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Old 07-03-2008, 06:28 AM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Good discussion. I just thank God I don't have to fight any samurai on the street today!

Focusing on where your are and how you got there is an important thing to consider when evaluating "effectiveness" or "self defense".

It will usually shed light on the importance of said weapons, training methods, or testing of your skills in a particular area.

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Old 07-03-2008, 07:03 AM   #27
Rennis Buchner
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
It has been my experience so far with various Iai, Kendo, Aikido, and kali, people, that they have been unable to even keep their weapons; swords, knives, and sticks- in their hands. Never mind what they intended to do with them.
Sadly I'd have to agree. Now as a martial artist, I rank myself pretty strongly on the "crappy" side of things. My body skills suck, my balance is terrible most of the time, I'm far too tense almost always. But despite that fact I've ended up cutting the bokuto out of the hands of a couple of kendo and iai 7-dans (while doing jodo, repeatedly for both parties), as well as several lower ranked yudansha in iai, kendo and aikido. The majority of these weren't of the "oh, I dropped my bokuto" variety either. We are talking fully air born, sliding half way across the dojo floor of large major city run budo-kan type of incidences here. Considering how bad my skills are overall and that all of these events happened years before I ever started considering that my body skills needed to be rebuilt, I can assure you that amazing technique on my part was probably not the reason for these "air born adventures". The frequency in which this was happening was one of my first clues that "something was missing" in most people's training today.

For what little it's worth,
Rennis Buchner
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:08 AM   #28
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

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I'm calling bullshit on this.

Either you're making this up your friend didn't actually do kendo. Turning, side-stepping, and slipping are all essential parts of kendo, and leaving your back foot where it is is contrary to the most basic mechanics of kendo.
He was trying to get me to move around in tsugi ashi and I was more interested in irimi tenkan, irimi kaiten and kaiten step.
Of course if you're trying to get in behind someone and you're in ai hamni you have to step with your back foot.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:21 AM   #29
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Hi Kevin
I think you are missing my point entirely, bud
Thee argument-which is and has been my argument for years-as it's a good one, is that live training teaches many valuable lessons.I also "go at it with bokken, also train in armor with shinai and have a wll full of various weapons in my dojo.

Is live training all the same? Hardly.
Any yahoo picking up a bokken and a whackin someone with it is NOT live training with any value.
Men trained in the use of Swords can enhance their practice and learn those valuable lessons in their live training.
Anything else is to presume that a couple of guys from backwater U.S can invent/ rediscover and or improve over some real genius who discovered their own "truths" in bladed weapons work many centuries ago and continually refined and worked it.

I suppose I could bring it home to you and say I know two guys in Kentucky who go at it and bash the hell out of each other other while wearing web gear and BDU's..They're doing live training too. You should go learn from them.
I think you and Kit have made a very strong point about people who are not LEO or Military do not fully understand that training environment. Good points, I have never argued them.

I don't presume. I think its a mistake for others to presume they have the first clue about training with Koryu weapons and what they are designed to do and how. Those that do might see the same humor in your discussion as I do. Then again, I have seen those that did with their weapons flying across the room. I didn't have to worry about "getting bashed with them."

Last edited by DH : 07-03-2008 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #30
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
...

My friend at one point just shouted "NO TURNING, NO SIDE STEPPING, NO SLIPPING PAST, LEAVE YOUR BACK FOOT WHERE IT IS AND NO ******* ATEMI!" at me.

....
I disagree entirely with your kendoka + bokken comment. However, I think the point of "the artist" rather than "the art" is being overlooked!

As for the above bit:
If you are playing kendo then play kendo, if you want to have a sword/stick fight: do something else.
Turns are fine, side stepping is fine, slipping past someone is fine... and you can move your back foot... you can even use atemi (if you're sly ). Generally, for people brand new to kendo, it is simplified (as it still is for me by the way) in that primarily you should want to go forward. It's very hard to get a beginner to go forward actually, they tend to want to emulate something they saw Toshiro Mifune (in my case ) doing!

Kendo is really good fun, very hard and even more fascinating. Certainly made me more confident in how I use my body, which feeds directly into my aikido (which is rubbish! )
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:58 AM   #31
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

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It has been my experience so far with various Iai, Kendo, Aikido, and kali, people, that they have been unable to even keep their weapons; swords, knives, and sticks- in their hands. Never mind what they intended to do with them.
Gives "causing no harm" and "protecting the attacker" a whole new spin-at least in the dojo and in your imagination.
Anyway, still a pointless and silly debate, but -in person- it can be lots of fun outside of kata seeing weapons go flying across the room, or hitting the floor.
"I see strengths and weaknesses in all sorts of places"
"I've met more than a few men with shocked looks on their faces."

