Ninjadynamo's Martial Arts and Sword Q&A discussion!

#1
Hi everybody!

So as some of you may know, aside from being a Videogame and Nintendo enthusiast. I'm also a Martial Arts and Sword Enthusiast. I thought it'd be a cool additive to this board to have a discussion thread about both martial arts and swords.

If any of you have questions about or need help finding some sweet functional or display swords let me know and I'll do my best to help you guys out. As well as any questions or help about any martial arts you might be interested in practicing or just want to discuss. Though I might not be the ultimate expert I've been practicing and collecting for well over a decade so if I don't have a direct answer, I have a lot of information or links I can present to you so you get the best out of the thread.

So don't be shy and remember no question is a dumb one if your asking to learn about something!
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#2
Hey! I've never really got into swords, but as it happens, I have a black belt in karate. If you know about the styles of karate, then it's sort of like Shotokan, however, the style I do is a derivative and combination of of a few different styles and it is no where near as wide spread as something like Shotokan. We do a bit more grappling and that kind of stuff than your typical karate style teaches, but we do have a lot of similarities with other styles as well. So what's your background?
 
#3
A little bit of everything. I started out with kickboxing and didn't really get serious until I started soft arts of Gung Fu. Tried or experienced about every style I could, from Judo to Wing Chun, Karate to Muay Thai, Hapkido to Shooto, and so forth. Never really mastering or focusing on any specific art. I've always followed the Philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, to always be learning, adapting, evolving as a martial artist. I'm not to out going as I used to be in my younger days (13-22 I'm not that old! LOL just 28) but kids kinda slow ya down if you know what I mean. I got into weapon arts later in life and consider them more a hobby than a full focused martial art, aside from Kenjutsu which I still practice daily. I am proficient with the Bo Staff, Nunchuck,.and Tonfa(not as great as I'd like but I can use it/them LOL) as well.

Is your art of Karate traditional Okinawan or was it founded in America or Europe (pending where you live. It kinda sounds like you study or at least your base is Shorin-Ryu. Since your base is a soft art and focuses more on grappling and interception, right? Shorin is the foundation of Shotokan so it would make sense anyway. Goju-Ryu is the base of the hard arts and focus more on breathing techniques and counter offensive strikes. Any Kata you perform with a low bent stance is a Goju form, whereas a higher more loose Kata is Shorin form. For a more silly example, Mr. Miagi from Karate Kid stances in all three movies were Goju form. Slightly bent solid circulating stances, with a counter offensive strong direct strike on attack. Karate is so diverse today its really hard to pin point what your really studying though. Especially with the modern introduction and popularity of MMA. Most Dojos or studios today offer more blended arts than a solid traditional one. Which isn't a bad thing, at least in my opinion. But there is some truth to the fact that you can have two or three Karate dojos in the same city and experience three completely different forms of the same art.

Edit: Then again you being a Black Belt means you probably know all this anyway and probably more, LOL!

