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  • #61
    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    Very nice gambeson.
    Thanks very much.

    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    Interesting about the shanai, from the grip... is that a solid core you have inside of it?
    Er, no.

    It's simply a shinai with a lead ring and chunky guard slipped onto it.
    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    Do you have problems with breakage?
    Nope, not really.
    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    You still don't have edge geometry unfortunately, nor a proper pommel ...and the feel of a shanai is just off to me, in the blade, it's just too flimsy. Every training weapon is a tradeoff though.
    Indeed every tool is a bit of a tradeoff, hence the reason we try to train with shinai, rattan, wood and steel.

    However, Matt has handled a great number of original longswords and confirms that our shinai efforts are not too bad.
    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    I also have a big problem with using fencing masks, mainly due to the lack of protection for the back of the head.
    Ah ha!
    Working on that.
    Originally posted by Drifter Bob
    Have you seen the helmets they make in the Philipines for Escrima / Arnis? Those are pretty impressive, one of the guys in our old group had one.
    Yes, we've seen those.
    However, as we sometimes train with steel, the slimmer blade can pass between the grill of an escrima mask. So, we've got to stick with Fencing masks.

    However, efforts are under way to cover the back of the head.

    Comment


    • #62
      I'm all for active development of sparring / training equipment, and it's good to hear that Schola is experimenting with different options. Personally, I feel that given what is available, different gear is useful for different types of training; fencing masks are ok for flexi-rapier use, I think escrima or lacrosse helmets are good for contact waster sparring. For live steel I would think a 3 weapon mask or fencing mask is way too light, I'd prefer a 14 guage medieval type helmet with some kind of added eye protection....

      DB

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Matt Easton
        Well, as I said previously, severed fingers can end a fight. That's a reality of swordsmanship. When I see a kendo bout where both people are repeatedly hitting each other, without fear of losing body parts such as fingers and hands, before one of these hits 'scores' that looks funny to me . I see the winner sporting severed members left, right and centre .
        I'm not criticising the kendo approach - it is a different approach. I'm simply trying to explain our (most WMA peoples') approach to you - it's not to my personal gain to do this, but as you're asking, I'm trying to answer . As I said, it's like a karate practitioner criticising MMA, Brazilian jujitsu, krav maga or sambo because it looks messy... I can assure you that the WMA approach does work against kendo, sport fencing and other martial arts approach, whether it looks messy to you or not. I have the trophies on my shelf to proove it . Just as a 'messy' MMA approach certainly works in UFC against karate or aikido.
        I really think that comparing WMA to kendo is like comparing apples and pears.

        Best regard,
        Matt
        I don't know if anyone has touched on this or not (I haven't read past this post of yours (Matt)...so, this might be repetitive.

        I cannot speak for all kendo players out there, but I think it's safe to say that it's understood that: Yes, my opponent missed the "target", but I would have lost an ear with that... Yes, the guy's sword would have buried itself in my shoulder... Yes, that would probably have cut off my leg.

        Those type of strikes do not "score points" but, then again, that is not the purpose of kendo in the first place. Kendo could certainly be like that, but one of the goals of kendo is to strive for the perfect strike.... to hit the most easily defended target areas (i.e., the most difficult to hit) with perfection. While cutting the leg or the fingers or the shoulders might be effective --- and kendo players could certainly attempt those strikes, and many times do so accidentally --- that is not what kendo strives to do.

        Now, back to the mentality of Japanese swordplay ---
        Or maybe I should say... the philosophy of Japanese swordplay:
        I do not care if I get killed. If I die, I die... and I will be reborn and maybe come back to fight you again. But today, if I am to die, I will make SURE that YOU die FIRST.

        So, yes, what you often see in kendo is two players trying to kill --- not maim, not wound, but KILL --- the other one FIRST..

        Because even if BOTH die (and, historically -- in reality -- both people DID die), all that really matters is who killed his opponent FIRST, because the one who dies FIRST is the LOSER. I may die, but I "won" because I killed you FIRST. This is Japanese mentality. This is why kendo beginners are taught, "In kendo, there is no defense. There is no blocking. There is only ATTACK."

        Applied to modern kendo, this philosophy is slightly tweaked .... there are many times when a blow is received that would most certainly have killed the opponent, but, in striving for the perfect killing strike, they are not "scored".

        It is the willful abandonment of one's own safety in striving to achieve the perfect killing blow that distinguishes kendo from what you guys are doing.

        I make no judgment on what you guys are doing... my main point in bringing this up was to try and explain that there is a difference in purpose between what you guys are doing and what we are doing.

        To use very simplistic ideology: You guys appear to be going for "hits" -- wherever they can be had .... Kendo players go for "perfect hits".
        If there is imperfection in a strike you guys make, you would seem to say, "Yeah, it was imperfect, but it was effective and he's dead."
        If there is imperfection in a kendoist's strike, then we would say, "Yeah, it was effective and he'd be dead, but it was imperfect ... and that's not good enough."

