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Old 10-18-2011, 10:43 AM   #26
Walter Martindale
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Right, but imagine you were preparing for a lethal duel with live blades...
Frankly, if I was preparing for a lethal duel with live blades, I'd be running or driving in the opposite direction, or hoping the heck I could get the 9mm out of the safe, load it, and bring it to bear while the live blades were still more than 10 metres away from me. If I was in a place where I expected the possibility of being attacked by someone with a live blade, I'd hope to prepare by carrying an AK, a C-8 (the Canuck combat rifle), or something equivalent...

If the situation of someone attacking me with a live blade (a sword? really? in today's society? what is this, Rwanda in the 1990s?) with the intent to start me on the dust-to-dust process, I'd probably get chopped to bits. He (or she) wouldn't have to run too fast to catch me, because I'm getting slow in my old age. If the person did catch up with me, of course, I'd fight like hell, enter if possible, and try to do what I could to disarm, disable, dispatch the attacker, but how often do two people face off in a sword duel to the death in 2011... really? Is this a common occurrence where you live?
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:59 AM   #27
Cliff Judge
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The alternative to sparring, of course, is kata. Within the context of kata, when everyone is doing what they're supposed to, you can train with full speed, full intensity, and very close distances (not stopping two feet away from your opponent...think two millimeters instead).
Thanks for making this point, it needed to be made in this thread. Kata are really all about intensity.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #28
ChrisHein
 
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

The problem one faces with intensity in kata, is that that intensity is never creative. I love to train intense Kata, I teach it to my students and am a strong advocate for what it can teach, mindfulness, composure, drive and clean technique. Being able to do those things, in Kata, in a situation where the other person can challenge you with something new and innovative is a whole new level of training. When doing Kata you'll never face something unexpected.

Learning to stay relaxed an calm is something else I like, that can be learned in Kata training. Again though, you must learn to take that relaxed calm state into a situation where you are facing the unknown. That is where we can really start to see the life changing benefits of staying calm and relaxed. The world, what we are training ourselves for (whether it be a life and death struggle, or a battle with the children at bed time), is full of unknowns. During those challenging times is when we most want to stay calm and relaxed. You cannot face unknowns in Kata. Kata is known, that is it's nature.

I like to tell my students; it's easy stay calm and relaxed in a peaceful place, but that's where some of us need to start practicing. As we grow, we need to add new challenges to our practice. This way we can learn to stay calm during a horrible catastrophe.

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Old 10-18-2011, 12:26 PM   #29
phitruong
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
but how often do two people face off in a sword duel to the death in 2011... really? Is this a common occurrence where you live?
didn't do that in 2011. however, in 2010, i was in a mexican stand-off with two young Sith. they were out for blood. i finally reached deep into the Force and snapped it out at them. the younger Sith yelled "Dad! you are not supposed to use nerf gun in light saber fight!"
I replied, "the world is full with unfairness!"
the two young Sith replied, "ya! we got these Gatling nerf guns here and you are old!"

i tell ya! the world is full with unfairness!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #30
Gerardo Torres
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

Mary makes a good point about intense kata; in my opinion this is a necessary step towards more free-form training. There's a lot of depth in (at least classical weapons) kata that can and should be explored, with increasing intensity. There's also room for exploration within kata (different "beginnings" and "endings", omote/ura, counters, etc.). At the highest levels, when experts perform kata with high intensity, it starts to look less and less like the original kata beginners learn (it looks like something else, more flowing and dangerous).

If I were to venture into higher-intensity "sparring" with a weapon with the objective of improving the use of such a weapon as originally intended, I would first consider:

- Training in realistic kata as mentioned by others.

- That the way you wield and cut with a real sword (assuming this is your weapon of choice) doesn't get lost in a game of whacking with a stick or shinai. Hitting =/= cutting.

- That the abilities involved in sports don't necessarily translate to the requirements of moving and cutting with real weapons, and against multiple opponents.

- That you understand what works and what doesn't work (training under a professional who knows the instrument and the trade is needed to figure this out). I've seen occasions where a feisty opponent "spars" and doesn't know he's been cut and "keeps going" -- a case of fighting/sparring priorities pushing learning and logic aside.

- That weapons, especially bladed weapons, are great equalizers. Unlike with empty hands, and technique being equal, the "fighting" disposition one player might have over another is not necessarily going to give them a winning or dominating edge, not with 3-ft razor blades in the middle.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 10-18-2011 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:52 PM   #31
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Right, but imagine you were preparing for a lethal duel with live blades...
I'd ask this people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg_P3QCaA7I

or this other people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjscApgU7eA

or maybe this other people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN2g-hD_dSw

In short: people who combine kata and alive sparring with weapons.

