally? Or would you be worried that you would accidentally hurt your own hands? Or are you simply pointing out that Gleason Sensei does a lot of techniques that require a tsuba?
He does use a number of techniques that require a tsuba.

But mostly it's because he tends to push students right to the edge of what they can deal with -- in empty hand practice as well -- and a tsuba gives that extra bit of protection against one's own mistakes.

Katherine
 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #94
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But I'm probably shouting down a well, here, since it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice.
So what is your opinion about, for instance, classical schools like TSKSR?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtYLLy3Tp50

or Kuroda sensei work?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVuGDcggm44

I don't see tsuba in their bokken.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 10-26-2011 at 11:17 AM. Reason: wrong link

 
Old 10-26-2011, 11:29 AM   #95
Keith Larman
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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.

 
Old 10-26-2011, 12:01 PM   #96
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
So what is your opinion about, for instance, classical schools like TSKSR?
Don't know enough about either school to comment intelligently, except that I don't think a student of either style has commented in this thread to this point, so we have no way of knowing how those clips fit into their overall practice.

Katherine
 
Old 10-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #97
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Don't know enough about either school to comment intelligently, except that I don't think a student of either style has commented in this thread to this point, so we have no way of knowing how those clips fit into their overall practice.

Katherine
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?

 
Old 10-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #98
kewms
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?
That observation is based on the abundance of comments like this one in the thread itself:

Quote:
Real swords however is a side issue for it is obvious that if I say no tsuba then I am talking bokken for you can't get a real sword without one. (unless you want to be pedantic then you could find that there are 'some' real katana without them.)
To my knowledge, none of Kuroda Sensei's students is here saying things like:
Quote:
Reliance or using a tsuba as standard procedure leads to lazyness and complcency.
As for TSKSR, they clearly use tsuba with metal blades:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtjA...eature=related
and therefore can't be seen as "anti-tsuba" generally. The people I've trained with who have studied TSKSR used tsuba when I trained with them.

My own training is primarily Saotome Sensei's aikiken, with a sprinkling of kenjutsu and iaijutsu. (While my main teachers have classical sword experience, they are not licensed to teach classical sword and so I'm not going to cause problems for them by naming specific styles.)

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 10-26-2011 at 01:01 PM.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 12:54 PM   #99
Cliff Judge
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
In which school of swordmanship have you enough knowledge, so I get the context of your previous statement " it's already clear that the anti-tsuba forces don't consider the behavior of actual swords relevant to their practice" ?
She provided an anecdote that supports something we have already established in this thread, which is that sometimes, you want to work a tsuba technique. It is good to have a tsuba for that.

There is no reason for any of us to believe that in Katori Shinto ryu or Komagawa Kaishin ryu they have any tsuba techniques.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-26-2011 at 01:00 PM.
 
Old 10-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #100
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Ah, I got it.

It's about Graham trolling you. Yes, he is good at that.

 

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