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Old 04-11-2003, 04:47 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
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tsuba

~~Only about 10% of the folks at my dojo use a tsuba. How 'bout other dojos? I love mine; saved me many a whining night.

~~Paula~~
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Old 04-11-2003, 06:59 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
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Nope. Never seen anyone else use one on an Iwama bokken, either.

In all the rather vigorous kumitachi I've done, I've only gotten whacked two or three times.

Best Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 04-11-2003, 07:54 PM   #3
otto
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A ratio of 2 out of 10 around here , Paula.

In my case , its just seems to get in the way of my hold.....

I've had more trouble out of students "being careful" with the bokken (ie holding the cut or trying not to hit me ) than the lack of tsuba on mine.

Plus Ki!

Last edited by otto : 04-11-2003 at 07:59 PM.

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Old 04-12-2003, 09:57 AM   #4
MikeE
 
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Nope. Never

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Old 04-26-2003, 01:04 AM   #5
mura-san
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Well,I really dont kwont because in aikiken we dont use tsuba,but i think that it is because that we in aikiken trusted own protection to the body's movements not to hand's movement(how in others school of kenjutsu)for we can out of attack's line,it's thanks to hanmi and hitoemi position.
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Old 04-26-2003, 04:26 AM   #6
Kelly Allen
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What's a tsuba ?
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Old 04-26-2003, 05:05 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Kelly Allen wrote:
What's a tsuba ?
Come on, you guys. You should have answered this elementary question much earlier.

Kelly, the tsuba is the ring found on a normal Japanese sword which separates the hand grip from the blade. Most aiki-ken curved bokken do not have tsuba, but other bokken, e.g., the straight bokken used in kashima-shin(to) ryu do have tsuba to protect the user. In my aikido career to date, I have never practised aiki-ken with a tsuba.

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Old 04-26-2003, 08:50 AM   #8
rachmass
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Always, in my old dojo, 100% with tsuba; also with hockey gloves too (allowing for full contact). Needless to say, I don't practice weapons anymore.
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Old 04-26-2003, 09:36 AM   #9
KaitlinCostello
 
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I have always practiced with the tsuba intact on my bokken.I have small hands, so unlike many of my classmates, I don't have issues with the tsuba interfering with my grip. On a side note, a couple weeks ago Sensei had me practice with his bokken ( a tsubaless white oak that weighed a TON), needless to say it was quite awkward... My grip kept sliding and shifting all night.

K

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Old 04-26-2003, 12:23 PM   #10
mj
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I have never seen one used.

In Judo (my ex art)...we sometimes had new people come who wore shin guards, or perhaps they wore them after a session or two

...it didn't matter, no-one was 'hitting' shins to hurt them and frankly they just got in the way (for the wearer) and they soon stopped using them when they saw it was making no difference at all, except focusing their mind in the wrong place.

What I never saw in more than a decade of judo, was a groin guard. Of course there were occasional accidental groin injuries, but the groin is not a 'legal target' so injuries (or just plain shock) were so rare that it is never worth catering for.

To me the tsuba is like the groin guard, no-one is going to try and chop your fingers but we all accept it may happen on a rare occasion.

However if I thought someone was going to target my fingers I would be wearing Rachel's hockey gloves. And the attacker better be wearing a groin guard.

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Old 04-26-2003, 08:51 PM   #11
akiy
 
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Quote:
mark johnston (mj) wrote:
To me the tsuba is like the groin guard, no-one is going to try and chop your fingers but we all accept it may happen on a rare occasion.
Sometimes, we do paired weaponswork that has one of the bokuto "riding up" the other person's. Also, in cases where we do ken-tai-jo (one person wielding a bokuto and another a jo), there is often motions somewhat much like hikiotoshi (as done in jodo) that makes things much safer for the person wielding the bokuto with a tsuba. Also, there are times when folks get a bit over-eager in slicing through my bokuto...

For these reasons, I have a hide tsuba on one of my bokuto. I have a few others (including a couple of light, Yagyu style) that do not have tsuba, though. Depending the kind of exercises or the kind of bokuto my partner has, I'll switch to another...

-- Jun

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Old 04-27-2003, 02:09 AM   #12
mura-san
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I think that we must kwon that type of ken's school that we practiced for choose own bokken.

If we are study OSensei aikiken,it based its protections in the body movements for out of attack's line,we must have present that OSensei didn't use stuba in his bokken,the bokken more similar to one OSensei is the Iwama's bokken,and it isn't tsuba.

Own fingers didn't pass danger if we adapted our level at our speed,vigor and maai during the exercices.
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Old 05-05-2003, 10:06 AM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Tsuba

When I started with Saotome Sensei nobody used tsuba, I think primarily because there weren't bokken available with them here (I don't count the little plasticthings). Saotome Sensei was able to get Mr. Kiyota of the Kiyota Company to produce some to his speicifications with tsuba and the started to catch on. I haven't used a bokken without one since I did some classical sword with Ellis Amdur Sensei years ago. The tsuba allows you to do some things with the sword that you can't do without one. Almost everyone at my dojo uses one at this point. This is also helped by the fact that two of my senior students are also students of Kenjutsu under Phil Relnick Sensei so they also prefer the tsuba.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-05-2003, 10:30 AM   #14
ian
 
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We don't use a tsuba generally, though one person prefers to and I don't have a problem with that. My worry is, that someone may get used to using the tsuba to trap or block the other's weapon. Whereas this would be realistically possible, I see much of the purpose of kenjutsu within aikido to develop a feel for the others sword and a responsiveness through the blade. If the tsuba is hit, it suggests blending has not occurred.

