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Re: Katana Inquiry

Subject: Re: Katana Inquiry
by petelohstroh on 2007/6/18 11:15:08

I agree that this thread has taken a detour but I think the issues being discussed are very relevant to the subject of whether or not a person has sufficient experience with a bokken and an iaito to begin training with a live blade. Mr. Martin underscored this and I doubt anyone could rationally disagree with him on this issue.

So..what IS the rationale for shidoshi encouraging so many beginners to purchase Chinese katana whether or not they are ready?

Here's another interesting argument I have heard:
"Unorthdodox" strategies are often demonstrated by Hatsumi sensei and the shihan(token, reverse and sliding grips, kicks to the nuts, etc.). I wonder if employing these unorthodox techniques without the predicating abilities to perform good orthodox techniques are a valid shortcut to mastery or just kinda funny and dangerous like a handing a chimp a loaded Luger?

And not to drag Mr. Roley into this, but having read and thought about many of his surly but honest posts he leaves all over creation, I often wonder about the following:

There are other schools of kobudo that have successfully trained generations of beginners to safely handle hard-wood bokken, naginata, spears, bo, jo, etc. in paired kata that are performed with a combative feeling and maai (Yagyu Shinkage Ryu is a noteable exception).

There is such a wide range of weapons facility even within higher Bujinkan grades that I've been told that it would be homocidally negligent to do this at even a moderately well attended seminar. So, some of us train with the equivalent of blunt scissors (fukuro shinai and padded bo/jo/hanbo). Has this development made the development of skill with weapons more difficult or less?

I hear underwear bunching so please let me clarify my thesis:
I am not saying that the application of padded weapons for safe, high-intensity training isn't a great adaptation. What I am suggesting is that the indiscriminant application of soft weapons has lead to a reduction in the legitimate levels of terror in the kata training necessary to really begin to gain understanding of weapons combat and that this is the basis for subsequently adding a live blade to the mix.

But hey, what do I know?
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