So I think it's valuable to try a lot of things, before you judge. Or even before you maybe decide on a single training method.
Dan, this seems like another way of saying "my way is better than yours."

Is that fair to go to a place where there is an agreement to train one way and then make your way better because you don't go by the agreed upon parameters?
I can make people have shocked looks on their faces but why?

Mary
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:14 AM   #32
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I think what Dan is saying is (if I am wrong sorry Dan) if people are going to do something then do it right. I think it was Musashi that said ““Do nothing which is of no use” If folks want to play samurai OK just know what you are doing and why, but if they want to study an art then damn it do it.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I've had a bokken and a knife knocked out of my hands training with Dan. He gets his unbelievable center all the way to the tip of whatever he is holding and it moves lightening fast. It is shocking. And as I see it, unless you (in general) can do that too his way is better than yours.

If Mike Jordan wrote on a basketball forum (you know where they play basketball too) about seeing people shocked by his air time, they'd all just nod and say - yeah I can related to that.

Rob
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:20 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I find this bokken is only good for sword practice talk kind of silly. Regardless of it's purpose, it is a giant very hard well shaped easy to wield stick. I'm sure there are far better ways to beat someone senseless with it then pretending its a sword. Like learning how to stick fight with it.

Sword work is interesting, but ultimately not as practical from a self defense point of view as being able to fight with a stick (unless you live in a place that will let you carry a sword). I am not saying kendo is in the business of teaching stick fighting either. I'm saying their training method leads to a good level of skill in stick fighting. Other stick fighting schools out there that spar with 'real' sticks and contact (like the dog brothers) push this even further.

I think however we have gotten wildly off topic.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:47 AM   #35
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

I like my bokken as a weapon because of the shape and size of it ...I can use it for training and keep it around the house if I ever need it...
Mary
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #36
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

I didn't say a bokken is only good for sword practice. But it exists in this world as a safe(er) substitute to practice swordwork. If I wanted to use a stick-Id use a stick. Why not usiw a wooden gun replica to practice throwing it at someone instead of practicing firing it? That would be as valid to me as Bobby next door practicing "live training" bashing people with bokken and convincing himself he is validating anything at all.
By the way last week I "invented" this round circular object. I think it can be used to move heavy objects like wagons and things. I was going to patent it but it appears its been around for ages. Someone beat me to it.

Swords are not used like sticks. It's stupid to use them like that. Swordsmen use swords to cut and stab with control and finesses.
Sticks, can be used with equal finesses-or you can just bash with them and be happy.
As a staunch advocate for live training- folks start to lose me when they presume to understand all weapons and training goals and think they are equal, or just how they should be trained in that live environment. Its why for example, I am very cautious with any discussion of the needs of Military or LEO, as seen in the Military thread here. I feel that is best left to men who know the environment.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:14 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido is a Martial Art and not for self-defense???

Hi Dennis
Yes that pretty well sums it up.
Its a hard fact that not all methods are equal nor all roads lead to the same place.
I take no more umbrage to encountering a superior martial art method, then I do to a superior stain removing laundry detergent.
I'd rather be the guy with the cleaner shirt.
I also don't habituate garages where the mechanic has a nifty uniform, and really cool polished chrome tool thingies...and can't fix my car to save his life.

It's another reason I keep arguing for both live training and internal training BOTH, and why they absolutely fit every goal I ever encountered in aikido. Were they practiced together they would change the face of aikido into a powerhouse of true martial potential while retaining the higher goals, and spiritual aspects as well. And it need not look like the UFC to do so.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:47 AM   #38
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Hi Mary
No kiddo, I would never be doing something with agreed parameters and then switch it up. There's no need, nor excuse for being so rude. If you haven't gotten it yet from those writing in-we have fun and as much as possible- train safe.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #39
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Hmmmmm....for perspectives sakes

Plenty of stories regarding Miyamoto Musashi's propensity to beat down Samurai with nothing more than a stick/bokken.

It did not seem to matter to him that they were armed with live blades.

Most of the time it appears he was making a statement (according to Keniji Tokitsu anyway) that it's does not matter what weapon you have at your disposal if your practice sucks from a technical standpoint.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-03-2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:00 PM   #40
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Nor does Musashi say, or probably would say that they're all used the same. I think you might stop and consider he was making the point that he was using the stick as a stick and that his skill was perfectly manifested in the use of the stick as a stick.
He didn't try to stab the guy with it now did he?
Nor do you take a sword and bash people with all sorts of wasted energy. You cut them and stab them.