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:20 PM   #32
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The problem one faces with intensity in kata, is that that intensity is never creative. I love to train intense Kata, I teach it to my students and am a strong advocate for what it can teach, mindfulness, composure, drive and clean technique. Being able to do those things, in Kata, in a situation where the other person can challenge you with something new and innovative is a whole new level of training. When doing Kata you'll never face something unexpected.
The difficulty here on the forum is we don't know what exactly kata practice looks like for each of us. Usually is something completely different. So reasonably intelligent discussion is very difficult if not impossible.

With this in mind, I'm able to practice weapons kata on the level when adrenaline shots make most of the students losing control what they're doing. So it is challenging enough at this level. With some more experienced students, I'm responsible to introduce unexpected elements into the kata. It is quite easy to do, under condition that I have to be very clear for myself that kind of principles those unexpected elements are teaching.

This idea is not new at all; many years ago S.Sugano sensei already conducted weapons training that way.

So in summary, yes, it is very possible to do and if you, as instructor know what you are doing, it is technically very easy. You don't need to introduce sparring for that.
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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Learning to stay relaxed an calm is something else I like, that can be learned in Kata training. Again though, you must learn to take that relaxed calm state into a situation where you are facing the unknown.
Well, if the 'unknown" is too large, it is very difficult/impossible to learn something, particularly stay calm and relaxed. So as instructor I have to make sure that I'm introducing new unexpected elements to the kata in the way students can digest it. Additionally it can't be 'industrial' process for large group. Every student needs an individual approach that is accorded to his level.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:05 PM   #33
Cliff Judge
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Frankly, if I was preparing for a lethal duel with live blades, I'd be running or driving in the opposite direction, or hoping the heck I could get the 9mm out of the safe, load it, and bring it to bear while the live blades were still more than 10 metres away from me. If I was in a place where I expected the possibility of being attacked by someone with a live blade, I'd hope to prepare by carrying an AK, a C-8 (the Canuck combat rifle), or something equivalent...

If the situation of someone attacking me with a live blade (a sword? really? in today's society? what is this, Rwanda in the 1990s?) with the intent to start me on the dust-to-dust process, I'd probably get chopped to bits. He (or she) wouldn't have to run too fast to catch me, because I'm getting slow in my old age. If the person did catch up with me, of course, I'd fight like hell, enter if possible, and try to do what I could to disarm, disable, dispatch the attacker, but how often do two people face off in a sword duel to the death in 2011... really? Is this a common occurrence where you live?
Are you saying there is no point to sword training, then? Has my wife gotten into your account?

If you can't take sword training somewhat seriously, then you are just training with sticks.

If you are training with sticks, then why bother with shinai and bokken and crap - do Dog Brothers. Their stuff is the apex of freeform stick fighting.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:16 PM   #34
Cliff Judge
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
The Jikishinkage ryu guys who practice occasional rules-bound semi-free sparring after a long period of kata training. In fact their kata training involves surprisingly limited contact for an extended period of time.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
They didn't start to do this until they were no longer training for duels.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
or maybe this other people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN2g-hD_dSw

In short: people who combine kata and alive sparring with weapons.
The Shumpukan apparently start beginners of Owari Kan ryu out doing shiai and then introduce them to kata later. If Josh Reyer still posted here he could share more on the topic, but I bet you a beer that's a recent institution as well. I'll ask my Sensei about it this weekend.

Anyway, you missed my point - I was responding to an anecdote that in BJJ, they have learned that getting beginners familiar with competition from the very start seems to get them up to speed in competition faster. My point was, that's training for non-lethal combat. if you are training for lethal combat, you had better not do a lot of freeform practice at the beginning, you'd be better off doing it like the guys in the first video you posted.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:31 PM   #35
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
if you are training for lethal combat, you had better not do a lot of freeform practice at the beginning, you'd be better off doing it like the guys in the first video you posted.
But you have to do freeform practise anyway.

OTOH, maybe the people who said things like 'in order to really reach an understanding of mortal combat it is necessary for both adepts to don men, kote, and other pieces of protective equipment and forge oneself through the confusion encountered by engaging in daring unrestricted training'* or 'just doing the forms and saying to yourself, "I did it," isn't enough. I always tell my students they have to practice the forms and they have to actually strike people in competitive bouts to be able to understand the art.'** were wrong.

* Yamada Heizaemon
** Sawada Hanae

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Old 10-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #36
Cliff Judge
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
But you have to do freeform practise anyway.

OTOH, maybe the people who said things like 'in order to really reach an understanding of mortal combat it is necessary for both adepts to don men, kote, and other pieces of protective equipment and forge oneself through the confusion encountered by engaging in daring unrestricted training'* or 'just doing the forms and saying to yourself, "I did it," isn't enough. I always tell my students they have to practice the forms and they have to actually strike people in competitive bouts to be able to understand the art.'** were wrong.

* Yamada Heizaemon
** Sawada Hanae
Ah yes...the part of the conversation where Demetrio is so determined to prove you wrong that his argument turns back on itself and becomes support for what you are saying.

