View Full Version : Ninja Training Video Blog - KATANA
07-28-2010, 11:44 PM
Ninja Training Video Blog - KATANA (SWORD) HOW TO WEAR IT
Ninja Training Video Blog: Katana #2 - Nukiuchi - Drawing the Sword
Ninja Training Video Blog - Katana More Sword Draws #3of3
Katana Noto: Sword Retrieval - Ninja Training Video Blog
07-29-2010, 10:40 AM
Oh, dear, Bob, you aren't really serious about these are you? Let's go through them one at a time....
"How to Wear A Sword". Well, he gets terminology wrong (refering to an Iaito, a dull "drawing sword" as a Battojutsu Iaido), his position for the sword is very much Seitei Iai (across the body.... not really what would be used for actual wearing, as it leaves no place for the Wakizashi), his use of the sageo is nowhere near as secure as most forms (which typically have the sageo taken behind and underneath the saya [scabbard] first), his thumb position for holding the sword is likely to see him slice it open on a real sword the first time he slipped "breaking the tsuba (sic)", his reference to the koiguchi was terribly phrased, his take on the seal between the habaki and koiguchi is way off, his concepts of how it would be held walking through a crowd needs a reality check, and did he really suggest fuedal era Japanese "shake hands" with their free hand?!?! Why does he think bowing developed there! If you're close enough to shake hands, you're close enough to have been cut and opened up, it would serve no purpose! And I'm not even touching on his idea that simply breaking the seal at the koiguchi was the equivalent of drawing a gun... more like unclipping the seal on the holster!
"Nukiuchi". Well, that grip is a little, uh, lacking... he had to go to a "sword master" in Japan to learn not to hold a sword like a baseball bat? But really, his grip is too even across the entire hand, and there is no concept of te no uchi at all. Not surprisingly, he misses the point of the angled grip entirely... it is not to "stop you cutting up your hand against the tsuba", it is because you have very limited mobility if your hand is jammed up against the damn thing! And please don't tell me he just said "Japanese Katana sword", really? He's not doing well....
Now we get to the draw itself... apparently he's going to show the basic draw and cut, which is called "nookee ooch" (really, that pronunciation is terrible... a Japanese sword master taught him? Really? In California or Japan?), which is just the term for drawing cut, not a specific one itself, so he's losing even more points here. From there he goes on to demonstrate a rather bad draw, overly stressing the tsuka, with a rather karate-like rigid posture, not like anything I've seen in any Ninjutsu or Ninjutsu-related system in coming up to 2 decades.... and his methods of Noto are frankly almost dangerous!
Right the third one, "More Sword Draws". Ignoring the previous fleeting reference to Katori Shinto Ryu Iai and Batto (starting with the back of the hand on the tsuka, as he seemed to miss the point of that entirely... for the record, it is to keep the sleeves of your top back and away from catching the end of your tsuka in the middle of a draw. Embarrassing, and rather fatal to have happen when needed!), he goes on now to show "Tate Nukiuchi", or as he puts it, "Tah-tay nookee ooch". He translates that for us as "Tate will be from the top"... er, no. Tate means "shield", so this is a shielding draw and cut. He then goes on to go through a range of variations, giving possible uses... and managing to completely miss the actual point, which is an evasive action into a draw! And how is his ear still on his head?
Next is Gyaku Kesa Batto... I'm not even going to try to write out how badly he mangles each word here, suffice to say it shouldn't sound Spanish. He then goes on to show a basic rising draw and cut, with frequent reference to "I like to do this with Taijutsu as well..." seeming to infer that if he remembers to do anything with his body as he performs these actions (such as take a step), that is the same as employing Taijutsu. This boy has a long way to go, I fear.... And I'm amazed that he has all his fingers, and especially his left thumb!