Once again my overriding point is that you can spend a hell of allot of time trying to figure something out with your buddies at the park, only to discover your reinventing the wheel and maybe missing out on a whole hell of a lot of information.
Bashing a bokken at someone is not sword work. Thus it is better to not use a sword shaped thingy in the fist place. Use a cricket bat. or various native American, or Indonesian wooden clubs. Hell even a big knotted stick. Why a sword shaped thingy, when you don't have a freakin clue how to use a sword in the first place?
Why?
Because you are trying to prove a point-that was essentially moot before you even began.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:47 PM   #41
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
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Hi Mary
No kiddo, I would never be doing something with agreed parameters and then switch it up. There's no need, nor excuse for being so rude. If you haven't gotten it yet from those writing in-we have fun and as much as possible- train safe.
I guess somewhere I got the idea that what you do is like the UFC...maybe I interpreted live training as real, no holds barred fighting. I see now I was mistaken.
Thanks for the clarification...
Mary
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:51 PM   #42
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

I never said stick fighting was sword work. I said kendo does not make sense in the form of sword work for self defense. But it lends itself well to learning stick work. So if you look at kendo as a form of stick work, it well works.

There are also plenty of reasons to use a bokken over a standard stick or jo. The grip, the guard, angle, shape, etc all lend themselves well to hurting someone badly. I am not trained in sword work, I do own a bokken, it's sole purpose is for beating someone who makes it to my bedroom before I can get to my closet and secure my firearm.

I think it is a mistake to think bokken = sword work. I have never ever ever said that if you can beat someone with a bokken you can beat them with a sword. In fact that would go against everything I stand for in the name of aliveness. Until you are fighting with a actual sword, you are speculating.

Again why a sword shaped stick? Because it is easier to wield then a regular stick, it gives more leverage, has a better grip, etc. It really isn't all that hard to see the advantages of a bokken over using half a broomstick.

If you use it in the context of a special stick weapon, make no illusions to using it as a sword (no cuts, just strikes) it can be a very very efficient weapon. To claim otherwise is just silly. I think the kendo I have seen does this to some extent, and that is why I feel it can build good stick fighting habits.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #43
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Dan,

My post was not very clear and kinda jacked up, sorry. Did not mean to imply that disagreed with anything you were saying, actually I do agree with it.

Looking at the endstate of what it is that you are doing is important. If you are training with a bokken, then treat it like a sword. (which is something I don't know much about, hence my comment "I am glad I am not facing samurai")

I also agree with your comments here as well:

Quote:
I keep arguing for both live training and internal training BOTH, and why they absolutely fit every goal I ever encountered in aikido. Were they practiced together they would change the face of aikido into a powerhouse of true martial potential while retaining the higher goals, and spiritual aspects as well. And it need not look like the UFC to do so.
When you define "Live" training though...I think you have to focus on the defintiion of what "live" is. I think there are various focuses on "Live". There is a "live" sport model, and a "live" tactics application model...as well as probably others.

I believe in an approach similar to this model the Marine Corps uses is a good approach to a holistic program. You have to approach training this way as we cannot simply invent any one particular event or process that captures it that would not be completely dangerous to train in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Synergy.png

Unfortunately, most people or schools don't take the time to look at training strategy as a integrated and multilayered approach.

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Old 07-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #44
Aikibu
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Nor does Musashi say, or probably would say that they're all used the same. I think you might stop and consider he was making the point that he was using the stick as a stick and that his skill was perfectly manifested in the use of the stick as a stick.
He didn't try to stab the guy with it now did he?
Nor do you take a sword and bash people with all sorts of wasted energy. You cut them and stab them.

Once again my overriding point is that you can spend a hell of allot of time trying to figure something out with your buddies at the park, only to discover your reinventing the wheel and maybe missing out on a whole hell of a lot of information.
Bashing a bokken at someone is not sword work. Thus it is better to not use a sword shaped thingy in the fist place. Use a cricket bat. or various native American, or Indonesian wooden clubs. Hell even a big knotted stick. Why a sword shaped thingy, when you don't have a freakin clue how to use a sword in the first place?
Why?
Because you are trying to prove a point-that was essentially moot before you even began.
Not trying to prove any points Dan really. Just trying to actually enhance your view a little bit,

By the way ALL our Aikido is practiced with either Bokken Jo or Ken ( our Iaido) there is no differance in the foot work or hand postion with Tai-Jitsu or Bokken or Ken. We feature allot of Ken te Ken randori though not to the Degree or Focus I've experianced with someone like Nathan Scott. In Fact as far as Ken te Ken Randori goes Nathan's folks are pretty darn good at it.

There is a world of differance to someones Aikido if they practice with weapons as an intergral part of thier training. I would bet that almost the same can be said your practice too though you do it at a far higher level.

