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Thread: Recomendations on good Iaito for long duration practices

  1. #26
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    double post
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  2. #27
    I can't see buying two swords and spending more in the long run over buying one sword, and dulling it for iaito and sharpening it when it comes time to cut.

  3. #28
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    Which Tsuka wrap holds up better over time and lots of use, the cotton or leather?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    I can't see buying two swords and spending more in the long run over buying one sword, and dulling it for iaito and sharpening it when it comes time to cut.
    Hi Chris;
    Economically I agree with you and I have been thinking about this all weekend because I want to get something going and hate to lose out on such a good deal on the PP XL.
    Are you doing all your katas with a shinken now or are you still using the XL light with the dulled edge?

  5. #30
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    Just a personal preference Chris. It was just a question towards Mark. It looks like he is very unsure about what he wants and he has asked a lot of questions about different swords but none of them where Japanese iaitos. So had to make sure he knew they were out there.
    And of course if the school do test cutting, I can se the savings in it.
    And on thing is that a heavy sword to start with might be a lot harder to do the techniques correct compared to a lighter weapon. Remember a fellow student of me bought a really heavy bokken to do kenjutsu work and after a while his wrist started to make some pretty nasty sounds. So he figured to by something lighter. But again I have no idea of how heavy or light the tori xl light is.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
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  6. #31
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    I think he should ask his sensei about the weight of the iaito, not us...
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  7. #32
    good points.

    I am still using mine still dull, though I have resharpened another Practical for another person already who is cutting with it.

    From my experience, cotton and leather will hold the same as long as it was built right. It all depends on what you think is more comfortable. Check the wrappings, make sure you can not slide any of the sections of the wrap. If you can, the wrapping was applied tight enough.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    I can't see buying two swords and spending more in the long run over buying one sword, and dulling it for iaito and sharpening it when it comes time to cut.
    Because in some dojo, you cut regularly, but cannot use sharp swords in class for kata due to the safety factor.

    Frankly, a lot of iaidoka use aluminum-zinc iaito until higher dan levels. Our school, everyone uses a non-steel iaito for kata and a shinken for cutting.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickA View Post
    Because in some dojo, you cut regularly, but cannot use sharp swords in class for kata due to the safety factor.

    Frankly, a lot of iaidoka use aluminum-zinc iaito until higher dan levels. Our school, everyone uses a non-steel iaito for kata and a shinken for cutting.
    What is the advantage of the aluminum-zinc iaito over the carbon steel? Is it lighter or more corosion resistant?

  10. #35
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    I am also noticing that most of the Practical and Practical Plus Iaitos are about 30% lighter than their cutting counterparts. This must be for a reason. Maybe the fighting sword of old which is what an Iaito is supposed to represent in practice was much lighter. The cutting swords are only heavier for their specific purpose. Does anybody have any history with antique japanese swords to know if the is true or not?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    What is the advantage of the aluminum-zinc iaito over the carbon steel? Is it lighter or more corosion resistant?
    Yes and yes.

    These have been recommended to you already. (www.tozando.com www.swordstore.com) They are made in Japan and you're really paying for fittings. (The blade is cheap, but made in the shape of a katana, usually with bo-hi for good sound. The fittings start at "reasonable" and move to "my god, this is expensive." ) Its lighter than most carbon steel katana, which although some people do not like, I prefer for heavy use and long practices. Its completely corrosion proof.

    They are traditionally used for kata by a number of koryu iaido schools, at least until a certain dan ranking.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

  12. #37
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    well the zinc-alluminum blades don't rust so they are quite easy to care for. I just oil the blade after every practice. As for being lighter than a shinken, you can get iaito that are very close to the weight of a shinken. I use a dotanuki iaito that has a heavy blade, never had a problem with it feeling too light. I would highly recommend a japanese made iaito to start with. Just make sure you know what dimensions you need, length etc, this will depend on the school you study with. I would also recommend taking your time and looking around, find the right sword for you, it will save you having to buy something else sooner than necessary.
    Last edited by MattRomaschin; 10-15-2007 at 02:03 PM.

  13. #38
    Well, you have alot of options! Yes, definitly check with you school, and see what they would like you to do. Again, I use a heavier Iaito because it trains not only technique, but also builds the correct muscles needed for those techniques. When moving to cutting, I will not need to adjust to a new sword, nor be surprised by a heavier sword.

    As far as I have seen, most historical swords are closer to the cutting swords, not the iaitos. The Iaitos have been lightened up alot so that people can move faster and more controlled through their katas. I believe this gives you a false sense of security, because the real sword will be heavier.

