Quare For Fred

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Quare For Fred

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:03 pm

Fred Sensei:


A question, of sorts, camme up a a recent pretest regarding the placing of a Shinai on the floor during "Seissan Bankai" perparatory to showing the applications against the 'sword strike" (good luck-bad application? Seems Dangerous?)

In any event, this is not intended, fo course, to be a thread, or even a thread not in re: Western Martial Arts.

There is a good deal of posturing between applications etc. etc. etc.----but soemone had the good (hmmmph) idea to ask me about placing the sword on the floor.

I commented that I do not think am Iaido Practictioner would place a blade on the floor in the first instance, but a Shinai is a Shinai??


Any thoughts on this.

From my brief reading, a 'proper' sword would be endowed, it would be hoped by Iai practioners, such as as yourself, as havinmg aspirations to a 'soul' of sorts.

So, it is a question for you as to whteher of not a shinai or bokken or non (papered) sword would be treated with any deference ab initio?


Perhaps your Bunkai does not try to surf the waves of Iai without actually having stdied it.

I somewhat regret my remarks at the pretest as I would wish to have had a chance to run the matter by you before commenting---but it didn't go down that way, so to speak.


The floor is now yours.


Thanks for any help.

JT
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Postby f.Channell » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:27 pm

Hi John,

Great question. Of course even uechi Dojo on Oki may or may not follow the tradition of to-rei depending on their tradition. I know Shinjo Sensei studied Kendo, so he may be the exception.

First off when on the wall any sword, if the handle or tsuka is aiming to the left this is a passive or non threatening position. If facing right it is more easily grasped in the right hand and more threatening.

When on the floor the handle should face the shrine or pictures. The sword is never to be leaned on it's tip, if leaned against the wall it should be on it's handle.

When picked up the sword should be held horizontal with the handle in the left hand and held shoulder high and bowed to. After use bowed to again and placed back in it's position.

The yellow string on a shinai represents the blade.

These traditions are true regardless of it being a boken, shinai, Iaito or Katana.

The Okinawan tradition may vary, I am unsure if they follow the Japanese tradition to the letter. But this is what I train my students.

It's funny you brought this up as I visited a dojo recently and they were doing all this incorrectly.

This may seem odd to some, but I know United States military has their traditions, as I'm sure others do. This was the samurai's.

F.
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Great

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:09 pm

OK

Got it.

What specifically would you advise as to handling the Shinai in Seisan Bunkai to make it properly formal and respectful?

At this time the Shinai is placed on the mat next to a club clone as two defenses are shown, one to the sword (double overhead cut) and one to a club swung in a roundouse fashion to the head.

Now, My problem is, I think it is improper to place the Shinai on the ground pending the outcome of the second attack.

to be completely correct I suppose the Shinai would be pelpaced in the OBI then the club picked up or haded to the Uke? (or is it Tore)


Man I am getting old.

John
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Postby f.Channell » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:28 pm

It sounds like you should put the shinai back on the ground.

I've never seen anyone put a shinai or a boken in their obi.

When practicing with a boken in Iaido, or from the kendo I've seen, the sword is held in the left hand near the hip. So I may return the sword to that position, then back up and place on the floor and retrieve the club.

Also when passing the sword, it is held as you do when bowing to it, but passes with the blade edge pointing towards you. I forgot to mention that, which sometimes occurs in Bunkai. Especially if the Dojo only has one shinai or bokken.

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Postby Van Canna » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:02 pm

So if the 'weapon' is on the ground awaiting to be picked up by the 'attacker' to use against you so you can practice your bunkai defense_

When do you 'launch' your defense? :wink:
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:16 pm

Correct Van,

In a real situation you would beat him to the weapon.

John just asked about the etiquette of the sword in this formal presentation in a Dan test for example.

Beating them to the weapon or taking it away is part of more realistic application, perhaps what I'd call the "jutsu" aspect of the art.

In Judo for example the Kata (two person sets) are very regimented and done a precise way, whereas in randori whatever works-works in defeating your opponent. No style points.

You can see it here, precision is stepping, bowing, everything.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJfG3-FwMT8

I trained at several of these seminars, each one was 4-5 hours and exhausting, mentally (trying to remember it all) and physically.

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Placement of the Sword

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:13 pm

In the Version of Seisan bunkai and Sanseirui Bunkai the Shinai is placed on the floor, but behind the 'testing' individual.

Sensei Van, a good point, but I intended only a response as to formalities.

At present the tested sorta crouches and keeps one hand up while trying to field the weapons and move to the correct spot for the next testing.

I feel, since it is a formal excercise and not Jiu Kumite of Kumite, that this 'posturing', however it may seem to attempt to mirror reality, it can't, and might as well just allow the 'tester' (tore?) to walked respectfully to the next position respectfully treating the candidate and the weapons.

I totally understand what Sensei Van is trying to get at.

I have many pithy points posted prior to entering the dojo, one says:

"karate without kata is like the Tea ceremony without the ceremony, and karate without Kumite is to be likened to the tea ceremony without the tea.

I do plan, Senseis, threads on specific airborne ops.

The first that come to mind: Skorzeny's rescue of Mussolini and second, perhaps, a detailed account of the Falschirjagers' battle for Crete.
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