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Old 03-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #1
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Freaky! How can I make my weapon sing?

Can somebody give me the secret for making my jo or my boken go: "voooouuuummmm" when I swing them around? I can't even make a shinai sing, and that's a shame, because the shinai is just a bundle of banboo sticks tied together, so when you swing it around, the air rushes right between the sticks, and, wwwwiiiisssshhhh! Even a begginer can do it. Not me. When I try, I end up going hhhhaaaannnn! And my weapon remains discouraginly mute. When I asked my Sensei, he laughed. According to him, I grab my weapon too hard, preventing to go free. But don't I have to hold it so it won't fly from my hand? I suspect that he did not give me a complete answer, and that he thinks that it will come with time. But if a beginner can make at least a shinai sing, why not me?
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
Nafis Zahir
 
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Thumbs up Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Just keep practicing. Work of your breathing. It will come in time. It is not something you should look for or worry about. When it happens, you won't even realize it has.

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Old 03-12-2007, 02:35 PM   #3
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Shades of Prince Valiant!
The answer (as it probably is to 99% of Aikido queries) is: Relax.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
Ron Tisdale
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

I've been making my weapons sing for years...I still do it wrong.

Doing it correctly is much more worthwhile...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
Jorge Garcia
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Can somebody give me the secret for making my jo or my boken go: "voooouuuummmm" when I swing them around? I can't even make a shinai sing, and that's a shame, because the shinai is just a bundle of banboo sticks tied together, so when you swing it around, the air rushes right between the sticks, and, wwwwiiiisssshhhh! Even a begginer can do it. Not me. When I try, I end up going hhhhaaaannnn! And my weapon remains discouraginly mute. When I asked my Sensei, he laughed. According to him, I grab my weapon too hard, preventing to go free. But don't I have to hold it so it won't fly from my hand? I suspect that he did not give me a complete answer, and that he thinks that it will come with time. But if a beginner can make at least a shinai sing, why not me?
1) Hold the bottom hand firmly but don't squeeze the top hand but rather relax it and use it as a guide.
2) Work on your cuts. Do a hundred a day, nice and straight.
3) Relax your shoulders and arms.
4) Strike a little forward before you go down. Not straight down. Do it like a cut, not a club. There is a difference between clubbing and cutting.
5) Don't think about trying to make the sound, just go an average speed and concentrate on the straight cut.
6) Listen to what Ron just said.
I am no expert but these things have helped me a little.
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:17 PM   #6
Michael Douglas
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Get stronger
and swing it fast.

No, I'm not joking or being snide.
Jorge's tips are great and some will make you stronger.
Don't be lazy.

Oh, and check your weapon is the same length as the one you hear going Vuuuuuum or you might be giving yourself a harder job than you need to.
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:58 PM   #7
Aristeia
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

what jorge said.

That and buy a bokken with the groove cut down the blade ;-)

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:43 AM   #8
philippe willaume
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Hello

This linked to linear tip velocity and general shape, long and thing is better that short and stubby. (As far as the topic is concerned that is)
If you are using a real sword European, japanesse or any other part of the word, they go whoos very easily.

For a sword the idea is to get the greater rotational speed possible. That speed remains constant for every point of the blade from the guard to the tip, so the further up the blade you are the grater your linear speed.

phil
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:27 PM   #9
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Wink Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Thank you guys for your advice. I think that my Sensei would not disagree with you. So I printed everything, and I am going to work on it. I'll let you know the results in a few months (or years).
Time to grab (delicately) a boken.
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:36 PM   #10
HL1978
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

I do iaido. Make the cut as big as possible, involve the wrists some. It is easier to do when when you are first starting when making a full body cut simply because the motion is bigger.

With an iaito you can get many different sounds and can infact use that as feedback as to wether or not your cut was a good one.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:05 PM   #11
HL1978
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I do iaido. Make the cut as big as possible, involve the wrists some. It is easier to do when when you are first starting when making a full body cut simply because the motion is bigger.

With an iaito you can get many different sounds and can infact use that as feedback as to wether or not your cut was a good one.
Let me clarify a bit.

Make the arc of the cut as big as possible.
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:28 PM   #12
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Ganbatte!

If you swing a bokken really slowly in a quiet room it begins to sound like a light sabre.

Work on the swing, the noise will follow. You mentioned shinai, do you do kendo? The same applies to fumi komi; the noise comes when it is done correctly not from simply stamping your feet. Likewise for sword cuts; don't try and make the noise, make the cut beautiful and the noise will come.