Think of it like all the different denominations of Christianity in the states. All the same Bible, God and Savior. But go to each church and you'll hear a different sermon! ;)
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#4
Hey. So, yeah... I pretty much know that stuff, but at least now I know that you do to, so I can go into a bit more detail!
I actually started out doing Shotokan. That began when I was nine. However, my sensei left town when I was 14 and there were no others in the area. Two years later, I found another man teaching karate a few towns over, and I began training with him. Anyways, this style begins in Japan, really. There is a very old school of martial arts in Japan called Sho Sho Ryu Yawara. So there was a man who studied this and then passed it down to his son. His son traveled to Okinawa where he learned, as you have guessed, Shorin-Ryu, but also Goju-Ryu and, as I understand, to a lesser extent Kendo. This man then had a son and passed on what he had learned. When the son was nearing 30, he packed up his things and moved to a little village in Canada where, some long years later, he taught me!
There are some things about the style you might find interesting. Firstly, we practice all of the Shotokan Kata, though many of them have significant differences. We also practice some Goju-Ryu Kata though really only a few. Some of them are, however, quite neat. There are differences in training as well, from Shotokan. Shotokan is largely a sport. Since the days of Funakoshi it largely has been. The style I do is less sportward-inclined, though. That being said, my sensei's son did win some national championships. It is done for self defense, of course, and most of us do it for fun, but there is a real sense that it is an art, more than a competitive sport. It's different, in that sense, from my days in Shotokan. Also, my Shotokan sensei was not Japanese - indeed, there were no Japanese people doing Shotokan in our town when I was. However, it was very "Japanesised" :p Everything was very formal, we sat, we "meditated", we bowed to our ancestors, we addressed our sensei as just that "Sensei," we recited our Dojo-kun in Japanese. At that time I thought it was kind of neat, but always a little bizarre!
With my Japanese sensei, though, he didn't place any emphasis on it at all. We called him by name, we didn't recite a dojo-kun at all. We "meditated" only briefly, and we bowed only to the living. It was a much more practical school. One thing, though, he was very insistent about, was calling our "gi" either a "gi" or "karate suit." If you called it a "uniform" you were in for a world of pain :p
Apparently, before people started complaining, he would have no problem whacking you with a tonfa if you misbehaved. I guess one kid went home looking like a candy cane one day though from the bruising and some angry phone calls were made... less pain now :p
Anyways, a couple of other little points that I found interesting:
1) There is Kata called Hangetsu. It's done in a variety of styles, but in Shotokan it uses a very odd stance. It's the only place in any form of Karate that you will see it. It's called Hangetsu-dachi and it is basically a wide front stance but with inward tension. Anyways, like I said, you only ever see it in Shotokan, and only in that Kata. However, we also use it in Hangetsu. I think it's simply because some of the Kata have been "ported" over to our style, but it's interesting to me that when so many of the Shotokan Kata are modified so heavily, we retain this bizarre stance for this Kata. My sensei always says that the differences in our Kata result from our using an older form, of them, so perhaps with a Kata like Hangetsu, it was simply brought in afterwards.
2) We would do an interesting exercise at every single practice. I've never seen any other school do it, but of course, I haven't been privy to all that many karate schools practice sessions. So if you've seen this, I'd like to know! I think it may come from Sho Sho Ryu Yawara, but I don't truly know. Anyways, we would sit in the classic sitting position, with feet tucked under our bums and hands resting on thighs. Then, we would do a front snap kick and return to the relaxed position. Then of course we would repeat with the other leg. It is interesting, though, to kick from such a position.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#5
I posted before but it seems like it didn't show up. Basically, I said that I think swords are cool in movies like Kill Bill and in samurai anime shows. But I don't know the firs thing about them. How would you introduce the whole hobby of swords to a complete noob to the subject?
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#6
Oh! My mind was so focused on the Japanese side of things that I completely forgot my stint in fencing as well! That lasted only about a year, but it was pretty fun. I'll be moving back to Vancouver in a few months, and I hope to take up another form of martial arts, but I'm not sure which yet. I feel like my ground work needs some serious help, so I'd like to maybe do some jujitsu. On the other hand, kung fu also seems pretty interesting, so I might give that a go as well. I'd like to keep doing karate of course, but I probably won't be able to afford to do more than one, so if I have to pick, I think I will choose something entirely new.
 
#7
I posted before but it seems like it didn't show up. Basically, I said that I think swords are cool in movies like Kill Bill and in samurai anime shows. But I don't know the firs thing about them. How would you introduce the whole hobby of swords to a complete noob to the subject?



Sorry for the late reply. Well for starters you decide what type of swords your into. Seems you got that covered by your preferences so we'll discuss katana.

step one is deciding what type of katana you want, functional (pretty much a sword made of carbon steel that can be used for cutting) a display piece ( pretty much something attractive that has no functional use but fits the bill regarding aesthetics and design but are usually made of stainless steel or aluminum alloy, most don't have the balance weight and build as a functional sword. They're just for looking at.) a practice katana or by correct terminology a iaito (pretty much a katana made like a functional piece but has no edge and is usually made of Aluminum alloy Stainless steel, or carbon steel)

Step two is deciding price. Most functional blades of worthwhile quality run between $100-$500. But when you move above that $500 mark you start getting into a much higher refined level of quality some high end top of the line katana can range between $1000-$3000.. display swords run between $20-$1000 depending on quality and materials used. Why up to a thousand? Well some people like 24k gold koshire (handle parts) and so forth. Makes no sense to me, but to each his own. Iaito run in the same price as functional swords with a few lesser quality ones in the $50 range. For at least midlevel quality though its best to stick around $100- and up.

Step three is simple but important. Make sure swords are legal were you live! Many European countries deal with strict customs regulations for example and nobody wants their $500 sword to be snagged by a customs agent, loose it with no refund and possibly be brought up on charges! Since most sword transactions will take place online (unless you have a shop or custom smith in your area) its best to check your local weapon ownership laws before delving into the hobby. Even the display pieces can get you in trouble.

Answer those three steps, (feel free to ask questions in-between if need be:)) and we'll move to the next step of sword enthusiast progression! Lol.
 
#8
Oh! My mind was so focused on the Japanese side of things that I completely forgot my stint in fencing as well! That lasted only about a year, but it was pretty fun. I'll be moving back to Vancouver in a few months, and I hope to take up another form of martial arts, but I'm not sure which yet. I feel like my ground work needs some serious help, so I'd like to maybe do some jujitsu. On the other hand, kung fu also seems pretty interesting, so I might give that a go as well. I'd like to keep doing karate of course, but I probably won't be able to afford to do more than one, so if I have to pick, I think I will choose something entirely new.



