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Old 02-19-2012, 02:32 PM   #126
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Tyson Walters wrote: View Post
This is way off topic... but I don't really understand why this video has been produced, and presented the way it has?

Hip hop and hats?

What were you going for here Graham?
Ha, ha. Hi Tyson. This goes back to when I first came on here. People took those as literal demonstration videos. Much was said about them by 'experts'. For me they were clips taken from classes which I had put together for fun, no one had ever seen themselves on film before.

This fellow keeps trying to use them to show something, even though in the earlier threads I said o'k' in future if I do a demonstration vid I'll purposely show it on here. With sound.

The one I posted was so that if he is so amazed by them then watch this one as he hasn't used that one before. However, in answer to your question it was actually working on the student to get him through a barrier. His barrier was the fear of harming, of actually hitting through in case of hurting someone. Getting someone to cut through with a bokken and at the same time time giving them the feeling that you aint gonna move helps them with this barrier. Nothing actually to do with sword training but on the other hand lots to do with it.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #127
sorokod
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Off point once again. But feel free to watch..http://youtu.be/9fTSjj8eQkI

However, not relevant to the discussion.

Unless of course you would like to understand something.

Regards.G.
The relevant point is that the videos demonstrate that you are in no position to make categorical statements on the subject. Once again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s .

 
Old 02-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #128
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
The relevant point is that the videos demonstrate that you are in no position to make categorical statements on the subject. Once again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt-aqDPqF7M&t=3m37s .
I'm glad you think so.

G.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 05:00 PM   #129
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Re: Why no tsuba?

David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply: Knowing that O-Sensei didn't used a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from O-Sensei, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Knowing that Iwama doesn't use a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from Saito Sensei's school, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Since the lineage I study uses a tsuba, I use a tsuba.

Arguing about how one's better than the other seems fairly fatuous to me. It's better not to wear a helmet on a bicycle because then you'll be more careful? Wearing armor means no one is going to target your elbows (or knees)? Cheez.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 05:18 PM   #130
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply: Knowing that O-Sensei didn't used a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from O-Sensei, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Knowing that Iwama doesn't use a tsuba means to me that if I were studying sword from Saito Sensei's school, I wouldn't use a tsuba. Since the lineage I study uses a tsuba, I use a tsuba.

Arguing about how one's better than the other seems fairly fatuous to me. It's better not to wear a helmet on a bicycle because then you'll be more careful? Wearing armor means no one is going to target your elbows (or knees)? Cheez.
I don't argue that one is better then the other. I don't think that a linear scale which "better" implies captures the subtlety of different way to practice sword. Your first paragraph is self evident and one can't argue with that. The one thing that puzzles me is
Quote:
David, just to give you the courtesy of a reply
what are you trying to convey here?

 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #131
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Nothing momentous, just that you'd asked a direct question and even though the conversation has moved on since, I wanted to get back to you.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #132
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think one can easily figure out where one might stand on this issue... For me, the very first time I had a solid oak tsuba break in two and fly across the dojo, my stand on the issue was a done deal. No tsuba, those were my knuckles that would have been clobbered.
Yup, done that.

And while we could argue all day about whether that incident reflected my partner's lack of control, my lack of skill, or both, I'm just happy to still have a full set of intact, functioning fingers.

Katherine
 
Old 02-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #133
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Now before anyone goes off into personal this and that without knowing one thing about my own personal methods and skill know this only: Contrary to how most teach the sword or bokken I would not teach anyone until they had practiced Aikido for many years. I let them hold the bokken and try small things only to demonstrate certain principles or sometimes to show them why they shouldn't be thinking they know much about it.

My pre requisite is that a person must be at least quite capable of sen no sen before they can learn much useful about the sword at all. Without that, in my view, it's pretty much a waste of time no matter how competent or flash you look or indeed how many skills you know.
Ah. Very useful context, as such people would be expected to have quite a bit more awareness and control than beginners. We view weapons as integral to aikido and introduce them from the very beginning, hence a need to practice safely even with people who are so new as to be hazardous to themselves and others.

