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Sword handling in kime no kata the quest not to look like too much of a bozo Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 06:55 PM

One of the reasons that kime no kata is so cool is that you get to handle weapons, which you never get to do otherwise in Judo (except for goshin jutsu). However, one of the easiest ways to look uncool is to handle weapons during kime no kata, because Judo people never do it (and thus do not know how).

Beyond looking good, fumbling around with the sword ruins focus and affects the whole flow of the kata. One of the prime examples is putting the sword back in your belt after the last technique (or if it gets pulled out during nuki kake). I have learned a method and would like to know if it is the official Kodokan method, if there is an official Kodokan method, or if it is at least acceptible to the more knowlegable posters like Akeru, C.Kano, etc.

1. Close the forefinger and thumb of your left hand to form a "koiguchi" (scabbard opening), place your hand on your left hip (towards the front of your hip) with the koiguchi just above the top of your belt.

2. Place the back of the sword , near the gaurd (tsuba) against the koiguchi (the end of the blade will be pointing out to your left, the blade lined up with the long axis of the koiguchi), draw the sword across the koiguchi (the hilt travelling to your right) until the tip of the sword reaches the koiguchi opening (it will help if you pull your hip back a little while doing this.

3. Lightly grasp the tip of the sword with your thumb and forefinger (former koiguchi) and slip the ends of your fingers under your belt to open a small gap. Push the sword into the gap.

So does this sound right? I think it is a widely used method for putting bokuto (wooden swords) in you belt in a manner that imitates placing it into a scabbard.
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#2 User is offline   Saitama Steve 

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 08:37 PM

View PostTaigyo, on Dec 22 2006, 06:55 PM, said:

One of the reasons that kime no kata is so cool is that you get to handle weapons, which you never get to do otherwise in Judo (except for goshin jutsu). However, one of the easiest ways to look uncool is to handle weapons during kime no kata, because Judo people never do it (and thus do not know how).

Beyond looking good, fumbling around with the sword ruins focus and affects the whole flow of the kata. One of the prime examples is putting the sword back in your belt after the last technique (or if it gets pulled out during nuki kake). I have learned a method and would like to know if it is the official Kodokan method, if there is an official Kodokan method, or if it is at least acceptible to the more knowlegable posters like Akeru, C.Kano, etc.

1. Close the forefinger and thumb of your left hand to form a "koiguchi" (scabbard opening), place your hand on your left hip (towards the front of your hip) with the koiguchi just above the top of your belt.

2. Place the back of the sword , near the gaurd (tsuba) against the koiguchi (the end of the blade will be pointing out to your left, the blade lined up with the long axis of the koiguchi), draw the sword across the koiguchi (the hilt travelling to your right) until the tip of the sword reaches the koiguchi opening (it will help if you pull your hip back a little while doing this.

3. Lightly grasp the tip of the sword with your thumb and forefinger (former koiguchi) and slip the ends of your fingers under your belt to open a small gap. Push the sword into the gap.

So does this sound right? I think it is a widely used method for putting bokuto (wooden swords) in you belt in a manner that imitates placing it into a scabbard.


Yeah, that sounds about right mate. :hap:

In Japan I sometimes used a Saya Tsuke bokuto for kata geiko. Didn't really need to, but it's good to know how to a handle a sword correctly for Kime No Kata. I saw various methods of what you have posted above. Even different striking areas for atemi in kime.
Regards,

Steve Delaney

The Psychotic Leprechaun :D
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#3 User is offline   herb mowery 

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 12:44 AM

Hello all;
have a kendo background sure did help me with this kata and the sword tech's ,i did all my funbleing in kendo kata long before i ever started kime-no-kata so i don't think we fumble so badly or that i fumble so badly in that repect.having a litle sword study before starting it is always very nice maybe take up kendo for a little while before you start would be a good thing? :hap:
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#4 User is offline   sam 

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 02:27 AM

View PostTaigyo, on Dec 23 2006, 03:55 AM, said:


I have learned a method and would like to know if it is the official Kodokan method, if there is an official Kodokan method


I don`t think there`s any Kodokan method of handling a Katana. When Shinken Shobu no Kata (=Kime no Kata) was made around 1885(?), drawing out a Katana or putting it back to the scabbard was nothing special...a sort of ommonsense. I was talking to a Kendo 8th Dan Hanshi sitting next to me, who said "You can`t simulate the actual handling of a Katana with a Bokuto". On the other hand, we had better do it as real as possible. What can we do then with Bokuto?

