What makes what you study so interesting?

bluemtn

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Ok everyone, I know I'm not a sword art practitioner, but I'm curious! I would like you to spill the beans on what tickles your fancy in what you study! Is it tradition? Has it been your life- long passion? What kind of swords do you use? What got you into the art? Etc... Personally, I like the traditional side of it. I also enjoy someone demonstrating their form, and find it intriguing!
 

Swordlady

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I've been into swords since I was a child. I wasn't into any kind of sword in particular; anything that had a long steel blade captured my interest. My dad had these two decorative swords with short curved blades, and a short decorative Japanese sword. I played with his swords when he wasn't looking, and tried sharpening the short Japanese sword with a whetting stone. I messed up the blade too; of course I didn't know it was a stainless steel wallhanger that couldn't be sharpened like that.

During my undergrad years, I took a course in Aikido (because they use bokken), and also a class on fencing. Both classes were fun, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I wanted to be able to study a real sword art.

I came across my current dojo by chance back in 1996. I was walking around the city, and happened to read a schedule on the door of an Aikido dojo. The schedule said it offered Iaido on Saturdays. I read the class description, and realized that it was Japanese swordsmanship. Showed up for class about a week or two later, and got hooked. I trained with my sensei for about six months, before we got evicted from that dojo (from some kind of disagreement between my sensei and the owner of the Aikido school). I lost contact with my sensei, and didn't find him again until the fall of 2004.

When I first started training back in 1996, I simply enjoyed how I got to be able to train with a blade. I didn't think too much about my art's history or anything like that; I didn't even know the name of the JSA I practiced. I just referred to it as "Iaido class". I don't think I was all that serious about my training, because around the time when we got booted from our training area, I really didn't make that much of an effort to stay in contact with my sensei, although I *did* have his contact information.

It wasn't until I resumed my training back in late 2004 that I really got into it. I've been concentrating a lot more on learning the *proper* Japanese terminology for the kata and kamae (stances), and I've also been a LOT more serious about my overall training. I've also been learning more about the history of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, how it was founded, and how it has been transmitted. Studying a JSA is much more enjoyable when you learn about the history behind it. Yagyu Shinkage Ryu has a rich 400+ year old history, and it is interesting becoming a part of it.

I don't know how well I answered your question, but I hope that something in my response makes a little sense. :)
 
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bluemtn

bluemtn

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That was great! Thanks for sharing! I'm more or less just looking for whatever information one can give (on a personal level) as to the "why's," "what's," and such on what you practice.
 

Swordlady

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ryangruhn said:
The practicality. It's hard to find these days.

Gruhn

Hi Ryan, can you please expound on your response? Are you currently studying a sword art?
 

ryangruhn

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Put simply, the Filipino Martial Arts. More recently Dog Brothers Martial Arts. The ability to test technique in Gatherings is a blessing to the arts.

Gruhn
 
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