        You guys seem to be of the mindset: "I don't care how I kill him, I just want to kill him."
        Kendo players could do that, but our mindset is, "I want to kill my opponent with beauty, grace, and perfection.

        Relatively speaking, the former is an easy thing to do; the latter is much, much, much more difficult.

        Just two totally different mindsets at work here.

        Comment


        • #64
          one experience of kendo vs ringeck.

          Hello

          I am Philippe willaume, and I am a member of STMF which is a sister organization to schola and I know matt who is a personal friend.

          The style I practice is from a German origin (the lichtanauer tradition and the master is Sigmund ringeck whose manual was written in 1430-40.
          It is seen a more “aggressive” than Fiore but in my opinion it is not really accurate. I would say that may be Ringeck places more emphasis on the concept of entering (irimi).

          I think as well you would find more similitude, as we are expressly told ho to strike as we move forward with the leg on the side we strike and to aim at our opponent and not his sword. (That being said we need to know when to go against him or let him go by).

          The master I study explains things based on strikes and not really guards. The idea is to use concept similar to ken no sen and Tai no sen in attack and Tai tai no sen in defense (ideally that is).
          We are told to use the concept of fullen (feeling) which is the same as the idea of blending you can find in aikido.
          So the idea is to kill our opponent and not die in the process. (This goes for armored unarmored on horse or on foot)

          So we use attack to defend ourselves however the 5 master strikes have and integrated defensive value.
          As well we are to strike with all the strength of our body (but not stiking like an ox using strength only) and gain or maintain the advantage by preventing our opponent to strike (I would say it is somewhat similar to the feeling of treading down the sword.

          The idea is always to strike using the shortest rout and striking at the closest target (which I think is akin to the concept of “crossing at the ford”).

          There is 3 type of attack the cut which are more of a chop than the traditional post tokugawa Japanese cut, a thrust (tsuki) as slice where you press the blade against you opponent fore arms (which I have seen demonstrated in kenjustsu and that we use in aiki-ken).

          I spare with matt and Gordon on Sundays (though I have been quite busy those last month). So I cannot really talk about what happen in his group but between us we use sparing to check out and correct our interpretation. And so we see double kill or finger of the dead stike (aka I hit you slight before you hit me) as not such a good thing (other that ego consolation) .

          The only experience I have with kendo is the following. It does not prove anything and has no other value than anecdotic.
          My Swedish nephew is shodan in kendo. He got his shodan in Japan had a lot of difficulty when we spared.
          It is not that the targets are that different from kendo. The master I study aims at the head, the throat and hands. The attacks to the body/groin are usually only thrust. And the head is not restricted to the upper party.
          The main problem was that we can cut with the short edge (the back of the blade) and not too surprisingly a kendoka is quite vulnerable to the short edge strike as they entail the use of the quillons in defensive part of the attack.
          That being said, I have seen enough “old-timer” mince “young wiper-snappers” in kendo to take my small experience as anything else but anecdotic.

          Do you have any members in the UK near Windsor, I would not mind meeting with them so that both our community have a better understanding of what each other do.


          philippe

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by tango
            I make no judgment on what you guys are doing... my main point in bringing this up was to try and explain that there is a difference in purpose between what you guys are doing and what we are doing.
            Thanks very much, I've never really heard Kendo described like that.
            Most interesting.

            Originally posted by tango
            You guys seem to be of the mindset: "I don't care how I kill him, I just want to kill him."
            Kendo players could do that, but our mindset is, "I want to kill my opponent with beauty, grace, and perfection.

            Relatively speaking, the former is an easy thing to do; the latter is much, much, much more difficult.
            Ho ho, it's funny how our relative points of view affect what we think is easy, or not so easy. For I would say that attempting to kill my opponent when he has so many ways of disabling me, from a strike with beauty, grace, and perfection to rather annoyingly catching my fingers by accident, is also a rather tricky task.

            Hence this discussion has been most interesting - thanks for you input, it was most enlightening.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by philippe willau
              My Swedish nephew is shodan in kendo. He got his shodan in Japan
              Just so you know, shodan is a beginner's rank in kendo, and never more so than when acquired by an adult foreigner in Japan.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by ScholaDays
                For I would say that attempting to kill my opponent when he has so many ways of disabling me, from a strike with beauty, grace, and perfection to rather annoyingly catching my fingers by accident, is also a rather tricky task.
                Ah, excuse me, I read that again and thought to myself, 'perhaps that could be misinterpreted', as one of your number described your goal as a 'unanswered' strike.