Ian

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Old 05-05-2003, 10:32 AM   #15
ian
 
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P.S. Jun - yes, for certain more risky exercises I've got my fingers struck, but it certainly focused my attention!

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:33 AM   #16
mura-san
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Estimate George S. Ledyard,when you started to uses stuba,you said that it's when you studied classical sword,but it isn't Ueshiba's sword system create for the aikido,althoug it's the origin of aikiken.

Into of aikiken there aren't any technique that uses tsuba for make protection or block,it's of other kenjutsu schools.
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Old 05-05-2003, 04:41 PM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Quote:
Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
We don't use a tsuba generally, though one person prefers to and I don't have a problem with that. My worry is, that someone may get used to using the tsuba to trap or block the other's weapon. Whereas this would be realistically possible, I see much of the purpose of kenjutsu within aikido to develop a feel for the others sword and a responsiveness through the blade. If the tsuba is hit, it suggests blending has not occurred.

Ian
Actually, I would disagree with that. Using the tsuba I can do an entry into a tsuki which is very steep and allows the attacker's blade to slide right along my own onto the tsuba. I end with my tip at his throat. My own understanding of aiki ken isn't some particular set of techniques but rather the use of the sword to end a conflict in such a way that the opponent is completely controlled and is unable to attack further. Just as Ushiro Sensei went into at great length during the Expo last year, one should have complete control of the attacker on the entry; there should be no possibility of a second strike. The tsuba just makes some moves easier to accomplish in this regard.

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Old 05-05-2003, 04:51 PM   #18
George S. Ledyard
 
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Aikiken?

Quote:
Venan Rodriguez (mura-san) wrote:
Estimate George S. Ledyard,when you started to uses stuba,you said that it's when you studied classical sword,but it isn't Ueshiba's sword system create for the aikido,althoug it's the origin of aikiken.

Into of aikiken there aren't any technique that uses tsuba for make protection or block,it's of other kenjutsu schools.
I am actually unaware that the use of the sword in Aikido had had been codified, as in classical ryu ha. Certainly Saito Sensei developed his own system to teach what he had learned but I have trained under Saotome Sensei and his sword work is quite different than Saito Sensei's. Nishio Sensei's is different than either of them... Ueshiba O-Sensei didn't have a sword "system". There are no set forms, there are no set techniques that he passed on although some of his students have formulated their own in order to teach what they had learned. It is ridiculous to assert that by putting a tsuba on a sword, or by doing sword techniques that may utilize that tsuba you are no longer doing aiki ken. Whose aiki ken? Where is it set down? This is just as bad as people who say that if something wasn't done by O-Sensei in the Aikido he did in 1954 then it isn't REAL Aikido.

Anyway, in Saotome Sensei's sword there is a lot of powerful deflection work and I can tell you that I have been glad of the tsuba many times.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:56 PM   #19
mura-san
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Re: Aikiken?

Estimate George S. Ledyard,i'm not said student dosen't used stuba are not study aikiken(it's one personal election,and said it is more than stupid),i'm only said study of sword's classic schools it isn't study of aikiken,it's study of aikiken origin.

In aikiken we learn to leave whit every own body out of attack line thank to awase whit the partener,aikido's displacements and hitohammi and hitoemi position because i think stuba is not necesary.

As we can think that OSensei's wonderfull mind not sintetaize one system of weapons for the aikido?

For me aikiken today is the system of tech codified and classified for Saito Sensei before of one life dedicate to preservation of Ueshibas tech.
We don't forget that Saito Sensei is the only person that Ueshiba tech (more than anybody)and gave permission in live for tech weapons in the Hombu Dojo.

Last edited by mura-san : 05-05-2003 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 05-05-2003, 07:21 PM   #20
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Re: Aikiken?

Quote:
Venan Rodriguez (mura-san) wrote:
Estimate George S. Ledyard,i'm not said student dosen't used stuba are not study aikiken(it's one personal election,and said it is more than stupid),i'm only said study of sword's classic schools it isn't study of aikiken,it's study of aikiken origin.

In aikiken we learn to leave whit every own body out of attack line thank to awase whit the partener,aikido's displacements and hitohammi and hitoemi position because i think stuba is not necesary.

As we can think that OSensei's wonderfull mind not sintetaize one system of weapons for the aikido?

For me aikiken today is the system of tech codified and classified for Saito Sensei before of one life dedicate to preservation of Ueshibas tech.

we don't forget that Saito Sensei is the only person that Ueshiba tech (more than anybody)and gave permission for tech weapons in the Hombu Dojo.
Ah, the old "Iwama as the source of all true knowledge" ploy, eh? It is fine that you have found a way that you like, that is satisfying and that you think works for you. Just remember that there are a large number of people who also trained for substantial years under the Founder's direction who have different ideas and techniques.

