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Re: Kyoketsu shoge
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Seems you're getting a bit caught up in the media haze about kunai, there, cowboy6. A real kunai was a common tool for anyone to have, was made of pig iron, basically, and wasn't really thrown. Usually they didn't have an edge, and they were used like a trowel or prybar. I suppose you could throw it, like you can throw anything, but certainly not their intended purpose.

Posted on: 2010/5/14 23:59
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Re: The Rope and the Sword
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Sorry if this seems a bit spamish, but I did a thread which was inspired by this thread on another site, I will post the article here, but the thread is located here, if anyone is interested. I referred to vague "people" in the article, as it would make no sense to readers unfamiliar with this forum to see their usernames written. I apologize to those users, but the thread was referenced, so they will get their due credit. Thanks for the inspiration.

"While the thread has little to do with what I am about to discuss, it still remains important because it generated the spark of idea. A spark is not intended to become a flame, it creates the flame and lets the rest fall to its own means.

I find the rope to be a fascinating weapon, tool and even armor. Flexible weaponry has always captivated my interests, perhaps because of the complexity, perhaps because of some natural familiarity, or maybe even because it relates to my physical properties. What I mean by physical properties, is that since youth, I have always been flexible, but while remaining flexible and thin, I was also pretty strong. Nylon rope of such a thin size as less than an inch in diameter could support one or more fully grown men without breaking!
I have always been intrigued by the physics and dynamics of rope. Most people find rope to be "chaotic" in motion, as one person once put it. However, I find that if a person can understand that a rope is a solid, linear object, the motion becomes more clear. Basic knowledge of physics can attribute the laws of acceleration (not centrifugal force!) to the circular motions in which are usually the easiest forms of rope control are found. It is also important to remember that a rope, like any other object, can be thrown, or carried in the hand.
When held in the hand, a rope can bind an object; this can be useful as basic kamae, or stances are used. If someone holds a rope in their hand and then walks around a tree, it is natural that the rope will entangle itself around the trunk and branches. If that same person were to raise and lower the height of their hands as they were walking around said tree, it would form a complex web around the limbs. This idea applies to an opponent in a fight. Another person put Ninjutsu, in a quasi-humorous, yet true, manner by saying that the art was a way of effectively walking.
I recall seeing Soke Masaaki Hatsumi in some of his videos merely walking around the person he was entangling. He would also go from a high stance to a roll, which would usually force the opponent to change direction and entangle himself, or set up the opponent for a rather constricting knot. Several books written by his students such as Stephen K. Hayes, describe methods used upon them involving rope. Unfortunately, their descriptions were often written with the lack of understanding as they would latter possess, but leave a mystery to the reader. Whether or not this was intentional, there was often just enough information to glean an idea to put the reader to practice for experimentation.
The rope is such a useful item. It can be anything from a hobby, to a career. Decorative knots are common, as are functional knots, but knots or not (pun intended), it is in great abundance in this day and age with such methods of manufacture that someone can order rope designed for special purposes. Some rope is good mainly for knots, while other rope is best suited for weaving. Other ropes are designed for general purpose, in several grades, shapes, and colors.
To effectively use a rope, whether for craft or combat, it is imperative that the user understand the properties of the rope they are using. Some are more flexible than others, and others stretch, while the rest do not. While most of the principles are the same for all rope, it could turn into a catastrophe if in combat, a piece of rope was used that stretched, and the user had calculated the distance for swinging a weight, and hit their own body with their own weapon because of a mere half inch stretch caused by the elasticity of the rope.
Items can also be affixed to the end of a rope, or rope affixed to an item. Such things are found in the kusari-gama and the kyoketsu shoge, or even merely putting a length of rope on the end of a sword, rock, or other weight or tool. These things can increase the usage and distance of a tool. A grappling hook would be very little without the aid of a rope. A rope can also make it easier to retrieve items used for practice, such as a thread attached to a projectile such as a baseball, knife, or axe for the purpose of retrieving it quicker to improve practice."

Posted on: 2010/4/6 4:15
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Re: dojo in MA
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Sorry, but I suppose I must bump this. I am still looking for a group, or instructor willing to travel near me for some training.

I have tried to start a group, but everyone is so busy, and my group advertising is not yielding any fruit.

