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  • Test cutting - Thrusts

    First off sorry if this is in the wrong category.
    Second please excuse the poor terminology.

    Hiya,
    I was wondering if there is any form of test cutting for thrusts? I've heard of tameshigiri, and the test cuts on Bamboo, bamboo mats.

    all of the cuts I've discussed/seen/watched on Vid/read about are just that. Cuts....

    Does it exist, Is it practiced, and whats it called.??

    Just wondering, but any help would be appreciated.

    Paulo

  • #2
    Tameshizuki?

    Maybe.

    Anyway, I have seen some people test thrusts out on a tameshigiri target before but..................

    it seems a bit of a nonsense. Thrusting is very very different to cutting - the targets are different, the mass of the target area is different, the mass behind the technique is different, the velocity is different, the requirement of a sharp edge is different etc etc.

    I have heard of a couple of instances (and experienced one) when people have very effectively stuffed their blunt iaito through their arm when doing a tsuki to a rear opponent. Similarly I have seen people trying to bludgeon through a straw target with a very sharp shinken. Therefore tameshigiri in the context of blade testing for a thrust is not able to be evaluated. If you catch someone in the right way it is possible to stab someone with a pencil.

    I personally believe that the effectiveness of a person's thrust is not something which can be effectively tested against a stationary target whose mass does not represent a humans. A better test of thrust would be to practise with a bokuto in a controlled fashion against a training colleague. If a thrust can be delivered without being dodged and there is a strong feeling of the potential to pierce then that should be enough. Timing and distance accuracy within execution is more important than power and is relatively unrelated to the sharpness of the sword. The really important bit i.e. the kissaki - the really pointy bit at the end, is the only important bit. Once the blade has pierced then it is quite easy to keep going provided it doesn't hit bone.

    QED

    Comment


    • #3
      Kr

      Paul

      Just one other thing - I would discuss this subject with Keith Rose if you meet him soon. His lengthy experience in the three arts of iai, ken and jo may provide you with a more satisfactory answer than mine.

      Regards

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey guys,
        Actually, while it isn't something that is done as often as regular cutting, tsuki practice is usually a part of regular tameshigiri practice. It is usually done with a standard single tatami mat target. No, it doesn't simulate the resistance or weight of a human body, but the purpose of tameshigiri is not to simulate a body, but to test and improve your cutting technique. Performing various types of tsuki on a tameshigiri target gives a very good indicator of technique. It can tell you about your distancing, accuracy, the speed necessary to go through, the proper technique to pull back out. Hasuji is just as important to tsuki as it is to regular cutting. These things are more difficult to learn without actually being able to perform them against a resisting target.

        Just my thoughts on it.

        Comment


        • #5
          As Paul states, it's a very useful practice.

          It's quite hard to hit the target consistently and if you don't have the correct technique, trying to withdraw the blade will cause the target and stand to fall towards you with your blade stuck in it!

          Tatami "Grips" the blade quite strongly in this plane and a hefty pull is required. Kata practice causes a bit of lazy thrusting and this shows how much effort is required to get your sword out.
          Last edited by Maro; 19th September 2006, 11:21 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            my tsuki-ing in waza sucks anyways, so i think ill stay away from the tameshigiri side for a while.
            in our waza we try to emphasise a quick and hard pull out or cut down after tsuki-ing, as the body is meant to grip it much like the mat you describe.

            Comment


            • #7
              in our waza we try to emphasise a quick and hard pull out or cut down after tsuki-ing, as the body is meant to grip it much like the mat you describe.
              Yup!
              That's what we do also. It is very interesting to watch the light bulb go on with the less experienced students when they actually try it during tameshigiri. It is one thing to show and explain, it's something else entirely when they don't move correctly and knock the stand over! It's one of those things that is very simple, if done correctly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a thought, would it not be an idea to try it with a hanging hesian bag filled with grain/rice as in old school bayonet training? As soon as I read the title I was put in mind of Jukendo!

                Comment


                • #9
                  We do tsuki along with standard cuts when we do tameshigiri. It is more for accuracy training than anything else (at least for us).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks for the replies guys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well... I saw a sword test that was a thrust into a steel chair... It is not a beautiful and ceremonious tameshigiri, just a practical testing to show the quality of their blade.

                      http://www.chenessinc.com/videos/steelchair.wmv

                      As can be seem, a thrust can be done without any technique and still work.

                      Of course in a real battle, there are many issues that require the appropriate technique to be sucessful in a tsuki, but for blade testing purposes it just don't seem interesting to me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I can thrust a pointed demolition bar through a metal chair better than they can thrust their sword. That makes my demolition bar superior to their brand of swords.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pgsmith View Post
                          I can thrust a pointed demolition bar through a metal chair better than they can thrust their sword. That makes my demolition bar superior to their brand of swords.
                          Yes... maybe you can prove that your demolition bar is superior as a chair trespassing tool... But I doubt you can prove it is superior as a sword...

                          This is only one test... It shows the quality of their alloy and the durability of their swords... Just that.

                          Other tests should be done with their sword and your demolition bar, such as cutting goza or tatami omote, feeling of balance, weight and etc. to define witch is superior as a sword.



                          I just posted that to show how easy it is to thrust with a sword (or demolition bars )... Maybe that is why people are not interested in testing swords with thrusts...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Other tests should be done with their sword and your demolition bar, such as cutting goza or tatami omote, feeling of balance, weight and etc. to define witch is superior as a sword.
                            Done that. Of the Cheness swords that I've used, it would be a close call in my opinion.

                            I just posted that to show how easy it is to thrust with a sword (or demolition bars )... Maybe that is why people are not interested in testing swords with thrusts...
                            The original poster was not asking about testing swords, but about testing technique. If you think that it is easy to thrust with a sword, please try the tameshigiri exercise that I described in post number 4 of this thread.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you pgsmith. I had accidentally skipped that post... I have no experience in tameshigiri. I always thought that the objective of tameshigiri was to test the sword... At least that was what I read... So you have to use the proper technique to be "fair" with the sword being tested.

                              Following this point of view, that may be wrong, testing a sword on a single tatami mat does not seems to give much information about the sword but it tells us something about the kenshi performing the tsuki. If that is the point of tameshigiri, I have learned something today!

                              BTW, I dont know the chesness shinken swords as well... I just remembered that video and thought that it could illustrate the idea. But if it is a bad sword, it just reinforces my point that it is hard to evaluate a sword by thrusting something.

                              Comment

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