1. When drawing out, hold the scabbard with left hand and pull out a few inches up and to the right. Do unlock at the koiguchi with a thumb. Pull out the Katana while putting back the scabbard!! The blade is 60cm long or longer and for a small Japanese, we need this technique to draw out safe and fast.

2. When putting the Katana back to the scabbard, align the back of the blade with koiguchi and let it travel in front till the top clicks into the scabbard. Insert the entire Katana into the belt slowly.

I was given by him a few other advices such as how to hold the hilt with both hands. In Nukigake, the second from the last Kata in Kime no Kata, he asked me a question if Uke has unlocked the koiguchi or not. Yea, if you do it with Bokuto, you never see it but my gut feeling is , yes Uke must have unlocked it (although the Kodokan Kata brouchure does not say anything except "about to pull out the sword").

Yes, Taigyo, the more you study deeply, the more tiny things you`ll find which would haunt you. Which I think is healthy and enjoyable... Just off the thread, we had one hour discussion last night on how Ukemi should be if/when Tori acted correctly in the 3rd of Itsutsu no Kata. It boils down to .. in a whirlwind to the right (Tori), if an object (Uke) is thrown into the center, how the wind spins it(=Uke) out? Can Uke use his hand for Ukemi or just flips in the air? To which direction? Silly Ojiisans ... but still.

PS I should have attached the pictures, but I don`t know how to.
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#5 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 10:58 AM

Hi to you all,

I have always found nuki kake a bit troublesome. It is not impossible that the swordfighter get's his sword free while nuki kake is being performed on him (or her). Now I wouldn't want to be in a position near when the sword is out, not even in that position.

Could it be that the idea behind nuki kake is that uke has not unlocked the koiguchi yet? Wouldn't that be safer?

Just a thought.

By the way - Steve I did send you two pm's yesterday but maybe you haven't received them. Let me know?

Best to you all.

Johan Smits
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#6 User is offline   sam 

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 03:25 PM

View Postjohan smits, on Dec 23 2006, 07:58 PM, said:

Hi to you all,

I have always found nuki kake a bit troublesome. It is not impossible that the swordfighter get's his sword free while nuki kake is being performed on him (or her). Now I wouldn't want to be in a position near when the sword is out, not even in that position.

Could it be that the idea behind nuki kake is that uke has not unlocked the koiguchi yet? Wouldn't that be safer?

Just a thought.

By the way - Steve I did send you two pm's yesterday but maybe you haven't received them. Let me know?

Best to you all.

Johan Smits


Problem solved, but not entirely. I have checked Kuhara Yoshiyuki`s book on Nukigake where he mentioned clearly "Uke holds the hilt with the left hand, and unlock the koiguchi and tries to draw it out by stepping forward with his right foot. At this instance, Tori blocks it with his right hand from above, and immediately goes around Uke`s back ..." So the sword is unlocked. Kuhara Sensei is also an expert in Iai, therefore he can`t make a mistake in handling the sword. The key is for Tori to choke fast with his left hand from behind.

One question, however, remains. The sword is usually hooked onto the belt by a loose string.

Merry Christmas !!
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#7 User is offline   Saitama Steve 

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 04:05 PM

View Postsam, on Dec 23 2006, 03:25 PM, said:


One question, however, remains. The sword is usually hooked onto the belt by a loose string.

Merry Christmas !!


That's why we sometimes used a saya-tsuke bokuto for kata geiko in Tokyo. It had a sageo and the saya made a huge difference to the kuzushi in the technique.

Merry Christmas. :)
Regards,

Steve Delaney

The Psychotic Leprechaun :D
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#8 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:31 AM

Okay thanks guys,


Merry Christmas to all of you.

Johan Smits
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#9 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 06:28 PM

View Postsam, on Dec 23 2006, 03:25 PM, said:

Problem solved, but not entirely. I have checked Kuhara Yoshiyuki`s book on Nukigake where he mentioned clearly "Uke holds the hilt with the left hand, and unlock the koiguchi and tries to draw it out by stepping forward with his right foot. At this instance, Tori blocks it with his right hand from above, and immediately goes around Uke`s back ..." So the sword is unlocked. Kuhara Sensei is also an expert in Iai, therefore he can`t make a mistake in handling the sword. The key is for Tori to choke fast with his left hand from behind.

One question, however, remains. The sword is usually hooked onto the belt by a loose string.

Merry Christmas !!