Katherine
 
Old 02-20-2012, 05:35 PM   #134
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Anyone who says blatantly that weapons training is intense and dangerous sounds like they may be being a bit irresponsible by issuing such statements.
I am irresponsible? All I said was that anybody who makes statements about weapons better do so from a position of experience and qualified training given that, you know, it involves blunt instruments whizzing close to your hands, head, etc. Yes, it is supposed to be intense, otherwise there's absolutely no point training with weapons. Yes, it can be dangerous as it involves blunt, piercing or edged weapons. It is also responsible to give these disclaimers.

I'll tell you what is irresponsible: a person who can't even properly hold a bokken - let alone control kissaki or centerline, teaching or giving "advice" about weapons training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSj...ature=youtu.be

Start by understanding that you don't hold a sword by the blade.
 
Old 02-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #135
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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I am irresponsible? All I said was that anybody who makes statements about weapons better do so from a position of experience and qualified training given that, you know, it involves blunt instruments whizzing close to your hands, head, etc. Yes, it is supposed to be intense, otherwise there's absolutely no point training with weapons. Yes, it can be dangerous as it involves blunt, piercing or edged weapons. It is also responsible to give these disclaimers.

I'll tell you what is irresponsible: a person who can't even properly hold a bokken - let alone control kissaki or centerline, teaching or giving "advice" about weapons training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fTSj...ature=youtu.be

Start by understanding that you don't hold a sword by the blade.
Really?
You can hold a bokken by any part you like if you want to. Of course, if you don't understand what is in a video then responsibility would suggest admitting that first.

Alas, sounds like you know what was being done in that video, sounds like you know me and what I can or can't do, sounds like you feel you can tell me what is what. You sound like a very wise and intelligent and swordsman.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 01:06 AM   #136
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
You can hold a bokken by any part you like if you want to
Well, a tsuba will be definitely in your way :-)

Last edited by sorokod : 02-21-2012 at 01:17 AM.

 
Old 02-21-2012, 03:41 AM   #137
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Just thought......While practicing tegatana you could have a tsuba on your wrist.......

Mmmmm......Now I wonder if there's one for the Jo???......
 
Old 02-21-2012, 09:05 AM   #138
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Just thought......While practicing tegatana you could have a tsuba on your wrist.......
I don't think this will work Graham. There are martial disciplins that employ protective clothing, some of them are Japanese. You may want to take a look at Kendo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo) for example.

 
Old 02-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #139
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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I don't think this will work Graham. There are martial disciplins that employ protective clothing, some of them are Japanese. You may want to take a look at Kendo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kendo) for example.
Bit literal there but of course there's lots of armour in different disciplines. Like the mushin and fudoshin though.

G.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #140
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Re: Why no tsuba?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yup, done that.

And while we could argue all day about whether that incident reflected my partner's lack of control, my lack of skill, or both, I'm just happy to still have a full set of intact, functioning fingers.

Katherine
Actually, when this has happened to me, it was because we were training full out, with strong intention. It wasn't some lack of skill or control, it was two people pushing the envelope. The main reason most folks can get away with training with no tsuba is that they do not really go for it. If you are doing a per-arranged form in which everyone knows exactly what is going to happen, and the parties are trying to do the form rather than really hit each other, you can have a very controlled exercise and no ones hands get clobbered. Take it up a notch, with both partners looking for that instant of an opening for an entry and the hands will get hit occasionally. This whole argument is like that old one in the NHL. When I was young, hockey goalies thought that wearing a mask was un-manly... They had scars and missing teeth, and occasionally one of them would get a serious concussion, but they were tough boys, all. Finally, the League decided that putting your life at risk, just to be manly, when there was a perfectly good alternative available was just silly.

I feel the same way about tsuba. All real swords have them. Many koryu bokken and even shinai have them. Kendo shinai have them. They serve a protective function and also allow a whole category of technique to be done that you simply don't do if you don't have tsuba. A tsuba gives a sword an extra dimension, mainly for close in work. You don't have one, you change your technique based on that.

There's not some advantage to not having one, it doesn't make your training better... you are not a better person because you choose to keep your hands exposed to injury.

