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  • #46
    Originally posted by KenShi_JoB
    2.Cutting the leg is too low for the sword, it will make you very vulnerable. Usually result in your dead not enemy.
    The Europeans used cuts to the legs a lot, especially during the long periods during history when armor for the upper body was more effective than the leg armor they had, if any. Maybe because they typically fought with a shield, so they could go low with the sword and still be able to protect themselves.

    Comment


    • #47
      Very interesting. What is your ryu? I see in your profile that you practice Shintodo Kenjutsu. Is it gendai kenjutsu? Please tell us some history of your arts.

      [QUOTE=Rouisu][QUOTE=Koki] Kenjutsu is not full contact fencing. It will teach you how to handle the sword and different moves. Mostly you will practice a set of different fixed moves (kata). THe moves are different depending on what ryu you are practicing. It is hard to find qualified masters that teaches kenjutsu outside of japan.

      You are partly correct on that statement Koki. I practice kenjutsu, and yes, we do learn kata, battojutsu, suburi and mato-giri. However, there is a full contact fencing aspect to this, called Gekken, which is the fifth of the five aspects of swordsmanship we practice.

      Gekken, I think means 'attacking sword'. During gekken sparring, we don bogu and shinai just like you kendoka. However, the similarities stop there. Gekken is full contact, freestyle sparring. We have to wield our shinai like it was a live blade, the cord at the back of the shinai signifies the flat edge of a blade.

      Gekken is very, very rough, borderline dangerous. We don't wear the bogu to stop injury because there's no point. We are going to get slammed around, whether we like it or not. We wear the bogu to prevent fatal injuries - that's how 'full contact' it is. Getting knocked unconcious during a lesson is quite normal. We use full power cuts and strikes with the shinai. Because of the full contact nature, we're also allowed to punch, kick, throw, whatever. Hell, kneeing in the groin is acceptable.

      Of course, beginners don't get into full contact straight away. Low ranking belts practice non-contact, mid-level belts practice limited contact and only senior belts and black-belts practice full contact.

      I mean no disrespect to your comments, Koki, I just wanted to raise awareness that there is a sparring element in kenjutsu. I am lucky that I live relatively close to one of the few qualified kenjutsu instructors (and his dojo) in Australia.

      Comment


      • #48
        Hey Rouisu, that sounds pretty cool although a bit brutal .

        Well, if i heard about this 5 years ago and there were a dojo like that near where i live, i would totally go there instead of kendo.

        However, now I understand kendo is so much more than fighting techniques. Ultimately, all martial arts would lead to the same destination. Therefore, for me, it does not matter what style I practice as long as I enjoy it.

        Comment


        • #49
          Geez, don't get killed!

          [QUOTE=Rouisu][QUOTE=Koki] Kenjutsu is not full contact fencing. It will teach you how to handle the sword and different moves. Mostly you will practice a set of different fixed moves (kata). THe moves are different depending on what ryu you are practicing. It is hard to find qualified masters that teaches kenjutsu outside of japan.

          You are partly correct on that statement Koki. I practice kenjutsu, and yes, we do learn kata, battojutsu, suburi and mato-giri. However, there is a full contact fencing aspect to this, called Gekken, which is the fifth of the five aspects of swordsmanship we practice.

          Gekken, I think means 'attacking sword'. During gekken sparring, we don bogu and shinai just like you kendoka. However, the similarities stop there. Gekken is full contact, freestyle sparring. We have to wield our shinai like it was a live blade, the cord at the back of the shinai signifies the flat edge of a blade.

          Gekken is very, very rough, borderline dangerous. We don't wear the bogu to stop injury because there's no point. We are going to get slammed around, whether we like it or not. We wear the bogu to prevent fatal injuries - that's how 'full contact' it is. Getting knocked unconcious during a lesson is quite normal. We use full power cuts and strikes with the shinai. Because of the full contact nature, we're also allowed to punch, kick, throw, whatever. Hell, kneeing in the groin is acceptable.

          Of course, beginners don't get into full contact straight away. Low ranking belts practice non-contact, mid-level belts practice limited contact and only senior belts and black-belts practice full contact.

