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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Glenn, I have no arguement with that at all! In fact I totally agree, real danger can happen if someone picks up a live weapon without FIRST getting some training and knowlege about that weapon. All too often that has happened to that persons sorrow.

Posted on: 2007/6/18 9:23
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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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?

Posted on: 2007/6/18 11:15
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Quote:

petelohstroh wrote:
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).


I agree with most of what you are saying.

When I lived in Japan in the early nineties we pretty much always practiced with wooden weapons, now training is pretty much just with safe padded weapons.

Quote:

petelohstroh wrote:
Has this development made the development of skill with weapons more difficult or less?


I think it is a two way street here. Surely the responsibility also lies with the international Bujinkan community (us) as a whole. Soke and the other shihan can only look at us training in Japan and set the level and intensity accordingly. Looking around at a normal Sunday at the Hombu and seeing the quality and respect for safety of some is any one surprised at soke not wanting wooden weapons used in there anymore?

So to your statement above I think it is more difficult but unless we all make the effort to lift our own “development of skill with weapons” in our own training at home we shouldn’t expect anything more.

(I know there are many people who are extremely good but with safety I think it always has to be brought down to those of the lowest level.)

Posted on: 2007/6/18 15:39
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Duncan, you make an excellent point as to where the responsibility for this change should be put. The negative press that would result from a major injury at the hombu is just too much of a risk to the Bujinkan as a whole and so I agree that Sensei had no choice but to change the training there. We have all seen people training in that crowded environment with seemingly no awareness of others around them. It becomes OUR task to raise both the skill level AND the awareness level of those coming to train there. I continue to use wooden weapons but the numbers of those training are a LOT less and the space MUCH greater. In addition the message of "space awareness" is constantly being given. I also think that the more we let people know that it is through COOPERATION with other people training that THEY will gain the most for themselves and by ONLY thinking of themselves will loose more then they can ever realize, This wrong attitude will decrease in those training as we who are in the shidoshi and judan ranks also display that cooperative attitude. Anyway, this is my hope.

Posted on: 2007/6/18 21:15
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Mr. Mitchell,
I appreciate your post because you've been training through at least a few evolutions. I completely agree with your statement about the necessity for individual's taking responsibility for improving their skills and hopefully the skills of their students if they have any. The present situation calls for the broad employment of safe training weapons, therefore compliance should be 100%. Mr. Cousergue has said as much to me. And since I own a few of Mr. Martin's wooden weapons, I had little doubt we would be on the same page.

I'm sure there are many examples of martial arts (kobudo or otherwise) that have had to make weapons training safer because popularity has lowered the standards for the ranking structure. Maybe this all really boils down to poor selection and screening criteria for the students that end up becoming shidoshi. Until this situation is rectified, we're all subject to the rules created to protect us all from the lowest common denominator.

Posted on: 2007/6/19 3:42
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Pete Lohstroh
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Quote:

petelohstroh wrote:
I'm sure there are many examples of martial arts (kobudo or otherwise) that have had to make weapons training safer because popularity has lowered the standards for the ranking structure.


?!?

Marty

Posted on: 2007/6/19 17:56
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Re: Katana Inquiry
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Mr. Dunsky,
My apologies for the confusion: You're right, the sentence you quoted is a mess. You should see my handwriting!

I would like to know if Dale, Dan W., or Barry might chime in since I have a lot of respect for the weight of their opinions and, since they know me, they might have figured out what I was trying to say.

Posted on: 2007/6/20 3:00
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Pete Lohstroh
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