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Does an extra deep groove make a weight difference

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  • #16
    I don't know about the current Tozando custom. Mine is from 2009. Back then there were more options for the koshirae but no option for a deeper bohi. I think the current Tozando custom is a different product from what I have. My comment was more about the consequences of tip heavy rather than specificaly about the product.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by pgsmith View Post

      That is because before the modern era, there were very few people that only practiced iaido for a couple of hours a week. These pre-modern people also did not have jobs that required repetitive use of the hands, wrists, and elbows as working on a computer does. Utilizing light swords to lessen the chance of repetitive stress injuries is not a bad thing, and should never be looked down upon by those in positions of authority.

      [/B]

      It has been my experience that it is more of a personal preference sort of thing. A tip heavy sword is much easier to cut with, and is good for learning how to launch your sword where it should go and letting it do the work. A more back-weighted sword is easier on the shoulders and elbows, but can lead to bad habits of trying to guide the sword overly much.
      Agreed.
      Everyone likes nice heavy blades when they start training, but as your iaido matures, a lighter blade fits better.
      My original iaito was a tip heavy 2.5, I moved onto a well balanced shinken after five years and now 12 years later I am looking for a light 2.45
      Time, life and MA takes it's toll on our joints and other body parts.
      Try out many different swords and weights, find the one that fits you now. Next year, or five years from now, you will likely need to move onto something else.

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      • #18
        hate the internet here
        Last edited by Ken Morgan; 5th November 2016, 09:16 PM.

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        • #19
          Hate the internet here
          Last edited by Ken Morgan; 5th November 2016, 09:15 PM.

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          • #20
            My first Iaito felt like a steel slab. After I passed shodan I started with a 2.7 Shinken that started life a a 2.8, but the tsuba was moved up by the previous owner. It now has a very nice balance but when it was a 2.8 it must have felt like using a sledge hammer. It weighs in at 1250g, but feels light and alive, and it has a nice long tsuka (@�$*! Spellcheck it's trying to put stuka for tsuka).

            Later on I used a 2.55 iaito, which for some reason was exactly the wrong length for me. I sold the blade on and put another iaito blade in, and it ended up as a 2.4 weighing 750g. Lovely to use but it's probably too short, and at first it felt I was using a knife. I have not practiced for 10 years (due to remarriage/kids/mortgage/starting-my-own-business thing), However I am eying that shinken again.

            I have two memories of taking my nidan about 20 years ago. I was using the shinken and when performing Morote tsuki, when I turned for the final cut I found that the panellists' tables were a mite too close. The final cut stopped two inches above the table with 12 inches of blade overlapping. I remember being impressed that the panellists (among whom were Haruna and Oshita Sensei) didn't bat an eye. The second memory is seeing my number on the pass list!

            Gavin.

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            • #21
              Tsukas over Disneyland...

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              • #22
                Originally posted by jandrese View Post
                Modern choji oil is really just light mineral oil, which is okay but there are better oils. Right now I'm really experimenting with the Lubriplate FMO oils. The 350 weight coats really well, is totally colorless but can feel "dry" when practicing iaido due to slightly higher viscosity. The 200 weight feels wetter and more slippery when using a sword for iaido because is a better viscosity match for choji oil. Maybe I'll store in 350 and practice with 200. So many choices with modern, fortified oils.
                I think I'll stick to the oil your recommended in your book for storage and just use choji for practise. Does that sound reasonable?

                Originally posted by jandrese View Post
                Sword weight is a bit of an issue for me. Many iaido folks use really slight swords, which is their business, but they will also call my swords heavy. They are not, I have the data. I weight 210 lbs so a 2.5 pound sword should really not be an issue, and for me it's not. Even if I weighted 120 lbs a katana should pose no problems. It's all about the technique and recognizing that katana are not rapiers. Samurai did not use rapiers, katana is totally different. Not better, not worse, just different. Before the modern era very slight katana sold for the express purpose of practicing iaido did not exist.
                If I were a samurai and needed a sword for cutting down the enemy, I'd agree that a substantial sword like the one I have for tameshigiri would be the weapon of choice because I'd be cutting through my enemy and not trying to stop ,my sword's motion dead, in thin air. I think ZNKR Iaido and even MSR and MJER are so far removed from the actual use of the sword as to make the need to use a heavy cutting sword practically meaningless. Iaido is now about beauty of movement and the preservation of aesthetically pleasing kata rather than fighting effectiveness. The analogy I use is dancing. Would you dance in big heavy workman's boots or use lightweight patent leather shoes (with glitter) that allow all those flicky fast foot movements? Some of my Iaido pals use what I would call 'heavy sword' and you can see it in their cuts; they don't accelerate rapidly and hence don't achieve a high velocity and it's this ponderous style of cutting that allows for a dead stop at the end of the cut rather than tenouchi (and an increase incidence of tennis/golfer's elbow). I have a lightweight kiri wood (Pawlonia) bokuto I sometime practice kata with and my Iai noticeably improves when I do!