          I mean no disrespect to your comments, Koki, I just wanted to raise awareness that there is a sparring element in kenjutsu. I am lucky that I live relatively close to one of the few qualified kenjutsu instructors (and his dojo) in Australia.
          What ryu is this?? Please tell. I am curious now. I never heard of such a thing in the dojo. Sounds dangerous to me! Wearing bogu would be wiser, IMHO. I don't know of any Koryu Ryu that does full contact sparring. I am just dying to know now...

          Kaoru

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Rouisu
            I apologise, everyone, I worded one of my sentences incorrectly. The part about wearing the bogu, what I meant what is Kendo, the bogu signifies target areas and prevents injuries. In gekken, the bogu stops killing blows like cracked ribs and fractured skulls; you're going to get hurt even if you wear it.

            From the research I have done (answering your question KenShi JoB), I've found that one of the instructors Melito sensei may have studied under is Obata Toshishiro, who is the founder of Shinkendo. Don't be fooled by its name; from the video clip I saw it resembles more of a kenjutsu style. It seems his shinkendo blends the 'speed of kendo, the paired kata of Yagyu shinkage ryu and Kashima shin ryu, the power of Jigen ryu, the accuracy of Ioriken battojutsu, body movements of Ryukyu Kobudo, the balance of aikido and Toshishiro sensei's experience in battodo tornaments'. (quoted from the official website) If Melito-sensei did study under Toshshiro-sensei, then our Shintodo style would have incorporated some of these elements.

            I agree with Kaoru that gekken may seem out of the ordinary, but if you look at it from a logical point of view, if our art was based on a koryu (meaning it's a pre-Tokugawa art of combat), then wouldn't it be only right that we have a chance to practice what we learned? I'll try to take some pictures in the next gekken lesson so you'll see what it's like. On another note, when I start I'll ask sensei if I can wear shin pads because many of the kenjutsuka who favor the gedan no kamae stance often go for the legs...
            I know about Shinkendo and Mr. Obata Toshishiro. For the word 'gendai' I mean it is not koryu.

            Real gekken or pre-WW2 kendo are quiet aggressive. It have more target and use some jujutsu technique. but your gekken is even more dangerous for me. Hitting shinai on a place with out armor is unnecessarily dangerous. I think your school should use fukuro shinai instead for this kind of training. I hope you will not get maimed in the path of your training.

            Comment


            • #51
              Fukuro shinai is the bamboo sword use by Yagyu Shinkage Ryu. They do not use bogu. A hit by fukuro shinai is less painful to the body than kendo shinai, I suppose.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Kaoru
                I don't know of any Koryu Ryu that does full contact sparring.
                That shows that your knowledge is still rather limited.

                For everything else, there is www.e-budo.com

                Comment


                • #53
                  At the dojo where i practice, we use fukuro shinai and fight. We just wear eye protection.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Well I do both so I have had more than enough time to research.

                    The whole concept of Kendo is to strike protected areas. Kenjutsu teaches us waza to attack unprotected area's. Because of the Kendo concept, avoidance techniques are not promoted. Kenjutsu "does" employ full contact methods. But most original Kenjutsu employs avoidance techniques with an attack. If we didnt really go for it my teacher would go ballistic.

                    Although rising cuts between the legs are good, injury to the neck is better if the weapon is already drawn.

                    Some ryu have very few Shomen giri cuts. The neck is the prime target. In any case my downward cuts stop a centimeter from the floor, not with outstretched arms.

                    The degree of sharpness plays little part. One could call out "medic" and get carried off in those times.The bluntest edge and smallest of cuts would have caused enough injury to die a few days later as the wounds went septic. In any case life expectancy over forty was low anyway.

                    Were there lots of injuries within practice? Yes. Maybe that's why they invented Kendo?

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Kaoru
                      I don't know of any Koryu Ryu that does full contact sparring. I am just dying to know now...
                      Didn't we already cover this?

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Kent Enfield
                        Didn't we already cover this?
                        I don't know. I forgot if we did or not. I'm sorry.

                        Kaoru

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by mingshi
                          That shows that your knowledge is still rather limited.

                          For everything else, there is www.e-budo.com
                          Mingshi, instead of trying to put me down, how about being a sempai(Which you are) and just nicely tell me to look on e-budo?

                          You don't know everything either.

                          Kaoru

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by mingshi
                            That shows that your knowledge is still rather limited.

