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Thread: Recomendations on good Iaito for long duration practices

  1. #51
    Training with a heavier sword is not BS. Also just because an Iaito is made in Japan, doesn't make it better. The paul chen ones compare very well with them, and their forges are in china. Again, all I am saying is practice with a sword that is close to what you'll be cutting with. Cutting practice is not an imaginary state.

    Dave, I find that post very disrespectful. Everyone trains differently, I would not call your way of training BS. Yes, balance and length are more important, however, if you learn with a lighter blade, when you pick up a heavier blade, (with the same length and balance) it will be difficult, and you will have to relearn sword and muscle control. However, the opposite is not true.

    Mark, has your Sensei given you advice as of yet? He will point you in the way he wants you go. More than likely, it will be what is most comfortable for you.

  2. #52
    I've handled the low end Paul Chen iaitos, and they don't compare very well with even low end Tozandos / Swordstores at all. The balance was wonky and the fittings awful. I can't speak to the high end Chen iaitos though as I've never handled them.

  3. #53
    I have a 28" Gorin Iaito I am borrowing from a friend. The balance and fittings are great. Even has a silver habaki. However, it's just too light for my taste.

  4. #54
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    ... Also just because an Iaito is made in Japan, doesn't make it better.
    Actually, on average, it does. Consistently better fittings and balance. More options for length and weight. As several others have said here also.
    , ... all I am saying is practice with a sword that is close to what you'll be cutting with. Cutting practice is not an imaginary state.
    nor is it something that requires a lot of strength, just correct technique and good basics. Things you get from practice and attention to detail, not from weight-lifting. If someone's cutting requires more strength than normal forms, something is wrong. I have new students that show up all the time with ridiculously heavy blades that they think are closer to 'real swords' after reading stuff like this. Fifteen minutes of practice and they can barely control it. A waste of money and dojo time. 'BS' too strong? Ok, how about 'your mileage may vary'. Or better yet, ...
    Mark, has your Sensei given you advice as of yet? He will point you in the way he wants you go. ..
    Agreed.

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Drawdy; 10-16-2007 at 09:47 PM.
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Mark, has your Sensei given you advice as of yet? He will point you in the way he wants you go. More than likely, it will be what is most comfortable for you.
    I know I am just asking for trouble by posting this but here goes.......
    I like many other people I notice in here do not have a Sensei. There, I said it.
    I am looking to start practicing some basic moves on my own until I can find a location to train. I am not interested in just doing cutting training. I want to train in more Kenjutsu ( And yes, I know using this word is a very broad discription.) styles using the japanese sword.
    Chris;
    So far the closest facility I have found that offers anything other than cutting classes seems to be the Nihonzashi facility in St. Pete near you. For others that might be interested here is a description of what they offer:
    Orientation: An intro to the dojo, sword safety, dojo etiquette, and the bow in/out ceremonies. This class will also cover putting on the uniform and folding it properly. This class is required for all new students.
    Kihon Keiko (Fundamentals Class): Stance, proper grip, chuburi / noto, the eight cuts, and the basic kata from the Zen Nihon Battodo Renmei (shoden seitei kata). This is for anyone working on improving and not just for beginners.
    Kata Keiko: This class focuses on Kata and kumitachi (one and two person practice forms) needed for your specific rank. Class will break into smaller groups and be taught those kata/kumitachi targeted for your rank.
    Kenjutsu: Blocking drills, and sparring using Action Flex foam swords and safety equipment.
    Marui Keiko (Circular Training): Rotation of Kata, Kumitachi, and Kenjutsu. Kata are individual practice forms from Toyama Ryu and the Zen Nihon Battodo Renmei. Kumitachi are paired practice forms from Toyama Ryu. Kenjutsu involves blocking drills using Fukuro Shinai focused on learning distance, timing, strikes and blocks.
    Tameshigiri: Cutting of tatami and bamboo targets with shinken (real swords). This class focuses on effectiveness. Targets must be reserved 2 days in advance of the class.
    Subarito Keiko: Strength training using heavy wooden swords. Senbon Giri Keiko: Hard core one thousand cut endurance training.
    Sword Craft: This class is dedicated to various sword craft topics such as sharpening, polishing, wrapping, saya carving, lacquering, and casting fittings. Students must pre-register and purchase any required materials.