                So I've commission a hollow-bladed katana, which I will have filled with helium and when I get onto the lunar surface (I'm building a spacecraft, you know) I'll be able to perform amazing Iaido. You know it makes sense.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by jandrese View Post
                  Modern choji oil is really just light mineral oil, which is okay but there are better oils. Right now I'm really experimenting with the Lubriplate FMO oils. The 350 weight coats really well, is totally colorless but can feel "dry" when practicing iaido due to slightly higher viscosity. The 200 weight feels wetter and more slippery when using a sword for iaido because is a better viscosity match for choji oil. Maybe I'll store in 350 and practice with 200. So many choices with modern, fortified oils.
                  I think I'll stick to the oil your recommended in your book for storage and just use choji for practise. Does that sound reasonable?

                  Originally posted by jandrese View Post
                  Sword weight is a bit of an issue for me. Many iaido folks use really slight swords, which is their business, but they will also call my swords heavy. They are not, I have the data. I weight 210 lbs so a 2.5 pound sword should really not be an issue, and for me it's not. Even if I weighted 120 lbs a katana should pose no problems. It's all about the technique and recognizing that katana are not rapiers. Samurai did not use rapiers, katana is totally different. Not better, not worse, just different. Before the modern era very slight katana sold for the express purpose of practicing iaido did not exist.
                  If I were a samurai and needed a sword for cutting down the enemy, I'd agree that a substantial sword like the one I have for tameshigiri would be the weapon of choice because I'd be cutting through my enemy and not trying to stop ,my sword's motion dead, in thin air. I think ZNKR Iaido and even MSR and MJER are so far removed from the actual use of the sword as to make the need to use a heavy cutting sword practically meaningless. Iaido is now about beauty of movement and the preservation of aesthetically pleasing kata rather than fighting effectiveness. The analogy I use is dancing. Would you dance in big heavy workman's boots or use lightweight patent leather shoes (with glitter) that allow all those flicky fast foot movements? Some of my Iaido pals use what I would call 'heavy sword' and you can see it in their cuts; they don't accelerate rapidly and hence don't achieve a high velocity and it's this ponderous style of cutting that allows for a dead stop at the end of the cut rather than tenouchi (and an increase incidence of tennis/golfer's elbow). I have a lightweight kiri wood (Pawlonia) bokuto I sometime practice kata with and my Iai noticeably improves when I do!

                  So I've commission a hollow-bladed katana, which I will have filled with helium and when I get onto the lunar surface (I'm building a spacecraft, you know) I'll be able to perform amazing Iaido. You know it makes sense.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                    I think I'll stick to the oil your recommended in your book for storage and just use choji for practise. Does that sound reasonable?

                    If I were a samurai and needed a sword for cutting down the enemy, I'd agree that a substantial sword like the one I have for tameshigiri would be the weapon of choice because I'd be cutting through my enemy and not trying to stop ,my sword's motion dead, in thin air. I think ZNKR Iaido and even MSR and MJER are so far removed from the actual use of the sword as to make the need to use a heavy cutting sword practically meaningless. Iaido is now about beauty of movement and the preservation of aesthetically pleasing kata rather than fighting effectiveness. The analogy I use is dancing. Would you dance in big heavy workman's boots or use lightweight patent leather shoes (with glitter) that allow all those flicky fast foot movements? Some of my Iaido pals use what I would call 'heavy sword' and you can see it in their cuts; they don't accelerate rapidly and hence don't achieve a high velocity and it's this ponderous style of cutting that allows for a dead stop at the end of the cut rather than tenouchi (and an increase incidence of tennis/golfer's elbow). I have a lightweight kiri wood (Pawlonia) bokuto I sometime practice kata with and my Iai noticeably improves when I do!

                    So I've commission a hollow-bladed katana, which I will have filled with helium and when I get onto the lunar surface (I'm building a spacecraft, you know) I'll be able to perform amazing Iaido. You know it makes sense.
                    Thanks for your comments Kokoro777.

                    The mineral choji oil is totally fine for practice. Using the Break Free Collector for storage makes good sense too.