Now, for Gyakute, at least he got the translation correct! Reverse Hand! Well done! Of course, he then continued, refering to it as "reverse hand position", but we might almost forgive that. Not his draw, though. Due to his lack of real understanding of the grip in the first place, these draws have real structural issues if he intends to cut from them, as his wrist is not supported at all. He's also gone back to his karate-style stances, all the while refering to "I like to do this with Taijutsu as well...". Add to that him nearly skewering himself with very bad Noto a few times, the sound of the sword knocking against the inside of the saya as he turns it mid-draw (which can lead to damaging the sword, weakening or splitting the tsuka, or weakening or splitting the saya.... none of which are good things! There's a reason the draw should be set up before it happens, not midway through!), and he's just getting worse!
Okay, the last clip didn't embed properly... but we have youtube!
"Noto". Oh dear. Got some bandaids ready? Good.... From the mispronunciation of koiguchi ("koee ooch", hmm, missed the "g" in there? Kinda changes the meaning from "carp's mouth" [not goldfish, technically] to either "strike the carp", or "inside the carp".... eww..) to his mention of a "blood groove" (he didn't really, did he? Oh, yes he did! In fact, his reference seems it imply that there is a "blood groove" on all Japanese Katana Swords, and that is how you find where to "pinch" the blade to guide it into the saya!), the first instructions aren't going well... He then goes on to give the impression that you should be pressing down on the saya with your left hand (to keep your fingers out of the way.... really, why start now?), which will actually put the ha, the cutting edge, along the top of the saya, an absolute no-no in any Iai form! His concept of only having the last few inches to play with is generally frowned upon, as it can lead to rather a high number of accidents with people missing the saya and instead stabbing their own hand, and as for his little "ninja trick" with his hips? Maybe if he could use them properly he may realise that that is far from a "ninja trick", it is simply the way it should be done. But really, he's going to split his saya the way he is doing this, his posture is all wrong for Ninjutsu, these methods are dangerous to say the least, and frankly incorrect according to pretty much every form of Iai I have ever come across!
Not someone to look to. Frankly he comes across as just someone who likes to hear himself talk, and likes being on youtube....
07-29-2010, 10:46 AM
I thought they were decent, based on a lot of the clips I've seen, however, I'm no where near knowledgeable enough to give an informed critique.
Thanks for the in-depth comments Chris, much appreciated.
07-29-2010, 10:52 AM
Not a problem, Bob. The Jigen ones are great, the classic Iai kata one is quite wonderful (which seems to be our guy here's actual basis, same sword position, for example... I'm not really sure where the "Enshin Itto Ryu" comes into it. The Enshin Ryu is a reconstructed system taught in two sections, Honmon Enshin Ryu [the "new" stuff], and Koden Enshin Ryu [the "old" stuff] by Tanaka Fumon, Itto Ryu has various factions and branches, but I haven't come across both names together before...), and so on. The deep sori competition katana is rather unfunctional, and would not be desired by anyone who actually uses a blade, I feel (the deep curve is too much to allow anything close to a good feel for nuki and noto, for example). I'm going through the others! Got a thing for the Japanese blades at the moment?
Really, the best thing that can be said for the above clips are the comments about not doing this without qualified instruction.... so not this guy, then!
07-29-2010, 11:36 AM
I've always leaned towards Japanese blades, so I'll probably be posting a lot of links to clips with them. Right now, just trying to seed the section and boost traffic to the site more, starting with some of what I know a little about, and working out to new grounds as I go. I fully expect I'll pull in some stinkers, but that's ok. Stinkers always seem to generate comment and bring out more examples of better techs. :)
07-29-2010, 11:39 AM
Well then I say job well done, young sir, job well done. Stinkers do get more comments, don't they? Played into that one quite nicely, didn't I? Hmm....
07-29-2010, 11:51 AM
02-11-2011, 03:05 AM
One thing I do not worry about (EDIT: I worry for myself, not other people) is pronuncation.
Some people are just no good at it. Here is Belgium, which is only 200 miles across, we have localities of which the inhabitants cannot possibly understand the others because the dialects are so different. Some people are completely incapable of pronouncing the 'g' and 'h' correctly. By the time they are adult, it is very, very difficult to correct this.
I am lucky enough to have been taught 'proper' accentless Dutch by my parents, but I have seen often enough that people who grow up talking their local accent have a lot of difficulty pronouncing other languages.