    I was very sold on the description given for dojo attached here:
    http://www.toyamaryu.org/DojoFlyer.htm

  6. #56
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    While it is ok to do some moves with the bokken on your own, know that this is not JSA. It is doing some moves with the bokken. Go to a dojo, no other way than this to start doing JSA. Well you could get a sensei to your house and learn personally but that is very unlikely.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
    Norway
    Kakudokan dojo

    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  7. #57
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    My intention is to check out the the St. Pete location next weekend and if it works for me it will be an every other or maybe even every weekend trip to the dojo for training all day Saturday. The rest of the time I'll be practicing what I've learned.

    In the words of the immortal Burt Gummer: "Doing what I can with what I got!"

  8. #58
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    I don't like this site.:
    http://www.tozandoshop.com/category_s/100.htm
    They don't show you the blades at all.

  9. #59
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    I've heard that the Zinc-aluminum/alloy blades which the japanese iaitos are made of, does not have as rigid a blade as the carbon steel or stainless steel blades. That they have "wobble" when being swung.
    Is this true?

  10. #60
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    I don't like this site.:
    http://www.tozandoshop.com/category_s/100.htm
    They don't show you the blades at all.
    Ironic....you picked one of the most reputable iaito companies out there. They probably figure their reputation and the linguistic description is enough. I used their most inexpensive model daily (never heard of or experienced this "wobble") for a few years before I gave it away as a gift to a dojomate when he moved to Hawaii. I would imagine it is still serving him well.

    Plus, the point of an iaito is its functionality as a training blade. You see the furniture, know the company is reliable....aesthetics aren't the point of training. (It is, after all, an aluminum training blade....its appearance will be...should be....pretty mundane.)

    As has been said numerous times, best to cut through the analysis paralysis and get yourself a Japanese iaito. Tozando would be an excellent choice.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 10-17-2007 at 06:46 AM.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    I've heard that the Zinc-aluminum/alloy blades which the japanese iaitos are made of, does not have as rigid a blade as the carbon steel or stainless steel blades. That they have "wobble" when being swung.
    Is this true?
    In a word, no. They're just as rigid as steel - almost surely moreso.

    Wobble is usually bad form anyway.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Shultz View Post
    In a word, no. They're just as rigid as steel - almost surely moreso.

    Wobble is usually bad form anyway.
    I agree.

    It can come from overly cheap filmsy blades too (see 700 grams iaitos so called "for beginners").


    But usually it means beginner wild swings+bad form. I can do the same thing with a steel shinken, no problem.
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    I don't like this site.:
    http://www.tozandoshop.com/category_s/100.htm
    They don't show you the blades at all.
    There's not much to see. No "true" yokote, no "real" hamon. The blades are cast and blades are identical for the same line of iaito.

    Whate they're selling you is durable, quality fittings with a good mass distribution. That's what they're showing you
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by K. Cantwell View Post
    Ironic....you picked one of the most reputable iaito companies out there. They probably figure their reputation and the linguistic description is enough. I used their most inexpensive model daily (never heard of or experienced this "wobble") for a few years before I gave it away as a gift to a dojomate when he moved to Hawaii. I would imagine it is still serving him well.

    Plus, the point of an iaito is its functionality as a training blade. You see the furniture, know the company is reliable....aesthetics aren't the point of training. (It is, after all, an aluminum training blade....its appearance will be...should be....pretty mundane.)

    As has been said numerous times, best to cut through the analysis paralysis and get yourself a Japanese iaito. Tozando would be an excellent choice.

    Kevin Cantwell
    O.K., going on faith I started looking at the Japanese Iaitos heavily last night.
    Hey this is fun. I spent half the night converting grams to lbs./ounces and "shaku" (actually had to look that one up on Wikpedia) to mm then to inches.
    I know you shouldn't go on the lowest end that is being sold but their next level is getting up close to the $500.00 mark. So how good are their $260-$300 Iaitos?

  15. #65
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    O.K., going on faith I started looking at the Japanese Iaitos heavily last night.
    I wouldn't go on faith; these companies have been providing exaclty the tool you need to serious practioners in and out of Japan for decades.