Blood grooves cut into bokken i thought were pointless decorations, they are a useful aid in making the "whoosh" more obvious so an experienced iaidude can tell "where" the cut is. But they do make the whoosh every time they are swung which makes one believe they are better than they are

What Hunter said too, big arc.

peace and love

jo
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #13
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Likewise for sword cuts; don't try and make the noise, make the cut beautiful and the noise will come.
I wholeheartedly agree. Relaxed and beautiful.

If you want to hit/throw/cut properly you must relax. You don't punch effectively with your arm rigid. Don't treat the sword like a rigid object, either (it isn't, anyway). If you do, you will try to lever it at some point and destroy your form in the cut.

Cutting must be done relaxed. I don't just mean your body. Address the cut like the blade is not stiff at all. Treat the sword tip like it was a tanto on a rope, rather than a stiff rod.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:58 AM   #14
Edward
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Making the bokken sing doesn't mean that the technique is correct.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:54 AM   #15
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

When I asked my Sensei, he laughed. According to him, I grab my weapon too hard, preventing to go free. But don't I have to hold it so it won't fly from my hand? I suspect that he did not give me a complete answer, and that he thinks that it will come with time.

Be careful what you say here chaps!!
Sorry couldn't resist it.... but he is right!
Tony
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:11 PM   #16
Mark Freeman
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
. According to him, I grab my weapon too hard, preventing to go free. But don't I have to hold it so it won't fly from my hand? I suspect that he did not give me a complete answer, and that he thinks that it will come with time.
Try this,

hold a bokken in both hands, put your mind on your hands, relax your grip so much that a partner can slide the bokken forward and backwards in your hands, there needs to be contact with the skin but not enoughto stop the movement ( they need to stand side on, holding the bokken lightly between their fingertips on the top of the blade ). Then, without changing your grip at all, put your mind at the tip of the bokken, get them to test with exactly the same amount of effort ( which is very little ) you should find that the bokken is now 'stuck' to your hands. This will give you an idea of how lightly to hold the bokken.

As for getting the sound out of the blade, practice cutting with relaxation and extension from your one point / centre, to the tip of the weapon.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:04 AM   #17
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Remember to use the bottom two fingers (pinkie & ring) to grip the tsuka, not all the fingers.
Think about the way you hold uke's hand when doing sankyo and how you apply pressure when doing yonkyo and apply this to how you hold the sword; this will improve your grip.

peace and love

jo
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:47 AM   #18
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Remember to use the bottom two fingers (pinkie & ring) to grip the tsuka, not all the fingers.
Think about the way you hold uke's hand when doing sankyo and how you apply pressure when doing yonkyo and apply this to how you hold the sword; this will improve your grip.

peace and love

jo
Conversely, hold uke's wrist / arm in proper sword grip when you are doing ikkyo - gokyo, shihonage, kote-gaeshi, etc ,and your taijutsu will improve!

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:58 AM   #19
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Quote:
Cito Maramba wrote: View Post
Conversely, hold uke's wrist / arm in proper sword grip when you are doing ikkyo - gokyo, shihonage, kote-gaeshi, etc ,and your taijutsu will improve!
....Damn... why didn't I write that!

It really is lovely and cyclic. One period you might be immersed in sword and suddenly your aiki improves; then you might be immersed in aiki and your sword improves.

Recently I was at a muso jikiden eishin ryu seminar. Most of the information trickled out of my ears as my brain was overloaded. But I couldn't believe after just one day with these guys that my swing, and my aiki thanks to it, got so much better.... but still i am rubbish!!

peace and love

jo
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:22 PM   #20
peter martin-browning
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Re: How can I make my weapon sing?

Dear Noelle

I can only guess why your weapon doesn't sing. For me, it took eight months before I fully understood what they meant by "It's a cut, not a blow." This was in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaijutsu. What they meant was that the sword passes through an arc, back toward you as you cut, not straight down onto the target. In other words the sword SLICES, just like slicing meat. Also I tried and tried to make a strong cut but did not begin to do so until i realised that "...strong left hand" meant I had to unlearn my reliance on my right hand. When I allowed myself to make a strong cut with my left hand while guiding the sword with my right, then I made a straight cut. Wonky cut has less potential to make a sound.
Above all, don't try to use strength to make a sound. Some people believe that aggression and athleticism are the basis for good practice, but the truly potent teachers I have seen have been those whose practice is soft and correct.
It is hard to make an arc when the starting position of the bokken is above the head, as in much aikiken. In Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaijutsu, the starting position is behind the body. One very helpful tip I was given was to practice holding the bokken the wrong way round, and this can help to give you the right feel when it makes a proper arc.
Invest in failure. If you focus on making a sound, you will take attention away from correct practice. If you give all your attention to correct practice, your sword will make a sound.

At your service

Peter

Last edited by peter martin-browning : 03-22-2007 at 01:31 PM.
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