                I suppose what I meant was that even if a beginner hits me with a rather poor blow that connects with something rather vital, I consider myself beaten.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by ScholaDays
                  Ho ho, it's funny how our relative points of view affect what we think is easy, or not so easy. For I would say that attempting to kill my opponent when he has so many ways of disabling me, from a strike with beauty, grace, and perfection to rather annoyingly catching my fingers by accident, is also a rather tricky task.
                  Understanding the differences in how you would classify a "kill" and how we would classify a "kill", what's more difficult:

                  1. hit anywhere on the opponent's leg... hit his elbow... hit his shoulder... hit his groin.... hit anywhere on his head.... anywhere on the body.. whether incidental or on purpose..

                  or...

                  2. hit only an approx. 12-inch area of the top of the head... hit only a 6-inch area of the wrist... hit only an approx. 12-inch area of the side of the body (beneath the ribcage)... or stab a 3-inch area of the throat.... with complete commitment, intention, AND purpose of mind, body, and spirit..

                  ??

                  Frankly, even if I apply the principles of kendo (attack only, no defense, and no regard for my own safety) to what you guys are doing, I would still find it easier to just wail away and try to hit ANYTHING than to "score" a legitimate point in kendo.

                  Just my observation.

                  As I said... kendoka could "kill" his opponent in as many ways as you guys can "kill" each other. The difference is in what you guys choose to count as a kill and what we choose to count what is a kill.

                  This ain't apples and oranges.... this is apples and umbrellas.
                  Different purposes, different mentalities, different goals .... all the way around.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by ScholaDays
                    Ah, excuse me, I read that again and thought to myself, 'perhaps that could be misinterpreted', as one of your number described your goal as a 'unanswered' strike.

                    I suppose what I meant was that even if a beginner hits me with a rather poor blow that connects with something rather vital, I consider myself beaten.
                    Right. That's my point. THAT is the difference.

                    The kendoka says, "That would beat me, but it doesn't "count" because it was (a) a poor blow and (b) there was no intention on his part to do what he did."

                    ...but I think you probably understand where I (we) are coming from...

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Try this thread.

                      You guys might take a look at this thread it's about Jogo do Pau roughly translated Portuguese stick fighting but the clips provided by various Forumites should be educational I think.
                      http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6110

                      They have the protection side pretty much covered like in Kendo but with a Medeaval look.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        I think those jogu du pao clips are a lot more like the two clips I posted, particularly in terms of aggression and committment to attack. They have a certain formality of style to them as well which is reminiscent of Kendo, but also some of the better ARMA fighters I've seen.

                        I think we should also be aware that while Kendo is a sport based on Japanese fencing, Iaido and other variants of Japanese fencing are re-emerging (largely due to the emergence of the newer safety equipment and padded weapons of various types) and from my study, these have a lot more in common with WMA.

                        In fact, I've been told the fighting in a lot of the old Kirosawa Samurai movies like Yojimbo and the Seven Samuari are pretty good Iaido and, they look a lot like blossfechten to me, down to the high speed of the matches.

                        Incidentally I've also fenced with some guys who were supposed to be trained in Kendo. I found they were somewhat limited in their guards, vulnerabel to thrusts, strikes to the hands and the lower body, and as has been pointed out, especially false-edge or twitch cuts. I have no idea how these guys were ranked.

                        Lance Chan who is a WMA practitioner in Hong Kong has some very interesting clips of himself sparring with a Gumdo champion from Hong Kong. I think Gumdo (SP?) is a Korean variant of Kendo.

                        DB

                        P.S. there are numerous other stick fighting traditions like Jogu Du Pau all over Europe, in almost every country in fact, from "Whiskey Stick Dancing' in Ireland to cane fighting in France and strick fighting Venice... many if not all of these groups seem to be experiencing a resurgence.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I can see this thread starting to go down the path of who's art is better than the next...

                          Firstly, Kendo is not fully kenjutsu or koryu and because its rather a free for all with what I've seen in the WMA video its next to impossible to compare the two...

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by KhawMengLee
                            I can see this thread starting to go down the path of who's art is better than the next...

                            Firstly, Kendo is not fully kenjutsu or koryu and because its rather a free for all with what I've seen in the WMA video its next to impossible to compare the two...
                            I for one certainly was not disparaging Kendo or comparing it to WMA, just relating experiences. I doubt the guys I fenced with were very good or fully trained. The Gumdo champion Lance fought was a very good fighter, much better than the guys I faced.

                            I'm sorry if my post implied a rivalry. I don't see it that way. I respect Kendo an Jogu du Pau and all martial arts, espeically those involving weapons. I think it's all mutually supportive really, we should learn from each other to the extent that compatability between styles and intentions allow, and always encourage each other. I would love to learn to do Kendo.

                            DB
                            Last edited by Drifter Bob; 22nd April 2006, 02:14 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by KhawMengLee
                              I can see this thread starting to go down the path of who's art is better than the next...
                              ...
                              I can't speak for anyone else, but I can say that it is not MY intention to do that.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Not mine either. However, Lance does have that attitude about him. I usually just ignore anything to do with him.

                                Comment

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