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Old 09-21-2004, 11:36 PM   #1
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
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D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

Has anyone heard anything about kenjutsu sensei D.E. Tarver? A good friend of mine and another friendly guy I just met tonight have been Tarver's virtual students for a couple months now.

He sells DVDs on kenjutsu and samurai history. He seems to know what he's talking about, and his technique looks good for the most part. I definitely like his charisma during his lectures. To test, you videotape yourself doing the cuts, then send it in to him along with (I think) $50.00. Also, you have to write book reports on "The Book of Five Rings," "The Art of War," and several others. I'm not planning on testing, for my true interests do not lie with gaining rank in kenjutsu. It has been fun getting together with some buddies, watching the DVDs, and practicing the demonstrated cuts. During my Aikido hiatus, it is fun stepping into the ole hakama again for our kenjutsu nights.

In one exercise, a bokken-wielding pair square off. They both have their swords up, and one attacks. Now, I've had it ingrained in me since I was a wee "nokyu" that it is incorrect to raise your sword when uke has his sword pointed at your throat. Also, the sensei turns his hands around on the tsuka at one time to make the blade point upwards. I've never rearranged my hands on my bokken in 3 years of practice.

So what's the dirt on this sensei? Are there any other virtual students of his out there? Is he the real deal? Is he a scam artist? Is he a little bit of both???

Drew
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:01 AM   #2
Infamousapa
Dojo: Aikido Institute of America
Location: HEAVENS
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Re: D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

I think your getting ripped off kid.Ill charge you less just send your video in and ill test you..
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:03 AM   #3
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
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Re: D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

Tarver's a bit, um, controversial in the trad. budo community. There's a fair amount of chatter about him at www.e-budo.com.

Aside from personalities, anyone claiming to teach kenjutsu by video is, um, not.

Chuck

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Old 09-22-2004, 02:24 AM   #4
JJF
 
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Re: D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

Changing hands on the tsuka can be quite okay. I know Nishio-sensei does so on a number of occasions in his Aiki-to-ho. Now he's a 8. dan Shihan - recognized by Aikikai, and a 7. dan iaido so I hardly think he's a complete fraud . Turning the edge of the sword up can also have be justified in some situations but I have never seen it done in a regular chudan no kamae (except for a few rank beginners....)

The whole concept of teaching a budo by mail (DVD, video, chat, email whatever) is in my perspective highly questionable. Perhaps if you are on a fairly high level you can discuss details but I would think basic training requires 'hands-on' experience and the teacher and the student being in the same room at the same time.

I myself use recordings by Nishio sensei showing the techniques, and they are good for inspiration and as reminders, but I hardly think anyone could learn aikido from scratch just watching the videos.

It's a nice thought though as it would increase the availability of MA for people throughout the world but I don't put much faith in it. The gentleman in question is not necessarily a fraud but he might be a well-meaning yet mistaken person.

Hope this helps a little.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:28 AM   #5
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

Quote:
Also, the sensei turns his hands around on the tsuka at one time to make the blade point upwards. I've never rearranged my hands on my bokken in 3 years of practice
As the ha (edge) of the sword is extremely brittle / fragile, we always practice blocking with the shinogi. We do have one kumi tachi where shi tachi turns the blade all the way over to absorb a blow full impact with the mune (back of the sword).

Quote:
In one exercise, a bokken-wielding pair square off. They both have their swords up, and one attacks. Now, I've had it ingrained in me since I was a wee "nokyu" that it is incorrect to raise your sword when uke has his sword pointed at your throat.
In our school, all of the first basic kumi tachi we learn is extremely simple, and as such, uchi tachi tends to play the role of a samurai with down syndrome. However the only purpose of these kata is to teach rythm and timing. As you progress through the basics, all of kumi tachi becomes more complex and "realistic."

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 09-24-2004, 09:19 AM   #6
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
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Re: D.E. Tarver Kenjutsu

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote:
Has anyone heard anything about kenjutsu sensei D.E. Tarver? A good friend of mine and another friendly guy I just met tonight have been Tarver's virtual students for a couple months now.

He sells DVDs on kenjutsu and samurai history. He seems to know what he's talking about, and his technique looks good for the most part. I definitely like his charisma during his lectures. To test, you videotape yourself doing the cuts, then send it in to him along with (I think) $50.00. Also, you have to write book reports on "The Book of Five Rings," "The Art of War," and several others. I'm not planning on testing, for my true interests do not lie with gaining rank in kenjutsu. It has been fun getting together with some buddies, watching the DVDs, and practicing the demonstrated cuts. During my Aikido hiatus, it is fun stepping into the ole hakama again for our kenjutsu nights.

In one exercise, a bokken-wielding pair square off. They both have their swords up, and one attacks. Now, I've had it ingrained in me since I was a wee "nokyu" that it is incorrect to raise your sword when uke has his sword pointed at your throat. Also, the sensei turns his hands around on the tsuka at one time to make the blade point upwards. I've never rearranged my hands on my bokken in 3 years of practice.

So what's the dirt on this sensei? Are there any other virtual students of his out there? Is he the real deal? Is he a scam artist? Is he a little bit of both???

Drew
The only polite thing I can say here is: Find a real teacher of real kenjutsu and train under him. Don't waste your time on this as you'll end up with so much you have to undo later that it will only mess you up. (Assuming that you are serious about learning kenjutsu at some point).

Read everything you can on the

Koryu Books Website

These people are the "real meal deal". Other than their ingrained belief that one must go to Japan to really do Koryu, you can take what they say as gospel.

Also, read anything you can find on the Aikido Journal website by Toby Threadgill.

Once again, don't waste your time, it's too precious. Do it and do it right.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 09-24-2004 at 09:21 AM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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