I certainly never maintained that a tsuba was "necessary". I would simply ask that you examine the idea that the tsuba represents some sort of ideological issue here. Who cares if someone uses a tsuba or not? The idea that this piece of hardware indicates that you are doing some sort of style of aikiken is erroneous. It's a thing you stick on your sword to protect your fingers for pitty sake. As to whether it indicates some lack of technical ability, as someone intimated, I am quite satisfied that I can place my tip exectly where I want it yet I have had the experience of training with those that can't quite do this yet. The last time one of them destroyed my oak tsuba I was quite glad I had one. Perhaps it would have been better to have had my fingers smashed so I could appear to be ideologically pure.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-05-2003 at 07:25 PM.

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Old 05-07-2003, 10:17 AM   #21
ian
 
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Re: Re: Re: Aikiken?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Perhaps it would have been better to have had my fingers smashed so I could appear to be ideologically pure.
ha ha ha! I expect that was a verbal dig in my ribs to wake me up

I think I know the move you are talking about George where they cut directly towards you and you cut directly towards them - it is very intimidating, but the cutting action itself throws their weapon to the side in our practise (without having to actually move your sword sideways or utilise a tsuba). Maybe this is unrealistic, since the wooden sword is much thicker than the steel sword. For me I only practice weapon work for what it provides for unarmed practise (and for me it provides alot). I don't know how the tsuba relates to unarmed practice. This defence described above related to blending e.g. ikkyo/irimi-nage relationship, and the ability to enter even when their force is strong (without conflicting).

Ian

P.S. I'd agree about aikiken deriving from Saito (and the reason he only taught Saito the full aikiken, as I understand it, is because students became obsessed with weapon aspects!). However I also think more recently that iaido has infiltrated aikido, since many aikido practitioners do iaido and incorporate this into aikido weapon work. For me I'm not sure this is useful - aikiken is not just a weapon work 'add-on' for aikido.

Last edited by ian : 05-07-2003 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:34 AM   #22
rachmass
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I didn't catch the comment where it was equated that the use of tsuba meant you were technically deficient. I can assure you that neither Chiba Sensei nor Shibata Sensei are technically deficient, and both of them use a tsuba. I think it depends on how the attacks are carried forth on whether you want one or not.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:31 AM   #23
George S. Ledyard
 
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Technology

Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
I didn't catch the comment where it was equated that the use of tsuba meant you were technically deficient. I can assure you that neither Chiba Sensei nor Shibata Sensei are technically deficient, and both of them use a tsuba. I think it depends on how the attacks are carried forth on whether you want one or not.
When I trained with them a number of years ago, neither one of them used a bokken with a tsuba. I think that the change is simply reflective of a preference for greater safety but even more important, you can actually buy excellent bokken with tsuba now!

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Old 05-07-2003, 11:43 AM   #24
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Hello Mr. Ledyard,

I agree, technology is definately improving. Might I ask when you trained with them (out of curiosity only)? I belonged to the WR from 1993-2001. Swear I always remembered the tsuba, but then could be wrong (certainly wouldn't be the first time). Also agree that it lends a level of safety, but also think it lends to a level of allowing nage to feel more comfortable going for a full-out attack (for someone like me who really doesn't want to hit anyone). What do you think about that?

best,

Rachel
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Old 05-07-2003, 05:19 PM   #25
George S. Ledyard
 
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Late eighties?

Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hello Mr. Ledyard,

I agree, technology is definately improving. Might I ask when you trained with them (out of curiosity only)? I belonged to the WR from 1993-2001. Swear I always remembered the tsuba, but then could be wrong (certainly wouldn't be the first time). Also agree that it lends a level of safety, but also think it lends to a level of allowing nage to feel more comfortable going for a full-out attack (for someone like me who really doesn't want to hit anyone). What do you think about that?

best,

Rachel
I had the unique experience of simultaneously heading a dojo within Chiba Sensei's Western Region of the Federation, having a Shidoin Certificate signed by Yamada Sensei while being one of Saotome Sensei's senior students.

Anyway, my exposure to Chiba Sensei was first in Seattle at Bookman Sensei's where I trained regularly (I was also a member of Mary Heiny Sensei's dojo). Then, after I became Chief instructor of Mary's dojo when she moved to Canada I went to Chiba sensei's Instructor seminar in Berkley. This was all in the mid to late eighties before I opened my current school (1989). I think my first exposure to Shibata Sensei was on a visit I made to Honbu Dojo. He decided I was a wimp because I fell too soon out of his kotegaeshi and didn't wait for him to crank me. He seemed awfully disappointed... Anyway, I am pretty sure I was at another Chiba sensei event after he came to the US and I saw him again. Memory is a bit hazy.

And I agree that anything that makes it safer for one of the partners to parctice will allow that other partner to attack with less energy held back. We use often fukuro shinai for this reason... your partner won't hesitate to blast you over the head with one of those but will usually hold back, if only a little, when bokken are used.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 05-07-2003 at 05:27 PM.

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