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Old 10-02-2005, 08:42 AM   #1
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello everyone.

Because my wrists are worn and torn, I find iaido practice with even a 400g niten ichi ryu bokken can be taxing. All iaito are too heavy for me.
Does anyone know where to find iaito that are markedly lighter than usual?

Many thanks


Peter Martin-Browning
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:28 AM   #2
kironin
 
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

I think it will likely be impossible to find an iaito that is lighter than a bokken. The lightest aluminum alloy ones are probably at least 500-600g and pretty short. How long have you been practicing ? If a bokken is straining your wrists, it doesn't sound like you have been at this very long unless your wrist are in extremely poor shape and in that case this may not be a good art for you as it does take some minimal wrist strength in certain positions.

Have you considered taping your wrists before practice to support them.

More to the point - if you are straining your wrists, I would look closely at your technique. There should not be a lot of wrist movement in your cuts. The movements should from larger muscle groups and joints, not the forearms and wrists. Your wrists most of the time should be pretty straight and never absorbing the force at the end of a cut.

also slow everything down, slow everthing way way down.
take velocity out of the picture completely and work on precision of movement. Many beginners are going way too fast and straining/muscling things in the process. What they don't realize is that with correct technique, it takes very little force to cut through a real target. Many people act like they are swinging a broadsword to whap the gopher on the head back into its hole. Instead think like you are carving through butter (which is exactly what it feels like when go through a target correctly in tameshigiri) and let the sword move on it's own accord without the tension of hurrying your movement.

Oe Masamichi Sensei (turn of the 19th to 20th century
http://www.eikoku-roshukai.com/iwataandoe.htm )
always emphasized slower precise practice.

good luck
Craig

Last edited by kironin : 10-02-2005 at 10:31 AM.

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Old 10-03-2005, 08:46 AM   #3
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Craig - many thanks for your reply.

I should add that my wrist problem is owing to an inflammatory condition, and will not improve. I have a very solicitous sensei, and I know he will be happy for me to do whatever I need to protect my wrists so that I can continue. It may well be that my improving technique will help, but I need to take action now to ensure I can continue.
I will continue using a bokken, and I have one that I have cut down so that it is very light.
Naturally, though, I want to progress to iaito as soon as my sensei allows it, and so I want to anticipate that stage in my training.
I had thought of buying a good quality iaito and reducing its thickness to reduce the weight. I wonder whether anyone has experience of re-working iaito? Of course, narrowing the blade means that the balance is changed, so I need to find a way to overcome that problem. As an alternative, I wonder if anyone knows iaito makers who can produce a custom blade that is much lighter than usual.

At your service

Peter
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:57 AM   #4
linvincible
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hi there,

I ordered mine on japanesesword.net (nishinjin sword), and asked for a special weight of 780g.
They delivered a sword weighting 740g, and I'm very happy with it.
Maybe you can ask them how light they can go?
If I understood correctly it's the same company than Tozando, trusted by many iaidokas.

Hope they can help!

L'invincible
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Old 04-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #5
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello everyone

Today I took delivery of my 400 gram iaito from Martialartswords in USA. I have not yet unwrapped it, but will let you all know in a few days whether it is the quality item it appears to be. I should add that it is not made that light by shortening it. It is 2.45 shaku.


At your service


Peter Martin-Browning
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:52 AM   #6
rottunpunk
Dojo: koteikan aikido centre
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

hey dude.
just found your thread.
how is the iaito.

if its still too heavy my advice would be to go to japan and get a specially made light one. they do exist.

as for bokken. i have one that someone kindly made for me out of cherry maple. its even lighter than a niten bok
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:05 PM   #7
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello everyone


My new Martialartswords.com iaito is, at 400 grammes, lighter than most bokken, even the niten ichi ryu ones. They achieve the light weight, in part, by using aluminium, not zinc-aluminium alloy. To maintain rigidity, the blade is made to be wider than most iaito.
I am very pleased with the weight of the iaito.
Now a word on the quality of the Martialartswords.com iaito.
The balance is acceptable. The blade is wider than most iaito, which does affect technique.
The makers offer a blackened tsuba for an extra $60.00. I opted for a blackened tsuba, which I understand is achieved by a process that blackens the standard yellow metal that is used to make the tsuba. When my iaito arrived, it had a patch of hardened, white powder on a section of the edge of the tsuba. I rubbed the powder off with my thumb, to reveal a section of yellow metal underneath. Thus now not only is my tsuba spoiled, but I have paid $60.00 for the privilege. I live in the UK, so sending it back for the problem to be rectified is fraught with difficulties, even if I still had confidence in them.
There is no lining to the koiguchi. I know this is common with iaito from other makers, - I offer the information to guide others. The saya smells of something pungent, rather like a volatile contact-adhesive. After several weeks this smell remains.
Every time I draw the sword, I have to remove a visible coating of saw-dust from the blade.
All the fittings are solid, with no play at all, but the habaki does not quite fit into the koiguchi.
It is a usable piece of equipment, but how galling that they could not get certain basics right for the price (I cannot remember the actual amount, - I have a figure of over $200 dollars in mind, - see their web-site for exact prices).
Some people replied to my original post with advice about the likely benefits of correct technique to my wrists. Now that I am beginning to apply a small fraction of what I have been taught, my wrists have indeed improved. The greatest irony is that they have improved so much that I can now comfortably train using my Tozando iaito (flawlessly manufactured) at 750 grammes! To add insult to injury, my Tozando iaito, which should by their own estimate have arrived after the Martialartswords.com one, actually arrived much earlier than they projected, while the Martialartswords.com iaito arrived very much later than they had promised. I am sure there is some learning here for me, perhaps something to do with patience.
So, for anyone who shares the wrist problem, my first suggestion is to heed the advice I was given, and wait to see whether correct technique enhances your tolerance. If your wrist problem is so severe that you need a lighter implement right away, you could try a Martialartswords.com iaito, or alternatively buy a niten ichi ryu bokken and invest in a belt-sander that you can use fixed to a bench, and cut down the bokken, paying particular attention to keeping the balance as you sand away both the blade and the tsuka (you can always add whipping with fine cord to provide a thicker tsuka).

