How have you learned the practical use of a katana?

Discussion in 'Japanese Swords and Sword Arts' started by Vyktal, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    20,824
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Just out of curiosity, is anyone aware of any attempt to honestly match traditional JSA against HEMA? Something where both practitioners really tried to be honest about using their art to see what happens?

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  2. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    324
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    It happens informally. Even within HEMA, there is the acknowledgement that even the most intense tournament is still just a game, and can't properly mimic a fight with sharps. Even were such a contest to happen, it's not conclusive in any way. I do traditional JSA as well as HEMA also.

    If a JSA style doesn't do randori, then they're not going to do well against a similarly experienced HEMA practitioner in a sparring format, since sparring is in integral part of most HEMA clubs. The other issue is that in such an engagement, no one is trying to kill the other. Your brain reacts differently under the threat of lethal combat. There are techniques that are banned in tournaments so people don't go to the hospital too often as well. What it proves is who was the better sportive fencer that day under XYZ set of rules. It doesn't necessarily show how a real duel would turn out.

    Kendoka tend to do OK against HEMA guys, but they are unused to dealing with grappling, left-handers (like me), strikes with the back edge, and full body targeting. They are very good with range and timing, which are the cornerstones of combat anyway.

    Sport fencers who take up HEMA tend to do very well. Sport fencing pedagogy is among the most advanced of any sport, with a good 300 years of continual transmission and refinement in a series of similar weapons: rapier to smallsword to modern fencing weapons, and dussack to duelling sabre to modern sport sabre. Once they understand that one must hit without getting hit rather than just hitting first, look out.

    Here's a video showing such an engagement. Note they're using shinai, which I'm not a fan of for such a match, as they don't behave like swords. There's no crossguard for the HEMA fencer either, which changes the game a fair bit. It's also a fairly old video. I'll see if I can find more.

     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    20,824
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Cool, thanks. I wasn't looking at "which art is better"... just "what might happen if A uses the techniques and principles from JSA against HEMA?" And, of course, sparring/competition isn't the same as a real fight -- but I still thought it would be cool. Kind of a little taste of reality behind some of the scenes in Highlander, y'know? :D
     
  4. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    324
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    It's all good. I'm just answering as best I can. :)
     
  5. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    It wont be with me that's for sure!
     
  6. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Langenshwert IS a member of the Hyoho Niten Ichiryu as well as being a HEMA instructor.
     
  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    25,176
    Likes Received:
    3,810
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    Just reading this after musing on the current political situations we seem to have, wouldn't the question about which sword style works best or which works best against another be answered if we made politicians duel with live blades? Just a thought. :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    324
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I get it. In all reality, a lot of the techniques are similar so it comes down to who's the better fighter. Sometimes it's interesting to see how different arts solve similar problems. As long as the weapons are similar, the solutions are likely to overlap across arts. The main difference that I've experienced between the two is the amount and duration of blade contact. In German longsword, there are comparatively few "void and counter" style techniques that avoid blade contact, whereas in most JSA I've seen and done, it's far more common. German style longsword tends to prefer blade engagements, using the relative pressure exerted to determine the correct response. Where they overlap is in the preference for what is termed a "single time" defence. That means that your defence hits the opponent while simultaneously defending against the incoming attack. The "double time" defence is a parry and then riposte, which is less efficient, albeit often necessary.

    As Ringeck says: "Strike, when he strikes, thrust, when he thrusts". I was taught the same thing in JSA. How the particulars play out is different though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Thing is it's all down to the one that has a sword in his hand. Langenshwert is a prime example of this. For example he practices an old Koryu that is mongai fushutsu (not to be taught outside) It does not allow fundamental waza to be shown in public (embu/demonstrations). For this we have to adapt certain things. His HEMA ability and the fact he is a good practitioner has him doing this very well. In free practice such as HEMA and Kendo we never experience the same situation twice. Both offer method to practice without getting killed or injured in the process. It's all down to the fighter, not the sword or school he studies.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    25,176
    Likes Received:
    3,810
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    For politicians though we give them a range of swords to use, no training at all, put them in a field and tell them to get on with it. None of them will win though, while they are doing that, we can watch by drone camera and get on with running everything.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  11. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    England 43 Anno Domini
    I'll vote in using the Moors as a good place to tidy up the mess :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    For UK politicians? Dartmoor!
     
  13. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    England 43 Anno Domini
    Oh yes, and for legend too. There are a few hounds around those parts.
     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    25,176
    Likes Received:
    3,810
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    England
    That's Exmoor, it's worse than Dartmoor, it also has the Beast of Bodmin as well as the Bootnecks running around.
     
  15. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    England 43 Anno Domini
    Oh yeah of course, plus a couple of scary guys making Ginsters adverts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Bit off topic but...A cousin on the Dartmoor rescue team pitched his tent one foggy day. Was woke up by a group of bright lights shining down on him. He thought it was aliens. Got up and ventured out in daylight to find he had pitched the tent under an electricity pylon.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    England 43 Anno Domini
    That must have so funny.
     
  18. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,114
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    Trophy Points:
    213

    I admittedly don't know anything about the use of a Katana. I had a brief flirtation with kendo over 25 years ago but I decided foil and saber fencing was expensive enough on it's own.

    That said, if the style teaches enough weapons, beyond the katana, and you adopt the correct mindset, could it be "practical" the way FMA can be. Yeah, in civilian life I will never be walking down the street with a baston, or a Bowie length knife etc. but I will often be able to find something that is a weapon of opportunity, or even carry on my person, that I can use by applying the same principles.

    This may not apply to any of the forms noted by the OP, just a thought I had.
     
  19. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    6,016
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just because I was summoned... sorry for the delay.

    Okay, reading through this, I applaud the enthusiasm, but, as Paul said, you aren't even far enough along to be classed as a beginner... and you are in no position to offer any comparison whatsoever. I'm not going to go through the entire post, as it's quite past it's time here now, but my recommendation is to pick an art (single), study, and learn. Ask questions, but refrain from offering opinions at this stage. You simply aren't in a position to know what you're offering an opinion on.

    All the best with your continued study, should you do so.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

is katori shinto ryu practical