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Old 08-17-2002, 03:07 AM   #1
DavidM
Dojo: Aikido of Tucson
Location: Arizona
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Smile Live Blades

Has anyone worked with a live blade before? I tried doing some basics with a live blade...and I notice that I'm clumsy...that it's nothing like my bokken...just wondering if I was the only clumsy one here...

Also....wondering if anyone has a website that describes/shows how to wrap the handle of a katana...which cloth, which ways, etc..

Thanks
David
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Old 08-18-2002, 10:19 PM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Careful with the live blade training. Even in my FMA days, we started with wood and rubber, before dull, before live. The psychological aspect of handling a live blade is very different. Go slow. Be patient.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-19-2002, 02:09 AM   #3
MaylandL
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Quote:
Lynn Seiser (SeiserL) wrote:
Careful with the live blade training. Even in my FMA days, we started with wood and rubber, before dull, before live. The psychological aspect of handling a live blade is very different. Go slow. Be patient.

...
Yes absolutely agree. One of the dojos that I train at uses live blades for some of the tachi dori and tanto dori techniques. Training with live blades is restricted to yudansha grades.

There is a risk of being actually cut with live blades and that could lead to some feeling of clumsiness. Generally take your time with it.

I have some personal thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of training with live blades which I wont go through. I would think carefully about what you are trying to achieve and whether the use of live blades is the most effective way of doing so.

Mayland
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Old 08-19-2002, 02:21 AM   #4
ian
 
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Hi david,

I take it you're talking about just the cutting motion etc. I think actually practising cutting (suburi) with a live blade is usually not too dangerous as long as you're not stupid and don't do it with people standing around. Best thing to do is to take up iaido and learn how to cut properly with a metal weapon; to develop the long sweeping slice motion. Also you'll learn how to care for your weapon (however you'll have to get a dull blade i.e. iato, to train in the classes).

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-19-2002, 04:33 AM   #5
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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Gee, I managed to cut myself with my iaito several times too!
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Old 08-19-2002, 07:10 AM   #6
Bruce Baker
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I can't say that I have extensively used a katana, or a live blade for training, but machete's, axes, Bowie knives, and various shorter fatter blades have come across my path to experience.

One of the best training aids to a live blade is one that is somewhat sharp, but not sharp enough to cause a serious cut like a scalpel would. A mostly dull blade.

In my experience of working around two and four cycle motors for boats and cars, even a dull object spinning at high speed can rip and tear the flesh. Caution is a good thing, but it must be practiced while applying the skill, other wise caution is just some label that you forgot to read when the injury happens later.

Not a dull blade, not quite a live blade, and practice, practice, practice.

Nothing more irritating than a deep cut from a mistake, or miscalculation.
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Old 08-19-2002, 08:52 AM   #7
Paul Smith
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A word of caution here. A Mugai-Ryu iaido instructor relayed a story of his friend, very experienced in iaido, who very nearly lost his life when executing gyo-ka, the final kata of the first series of 20. The iai of this kata involves a vertical draw to jodan (thereby bringing the blade very close to the left armpit while drawing the blade straight up, alongside shidachi's body). It differs from bringing the blade out along the left side on its way to jodan - it is truly vertical. The bottom line is that he sliced cleanly through his left axilla area and severed at least one major blood vessel there. It took several years of reconstructive surgery and therapy to bring him back to the use of his left arm.

My instructor is a 6th dan, and I presume his friend is of like experience. I don't know what his experience was at the time, but what I drew from this experience (no pun intended) is that a live blade is a deadly weapon, it takes years to know what you are doing with it and even then, if these kinds of mistakes can happen, you better know the consequences of an error.

Though I do tameshigiri with a live blade (obviously), I would not presume to use one in my iai for several years. I would urge you to take a close look at your reasons for wanting to train with a live blade, and be careful.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith
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Old 08-19-2002, 11:13 AM   #8
Liz Baron
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For info on the wrapping of the tsuka, try http://pages.prodigy.net/tlbuck/tsuka/tsuka.htm

Liz

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"Handbuilt by Daleks..."
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Old 08-19-2002, 12:14 PM   #9
Guest5678
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DavidM wrote:

"Has anyone worked with a live blade before? I tried doing some basics with a live blade.."

Basics of what?

Besides Aikido, I train in MJERI and work exclusively with a "live blade" in that art.