    This is how I have trained in the different chinese and european sword arts as well.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    As far as I have seen, most historical swords are closer to the cutting swords, not the iaitos. The Iaitos have been lightened up alot so that people can move faster and more controlled through their katas. I believe this gives you a false sense of security, because the real sword will be heavier.
    No Chris, the reason iaitos are lighter is because you usually make a lot of repetitive training with them. It's fun making 10 cuts with force, but when you make 100 cuts for each type of cut you begin to understand why they are lighter and with a friendlier balance. A heavy iaito for a beginner may not only mean tendinitis or sprains, but also learning bad technique. Somebody like Dave Drawdy should step in and talk from teacher's experience. I am a pretty athletic guy, at 6'2" and 90 kg, muay thai trainer, I also bought a dotanuki (heavy for a iaito but light for a shinken, 1090 grams, POB 6") and I can tell you when doing repetitive moves in force it "kills" me quite rapidly. I like it, but it's really pushing me hard. This is why you should really ask your sensei about the weight and balance of your iaito.
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Bogdan M. View Post
    No Chris, the reason iaitos are lighter is because you usually make a lot of repetitive training with them. It's fun making 10 cuts with force, but when you make 100 cuts for each type of cut you begin to understand why they are lighter and with a friendlier balance. A heavy iaito for a beginner may not only mean tendinitis or sprains, but also learning bad technique.
    Not just a beginner. A guy in my dojo had his iaito snap during travel (needed better padding in his golf bag!) and is practicing with a shinken he has. At "real sword" weight he is slowly giving himself elbow problems, he is really looking forward to his new iaito's arrival.

    And this is no beginner and not a lightweight either, he's been doing iaido for years and works out as well.

    So I really have to echo this warning. To become good at iaido you will have to put in a very very large number of repetitions of the basic movements. Don't go all macho and destroy your elbow.

  16. #41
    I apologize, but the last two post reiterate what I was talking about. Working with a heavier weight Iaito from the beginning trains your body to get used to a proper weighted sword. Training with a lighter blade will cause you to develope technique for a lighter blade. When it comes time to move to a heavier blade, the same technique will possibly not work. This will cause the problems both of you speak of. The opposite is not true. However, this takes long periods of time, just like any weight training does. Training with a heavier blade is always better to get you used to a real sword. Now, you have to becareful not to get one thats too heavy though.

    If someone is developing problems in there joints, they are probably doing a bad technique, or abusing their joints in some other way.

    Think about how people trained historically, they went from wood to metal at a young age, and the metal swords were the same weight, and some even heavier, than the real swords. They didn't have aluminum alloys in the 1500-1600s.

    Again, I have trained this way in multiple other sword styles. Starting with Chinese Dao, and then some european work from arming swords to rapiers.

    It's not about being macho, it's about training the best you can. Think about training in ANY OTHER sport. If you want to run a 10K marathon, you don't practice running a 5k and expect to able to do your best a running the full 10k. You instead practice running a 20K to prepare for your 10K marathon. If you want to last in 10 round kick boxing match, you don't train for 5 rounds, you train for 20. If you want to throw a shot put further than anyone else, you don't practice with a lighter shot put, you practice with a heavier one. etc...
    Last edited by Chris Fields; 10-15-2007 at 08:51 PM.

  17. #42
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    If you want to be able to lift 50 kg ten times at the gym, would you start with a hundred?
    Anyway as Bogdan said he would be listening to his sensei, and not us.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
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    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    I apologize, but the last two post reiterate what I was talking about. Working with a heavier weight Iaito from the beginning trains your body to get used to a proper weighted sword. Training with a lighter blade will cause you to develope technique for a lighter blade. When it comes time to move to a heavier blade, the same technique will possibly not work. This will cause the problems both of you speak of. The opposite is not true. However, this takes long periods of time, just like any weight training does. Training with a heavier blade is always better to get you used to a real sword. Now, you have to becareful not to get one thats too heavy though.

    If someone is developing problems in there joints, they are probably doing a bad technique, or abusing their joints in some other way.

    Think about how people trained historically, they went from wood to metal at a young age, and the metal swords were the same weight, and some even heavier, than the real swords. They didn't have aluminum alloys in the 1500-1600s.

    Again, I have trained this way in multiple other sword styles. Starting with Chinese Dao, and then some european work from arming swords to rapiers.

