Why?

Mr. E

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Just a quick question, why do you study how to use the sword?

I ask because a few days ago I read a post by someone saying that their art had been modified a few years ago to make it more combat effective. That made me scratch my head and think. Are we really talking about using our swords to kill others as if we were starring in a Highlander movie? It all sounds like Phil Elmore's type of thing.

Mind you, there have been times when the weapon closest at hand was a sword. But for me, I study the sword to try to learn what ancient warriors learned as closely as possible. There are lessons we can use hidden in between the moves IMO. The more I study old arts and modern studies of what happens to the body and mind under life or death stress, the more I hear the same type of stuff. Some of the stuff that seems to be out of date actually is quite important IMO.

So that is why I study the sword- to learn more about self defense even if I never plan on using a sword on another person. I can imagine why others would study it and am curious to hear some ideas I might not have though of.
 

Blotan Hunka

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In case we run into some immortals from "Highlander" or society collapses and we revert to a "road warrior" society where ammo is rare.

People love to fantasize.
 

tshadowchaser

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The sword to me has always been a feeling of flowing. Yes I know that some sword arts hack and slash but others make your whole body flow in a smoothness that is like nothing else.
 

Langenschwert

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In case we run into some immortals from "Highlander" or society collapses and we revert to a "road warrior" society where ammo is rare.

Zombie plague. Don't forget zombie plague. ;)

Seriously though, I study the sword for many reasons. First of all, I study as a way of honouring my ancestors. I think, being of Germanic blood, studying German Longsword is a good way to do that. :D Secondly, I like learning about fighting. It's another range to learn, and the precision required is challenging. I like the intellectual challenge of figuring out what the masters were talking about. I even plan on learning Middle High German to facilitate my studies. Also, it keeps me fit and mentally sharp. There's nothing like four feet of steel coming at you to keep one's self alert! :)

Best regards,

-Mark
 

MBuzzy

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I started studying sword as another way to learn about the Korean culture and martial arts. I also feel that it will help my study of self defense and unarmed martial arts. In most cases, remove the sword and the moves still work without the weapon.

Studying sword also gives you much more body awareness. It takes a great deal of control and awareness of your body position to swing around a bladed object.
 

Makalakumu

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In case we run into some immortals from "Highlander" or society collapses and we revert to a "road warrior" society where ammo is rare.

People love to fantasize.

I think it runs deeper then that. For instance, if I study classical fencing, I may be trying to improve my "game". Or I may be trying to keep a fighting tradition alive. I wouldn't underestimate the value of historical preservation.
 

Steel Tiger

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Sword training from a CMA perspective is all about improving one's precision and spirit.

The jian is considered to be the most difficult Chinese weapon to master and it is also considered the king of weapons. It is a contradiction, an annoyance, a frustration, and a joy all at the same time.

I know that I will never use one in combat (unless civilisation collapses, then maybe. I hate zombies.) but the skills it engenders are valuable throughout all my other training.
 

Kennedy_Shogen_Ryu

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I started studying sword when I was training in Aikido, mainly because there was such a connection between the sword techniques and the empy-hand techniques. From there I went to studying Iaido because it really teaches you focus and attention to small details.
 

shesulsa

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Kang Gum hyung and sul are part of our curriculum and it's all about moving energy, good technique and immense respect. To me these are part and parcel of everything else in our system.

Plus it's cool. :D
 

Langenschwert

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(unless civilisation collapses, then maybe. I hate zombies.)

The slow ones aren't so bad. It's the "sprinter" variant that are problematic. ;)

Interesting that each culture has a "royal" weapon. In late medieval Europe, the longsword was the "queen of weapons" to many. :)

Best regards,

-Mark
 

cdunn

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Why? Because it's there. Because it challenges and and I want to rise to it.

Also, there is something about the sword that sticks in the mind, deeper and more primal than the rational. They are the weapons of myth. Excalibur. Durandal. Caladbolg. Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. It is a weapon of kings and of heroes. The Duke of Wellington, Jeanne d'Arc, Musashi. The US Marine Corps still issues a saber as a part of its officer's uniform, in an era when entire nations can be consumed in a ball of nuclear fire. It is a symbol so powerful that it has become a talisman, even an avatar for the virtues of our heroes. I think that a great many people go looking that. They desire the purity and clarity of the hunt for strength, the readiness of the swordsman. It is not logic, it is not rational. It is emotion. And then the part of their mind that says 'It makes me feel good, and swords are cool.' gets kicked around by the part that says, 'Justify wasting all this time, money, and resolve' kicks in. And then they start flailing.

So, heck, I guess I practice because swords are cool. It's hard and frustrating, but on the rare day I do it right, boy does it make me feel good.
 

tellner

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It's fun. It's interesting. It improves a number of important attributes. It's an integral part of the Southeast Asian martial arts. And it's just darned cool.
 

Cryozombie

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If I can jump in late... when they take our guns, what will that leave us?

Actually, you hear more and more about attacks occuring with swords... in some cases to such an extreme extent the weapons had to be banned. Given that is the case, I think study and understanding of the weapon can help improve your odds of surviving an attack with one...
 

Charles Mahan

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If I was worried about dying a premature violent death, I would spend my time with more cost effective training. Say, defensive driving. You are FAR FAR FAR more likely to die in an auto accident than you are to be killed by a sword. You're probably much more likely to be struck by lightning.
 
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