T Nation

Sword Guys?


I train in Iaido and Kendo at the Japanese Martial Arts Center in Ann Arbor. Any other T-men swing swords? The Iaido is muso jikiden eishin ryu.

No formal “sword” training, it’s something I would absolutely love to do but I’m spreading myself super thin as it is.

I’m going to t-friend you so I can ask you questions and shit though :slight_smile:

but my “sword” training isn’t japanese… dog brothers style of stickfighting which is basically a synthesis of Inosanto Blend, Pekiti Tirsia, Lameco Escrima, Kabaroan, Machado Jiujitsu, and Sayoc Kali.

Practitioners believe in “higher consciousness through harder contact” that you percieve the technicalities within fighting by pushing yourself into situations where you find out if your formal training is worth a damn.

Check it out here: http://www.dogbrothers.com/index.html

They have a bunch of videos on the site but these are probably my favorite

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6EZE_rmsQs

I’ll probably be going to the gathering of the pack in May (?) '09 if my schedule allows me to catch a DBMA seminar so I can brush up before I go test myself. I’ll be the guy with the “Team Kimbo” Shoes lol.

MUCH more recently I’ve been learning Krabi Krabong… the traditional weapons art of Thailand (for this discussion in particular double and single sword). What I like is that it integrates a lot of strikes as well.

Imagine swinging a sword, and performing a thai kick simultaneously your opponent wouldn’t know which to defend. It’s also fucking awesome to watch (if you slow it down and open it up a little bit) for fight/stunt choreography.

I’m working on a few projects right now but 2 of them are sword based (one ‘highlander’ and one ‘star wars’ so you’ll get to see some krabi krabong movie style)

info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krabi_Krabong

good demo but i don’t like that they don’t demonstrate the integrated striking…

Really fucking good demo:

and to my fellow geeks in this clip you can see why I want to use it in some star wars choreography the aggression of the style is very “darkside”.

This is another krabi krabong weapon the mai sok that I think it would be fun to try and fight with at The Gathering but I don’t have nearly the amount of proficiency required to try and make it work.
demo:

I’ve done a little Iaido (and am looking to pursue it some more, as I’m now living in Japan), but also got into German Longsword, which was fascinating to study. Working on collecting some more blades as they become financially workable. Good to see a few others into swords on T-Nation! Always wanted to try krabi-krabong, so thanks for the demo links Xen!

Definitely been looking into Iaido…both for myself and my son. A beautiful art without a doubt. I believe I found a location here through the internet that teaches it (eishin ryu) and will be checking it out soon. Odd, however, that it’s not in the phone book. Hope it’s actually there.

I study Yagyu Shinkage-ryu heiho (kenjutsu) and Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin-ryu, which is a comprehensive martial art that includes sword work, including iai and kumitachi no kata.

That stick fighting was brutal! Doesn’t look as elegant as most other sword arts i’ve seen, but it looks damn effective.

I was driving home today going past a sports oval, and i saw a few swordfights. No shit. These guys were in full medieval armour with various weapons, i think one guy had a couple of maces and there were a few with two handed weapons but mostly it was sword/shield combat. Pretty neat. Apparently they dress up in armour and beat the crap out of each other on weekends…

It stopped traffic. It was one of those things you don’t see every day.

There is a huge scene of reenactors called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) that get together and have battles such as what you mentioned, BugeishAD. Various craftsman and warriors show of their talents and wares. They’re all over the world and have the countries divided into kindgoms and such.

I would really like to try some longsword fighting and start learning a fighting style

I’ve studied a bit of Krabi Krabong here in Thailand. Makes a nice change from the usual bag and pad pounding. I’ll probably get into it a lot more later in my life.

Xen I would love to see a vid of you fighting at the Gathering using some Krabi Krabong techniques!

Dog brothers = insane.

borrek,

When I was at the Renn. Festival a few weeks ago I saw a new type of shinai. The people working the wepaons booth, claimed it was safer because it was less likely to break. Hard to describe it looked like a bokken in shape but it almost like the outline of a bokken using bamboo.

Small rant:

This times are a disaster for old melee weapon lovers.
You can learn so many unarmed styles today. Thai Boxing, Dumog, Sambo, Yong Chun, the menu reads like an exotic all-you-can-eat.
But try to learn a practical way to cut someone up with a sword or god forbid, a hatchet or a spear.

Is it an anachronism? Hell yeah! An obese Smith and Wesson will beat a virtuosic Katana-san anyday.
But I can live with that.

Let’s take a look at the options for THE classical martial weapon of ancient times-the sword:

Kendo-
an extremely gelded, ritualized form. No grappling transitions, hits have to be delivered with “the right japanese attitude” to score. Not good. Musashi wouldn’t do Kendo today kids.
Don’t let me get even started on Iaijutsu/do.

Historical Swordfight-
Let’s throw away all the money for medieval clothing! The no 1 rule: the dumber the outfit, the better. The following picture is the third I got from typing “medieval sword fighting” into google. I can’t even laugh because it’s so sad.
Of course, you learn everything the way our ancestors did it. Strictly historical. Yawn.

Kali/Escrima-
Not really sure, but it seems like a bad compromise to me. A weapon should be a final argument. A knife can kill easily in the hands of someone skilled but lacks range. A stick is better in that department but lacks power. And while with a knife you could fend off two drunken guys who threaten your family, a stick simply won’t make them back off. In my experience quite the contrary.
I mean it’s a nice and versatile system, probably the best on the list here, but what I want is shinken shobu, the real deal.