    It's not about being macho, it's about training the best you can. Think about training in ANY OTHER sport. If you want to run a 10K marathon, you don't practice running a 5k and expect to able to do your best a running the full 10k. You instead practice running a 20K to prepare for your 10K marathon. If you want to last in 10 round kick boxing match, you don't train for 5 rounds, you train for 20. If you want to throw a shot put further than anyone else, you don't practice with a lighter shot put, you practice with a heavier one. etc...
    True, but there is a risk of over-training, especially in Muay Thai and MMA. if you practice 20 rounds, you will get beaten up just in practice alone(Ask my striking coach!!!) (especially if your instructor really stresses knees in the clinch during sparring!). Like or not, most people who are involved in combat sports most of the time live with injury day in and day out. I think in something like JSA, technique cannot be honed by making your arms stronger. That only mean the sword feels lighter, not that your technique is better. Sometimes, making it harder is not helping, it is harming.
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  19. #44
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    I've handled a variety of Chinese-made steel katanas and the handling of cheaper swords are, well, adequate (I suppose). The more expensive ones ($1,200 range) handle better than their $300 counterparts.

    I've not handled their Iaito.

    However, I've handled stuff from Tozando and Nosyuiaido, (the "Steel Iaito" as well as regular zamac/zinc-aluminum alloy iaito) and the handling is absolutely wonderful.

    I'd encourage you to handle the iaito of both and do a comparison.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Think about how people trained historically, they went from wood to metal at a young age, and the metal swords were the same weight, and some even heavier, than the real swords. They didn't have aluminum alloys in the 1500-1600s.
    They trained with bokken . Normal bokken for repetitive training and suburi bokken for building up force. Not suburi bokken all the time, though.

    You may have trained like this, I'm glad it works for you. However, tendinitis can come easily with repetitive movements, and it's not about weight. I know many IT people that have developped tendinitis because of mouse clicking.

    I really think the training should be realistical as possible. But if you think that a beginner should start with a 1200g shinken with a 6" POB, well, you'll get bad technique and a long bill for physiotherapy. Every sport and martial art is about progression. You start light and then go on as your body gets stronger and your technique and control gets better. The same is true about iaido. Just because you had years of training before going to iaido it doesn't mean that the average beginner's body will take up the abuse as well.

    The idea in iaido is to learn how to wield a shinken. However, this will come after some years of training. Until then, a iaito is good, that's why there are thousands of Japanese practitioners using them They work well.
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  21. #46
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    Comparing Japanese made Iaito to Chinese made ones is false economy - the Japanese ones are simply light years ahead in balance. That is the key.

    Also, if you want to go to Japan to study, you cannot take your steel iaito with you.
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  22. #47
    If you want to be able to lift 50 kg ten times at the gym, would you start with a hundred?
    Anyway as Bogdan said he would be listening to his sensei, and not us.
    Not right away, but you build up to lifting much more than 50Kg.

    Everyone trains a little differently. A real steel iaito, like a dulled practical XL light, is only slightly more heavier than an other more commonly used Iaito, but yet it is a real sword weight. It's not so much heavier that you would have to build up to it. So why not use it if it's closer, if not exact to sword you are cutting with? Again, I believe training with lighter swords gives you a false sense of control and strenght. I have stage combat guys train with me all the time, and they want to get their stage routines down faster. So, I hand them a heavier sword to run through their routines for alittle bit. When they pick up there original stage swords, they are always surprised how lighter they feel because they got used to the heavy sword, and how much faster they can now move. But to each their own.

  23. #48
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    So Mark, decided yet.A funny thing that happens a lot here is that some person asks a question and suddenly he sees a bunch of people with two opinions each discuss between each other.

    But to get back to of topic… ah forget it.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
    Norway
    Kakudokan dojo

    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  24. #49
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    No actually I love when a topic get this much input. Just when you thought you had your mind made up it leaves you with this look:
    Like OMG what do I do now. As long as it doesn't turn into a flame and everybody respects each others right to have input I could read thru these all day. As the saying goes you learn more thru experience and I find the experience of others a most valuable tool.

  25. #50
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    come on guys, iaito come in a range of weights, just as shinken do. iaito does not automatically mean lighter. The Chen Nami is ridiculously light. Try and avoid preconceptions.
    Mark, as others have said, you would be better off with a Japanese made iaito. The balance and fittings will be better and it will last longer. The weight is less important than balance and length. Ignore the BS about training with a heavy blade. it is more important to learn what you are doing correctly than to build muscles for some imagined future need. the strength you need will come with practice. no need to rush. train with what your sensei tells you to use.

    Dave
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

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