    For most students, the choice may be Tozando or Nosyuiaido, or one or another Japanese company. These others probably don't come into play, unless there is an urgent need and the delivery time is too much.

    The "faith" is in companies like Hanwei and such, moving in on what is really as simple as getting hakama and keikogi from a reputable and known company. (For example, Kiyota is one-stop shopping.)

    It seems that Hanwei (and others companies now offering iaito) are creating some discussion traffic here, which you won't get with a reputable Japanese iaito. Just bring it to class for years with no real need for those "How do I fix this?" threads.

    The lower-end Tozando offerings will serve you fine as a beginning student for years. No worries.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 10-17-2007 at 08:21 AM.

  16. #66
    Come on over to the Dojo on saturday, or whenever you can. Call ahead to make sure they know you are coming. Sensei Femal will cover all the basics of the sword with you, and they have about 25 to 30 iaitos on hand that you can try out on your own. He will most likely tell you to get what feels best for you.

  17. #67
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    I'm trying to drive out this Saturday. My wife almost s**t when I told how far I would be driving to do this (125 miles).
    Hey it's not any different than the husband that goes out at 5:00 in the morning and goes fishing all day or the wife that goes out with her girlfreind shopping and lunch most of the day.

  18. #68
    Wow, i didn't know you were that far. I'll be heading out to Halloween Horror nights in orlando on Friday night, so I'll be out in your area.

    Again, call the Dojo, Mike or Sherry are great people and will give you good direction for training.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Wow, i didn't know you were that far.

    Tell me about it. That's why i'm only going to be able to go a couple times a month, maybe 3 if I can squeeze it in.
    There is a listing in the Orlando yellow pages for a "Japanese Sword Classes" but everytime I call there's no answer. So St. Petes the next nearest one.

  20. #70
    Maybe Mike and Sherry will know someone out in orlando that can help you train.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    Tell me about it. That's why i'm only going to be able to go a couple times a month, maybe 3 if I can squeeze it in.
    There is a listing in the Orlando yellow pages for a "Japanese Sword Classes" but everytime I call there's no answer. So St. Petes the next nearest one.
    so did you not talk to Bob Elder-sensei? ECMAS? He is in Orlando.

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

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Drawdy View Post
    so did you not talk to Bob Elder-sensei? ECMAS? He is in Orlando.

    Dave
    Yes I did and I attended one of his classes. His classes deal strictly with Tameshigiri and battojutsu. While I found it very interesting and would like to add it to my training (This is something I would like to do at nights after work) my real desires deffinately lean more in the kenjutsu area which is what the Nihonzashi dojo gears around. They do the tameshigiri as well but a whole bunch more as I have shown in some previous post to this thread.

    On another note, I have e-mailed Bob back asking what I would need to continue in his classes and he has never bothered to respond back.

  23. #73
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    Really? Not sure how you came to that conclusion. The Nihonzashi instructor was one of Bob's students. They were in the same organization, same style, same teachers. As for Bob not 'bothering' to respond, he is the sensei, you are the potential student. Your job to follow up, show up. If you want it, you have to work for it.

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

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Drawdy View Post
    Really? Not sure how you came to that conclusion.
    Which conclusion are you refering to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Drawdy View Post
    As for Bob not 'bothering' to respond, he is the sensei, you are the potential student. Your job to follow up, show up. If you want it, you have to work for it.
    Dave
    Yes and the first time you are invited to the class. After that the sensei tells you wether or not you are somebody he wants in the class, am I not correct. I said that night that I was interested and I would followed up with him in a couple of days to see what I would have to do next. Well I did that and I never heard anything back. As I said before I'm not really pushing it because I am looking for more than just a cutting class and don't yet know if I would have time to commit to both.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    Yes and the first time you are invited to the class. After that the sensei tells you wether or not you are somebody he wants in the class, am I not correct. I said that night that I was interested and I would followed up with him in a couple of days to see what I would have to do next. Well I did that and I never heard anything back. As I said before I'm not really pushing it because I am looking for more than just a cutting class and don't yet know if I would have time to commit to both.
    Bob Elder's classes and Mike Femal's classes all spring from the same "well" so to speak. Mitsuo Hataya sensei.

    If you are interested in attending the Orlando class, show up and train. If Elder sensei doesn't want you there, you'll know it.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

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