But I cannot think of any reason to use a live blade for Aikido practice. What basics are you talking about?

-Mongo
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:21 PM   #10
Deb Fisher
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I still bonk myself on the back of the head with my bokken too often to even consider using a live blade.

You're not the only clumsy one...

Deb Fisher
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:44 PM   #11
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi !

If I remember correctly -

at easter camp i AArhus 2002 Nishio sensei

didn't have his regular iaito because of some

airport failure so he had to borrow one for that week,while instructing a technique - with a partner - suddenly a funny sound came from him as he realised that he was handling a

live blade instead of the iaito , again by some mixup ,the situation was quickly rectified.

Morale : trust your teacher but always stay alert !
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:45 PM   #12
ChristianBoddum
 
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Sorry ! it was 2001 !

gomen nasai !
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Old 08-20-2002, 03:58 AM   #13
DavidM
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I don't use it with other people in the room, (wouldn't even think about it)...and it's not razor sharp.....as far as what I was doing, I tried a simple shomen stike....and doing some bokken kata with it....I've also notice (IMO) that having a longer handle gives a little bit better control...and have to use my hips more....

I was wondering if I was the only clumsy one when trying just a simple cut
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Old 08-20-2002, 04:27 AM   #14
isshinryu88
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Quote:
David Mason (DavidM) wrote:
I don't use it with other people in the room, (wouldn't even think about it)...and it's not razor sharp.....as far as what I was doing, I tried a simple shomen stike....and doing some bokken kata with it....I've also notice (IMO) that having a longer handle gives a little bit better control...and have to use my hips more....

I was wondering if I was the only clumsy one when trying just a simple cut
If it's not sharp, are you sure its a "live" blade? Just because it's metal doesn't make it live. You may have an iaito, a non-sharpened sword.

I studied Shinkendo for a few years. A metal blade has a substantial difference in weight and balance compared to a wooden sword. I would echo everyone elses comments regarding the care needed with a sharp blade. My Shinkendo instructor had a tape of an Iaido competition from Japan. He pointed out a number of competitors who were missing fingers from improperly sheathing the sword.
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Old 08-24-2002, 07:45 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
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We (Sensei Phong of Tenshinkai Aikido) just did a photo shot for an upcoming Black Belt Magazine article on Aikido against the five angles of a knife attack. I was surprised and impressed when Sensei decided to shoot the photos with a live blade (Spyderco Police Model).

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 08-25-2002, 01:51 AM   #16
DavidM
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Mind you I was raised around razor sharp tools all my life, when I say it's not sharp, that means that it won't split a hair in half...it does have a nice edge to it, but nothing RAZOR sharp
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Old 09-17-2002, 04:15 PM   #17
Josh Mason
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I am a blacksmith/knifemaker, and I have yet to encounter a sharper edge than what's on a Samurai's Sword. Samurai swords have a unique convex edge (cantled edge) that have amazing cutting ability. The Japanese were way ahead of their time in their heat treating and tempering processes.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 09-17-2002, 09:57 PM   #18
Suru
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I would treat a live blade like I would treat a pistol, shotgun, rifle, etc. It is a deadly, deadly weapon. I've held a live blade and I was nearly frozen with nervousness. The same rules which apply to a shooting range should apply to handling a live blade. Safety first!!

Drew
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Old 09-23-2002, 07:54 PM   #19
Jeanine Perron
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I work with a wooden bokken, wooden staff, and a Tai Chi Sword. My Tai Chi sword has a dull edge but a sharp point. I have punctured myself with the point. I have also injured myself just as badly with the staff and bokken. I am probaby more careful with the Tai Chi sword due to the sharp point. My ignorance of metal over wood has caused me some pain because I usually let my guard down with the wooden staff and bokken.

Therefore, my point is that no matter what the material is, you have to be careful with the training and knowledge.

Question: Can a highly trained Martial Artist with a wooden staff defend oneself from a sharpend blade? I think so.
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:55 PM   #20
SeiserL
 
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Quote:
Jeanine Perron wrote:
Question: Can a highly trained Martial Artist with a wooden staff defend oneself from a sharpend blade? I think so.
IMHO, its the training and intentions of the one holding the weapon that matters more than if its metal or wood.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:13 PM   #21
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Mayland Long (MaylandL) wrote:
One of the dojos that I train at uses live blades for some of the tachi dori and tanto dori techniques. Training with live blades is restricted to yudansha grades.
Are they crazy? Training Aikido with live blades should be restricted to the shihan grades. Maybe just a bit little lower for tanto dori only. It's very dangerous.