(I.e. freeform practice is an invaluable training tool when done occasionally and as an adjunct to form-based training.)
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:30 AM   #37
ChrisHein
 
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Anyway, you missed my point - I was responding to an anecdote that in BJJ, they have learned that getting beginners familiar with competition from the very start seems to get them up to speed in competition faster. My point was, that's training for non-lethal combat. if you are training for lethal combat, you had better not do a lot of freeform practice at the beginning, you'd be better off doing it like the guys in the first video you posted.
You need look no farther than the militaries of the world, during times of war to see people being pushed into the deep end as soon as possible. They give their solders a minimum amount of training, and send them out. The one's who will be good live, the one's who won't don't waste anyones time. But now we're getting way off subject.

Basically, I responded to your comment with:
"I train martial arts."
With that I meant:
A. I think about situations with live weapons constantly, and seriously train with that in mind.
B. I am not a solder, so my training isn't done with the goal of actually killing someone, but to develop myself.

Sparring, and "high(er) intensity" weapons work can develop me in ways that Kata cannot. I personally enjoy doing this kind of work. I don't think anyone is a bad person for not doing this kind of work. But if you haven't done any, you should see if you like it. If you have and don't like it, no problem.

In the realm of gaining ability, the BJJ crowd in Southern California, that I trained around has found that making regular sparring a part of the beginning students training doesn't hurt his ability level in the long run.

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Old 10-19-2011, 05:22 AM   #38
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Ah yes...the part of the conversation where Demetrio is so determined to prove you wrong that his argument turns back on itself and becomes support for what you are saying.

(I.e. freeform practice is an invaluable training tool when done occasionally and as an adjunct to form-based training.)
Of course, we only have to know if 'occasionally and as adjunct" has the same meaning for you, for the people who trained for life or death encounters and for the people who trained for self developement in peaceful Edo era.

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Old 10-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #39
Cliff Judge
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Of course, we only have to know if 'occasionally and as adjunct" has the same meaning for you, for the people who trained for life or death encounters and for the people who trained for self developement in peaceful Edo era.
However the shinkage ryu people do it, that's the right way.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:03 PM   #40
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: High(er) Intensity Weapons

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
FWIW, Ledyard Sensei himself has expressed some ambivalence about this kind of practice, for exactly the reasons discussed here.

In my experience, it's great training for helping people understand the kind of intensity that's involved in a "real fight." But it's somewhat counterproductive if you're trying to teach things like relaxation and sensitivity. Like most teaching tools, there's a time and a place for it, but also limitations.

Katherine
I would like to be clear that what we do is not "sparring". I took these exercises directly from the Maniwa Nen Ryu kenjutsu folks. It is used to develop speed, strong focus and intention. It also lets you feel what it's like when your partner REALLY tries to hit you, something you really don't get with bokken, even when the training is fairly energetic.

Basically, one partner delivers continuous shomen attacks with full intent. The other partner responds with one of three techniques. So, whereas the attacker does not know which response will come, it is not a freestyle. What I like about the exercise is that contains just enough "competition" that you find out what really works and what does not. The attacker develops the ability to really attack with speed and power. If the defender's technique is not spot on, the attacker strikes him. If the defender's technique is spot on, then the attacker gets hit. It's that simple. No one has to worry about whether his stuff is working because the partner is colluding.

On some level, much Aikido sword work actually encourages people to place their attention in the wrong place. Too much is on the attacking weapon itself rather than training the student to take the center and owning the space. This work is a safe way to both train everyone to go to the center without hesitation but it also serves to desensitize the practitioners against the fear of contact.

On the negative side, I would not do too much of this practice. The desensitization against forceful contact is essential to ones ability to do "irimi". But it is also unrealistic when one is talking about real bladed weapons. Too much use of protective gear takes away the mental tension that appropriately comes with bokken and especially blade work. The knowledge that one slip can mean injury or death is crucial to higher level skills. So, we only do this type of training periodically, maybe a couple times a year and only with the seniors. That said, it is usually quite a shock the first time someone does this work when they find that their stuff doesn't work without some major changes in where and how they direct their intention.

I find that using weapons for this kind of development carries over into empty hand and folks get sharper and faster on their attacks. We still do classes periodically on how to actually do the various strikes with speed and power but the sword work is a great way to safely develop strong intent.

The equipment we use is simply. Ice hockey or street hockey gloves are best in my opinion as they have an armored thumb which is nice. The helmets we use are full contact stick fighting helmets designed by Grandmaster Canete for sparring in Doce Pares Escrima. You can use other equipment. Kendo protective gear isn't that great. It is designed for use with shinai that have a lot less mass than the fukuro shinai we use. The helmets we use are far more padded and, although it isn't totally pleasant to get clobbered if you miss your technique, it isn't bad either. Kendo gear would keep you from being injured but that's about it. Since we are trying to teach people to really commit and not to be afraid of a certain amount of contact, it's better if it isn't too unpleasant or the desired result is thwarted.
Full Contact Helmets

George S. Ledyard
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