Cool, also great read on your second reply. I appreciate all the great info. As far as the kata you described it probably was invented by a recent master or as you have said intermingled from another art. Hard to say without actually seeing it (not meaning your description sucks lol) first hand. Then again I didn't get above green when I studied.

The second I think I've seen before at a demonstration I attended as a spectator only.

Being in Vancouver you should have plenty of options to choose from. I'd suggest Aikido as a good transitional art from Karate especially since it seems you have strong knowledge of the traditional etiquette and terminology which Aikido has a strong emphasis on. Aikido has it's foundation in Jujutsu so it can also be a good transitional art for you to get into Jujutsu when or if you decide to try it as well.

Btw, did you mean fencing as in western foil and saber or kendo?
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#9
Cool, also great read on your second reply. I appreciate all the great info. As far as the kata you described it probably was invented by a recent master or as you have said intermingled from another art. Hard to say without actually seeing it (not meaning your description sucks lol) first hand. Then again I didn't get above green when I studied. The second I think I've seen before at a demonstration I attended as a spectator only. Being in Vancouver you should have plenty of options to choose from. I'd suggest Aikido as a good transitional art from Karate especially since it seems you have strong knowledge of the traditional etiquette and terminology which Aikido has a strong emphasis on. Aikido has it's foundation in Jujutsu so it can also be a good transitional art for you to get into Jujutsu when or if you decide to try it as well. Btw, did you mean fencing as in western foil and saber or kendo?
Well... nope! Hangetsu is actually a very old kata, no doubt originating in China, probably with White Crane Kung Fu. You might actually know it as Seisan, as it was renamed to Hangetsu by Funakoshi (to Japanesize it, it would seem!). In Shotokan it's an advanced Kata, but in some other styles it is actually more oriented towards the beginner. Apparently, some even use it as the very first Kata a student learns. I suspect the reason for this is that it is a very un-Shotokan-like Kata. The odd stance that I referred to is actually probably a result of this. I believe most other styles use Sanchin dachi throughout most of the Kata. In Shotokan, Sanchin dachi is not particularly common. As a matter of fact, I don't think it's even used in a Kata until you get into the advanced Katas, but my memory might be skipping over something. So anyways, I suppose Funakoshi adapted Seisan by elongating the stance to fit into Shotokan better, and then changed the name to make it more palatable to the Japanese.
As far as the sitting/kicking thing, do you remember the style of the practitioners that you observed. I'm actually pretty curious about this because like I've said, I've never seen anyone else do it but it's pretty neat.
Indeed, I expect a lot possible choices in Vancouver, and I was considering Aikido, but I don't know just yet. It will probably depend somewhat on what is available within a certain proximity to me! And yes, I meant Western Fencing, 'en garde!' and all that jazz. It's not really a martial art, in my opinion any ways, but it's kind of neat, and it does use swords! :p
 
#10
Cool, also great read on your second reply. I appreciate all the great info. As far as the kata you described it probably was invented by a recent master or as you have said intermingled from another art. Hard to say without actually seeing it (not meaning your description sucks lol) first hand. Then again I didn't get above green when I studied. The second I think I've seen before at a demonstration I attended as a spectator only. Being in Vancouver you should have plenty of options to choose from. I'd suggest Aikido as a good transitional art from Karate especially since it seems you have strong knowledge of the traditional etiquette and terminology which Aikido has a strong emphasis on. Aikido has it's foundation in Jujutsu so it can also be a good transitional art for you to get into Jujutsu when or if you decide to try it as well. Btw, did you mean fencing as in western foil and saber or kendo?
Well... nope! Hangetsu is actually a very old kata, no doubt originating in China, probably with White Crane Kung Fu. You might actually know it as Seisan, as it was renamed to Hangetsu by Funakoshi (to Japanesize it, it would seem!). In Shotokan it's an advanced Kata, but in some other styles it is actually more oriented towards the beginner. Apparently, some even use it as the very first Kata a student learns. I suspect the reason for this is that it is a very un-Shotokan-like Kata. The odd stance that I referred to is actually probably a result of this. I believe most other styles use Sanchin dachi throughout most of the Kata. In Shotokan, Sanchin dachi is not particularly common. As a matter of fact, I don't think it's even used in a Kata until you get into the advanced Katas, but my memory might be skipping over something. So anyways, I suppose Funakoshi adapted Seisan by elongating the stance to fit into Shotokan better, and then changed the name to make it more palatable to the Japanese.
As far as the sitting/kicking thing, do you remember the style of the practitioners that you observed. I'm actually pretty curious about this because like I've said, I've never seen anyone else do it but it's pretty neat.
Indeed, I expect a lot possible choices in Vancouver, and I was considering Aikido, but I don't know just yet. It will probably depend somewhat on what is available within a certain proximity to me! And yes, I meant Western Fencing, 'en garde!' and all that jazz. It's not really a martial art, in my opinion any ways, but it's kind of neat, and it does use swords! :p