David, IMO there is no way you should be practicing much of anything with a live sword until you have received substantial training in the proper use of an iaito. FYI, as Ian pointed, solo suburi is probably the safest thing you can do, but it is still dangerous for the novice. Next up would be tameshigiri, which involves potential damage to your sword and due the added power you will use is also more dangerous in general. Iai kata involve significantly more risk, as properly resheathing a live blade without cutting yourself is a skill that takes years of practice. Also, as Paul Smith pointed out, certain kata involve controlling the edge very close to your own body parts which can pose a problem even for people with experience. Kumi tachi and tachi dori with a live blade, as they involve other people, are really in a class by themselves. Some koryu may engage in the first, but it will ruin your blade and it is obviously very dangerous. The latter, as I mentioned before, should only be considered by people at the shihan level. Even then, I don't think many of them do much of it. Tachi dori with an iaito, OTOH, is not a bad idea for mid-level yudansha who are experienced with the use of a sword.

By the way, if you are wrapping the handle yourself you are signiifcantly increasing the risks of injury. Poorly wrapped handles are much more likely to come apart as you are swinging the sword, causing the blade to come loose and fly across the room.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-23-2002 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-24-2002, 03:22 AM   #22
Mr. P
 
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Freaky!

While I was on holidays, I met a knifedealer and noticed that his left hand moved oddly.

Actually, it's all a customer's fault...
Take a sit and listen ...

A customer wished to see a katana blade a bit closer. The dealer took the blade from its shelf and, suddenly, the customer acted as if he were a child in front of a Christmas tree ! The sword fell and (bad move, I assume ) the dealer tried to recover it. He succeeded in , but one of his finger is definitly paralysed .

Why on hell does he tell us that f...... story ? you would think. Just because I don't think using a true weapon is a good idea . In a´kido, I don't want to injure anyone. A bokken is all that I need.

Thanks for your attention, you can go on your business ...

Last edited by Mr. P : 09-24-2002 at 03:28 AM.

Mr. P

Never pay attention to someone using smileys...
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Old 09-24-2002, 03:29 PM   #23
BC
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Quote:
Jeanine Perron wrote:
Question: Can a highly trained Martial Artist with a wooden staff defend oneself from a sharpend blade? I think so.
Why, are there alot of bad guys strutting around Tejas with swords strapped to their hips? That said, I also can't remember the last time I saw someone walking around in public with a jo or bo either.

Sorry, couldn't resist...

Robert Cronin
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Old 09-24-2002, 03:51 PM   #24
Erik
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Quote:
Jean-Christophe Lauf (Mr. P) wrote:
Why on hell does he tell us that f...... story ? you would think. Just because I don't think using a true weapon is a good idea . In a´kido, I don't want to injure anyone. A bokken is all that I need.
I tell this story but no one listens.

One of my first instructors brought out a knife one day. Very small and very sharp. We managed ok until the senior instructor came over. I had pinned him, kote gaeshi pin only I was kneeling, and he was showing me what happens when you do it wrong. I remember a short quick prick in my shoulder. No pain either. The truly amazing thing is that my instructor got cut about a week later with the same knife. Sigh!

No biggie in the sense that it only took a couple of stiches and it was truly an accident from his perspective. Of course, a bit deeper or a bit of a different angle and who knows what might have happened. We were static and I got stabbed.

I think it was Chuck Clark who said, "if you aren't getting cut then you aren't really trying".

I think a live blade is simply a way to get our "ya yas" off rather than initiate an honest practice. If anything, you've got to control the attacks so much that it completely removes any element of realism whereas a wooden tanto gives you some freedom.

I suppose we could talk about the time I took a wooden tanto to the head and they glued me back together. That was fun. Imagine if it had been a real blade.

Last edited by Erik : 09-24-2002 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 09-25-2002, 11:18 AM   #25
Jeanine Perron
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Lynn wrote:

IMHO, its the training and intentions of the one holding the weapon that matters more than if its metal or wood.

Until again

Lynn

Thank you for claifying my point. It is not the weapon in use, but the person behind the weapon.

Thank you again,

Jeanine
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