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  • thumb on tsuba?

    I've recently been told that there has been a change in the way we should be entering the court during shiai. I used to enter the court the same way I do kata by placing the thumb over the tsuba just before entering the court. I've been told that we should not place your thumb on the tsuba with kote. How do you do it in your region?

  • #2
    Placing the thumb on the tsuba while wearing kote has not been customary or a requirement in any shiai I have entered.

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    • #3
      Actually, I've never had my thumb on the tsuba for shiai.. or shinsa.. (except for kata)...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mark
        I've recently been told that there has been a change in the way we should be entering the court during shiai. I used to enter the court the same way I do kata by placing the thumb over the tsuba just before entering the court. I've been told that we should not place your thumb on the tsuba with kote. How do you do it in your region?
        years ago when i started kendo, i was told to put the thumb on the tsuba, but i don't see anyone else doing it. out of habit i do it when i do not have kote on. but with kote on, i don't do it. i didn't even know there was regulation for this..

        pete

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        • #5
          This seems strange to me because the way we have always done it is...

          Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Begin.

          So, for example, entering shiai-jo. Step in. Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Three steps forward, draw, sonkyo. Hajime. The reverse at the end.

          We do this also at practice. I thought it was universal.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mark
            I've recently been told that there has been a change in the way we should be entering the court during shiai. I used to enter the court the same way I do kata by placing the thumb over the tsuba just before entering the court. I've been told that we should not place your thumb on the tsuba with kote. How do you do it in your region?
            Your thumb should not be on the tsuba until you do tai-to, which is AFTER you bow to your opponent, which is in turn AFTER you step into the court.

            1. outside court
            2. step into court in sage-to with thumb not on tsuba
            3. bow
            4. tai-to (thumb on tsuba if kote not too tight)
            5. three step in
            6. sonkyo

            P.S. Oops, I should have read Charlie's post before I posted...

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            • #7
              It's no longer necessary when using shinai. Actually, I had heard from some sensei that they weren't even asking for that during kata. I continue to do so and teach that way because it's a small detail related to the handling of real swords and I like it.

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              • #8
                Placing one's thumb over the tsuba is left over from kendo's origin where actual swords with sheaths were practiced with. It is simply tradition in being there to ensure that one's sword doesn't slde out from the sheath in the event that one ends up bending over for something, etc.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kenjutsushi
                  Placing one's thumb over the tsuba is left over from kendo's origin where actual swords with sheaths were practiced with. It is simply tradition in being there to ensure that one's sword doesn't slde out from the sheath in the event that one ends up bending over for something, etc.
                  Hmmm...methinks ye know not of what you speak. "Sheath" is one of those words, like "spar" and "stance" and "slash" that tend to reveal veracity or a lack of it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Charlie
                    This seems strange to me because the way we have always done it is...

                    Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Begin.

                    So, for example, entering shiai-jo. Step in. Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Three steps forward, draw, sonkyo. Hajime. The reverse at the end.
                    You are right! That is the detail of how we used to do it. (After step in, and rei...Sword on hip horizontal, with thumb on tsuba...). My bad
                    Now, no thumb with shinai. I would appear that the thumb on the shinai is not universal. I wonder what the kumdo people do?

                    At the worlds, do you see both?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kenjutsushi
                      Placing one's thumb over the tsuba is left over from kendo's origin where actual swords with sheaths were practiced with. It is simply tradition in being there to ensure that one's sword doesn't slde out from the sheath in the event that one ends up bending over for something, etc.
                      Man, please... everybody around here already knows that.

                      Just go back to the jodan thread.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kenjutsushi
                        Placing one's thumb over the tsuba is left over from kendo's origin where actual swords with sheaths were practiced with. It is simply tradition in being there to ensure that one's sword doesn't slde out from the sheath in the event that one ends up bending over for something, etc.
                        There's also the koi-guchi-giri piece of it.

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                        • #13
                          I remember an older thread talking about whether or not it was even possible to do this with kote on.

                          Maybe my kote isn't broken in enough yet, but I'd find it near impossible to put my thumb on the tsuba.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Charlie
                            This seems strange to me because the way we have always done it is...

                            Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Begin.

                            So, for example, entering shiai-jo. Step in. Sword at side. Rei. Sword on hip with thumb on tsuba. Three steps forward, draw, sonkyo. Hajime. The reverse at the end.

                            We do this also at practice. I thought it was universal.

                            This is exactly how we learned it when I was doing Kendo in Germany. I also thought this is rather universal.

                            Thomas

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                            • #15
                              For me putting the thumb on the tsuba, whether wearing kote or not, is essential. I would feel unprepared if I didn't do it.
                              b

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