Yep you know more than me ! Lol. Never was acquainted with White Crane aside from book study but since its another soft art it makes sense. Thanks for all the info though, I'll have to go through my archives and research it though. Thanks for the names, it'll make it easier. I'll check it out and we'll discuss further.

You know I can't remember that well. I know it was in Meridian Idaho and was I'm thinking 1998. Pretty sure it was at the Kempo Dojo there. Place was/is cool, the building is actually and old church. Reminded me of the school from Fists of Fury, Lol!

Yea fencing has gone through some major changes in the last century. It could be compared to the changes made to traditional Kenjutsu when it evolved to Kendo.

Traditional fencing or all Western Martial Arts like Longsword, mace, longbow, axe, have as much if not more of a rich and detailed system as the Asian martial arts. Unlike Asia though the west has always been a consistently evolving culture whereas the east has culture set in keeping strict tradition. The reason you don't see much historical evidence or modern practice of western martial arts is because alot of it was either disposed of or lost and or destroyed. The west has had a longer life of war and evolving their arms and strategies, whereas warring arts of Asia or specifically Japan became more or less a art form rather than being actually used.

For example the medieval longsword has gone through well over twenty different redesigns since its establishment as a weapon. From the broad wide fullered Viking blades of 8th century to the long slender thrusting rapier of the 17th century and many variations in-between. Once one blade typology was introduced the later was left alone, or kept as heirlooms. Kinda like how technology is treated this day when you think about it. Then again for them at the time metallurgy was their technology back then. Lol.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#11
I ain't got a clue what y'all are saying. I can't quit reading it tho. Ninja I just wanted you to know that even tho probably alot of people ain't posting here, I'm surely reading it. I'm sure others are aswell. Things like this tho just bringing people together to talk about passions is what it's all about here. I'm lovin it.
 
#12
I ain't got a clue what y'all are saying. I can't quit reading it tho. Ninja I just wanted you to know that even tho probably alot of people ain't posting here, I'm surely reading it. I'm sure others are aswell. Things like this tho just bringing people together to talk about passions is what it's all about here. I'm lovin it.


Thanks!

Also don't feel intimidated by the discussion. If you have a question or are interested in something related to the topic chime in! Even if it's along the lines of fantasy or anime swords or martial arts. All types of discussion on the swords or MA is welcome! :)
 
#13
Hi guys,




Back with a link to my current collection of swords on Sword-buyers-guide.com. If any of you have a few pics of swords or anything topic related you'd like to share go for it. :)
http://www.sword-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=4712
 
#14
Also, here's some links to a couple reviews I wrote for two of my Japanese swords.

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/handmade-ninjato-designed-by-master-park.html

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/musashi-shirakawa-1060-dh-katana-with-burgundy-saya.html
 

beanboy

Active Member
#15
If you are into buying European swords, check out Kult of Athena, Bloss, or Black Fencer. They sometimes make Japanese/Asian swords too. But in the case of Japanese or Asian swords, I would suggest ordering it from the countries of origin.

PS: I didn't expect to find a topic like this here.:eek:
 
Last edited:

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#16
If you are into buying European swords, check out Kult of Athena, Bloss, or Black Fencer. They sometimes make Japanese/Asian swords too. But in the case of Japanese or Asian swords, I would suggest ordering it from the countries of origin.

PS: I didn't expect to find a topic like this here.:eek:
I actually bought a Tai Chi Sword from Kult of Athena a few years ago, and it's got some great weight to it (was a lot better than the cheap, plastic training sword I started with). It's proved very nice when performing my sword form, although it's been a couple years since I last did that.
 

beanboy

Active Member
#17
I actually bought a Tai Chi Sword from Kult of Athena a few years ago, and it's got some great weight to it (was a lot better than the cheap, plastic training sword I started with). It's proved very nice when performing my sword form, although it's been a couple years since I last did that.
Aye cool.

They have some semi strong plastic training swords, but I think they are a bit to expensive. But yeah, a Tai Chi training sword is most likely better, than a plastic training sword.

In my case, I was thinking a bit about getting a Portugese montante, but decided not to, after hearing Portugese people say, that the montante training replicas made nowadays, are all built incorrectly. Darn it.
 
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