And please, if you are someone who maintains that you can hold a bokken anywhere, don't come to any seminars with Saotome Sensei... holding your bokken wrong, as if it's a stick and not a sword will illicit a lengthy tirade which the rest of us, who know better, will have to sit through. I was trained that one should treat a bokken as much like a live blade as possible and I teach that to my students. Live blades ALL have tsuba. A bokken without a tsuba is less like a live blade than one with a tsuba. So, we use tsuba. Saotome Sensei and virtually all the seniors who have trained under him all have bokken with tsuba. It is idiotic to maintain that not having a tsuba is some sort of virtue... it's a personal choice, one dictated by how one uses the sword. The way we use a sword, one wants a tsuba. Folks who come to train at our dojo who don't have tsuba, soon get them. They don't have to be told to... the advantages are self evident.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #141
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Re: Why no tsuba?

1. I think the practically of training weapons lacking a tsuba has more to do with production than fashion. You can purchase tsuba for bokken for additional cost. I also know of several competent craftsmen who have fashioned their own tsuba. There is a measure of safety the tsuba offers as well as the reflection of sword techniques that become more difficult when you have to compete with a tsuba (wrist cutting, for example).
2. Weapons should should always be treated as serious and potentially dangerous. The proper use and awareness of what your weapon is doing is essential to weapons work. To make weapons work a frivolity is simply incomprehensible. If the bokken is representative of a sword, then you are using a dangerous weapon. If the bokken is nothing more than a stick, then you are not practicing sword work. Grab a shinken anywhere you want to, by all means.

I have not purchased a tsuba yet, only because I believe the best ones are custom fit to the sword. Kingfisher woodworks sells a great bokken/tsuba combo. I am not sure if "tradition" plays a relevant role in your decision to use a tsuba. Every day we see non-traditional hakama, gi, tabi, etc.; if we let Mossy Oak hakama in the dojo, are we really arguing about a tsuba? (nothing personal, as long as the camo doesn't smell like deer p*$$... )
 
Old 02-21-2012, 01:05 PM   #142
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Bit literal there but of course there's lots of armour in different disciplines. Like the mushin and fudoshin though.

G.
What sort of armour?

BTW, I like mushin and fudoshin too, especially after zanshin.

 
Old 02-21-2012, 01:54 PM   #143
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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What sort of armour?

BTW, I like mushin and fudoshin too, especially after zanshin.
You lost me there. All types of armour for all types of swordsmen. More pertinent to this thread could possibly be Kote, hence my favourite definition of Kotegeishi.

Most armour I would say was not so much for swords defence though, more battle armour. Motion is king. Always will be.

G.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 03:40 PM   #144
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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1. I think the practically of training weapons lacking a tsuba has more to do with production than fashion. You can purchase tsuba for bokken for additional cost. I also know of several competent craftsmen who have fashioned their own tsuba. There is a measure of safety the tsuba offers as well as the reflection of sword techniques that become more difficult when you have to compete with a tsuba (wrist cutting, for example).
2. Weapons should should always be treated as serious and potentially dangerous. The proper use and awareness of what your weapon is doing is essential to weapons work. To make weapons work a frivolity is simply incomprehensible. If the bokken is representative of a sword, then you are using a dangerous weapon. If the bokken is nothing more than a stick, then you are not practicing sword work. Grab a shinken anywhere you want to, by all means.

I have not purchased a tsuba yet, only because I believe the best ones are custom fit to the sword. Kingfisher woodworks sells a great bokken/tsuba combo. I am not sure if "tradition" plays a relevant role in your decision to use a tsuba. Every day we see non-traditional hakama, gi, tabi, etc.; if we let Mossy Oak hakama in the dojo, are we really arguing about a tsuba? (nothing personal, as long as the camo doesn't smell like deer p*$$... )
Disclaimer: No endorsement, actual or implied, can be assumed from the camo hakama which appears briefly in my first kumitachi videos.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #145
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The main reason most folks can get away with training with no tsuba is that they do not really go for it. If you are doing a per-arranged form in which everyone knows exactly what is going to happen, and the parties are trying to do the form rather than really hit each other, you can have a very controlled exercise and no ones hands get clobbered..
Dear Ledyard sensei

This is not necessarily contradicting your point but I'd just like add for the benefit of others that in some pre-arranged forms such as the kumi-tachi of the founder and his closer students (most notably Saito Morihiro Shihan), the practitioners actually are "trying to hit each other" once both parties know the form well enough for it to be safe. The forms actually fall apart if one merely attacks the air in front of one's opponent or if one changes the target from a strike to the yokomen to a strike against the sword.

