Looking for Sword Information!

Shu2jack

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I was wondering if anyone knows a good school in Michigan or good books that teach proper execution of techniques for a katana. I am not trying to master the sword or anything, but I do love the katana and feel that if I am going to own the weapon, I should have at least basic knowledge on how to use it.

I have spent 10 years in the MA and working with various weapons have helped me with wrist/forearm strength and angles for movement/striking. I find that most weapons/empty hand technique movements and such are all basically the same with small changes made to factor in the weapon. I am more interested in the basics and proper body movement/position for strikes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, while I am asking, what would people recommend me do to find out how to properly take care of a sword? I don't know anyone who owns swords, so it makes it difficult to get info.
 
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Nikolas P.

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A quick google search reviewed a few local dojo I'm sure you could find more with a bit of patience:

http://kendo.nscl.msu.edu/battlecreek/
http://www.msu.edu/~kimsomal/kendoclubhome.html
http://www.shakunage.org/page.cfm/22/

I wouldn't reccomend trying to learn any martial art by a book. It can impart the basics, yes, but even those will be flawed without someone more experienced to point out the mistakes that are becoming habit in your technique. Also, what kind of katana do you have? Just in case you don't know, common 'wall-hanger' blades that is, ones of stainless steel and half-tangs are not suitable for practice, and can be dangerous to the user if used for such.

Sword care is basically the same as knife care, and knife-collecting is a far more common hobby. You should be able to find some articles about it online. Or, if you prefer to be more authentic, there are alot of sites (such as www.bugei.com) that offer a 'katana care kit' that comes with instructions.
 
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Shu2jack

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I wouldn't reccomend trying to learn any martial art by a book. It can impart the basics, yes, but even those will be flawed without someone more experienced to point out the mistakes that are becoming habit in your technique.
Thats what I meant when I was looking for a good book. I know some of the basics, but I am not sure about elbow position, how far back (if at all) I pull back the sword before I strike, etc. If I can't find an instructor, I would like a book that gives that kind of technical info.

As for the type of sword I have. I have a wooden one (bokken I believe is the term) and a full tang hard plastic blade sword. I am hesitant to go to a knife collector for care of a katana because I am not sure if what works for knifes would be good for a sword of, generally, much higher quality.

Thank you for the web addresses of the schools, but they are over an hour away. Plus I was hoping for some personal recommendations. Thank you for taking the time to reply and search though. Much appriecated!
 
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Nikolas P.

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I've been using knife care techniques on my shinken for years, with no noticable detioration to the quality of the blades.

And, again, no book will be able to give you complete technique. There will always be SOMETHING that you won't pick up on.
 

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