                            For everything else, there is www.e-budo.com
                            Mingshi-san, no need to go beating up on Kaoru-san. I understand her and in most part agree with her.... and my knowledge is not so limited..... try not to believe everything that you read on the internet

                            Alex

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I don't like this!

                              Originally posted by Rouisu
                              KenShi_JoB, I'll have to do a bit of research first before I can give you an answer. I've only been doing this for two months (although my grading is approaching ). However, for now I can give you some minor details of Shintodo and our founder. I don't know what the term 'gendai' means, but Shintodo is not a kouryu (ie pre-Tokugawa style)

                              Roughly, Shintodo means the 'Way of the True Sword'. Our motto is 'Bunbu Ryodo', which means 'Pen and Sword in Accord'. Shintodo is very new - about 5-10 years old. The reason for this is because it was formed when our founder, Andrew Melito sensei, followed the tradition of Shu-Ha-Ri (learn, develop and break away).

                              Melito sensei has about 25 years experience. He got his sandan black belt in Kendo when he was 20, and he trained in swordmanship in Japan under famous instructors (I'll get the names and styles next time I talk to him) for three years full-time from what I've heard. Shintodo is the culmination of these 25 years. I suspect that Shintodo was developed from kouryu styles, but I'll have to verify that first. I think that sensei's Kendo background is the reason why we train in gekken instead of focusing on things like atemiwaza or kumitachi. Mind you, we still practice these, but it isn't an emphasis.

                              Koki, gekken is brutal, which is why Melito sensei offers gekken sparring as an extra class, since some people may not have the financial means to buy the bogu, or they may not have the nerves to engage in free sparring. Although I have not been allowed to take part yet (since I'm not a monjin...yet), I've watched the lessons and it isn't pretty. I'm not sure if other kenjutsu styles allow gekken. There are only three qualified kenjutsu instructors in Sydney (inlcuding Melito sensei), and only two of their respective dojos offer gekken. (Shintodo and Kokoro Ryu).

                              Oh, and I found out last lesson that black belts discard their shinai and revert to their bokken for gekken. I left that lesson traumatised, but I'm still eager to begin. It's the closest thing you'll get to a real duel.
                              Ok, I just saw this post, and let me just say, your sensei isn't taking care of his student's safety by having them discard shinai for bokuto. That's just stupid. Does he understand that he is liable should one of you die in his dojo? Yes, bokuto(bokken) can kill. Even with bogu on. Bokuto also cause broken bones and can maim you for life.

                              Here is a line drawn between what is safe and not, and he just crossed that line.
                              Sorry, but he's nuts, IMHO.

                              3 years in Japan is hardly enough to be considered qualified to teach. He didn't even stick with one teacher and focus. Ask on e-budo and see what people say about this.

                              25 years of what? You said he's got only 3 years of JSA training. And, a sandan Kendo is not the same as a sandan in JSA.

                              Sorry again, but this kind of thing just makes me mad. I KNOW authentic Koryu do not do sparring in this manner. That's what I was talking about. Kashima Shin Ryu has what looks to be a controlled sparring element using a special shinai made for Kashima Shin Ryu that I have seen on a documentary that showed Dr. Karl Friday-sensei demonstrating with a student. I wish I knew what it is called. And, it is nothing as you have described. To go all out with bokken and expect students to do that, is irresponsible. I don't care if the student is silly enough to blindly follow the sensei, the sensei is still responsible for putting a student in serious danger by letting the student participate.

                              No sensei should do that.

                              If he cared about his students, he would never ask them to do full contact sparring at full speed with bokuto. What does he think he is?

                              And to get into a duel? That is not the point of learning JSA.

                              I apologise if I have insulted you, and that was not my intent. I just get really angry when people put others in danger with their samurai fantasies. I can't stand it when people get hurt. Especially when it can be avoided.

                              Just please remember that you could die or be maimed for life if you continue with this sort of sparring. Bogu isn't going to completely protect you from a bokuto.

                              And minna-san? Please don't get mad at me. This sort of sparring is very dangerous. It's not right to put students in such danger even if they agree. It really bothers me.

                              Rouisu-san, why don't you go to a Kendo dojo? There are several in Sydney. It's much safer. I fear you will get hurt.

                              Kaoru

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                perhaps longer than necessary..... but my 2 cents

                                Thats very interesting Roisu-san

                                But do you believe gekken makes you a better swordfighter?