So I agree with you regarding when the form demands a particular target such as the sinciput of the head rather than the hand. Some henka do target the hand, wrist or forearm, but as you say, since it's a set form, you know the person will try to hit that area, so you have a chance to build up to intense practice without a tsuba. Outside of the form, especially in competition, it is a different matter.

I always ask myself what the sword practice is trying to ingrain. In one dojo I visited they didn't use tsuba but beginners had to wear a hockey glove until they learned that particular form. In one of their kata, the hand was a specific target from a specific stance that seemed to cultivate a particular Iaido-related reaction in uketachi. Another dojo I visited practised with and without the tsuba, but insisted that bokken without tsuba be gripped as if they had one. In other words, if the teacher came over and put a shinken in your hands, your grip would be the same with the real sword (with tsuba) as it was with the (no-tsuba) bokken. This greatly affected the "shibori" (wringing out) tanren for the cuts and to me it felt like a much more "sword-specific" practice. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, it just depends on what the teacher is trying to achieve.

Regards

Carl

PS: I can't immediately recall myself if there are any pictures or videos of Osensei practising with a real katana. It would be interesting to see how he held it.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 06:17 AM   #146
graham christian
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Re: Why no tsuba?

O.k. Let's take this to another level. Level being the operative word.

At different levels and for different purposes there are reasons to use a tsuba and reasons not to.

For most maybe the reasons for rule their thinking. That's fine.

I have seen a level of use where it was taught that the tsuba then is 'in the way', not useful. I have seen this demonstrated to various swordsmen who tried to attack his wrist. All failed. Lots of Kendo teachers included.

As such I am prepared to share what his reasoning was, and still is, from his perspective at his high level.

1) He said reliance on the tsuba breeds false security.

Now I understand this from the viewpoint of Aikido.

2) He said and demonstrated Aiki Sword, or as he called it Aiki ken as different from other sword forms and the differences were what made it what it was.

3) He said that people not understanding this could only copy 'forms' and miss the whole point.

4) He demonstrated cutting through the opponents weapon and also 'meeting' the opponents weapon, however in Aikiken he also demonstrated never to touch the opponents weapon, no 'fencing', no 'sparring' no cutting through the weapon or meeting it as that isn't Aiki ken or what he called 'true' aikiken.

5) So his way was and is Aikido ken. One move and finish.

6) Now this may take zanshin, fudoshin and even senshin but nonetheless One move based on Aikido principles and it's all over.

Now I like this and these views. The sword in Aikido should represent Aikido and it's principles I would say.

Self defence needs tsuba. Harmony needs no defence. Reaching that level may take much tsuba but I doubt it.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #147
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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O.k. Let's take this to another level. Level being the operative word.

At different levels and for different purposes there are reasons to use a tsuba and reasons not to.

For most maybe the reasons for rule their thinking. That's fine.

I have seen a level of use where it was taught that the tsuba then is 'in the way', not useful. I have seen this demonstrated to various swordsmen who tried to attack his wrist. All failed. Lots of Kendo teachers included.

As such I am prepared to share what his reasoning was, and still is, from his perspective at his high level.

1) He said reliance on the tsuba breeds false security.

Now I understand this from the viewpoint of Aikido.

2) He said and demonstrated Aiki Sword, or as he called it Aiki ken as different from other sword forms and the differences were what made it what it was.

3) He said that people not understanding this could only copy 'forms' and miss the whole point.

4) He demonstrated cutting through the opponents weapon and also 'meeting' the opponents weapon, however in Aikiken he also demonstrated never to touch the opponents weapon, no 'fencing', no 'sparring' no cutting through the weapon or meeting it as that isn't Aiki ken or what he called 'true' aikiken.

5) So his way was and is Aikido ken. One move and finish.

6) Now this may take zanshin, fudoshin and even senshin but nonetheless One move based on Aikido principles and it's all over.

Now I like this and these views. The sword in Aikido should represent Aikido and it's principles I would say.

Self defence needs tsuba. Harmony needs no defence. Reaching that level may take much tsuba but I doubt it.