On a side note, I have indeed checked Winjutsu and google for dojos near. There are none within a couple hour's distance. Considering the fact that it is Near enough to the surrounding state's borders, are there any that anyone knows of on the borders of those states that I am not aware of? This forum has grown quite a bit since I had last posted this, so perhaps someone will now be able to contribute. Thanks.

Posted on: 2010/4/6 3:16
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Re: The power of smiling
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Excellent post, I have been away for a long time, but the feed caught my attention in gmail...I am glad I clicked, this is an excellent video describing not only the importance that smiling makes you appear more socially acceptable and thus makes people more at ease both consciously and subconsciously. However, one might take the standpoint that he is just buttering up everyone. If you choose that route, you could say that it is effective as a method in directing an opponent (the people you are trying to influence, not always the bad guy) to the directives you are looking to achieve. The body language is a powerful thing. The video is a great example of that, as you notice he uses other body language if you look closely.

Toward the middle of the video he sees the photographer, all his first attempts fail, the ones that worked on everyone else. But, not only did he never give up, he tried new things because we all know that nothing works on everything or everyone. When he says he just wanted to see her smile, he was trying the simple way. Often we try to do the hardest way to do things in life, we assume that because technology is changing every day that we ourselves must become more complex, but we must never forget the simple things in life, after all, they are usually free. We all know the economy is going down the drain. ;) Point stands, he made a visible change in her thought process and unbalanced her negative combative strategy with a simple and direct sentence.

After his hope is lost and he fails to learn that what he is doing (the same thing, over and over, never changing) isn't working finally, he becomes "normal" in the sense of he dropped down a level to the sadness everyone else was. When the others start depending on him, and not keeping the happiness they've been shown, they again fall into despair when he himself needed the leg to stand on. It goes to show that too many people are dependent on being hand held. When they stop getting what they want (happiness) all the customers leave and he gets fired for it.

When he meets the tourists, who are enjoying the simple things in life (the tourism; beauty of nature and photography, seeing new things) he starts to learn he doesn't NEED the photographer girl, there are other things in life he needs to be happy. For a while you can see he uses the same place in front of that globe as a crutch, or just as a resting point such as a wound that needs to heal fully before you go out and train hard again.

After his life is turned around by the man smiling in his driver's license, he goes and looks for the girl again, when he finds her, she is sitting there making people smile, and then smiles for him. He is stunned because of her change (in Ninjutsu, you shouldn't let change overtake you where you are immobilized as such) and he discovers that a good deed he did (kokoro, his heart was in the right place) changed his environment in so much of a way, the girl actually smiled for him, something he could never do directly. This is not luck.

Finally, she gives HIM a compliment, something that nobody has every done for him, despite all of his good deeds. People in general are selfish, it is human nature, a thing of survival, whether it be to horde food or not talk to people so you don't get hurt emotionally. However, it is important to risk, take chances in the world so that you may learn, and when you learn, you will not need to worry about it because you have the ability to change the outcome.

At the end, he ends up traveling the world, enjoying the simple things in life with something/someone he wanted and tried his hardest to achieve, which only was brought about by a good deed he did when he was feeling down. He never let himself be all the way dragged down, he stumbled for a while but stood up, never fell.


Now that my analysis is complete, I will apologize for such a long post. I wrote this as a stepping stone for those who could not see the truth and the secrets for themselves, but I hope they learn to stand on their own. Thank you for sharing this video.

Posted on: 2009/1/11 1:04
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Re: shuriken
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nindja: Human targets don't teach you form as much as they teach you accuracy, train in both. Also, you need to know if your throw is any good at penetrating.

Kasumi: Square cross sections are good too, I only prefer round for the easy to make portion in my personal setup. I find that square ones stay in the target better than round. Only disadvantage is that you need to lay a flat section on your hand, you cannot just grab and throw, you need to grab, adjust and throw...regardless of how quick it can be done. :) Though it becomes quite a hindrance the thicker they are. Laser cutting can get expensive I would only assume. What are the general prices and what do you get in terms of metal type, thickness, how many for which price?