02-11-2011, 07:24 AM
Honestly, I agree. Provided, of course, that there aren't other major errors in the material being provided. And the mis-translation and mis-interpretation of those terms are just compounded by the bad pronunciation there, showing a further lack of expertise. But, if the person showed understanding, skill, knowledge, and had lousy pronunciation, I'd let it go at them simply not having the language skills.
02-11-2011, 11:58 AM
Chris I see what you nare talking about with the way he is drawing and returning his sword (everytime I heard his sword slam into his saya I cringed, and seeing him close his hand around the sword before it was drawn and thus having the blade likey scraping the inside of the saya made me question how long he has been training in swordsmanship)
As my sword skills suck, I don't think I'm seeing what his wrong with his regular gripping after the sword is drawn. Can you explain what is wrong with how he holds it and how it should be held?
02-12-2011, 08:07 AM
Just went back to confirm what I remembered about his demonstration of "the correct grip" for the sword, essentially he is focusing his grip across all his fingers, specifically the two first fingers (pointer and middle), where the grip should always be based on the last two fingers (ring and pinkie), with the first two being very "loose" in the grip itself. The forearms aren't being activated enough to get a proper te-no-uchi either (his reference to "some schools of Iaido (really? Not sure about them being different schools of "IaiDO" there....) say to have your knuckle over the top of the tsuka" is the schools way of activating the inside muscles and tendons of your forearm in order to be able to absorb the impact of a cutting action).
So, in short, too tense, with the strength put into the wrong fingers, and a lack of ability to achieve proper cutting mechanics.
02-12-2011, 09:54 AM
Now we get to the draw itself... apparently he's going to show the basic draw and cut, which is called "nookee ooch"
No no, he said "nookie ouch", which is Secret Ninja Code for "oh my, I seem to have castrated myself!"
02-12-2011, 10:25 AM
Chris knows what’s what, so I’ll try to not speak of what he has already explained.
As the current discussion is about grip, I’m going to refer to the “Drawing the sword video”.
For beginners consider when gripping your sword your index fingers should be pointed downwards, your hands, wrist, forearms and shoulders should all be relaxed. Everything should be relaxed until the split second before you hit the target then your pinky and ring finger should tighten about the handle, once through the target, your fingers should relax again. You only employee four fingers when using a sword.
When drawing the sword, never think of the draw as pulling the sword out of the saya, think of it as pushing the sword out AND pulling the saya off all at the same time. You have a left hand, use it.
The main item I realized from that particular video? He missed his intended target on every draw and cut. Everytime. Watch it again, see if you catch it.
Just checked to see if Kim has written anything on grip, and of course he has. I don’t know why I bother writing anything, I should just link over to his articles all the time!! http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_taylor2_0100.htm (http://ejmas.com/tin/tinart_taylor2_0100.htm)
02-12-2011, 10:44 PM
Thanks Ken and Chris for the clairification. I couldn't tell he was utilizing his first two fingers that way. I'm not quite at the level where I can pick up on all the subtleties. I can usually see that something is off, but I can't quite tell why.
03-31-2011, 05:12 PM
Not a problem, Bob. The Jigen ones are great, the classic Iai kata one is quite wonderful (which seems to be our guy here's actual basis, same sword position, for example... I'm not really sure where the "Enshin Itto Ryu" comes into the comments about not doing this without qualified instruction.... so not this guy, then!
The guy in this video seems to be one of Van Donk's students. He has trained at the Enbukan in Noda. This is where the "Enshin Itto ryu" comes in. It seems that more and more Bujinkan guys are training with Machida Sensei at the Enbukan for a number of reasons. The Enbukan Hombu is located close to the Bujinkan Hombu and, like the Bujinkan, the Enbukan is fond of giving out extremely high rank in a short period of time. Van Donk began his training with Machida in the early nineties and was awarded Menkyo Kaiden (what Van Donk refers to as a tenth dan equivalence) in the early 2000s.
The Bujinkan Santa Cruz Dojo website claims that this guy is one of only six 10th dans in the Bujinkan in the United States. This is obviously not true. It seems every street corner has a Bujinkan 10th dan on it.
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