                    Regarding sword weight I have the feeling of being in the minority. Let it be clear to everyone that A) I'm no authority over anyone who is not a direct student of mine. B) I don't look down on people using very light blades, as I mentioned before, that is personal business. But, I can say factually, with no valance, that disproportionately light swords are a modern thing. C) The swords I use are various weights but all are historically accurate, which does not necessarily make them "heavy". D) Technique is more important than weight. E) Moment of Inertia (feeling of balance in motion) is more important than static weight.

                    The items A-E above are pretty objective. At the risk of sticking my neck out around sword folks I will subjectively say that when we practice iaido we are making ourselves samurai. That is who practiced iaido for hundreds of years. Iaido is not of today, it is a koryu rooted in feudal Japan. Iaido is only about killing your enemy not stopping on a dime and cutting fast for the purpose of looking good. Iaido is not moving meditation or whatever. Just killing the enemy. IMHO using katana our ancestors would recognize as correctly made makes sense. It's kind of like wearing a hakama instead of sweatpants. I also like to use swords that have the greatest possible intrinsic value, and for that they need to be something that collectors recognize and can place in historical context. As I detail in my book some, but not all, of the modern swords have deviated so far from the expected shape of the katana that they are anomalies. What will the future hold? Maybe the anomalies become the norm.

                    Period accurate swords are not necessarily heavy or badly balanced (high MOI) although they might be. Everyone needs to find what works for them.

                    Some folks seem to get defensive about using lightweight swords. I'm not criticizing their choices. That said, I'm not sure your helium filled katana is a good idea. I suggest pulling a vacuum instead, it will weigh less. :-)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Kokoro777 View Post
                      I think I'll stick to the oil your recommended in your book for storage and just use choji for practise. Does that sound reasonable?

                      If I were a samurai and needed a sword for cutting down the enemy, I'd agree that a substantial sword like the one I have for tameshigiri would be the weapon of choice because I'd be cutting through my enemy and not trying to stop ,my sword's motion dead, in thin air. I think ZNKR Iaido and even MSR and MJER are so far removed from the actual use of the sword as to make the need to use a heavy cutting sword practically meaningless. Iaido is now about beauty of movement and the preservation of aesthetically pleasing kata rather than fighting effectiveness. The analogy I use is dancing. Would you dance in big heavy workman's boots or use lightweight patent leather shoes (with glitter) that allow all those flicky fast foot movements? Some of my Iaido pals use what I would call 'heavy sword' and you can see it in their cuts; they don't accelerate rapidly and hence don't achieve a high velocity and it's this ponderous style of cutting that allows for a dead stop at the end of the cut rather than tenouchi (and an increase incidence of tennis/golfer's elbow). I have a lightweight kiri wood (Pawlonia) bokuto I sometime practice kata with and my Iai noticeably improves when I do!

                      So I've commission a hollow-bladed katana, which I will have filled with helium and when I get onto the lunar surface (I'm building a spacecraft, you know) I'll be able to perform amazing Iaido. You know it makes sense.
                      Thanks for your comments Kokoro777.

                      The mineral choji oil is totally fine for practice. Using the Break Free Collector for storage makes good sense too.

                      Regarding sword weight I have the feeling of being in the minority. Let it be clear to everyone that A) I'm no authority over anyone who is not a direct student of mine. B) I don't look down on people using very light blades, as I mentioned before, that is personal business. But, I can say factually, with no valance, that disproportionately light swords are a modern thing. C) The swords I use are various weights but all are historically accurate, which does not necessarily make them "heavy". D) Technique is more important than weight. E) Moment of Inertia (feeling of balance in motion) is more important than static weight.

                      The items A-E above are pretty objective. At the risk of sticking my neck out around sword folks I will subjectively say that when we practice iaido we are making ourselves samurai. That is who practiced iaido for hundreds of years. Iaido is not of today, it is a koryu rooted in feudal Japan. Iaido is only about killing your enemy not stopping on a dime and cutting fast for the purpose of looking good. Iaido is not moving meditation or whatever. Just killing the enemy. IMHO using katana our ancestors would recognize as correctly made makes sense. It's kind of like wearing a hakama instead of sweatpants. I also like to use swords that have the greatest possible intrinsic value, and for that they need to be something that collectors recognize and can place in historical context. As I detail in my book some, but not all, of the modern swords have deviated so far from the expected shape of the katana that they are anomalies. What will the future hold? Maybe the anomalies become the norm.

                      Period accurate swords are not necessarily heavy or badly balanced (high MOI) although they might be. Everyone needs to find what works for them.

                      Some folks seem to get defensive about using lightweight swords. I'm not criticizing their choices. That said, I'm not sure your helium filled katana is a good idea. I suggest pulling a vacuum instead, it will weigh less. :-)

                      Comment

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