Sword Combat

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SwordSoulSteve

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Well, I can't agree with Ronin's "FU all", but i can certainly understand his frustration. Many people, including myself, do not have formal training in swordsmanship available to them, for one reason or the other, but do have a great interest. So we try as best we can. I've been "trying" for three years now, almost completely void of media impact such as video or TV show moves, but if you can get something out of them Ronin, then kudos to you, friend, they may help you think in new ways. You should know also, Ronin, that martialists and martial artists without formal training tend to be far more open minded and understanding of other martialists and martial artists than those with formal training. I can't imagine why.
PS: perhaps this point was never considered, but have any of you "real" swordsmen ever stopped to think of how difficult it is for one to try and forge ahead with no direction of any kind; no teachers, no opponents, not even a place to practice your art? It's quite difficult, and it takes a level of dedication and raw talent I fear some of you don't quite grasp. See? no insults.
PPS: I can think of nothing that would please me more than to fight a man, or better yet, a great many men, to the death so long as i had my twin blades at my side.
 

Ojiisan

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SwordSoulSteve said:
PPS: I can think of nothing that would please me more than to fight a man, or better yet, a great many men, to the death so long as i had my twin blades at my side.
You know Steve, after reading this and some of your other inane babblings I just realized that you cant be more than 16 or 17 years old. If you are older, than you should have enough sense not be giving such advice to Ronin (who definitely is a child).
 

shesulsa

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SwordSoulSteve said:
but insane babble is so much fun!
And THAT, Steve, is why you need formal training before you swing a sword around.
 

Ojiisan

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Steve, I did not say insane I said inane. The definition of inane is: immature, childish, silly, frivolus, absurd or ridiculous.
 
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Hyaku

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Ronald R. Harbers said:
While reading and meditating on the "Book of Five Rings", I was struck by the statement Musashi makes about the Stance. Do you agree that the stance should be just as though you are walking normally, or do any of you use different stances?

Yes I find its great. The objective behind this and other techniques of Musashi is too try and not be too obvious that you are more than prepared to deal with an attack. Another objective he deals with is to get well inside and up under the nose, well inside the opponents Maai. This give him no other alternative than to move back to try and regain ground.

But as I practice his style I will pose you a question. Do you walk like Musashi?
 
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SwordSoulSteve

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I'm sorry to pose such a dumb question, Hyaku, but would you mind telling me what Maai is? Or perhaps what it can be described as in english?
 

Cruentus

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Hyaku said:
Yes I find its great. The objective behing this and other techniques of musashi is too try and not to be too obvious that you are more than prepared to deal with an attack. Another objective he deals with is to get well inside up under the nose and inside the opponent Maai. This give him no other alternative than to move back to try and regain ground.

But as practice his style I will pose you a question. Do you walk like Musashi?

I think that there is a lot of wisdom in Musashi's book. A natural step forward is a good combative stance for anyone to take. It's balanced and instinctive. As to "Walk like Musashi?" I say...just walk like YOU, and you'll be fine...

:asian:
 
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Hyaku

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Ma as in interval or space. To put a bit of a gap in between something. Ai as in au to meet. An interval/distance/timing situation.

Issoku Ito no maai. A one step cutting distance. - To be able to use timing/interval to take one step and cut.

Toi maai - Toi means far. The ablity to control the situation and timing yet be at a distance.

Chikai maai. Chikai mens very near. Same again being able to work very close well inside the distance of the opponent.

Generally these are not mixed. Although an understanding of all must be maintained a particular ryu would have preference to use one particular maai to attack from.

Then it gets complicated when you add kamae. Pointing a sword at someone is one thing. Can one be able to adopt a stance such as Jodan, gedan and still be aware of maai? Can you walk up to some one with no weapon to set the maai then place a weapon in your hands to find it correct to a millimeter and still have maintained the correct distancing from hands to hara?

Chikai maai is one of the hardest and why we dont use short swords without a great deal of experience.

Also sword power is generated by use of kahanshin (lower body power) as opposed to Johanshin (upper body power) and hara. The hips revolve sharply with a strongly generated twisting power which in turn is channeled up to arms wrists etc in a strong natural movement. The cutting hand operates as if there is a strong rubber band joining it to the hara that pushes in to attack. With big weapons we can work on this very technical movement. With small somehow there seems to be message that says, "Oh I dont need to generate kahanshin My arms can do the work".

We didnt even teach short sword in the open dojo until recently. It really is running before you can walk.

Footwork:Musashi had a special way of walking The sole of the foot touches down before the toes to stop getting stones between them. But most of all the foot outstretches but leaves bodyweight centralized. Not like a neko no ashi (cat stance) though. More of a floating feeling As the next foot comes in the body still remains centrally balanced but with strong hara pushed in. Moving back still has this application and is harder. The foot is taken back bust everything else remains in. Very difficult to put into words.

Gorin no sho is one thing. Putting it together with the practical application completes the puzzle. The rest is hours of damned hard work. I spent seven years working on one fundamental kahanshin movement before being allowed to move on.

Hope this helps and gives you some small idea of what we do out there.

If only it was all so simple we would all be masters!
 
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