Posted on: 2008/6/11 8:39
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Re: 鎖鎌 Kusarigama for Sale
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Sorry to nitpick, but is this supposed to be "antique" or what? I notice that the blade has been ground with a grinding wheel and kind of looks machine done. The blade body has been wire brushed. Also the kanji look engraved and/or too new. The body looks pretty banged up and the chain is clearly modern hardware store made. Don't get me wrong, it looks nice. But I think you are asking for way too much money for something not antique...even if the blade was traditionally forged like a sword blade, hamon and all, I would say $200-300 pushes it. I don't mean to insult you by pointing any of this out nor to decrease possibility of a sale. If you feel this post is insulting, a mod may delete it. I am just suggesting that the price may not get you any customers, perhaps rethink it a bit? Good luck.

Posted on: 2008/6/11 8:28
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Re: where do you train outside the dojo?
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I am in a similar situation where people do not play into martial arts and any person claiming parkour will be shunned. Granted there are 3 or so dojos in the immediate area, but none are too special, 1 has karate/muy tai/jujitsu classes, 1 is sport judo, 1 is kung fu. None of them train in public, though there are huge glass windows in 1 dojo that you can see everything they do from the street. As for parks, there are few and none of them are in areas that you would want to train, for various reasons (animals, flooded wetland, enormous rocks, druggie hangouts, active gang territory, etc.). I learned ukemi in my basement to be honest, it's got very low white carpet, not enough to pad you at all, but good enough to learn on since right underneath the carpet is concrete. The streets are filled with broken glass, metal bits and rubbish so I do not often practice on them, however I remember trying an impulse of rolling UP a steep hill once after the city swept the streets haha. Very steep hills aren't so fun, you stop rolling by momentum half way through, but it can be done. :) I think I may try practicing on our track at school this summer, it's made of rubber (jagged, not the smooth kind) and I figure if anyone asks, I can say I am training for hurdles in case I fall or trip. :P

Posted on: 2008/6/8 9:14
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Re: shuriken
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Unlike the rest, I'm not going to shun you nor read your other posts before giving advice. Go to stores and buy large 6 " screws or nails around 1/4 " diameter and cut off the head and touch up the tips on a bench grinder. Beware of the fumes when grinding as this is poisonous and don't forget to dip the metal in a bucket of water literally every 2-3 seconds or you will make the steel brittle and it will break when you use it. Any moderately thin (less than or equal to 1/2 " diameter) round steel stock is potential bo shuriken material. As for hira and senban shuriken, if you do not possess the tools and/or skills with knowledge to make them already, then there is no safe way for you to make them. Sheet metal will NOT work, it is simply not strong enough. I could go on but again, if you do not possess the skill and/or knowledge of how to use tools or even the items you are making then you are probably going to fail and if you do manage it then it will be crude and you can only pray you get better with production and skill using them.

Posted on: 2008/4/16 10:11
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Re: Help with design for homemade shuriken target
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Those ideas are fine, but if you practice a lot they don't last long. I like the ideas from Throwzini about using log rounds since they're fairly easy to get if you have a chainsaw and some trees to cut up.

"by Onmyoji on 2007/11/11 11:24:56

I use a portable archery target. Its basically a foam cube the measures 18"x 18"x 16". It works real good for shuriken and throwing knifes. You can pick one up at an archery store for about $40USD."

That's rather expensive since shuriken tear though foam like a hot knife through butter, especially the bo shuriken :)

"by mharper on 2007/11/11 11:24:42

I got some free scrap 2x4 from a house that was almost complete. I made a frame 5 feet by 2 1/2 feet. I then cut the 2x4 3 1/2 inches long and filled the frame so end grain was facing the front. I glued all the pieces in and shuriken will stick no matter how they are thrown. I attached it to the wall at the dojo but you could add a leg with a hinge to stand it up. It is heavy but has worked for 10 years. You might also want to put a piece of plywood on the back so heavy knives don't knock the 2x4 loose."

I don't mean to criticize, but if your weapons aren't sticking there is usually a problem with the technique so making it that easy only takes away from your own personal corrections.

Posted on: 2007/11/12 4:52
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Re: Kusari Gama
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They're fakes, I am a machinist and I recognize the bevels are from a lathe, the weights at the end are PERFECTLY cylindrical/spherical, yes those are sawcuts, all string parts are new, the rings are all uniform size and perfectly shaped and you can see the weld marks, you can see the knockout pin mark on the metal castings, and the rust residue was poorly imitated probably using a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar with an electrical current. The E805 and E804 were understandable but they signify that the seller sells a lot of "Antiques". To be honest they would sell better in the new condition before trying to rust them.

Posted on: 2007/10/17 7:00
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