Thank you for your interest

At your service

Peter Martin-Browning
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:55 AM   #8
Suwariwazaman
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello. Iam also in the market for an Iaito. I found a web site www.bugei.com that has some Iaito's on it. I am wondering, AnIaito that weighs 430g too light, or I saw one that weighs 930g too heavy. I mean I am used to using a 500g bokken. Anyone have an opinion on that

Thanks Jamie
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:15 AM   #9
Nick P.
 
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Quote:
Charles de Clarens wrote:
Hi there,

I ordered mine on japanesesword.net (nishinjin sword), and asked for a special weight of 780g.
They delivered a sword weighting 740g, and I'm very happy with it.
Maybe you can ask them how light they can go?
If I understood correctly it's the same company than Tozando, trusted by many iaidokas.
Is that to say they obtain their swords from the same artisans/manufacturer? I did not know that....

peter martin-browning: too bad about your purchase not being all you hoped for. That sucks.

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Old 05-18-2006, 05:47 AM   #10
rottunpunk
Dojo: koteikan aikido centre
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

[quote=Peter Martin-Browning]Hello everyone
The makers offer a blackened tsuba for an extra $60.00. I opted for a blackened tsuba, which I understand is achieved by a process that blackens the standard yellow metal that is used to make the tsuba.

what metal is the tsuba made of?
one option would be to buy a new tsuba (if you want a black one) or just to clean the whole thing off.
i noticed your from nottingham. do you do mjer iai with brian per chance?
if so he should be able to give you good advice.

The saya smells of something pungent, rather like a volatile contact-adhesive. After several weeks this smell remains.

mine didnt smell. not sure how to fix this one.

Every time I draw the sword, I have to remove a visible coating of saw-dust from the blade.

have you tried tapping the saya on the floor until all the sawdust comes out? when i got my iaito it had sawdust too, and it went away eventually. though check the inside of the saya is intact etc. as well.

All the fittings are solid, with no play at all, but the habaki does not quite fit into the koiguchi.

the fit can be effected with change in climate. if it is too loose glue a piece of thick paper (or thin sliver of wood depending on the size of the hole) on the inside of the koiguchi. if the hole is too small you may need to shave a small piece out.


its a shame youve had to go through this difficulty, but atleast now you can use it as an education and pass on your experiences.
glad your wrists are improving too. perhaps you could seel the iaito on and stick with your tozando one.

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Old 05-23-2006, 11:08 AM   #11
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello Debbie

Thanks for your suggestions. I have written to MAS, who have sent me a very sympathetic reply. I will post again with the result. The point about the koiguchi is that it is too small, and the walls of the saya too flimsy to tolerate any work on them.

In my last post my memory failed me. The actual price of the sword was $460 US, about 240.

Yes, I do MJER with Brian. I like learning from him because he teaches about power coming from softness and technique, rather than athleticism or aggressiveness. He also understands about humility. I don't have any wish to open up a new debate about that, since I know I will never persuade anyone else. It is simply that Brian's way of teaching and his understanding of the meaning of iaido accord with mine. It is a privilege to learn from him. How do you know him?

Thanks again for your supportive suggestions.




At your service


Peter

Last edited by peter martin-browning : 05-23-2006 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:42 AM   #12
rottunpunk
Dojo: koteikan aikido centre
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

hmmn. hope it gets sorted with them then.

i know brian through iai. im one of tims students, and have just moved back home from being in preston to train more. im soo out of practice its untrue...

incidently theres a seminar at teesside uni in june. maybe we could catch up then?

someone in roshukai is bound to have an answer for your iaito problem
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:34 PM   #13
David Humm
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Peter,

I had a very good and long conversation with Brian today, he telephoned me because, like him I'm an ex-Rockape. We had a great yarn about the "old days" He'd visited my dojo website and seen my profile.. Small world innit !!

My dojo and I are in the process of joining the Eikoku Roshukai through Sykes Sensei and switching from our present form of Iai to MJER. No doubt well be meeting up in Nottingham in the near future.

Regards
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Old 05-26-2006, 06:53 AM   #14
rottunpunk
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

welcome to the dark side-or en lighternment....mr david

what do you practice now, and why the switch? though im bias-it is for the better im sure.

shouldnt really advertise iai on an aiki site-but ho hum
heres a link to the details of the june seminar for all those interested

http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9781

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Old 11-07-2006, 01:40 PM   #15
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Lightweight iaito - where to find?

Hello everyone

With regret I have to let you know that I won't be meeting any of you at seminars, because I have had to give up my study of iaijutsu. My wrists are fine. Some who teach under the banner of MJER would have us believe they know more than their own teachers, and that skill and power come from aggressiveness and athleticism. Those who teach from this doctrine are not teaching iaijutsu.
Brian remains true to the spirit of MJER and I bitterly regret not continuing. In the end I found that along with the aggressiveness doctrine came personally aggressive behaviour and treachery and, since there is no other iaijutsu near me, I have returned to my study of taiji.
Many thanks to all those who offered support and advice.

Go in peace


Peter Martin-Browning
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