                                This is obviously closer to what you would like to learn than anything kendo has to offer but I must ask why? what is the benefit of this kind of sparring? And how does it translate to a real sword fight?



                                What does it teach you?

                                How to swordfight against people with armor or without?

                                Or does it focus on just those with armor?



                                Im just guessing but I imagine this is a full contact affair and the match

                                Doesnt stop with a clean hit to the head, but in real sword fighting I imagine

                                A blow to the head or wrist would end the conflict. Even with a real helmet and wrist guard being worn a direct hit with a sword would probably stun, daze or cause a fracture to the skull or wrist rendering you incapable of defending yourself from the cold steel of your opponents sword



                                In order to be realistic shouldnt it be more of a point sparring affair like shiai

                                Except that pretty much any and every hit should be taken into account not just the ones with ki-ken-tai due to the fact that you are simulating fighting with a sword. Because at any appreciable level a good sword strike to any unprotected part of the body would certainly decide the match, no?



                                And if it is a continuous affair then would it not encourage you to

                                only half commit to attacks in order to deceive your opponent or to

                                not hurt them since you are using a bokken?

                                Are you taught footwork and posture for the headbutts and knees to the groin

                                or is that left to your own discretion. Are you taught how to get close enough to your opponent to do these things without getting hit?



                                To me it sounds like no easy task to get past a naked sword close enough to knee someone in the groin, and if you could get that close couldnt you have just cut your opponent in less time and energy than it took to close the distance?



                                The nature of the gekken as you have described it is very in your face and realistic,

                                but more for bokken fighting than swordfighting I think, I have only just begun kendo

                                But I imagine that due to the nature of sparring in kendo, it might leave us better

                                Prepared for real swordfighting than this gekken sounds.





                                The distance at which these extraneous techniques such as headbutts and knees

                                and cuts to the leg occur, would not have been reached without a few strikes

                                being dealt by a kendoka, and with a real sword you have to wonder if the receiver

                                of these strikes would still be in a position to headbutt knee and whatever else.



                                And I must admit the cuts to the leg seem particularly silly considering the posture we assume in kendo, right foot just in front of left standing up straight with your sword at Chudan level and keeping the centreline, I just dont see how its possible to cut at the legs without getting cracked at least once or twice, and once Im sure with a real sword is often enough



                                And if I may generalise some more, it doesnt seem that the gekken assumes

                                sutemi on the part of the fighters, It would seem to me that even a beginner has the strength to really hurt someone by cracking them one on the men, helmet or no helmet

                                with a bokken thats been swung with bad intentions.



                                This leads me to assume that a lot of control is emphasised when doing

                                the gekken, therefore you are learning not to strike true, which could be

                                a bad habit that you might pay for in real combat.



                                The gekken with a shinai doesnt sound so bad, but I still cant help thinking that

                                It encourages you to perhaps not fully commit to your attacks which I think would

                                Be detrimental to real swordfighting.



                                I have been led to believe that in a duel usually there are only one or two strikes

                                that decide the outcome.



                                Obviously in a raging battlefield I suppose due to the number of people and confusion going on around you and uneven ground etc the gekken style would be more practical, but I dont believe this would be the case for a one on one duel.



                                So I guess the question is what is sword fighting to you? A test of sword skill and nerves and determination, or a free for all where your sword is swung akin to a mace

                                or club and physical rather than technical dominance is the preferred modus operandi?



                                I also think that in an unarmed situation the kendo style sparring with the primary

                                targets being kote and men are also the most vital targets available, seeing as a good

                                strike to either would render the opponent no immediate threat. If you were to look to

                                other targets against a kendoka looking for just those two I feel that you may be at a disadvantage



                                Kendo focuses on concentration, intent and commitment to attack in a way I feel is essential to real sword combat. Also the regularity of sparring in kendo makes it such that the kendoka is extremely comfortable in the fighting environment. The emphasis on distancing and timing is also incredible, I dont know what gekken is like but I dont believe the emphasis on these things is as great as in kendo and I believe that these are the things that are essential to real swordfighting



                                In that way I feel kendo may be closer to real sword fighting than this style of kenjutsu, but I also feel that kendo may be the best preparation for real swordfighting available in this day and age.

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