Also, what’s the obsession with asian martial arts? Doesn’t the west have dibs on sword fighting? Why am I the only one to find it bizarre to have an easier time finding a stick fighting club originating from a chain of islands on the far side of the earth then being able to learn the techniques that my ancestors used with glee to exterminate their neighbours?

Fencing-
They’re fast, technical and compete on the highest level …of bs.
It’s like trying to copy modern urban combat in Iraq with water pistols while everyone is allowed only to jump around like a stranded whale while singing chansons.
Highly abstract and useless.
You should be able to move freely! And it’s unreal that you can win by lightly touching your opponent with a pos caricature of a weapon that wobbles across his chest a split second before he hits you in the face.
What a bunch of pansies!
Without a doubt my knightly ancestors associated weapon training mainly with one thing: bruises.
Olympic fencing may be a sport but it’s not a martial discipline.


The good news:
Lately there seem to be some aficionado cells who try to mix historical combat with modern kendo techniques and protection gear as well as some ground fighting. I haven’t been able to check it out yet, but I know I will in the future.
These dog brothers for instance look great.

(p.s.: Cleverdicks, spare me the discussion about how our knights and especially the Samurai actually didn’t regard the sword as their No1 weapon. I love swords and that is it)

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Small rant:

Kendo-
an extremely gelded, ritualized form. No grappling transitions, hits have to be delivered with “the right japanese attitude” to score. Not good. Musashi wouldn’t do Kendo today kids.
Don’t let me get even started on Iaijutsu/do.
[/quote]

Feel free to get started on Iaido/Kenjutsu! =) I’d be interested to hear your opinion. Have you done either? Kendo is a sport and not really a fighting system. In Kendo there is no need to grapple, because the goal is not to kill, but to hit a specific target. That being said, sweeps were at one point common in Kendo, and are still taught at the Tokyo Polics Kendo Club. Grappling was a vital part of the samurai arts, but today is taught as its own art of jujitsu. Of course that was sportified into Judo, which is why the Judo bout ends after a successful throw. That was when you or your buddy would stab the dude on the ground in the throat.

agree on the shinken. My wife always says that if someone breaks into our house we will make the national news

Detroit attacker cut in two with one stroke, News at 11!

I guarantee that more extermination was done with arrows in either hemisphere, yet those arts are practiced even less.

[quote]
(p.s.: Cleverdicks, spare me the discussion about how our knights and especially the Samurai actually didn’t regard the sword as their No1 weapon. I love swords and that is it)[/quote]

It is well known that the samurai sword was the soul of the warrior. Of course it was their number one weapon. It probably didn’t kill as many people as the arrow or spear, but the katana was the M-16 of the day.

To balance out dudes in tights, it’s time for dudes in skirt-like pants!

I’m the one with the beard…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Hd3yvNkRo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNaLhA95-H8

Quick post before I head to bed:
My Kendo/Iaido critique does come from the reality-, not the sport-point-of-view.
I’m totally fine with someone who’s in love with fencing, I do not hate the sport.
But I consider it not fighting.

“I guarantee that more extermination was done with arrows in either hemisphere, yet those arts are practiced even less.”

I don’t know. With a nice genocide, people were (and are still, look to Africa) usually massacred with ugly melee weapons.
And as for big battles, I believe arrows were usually used to soften enemies up, units that took too many casualities most often turned and ran. The actual losses for an army that fled weren’t that big , as long as they weren’t caught by the persuing cavalry or reserves. Then the massacre was usually a hand to hand thing.

And I think, while Archer clubs are rare, you could even become a good archer on your own, practising on trees. Fighting need a lot more then that.

“It is well known that the samurai sword was the soul of the warrior. Of course it was their number one weapon. It probably didn’t kill as many people as the arrow or spear, but the katana was the M-16 of the day.”

Nope. The katana fetish is a relatively modern thing. The sword is simply a more powerful symbol which could be used to cut up peasants really easy in the relatively peaceful eras after the sengoku period. No way the samurai would have taken the same satisfaction from bow and arrow at that time. Lance and Bow were for the most time THE samurai weapons.
Western History is a tad more complicated here, but the sword was also not seen as the ultimate solution like it is depicted in the movies, far from it.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:

“It is well known that the samurai sword was the soul of the warrior. Of course it was their number one weapon. It probably didn’t kill as many people as the arrow or spear, but the katana was the M-16 of the day.”

Nope. The katana fetish is a relatively modern thing. The sword is simply a more powerful symbol which could be used to cut up peasants really easy in the relatively peaceful eras after the sengoku period. No way the samurai would have taken the same satisfaction from bow and arrow at that time. Lance and Bow were for the most time THE samurai weapons.
Western History is a tad more complicated here, but the sword was also not seen as the ultimate solution like it is depicted in the movies, far from it.[/quote]

I think my comparison holds. The m-16 or comparable rifle was the main arm used by boots on the ground, but the most important tactical asset is air power. Similar to the sword/arrow combo. The lance/yari were, for the most part, a tool of the foot soldier class, not the samurai ruling class. Swords longer than kodachi/wakizashi were forbidden to non-samurai classes to ensure samurai superiority. If the sword were only a symbol, this prohibition would have been meaningless, but it wasnt meaningless it was effective at keeping one class in power for a very long time.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Quick post before I head to bed:
My Kendo/Iaido critique does come from the reality-, not the sport-point-of-view.
I’m totally fine with someone who’s in love with fencing, I do not hate the sport.
But I consider it not fighting.
[/quote]

Iaido is not a sport, and has very very little in common with kendo other than the pants.

I practiced Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu for 4 years. The school trains with both one sword, long or short, or both at the same time, as well as naginatajutsu, bojutsu, sojutsu and iaijutsu.