Regards.G.
1) Would you care to name this allegedly high level swordsman?

2) Kendo has little to do with traditional swordsmanship that is taught in a Ryuha, so trying to imply that there is any carryover whatsoever is inaccurate (to say the least).

3) The information/opinion that you shared is (IMO) dangerous and irresponsible. If you do not believe me, then I would be happy to arrange for a teacher in a traditional Japanese Ryu to attack you with a bokken, so that you can experience for yourself, the results of your assumptions.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 02-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #148
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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1) Would you care to name this allegedly high level swordsman?

2) Kendo has little to do with traditional swordsmanship that is taught in a Ryuha, so trying to imply that there is any carryover whatsoever is inaccurate (to say the least).

3) The information/opinion that you shared is (IMO) dangerous and irresponsible. If you do not believe me, then I would be happy to arrange for a teacher in a traditional Japanese Ryu to attack you with a bokken, so that you can experience for yourself, the results of your assumptions.

Marc Abrams
The opinion you hold is no different to those who I witnessed.

I have nothing more to add.

Regards.G.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #149
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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The opinion you hold is no different to those who I witnessed.

I have nothing more to add.

Regards.G.
Graham:

The GLARING differences:

1) You have been asked to directly name this person and you seem to feel no obligation whatsoever to provide a name of this allegedly, high level swordsman.

2) You have been given an opportunity to demonstrate your "opinion" is an empirical manner (as opposed to things that you have alleged to have witnessed).

You can continue to offer opinions and people will continue to ask for some type of demonstrable, empirical evidence of stated opinions. When you can provide such experiences (such as your meeting with Mark Freeman), people can begin to realistically assess your stated opinions and alleged skills. In absence of that, you continue to proverbially shoot yourself in the foot by avoiding, skirting and denying any necessity for the empirical validations of ideas and skills. This process serves as a genuine foundation for all martial arts. This is particularly the case when people with a greater knowledge base of facts and abilities have presented you with information that runs counter to your stated opinions and alleged abilities.

In other words, if you have nothing more to add to this, then I will continue assert that your position is dangerous and irresponsible when you are acting in a role as a teacher. If you would like to take me up on my offer to put such stated opinions and alleged abilities to the test, please let me know.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 02-22-2012, 09:16 AM   #150
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Re: Why no tsuba?

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Graham:

The GLARING differences:

1) You have been asked to directly name this person and you seem to feel no obligation whatsoever to provide a name of this allegedly, high level swordsman.

2) You have been given an opportunity to demonstrate your "opinion" is an empirical manner (as opposed to things that you have alleged to have witnessed).

You can continue to offer opinions and people will continue to ask for some type of demonstrable, empirical evidence of stated opinions. When you can provide such experiences (such as your meeting with Mark Freeman), people can begin to realistically assess your stated opinions and alleged skills. In absence of that, you continue to proverbially shoot yourself in the foot by avoiding, skirting and denying any necessity for the empirical validations of ideas and skills. This process serves as a genuine foundation for all martial arts. This is particularly the case when people with a greater knowledge base of facts and abilities have presented you with information that runs counter to your stated opinions and alleged abilities.

In other words, if you have nothing more to add to this, then I will continue assert that your position is dangerous and irresponsible when you are acting in a role as a teacher. If you would like to take me up on my offer to put such stated opinions and alleged abilities to the test, please let me know.

Marc Abrams
Marc. Enough talking. Enough empirical this and that.

I have met one person on here and shared my views briefly on the subject and we briefly did some bokken work.

I have named the teacher repeatedly and yet you still ask.

Forget empirical whatever and trying to tell me what I should do, if you want to know then when you have the time and are visiting then come see me otherwise There is no more to say really. If one of your students comes over here the same applies. I'm sure we can make him welcome.

More importantly though, I just thought of something. If you or anyone is so interested in my Teacher then it would be wise and even beneficial for someone of good standing and charachter (I know you like those words) to arrange a visit. Someone like Stanley Pranin for example for I'm sure he would be a great resource for information unknown about the 'early' years over here. A new source, more info, you'll love it.

If not then opinions can flourish but unfortunately not prosper.

Regards.G.
 

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