Does he mention the direction of the draw? Downwards, straight out, upwards?
We have used a cheaper version of the saya for a bokuto, golf tubes, at 99 cents they are a pretty cheap training tool (no connection for the string{sageo} though). In my limited experince with this kata it appears that if you drive ukes arm straight up after you release the wrist it actually jams up his draw. The sword does not make it all the way out. This might not work if uke has orangutan arms though.
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#10 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 03:50 PM

What also would be interesting to know is what is uke's objective.

Does he want to make a horizontal cut? kesa giri, gyaku kesa giri or does he want to draw the sword and take a kamae and than which one?


:blink: oodles of questions.

Johan Smits
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#11 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 04:23 PM

Yep, I feel like a bad actor, but when I am uke I keep wondering, what's my motivation what am I trying to do. Don't think I am just going to a kamae (stance/position) when my opponent is that close though, if you are going to draw at that point you better cut.
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#12 User is offline   stacey 

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:17 PM

This is my limited interpretation and understanding, so disregard it, please. My understanding of the drawing motion is that the intent is to take your opponent's head with one motion, sort of a draw strike, and the ultimate goal of Ai.

In as far as not looking dorky, I don't think that's possible, especially outside of a country with a sword based history. Nothing quite as dorky as some chick in Iowa attempting to draw a sword. Still, practice practice practice always diminishes the extremity of the dorkiness.
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#13 User is offline   johan smits 

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:05 PM

I agree with both of you - cutting makes sense.

I asked about the kamae because uke would start to draw his sword at a greater distance then (not within tori's reach). If the attack would be iai-like the close distance makes more sense. A swordfighter would never allow you so close I quess. It also would make a difference if uke has turned his saya to make a specific cut.

best,

Johan Smits
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#14 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 05:55 AM

View Postsam, on Dec 24 2006, 12:25 AM, said:

Problem solved, but not entirely. I have checked Kuhara Yoshiyuki`s book on Nukigake where he mentioned clearly "Uke holds the hilt with the left hand, and unlock the koiguchi and tries to draw it out by stepping forward with his right foot. At this instance, Tori blocks it with his right hand from above, and immediately goes around Uke`s back ..." So the sword is unlocked. Kuhara Sensei is also an expert in Iai, therefore he can`t make a mistake in handling the sword. The key is for Tori to choke fast with his left hand from behind.

One question, however, remains. The sword is usually hooked onto the belt by a loose string.

Merry Christmas !!


Yes, I believe that on pages 192-193 Kuhara does show this, but ... the question here is whether what he is showing is Kdkan or his own (more expert) knowledge ? After all, he was a ranked sensei in the mori-ry. Every person with kenjutsu or iajutsu knowledge seriously frowns upon how the sword handling and attack (by uke) are being performed in Kdkan. So, no doubt, what Kuhara does is effective, but I wonder if you did not first consult Yamashita, Nagaoka and Murakami's Jd Ssho, volume 4 or Nagaoka and Sukareba's Jd Saishin Kyhon, which will likely give a more direct view on Kan's instruction, and then in combination with what you already know, will allow you to judge the sense of it ... <_<

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 04 January 2007 - 03:38 AM

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#15 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:04 PM

Since I lack those references (and it would take me a year to translate them if I could do it at all), I am still trying to find out what the riai for uke is... Or am I barking up the wrong tree? At the Kodokan kata clinic they said the draw was straight out. Some people seem to think it was downwards and have developed elaborate stories to cover this assumption. However, the Kodokan sensei who worked with me emphasized the straight out draw and also did a slick little manuver where he rolled the hilt over the top of my wrist if I failed to properly control his wrist (ouch). I have also talked to people who are knowledgeable in koryu kenjustsu (swordsmanship) and they basically have said that a swordsman who waits until his opponent is that close before the tries to draw his sword is stupid (and probably dead). So the other question that arises is, what was the intent for this kata. The impracticality of the range, etc. is perhaps immaterial. When Kano sensei put this kata together perhaps he was using it to illustrate some important principle and the practicality of the swordsman's attack was secondary? Is this a case where we should just shup up and do it (and will come to understand it later)? Another intersting point is that Saitama Steve has said these techniques were actually somewhat modified from their roots in Tenshinshinyo, could it be that the maai (engagement space) was bigger?

On the second sword attack, things seem a bit more straight forward once people learn how to hold the sword and make a reasonable approximation of a draw. However, you end up with a lot of people who seem to think they are chopping wood when they do the overhead cut (Jodan). You should not cut further down than the waist (and that is probably a bit deep) and do not lean into the cut. The peice of wood you are holding represents a three-foot long razor blade.

This post has been edited by Taigyo: 03 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

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