William Hazen
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #45
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Bashing a bokken at someone is not sword work. Thus it is better to not use a sword shaped thingy in the fist place. Use a cricket bat. or various native American, or Indonesian wooden clubs. Hell even a big knotted stick. Why a sword shaped thingy, when you don't have a freakin clue how to use a sword in the first place?
Why?
Dan,

Maybe this is a question that you should ask the US Park Service mounted officers in Washington DC, since most of them seem to have replaced their traditional style billy clubs with bokken, although my guess is that their reasoning is pretty simple: they like the comparative advantage in reach and balance offered by a bokken, and a bokken just looks much, much cooler than a billy club, whether it's in the saddle harness or in use.

Best,

FL
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:13 PM   #46
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I guess somewhere I got the idea that what you do is like the UFC...maybe I interpreted live training as real, no holds barred fighting. I see now I was mistaken.
Thanks for the clarification...
Mary
Mary
We do both. We are a koryu dojo that trains with classical weapons, then....we switch. You are not the only one who has mistaken what it appears to be two very different messages. On any given day you will see Keikogi and Hakama, then two hours later- sweats and t-shirts.
Wierd, I know.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:21 PM   #47
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Dan,

Maybe this is a question that you should ask the US Park Service mounted officers in Washington DC, since most of them seem to have replaced their traditional style billy clubs with bokken, although my guess is that their reasoning is pretty simple: they like the comparative advantage in reach and balance offered by a bokken, and a bokken just looks much, much cooler than a billy club, whether it's in the saddle harness or in use.

Best,

FL
Hi Fred
And are you proposing their cutting and using the Bokken like swords and have trained in sword? I thought not. Neither are the dog brothers Fred.
So contrary to what anyone may choose to state -since they have no experience or training in sword....regardless of the shape in their hand-they are none-the-less... bashing with a stick.

I suppose it's no different than waht you do- just bashing around with your naginata. I mean, after all its just a big peice of wood.
Let the dog brothers show you how to do it better.

on a serous note-Interesting tid bit, thanks
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #48
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Not trying to prove any points Dan really. Just trying to actually enhance your view a little bit,

By the way ALL our Aikido is practiced with either Bokken Jo or Ken ( our Iaido) there is no differance in the foot work or hand postion with Tai-Jitsu or Bokken or Ken. We feature allot of Ken te Ken randori though not to the Degree or Focus I've experianced with someone like Nathan Scott. In Fact as far as Ken te Ken Randori goes Nathan's folks are pretty darn good at it.

There is a world of differance to someones Aikido if they practice with weapons as an intergral part of thier training. I would bet that almost the same can be said your practice too though you do it at a far higher level.

William Hazen
Hi Bud
Well as stated we do allot of work with weapons. We not only do live bokken work- once someone reaches certain level, we do it without armor freestyle-with blind side mutliple attackers with a guy having to respond-yes people can get hurt.
Add to that we also train outdoors in moonlight over rough terrain, roots and stumps, but have also trained in rough terrain in a raging blizzard almost thigh deep in snow.
If you add to that the shinai and armor work with guys getting very severely bruised and almost knocked out...
Add to that twin stick work at high speed with broken hands and knuckles,
Add to that knife work with knuckles arms kidney and chest bruises and facial cuts then yeah...
I think I can understand and appreciate your "enhanced" view of weapons or maybe not. it doesn't chang my point about the difference between bashing with sowrd shaped thingies and real swordwork.

Last edited by DH : 07-03-2008 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:39 PM   #49
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Again, I am only trying to STRESS the point that two yahoos (no offense to the dog brothers I like much of their stuff) with no sword training picking up sword shaped thingies to do some live training by bashing each other has not one single thing to do with sword work.
If you "live train" a weapon fomat you should stay true to the attributes of the weapon. Otherwise you might as well take your wooden gun replica and throw it at people or bash them with it and call it "live gun combatives."

I don't know how to say it any clearer than that.

Last edited by DH : 07-03-2008 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:52 PM   #50
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Re: Kendo and Bokken/Bokuto

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Fred
And are you proposing their cutting and using the Bokken like swords and have trained in sword? I thought not. Neither are the dog brothers Fred.
So contrary to what anyone may choose to state -since they have no experience or training in sword....regardless of the shape in their hand-they are none-the-less... bashing with a stick.

I suppose it's no different than waht you do- just bashing around with your naginata. I mean, after all its just a big peice of wood.
Let the dog brothers show you how to do it better.

on a serous note-Interesting tid bit, thanks
Hey Dan,

It's not quite the same. My naginata is made out of reasonably hard wood, as opposed to that crap they use for the bargain bokken at Asian World of Martial Arts, which is what they appeared to be packing.

Do the Dog Brothers allow kusarigama in matches? Or is that strictly Renaissance Faire?

Experience tells me this: getting bashed hurts immediately. Getting cut may not hurt at first, but by the time you know you're cut...

Well, you know.

Best,

FL
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