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Thread: Recomendations on good Iaito for long duration practices

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickA View Post
    Bob Elder's classes and Mike Femal's classes all spring from the same "well" so to speak. Mitsuo Hataya sensei.
    They may have "sprung" from the same well so to speak but it would seem that Mike has expanded somewhat. Bob's class teaches strictly cutting techniques. I am only coming to this conclusion from having attended the class and talking to him and some of the other members.
    Mike Femal's facility looks to take sword training beyond just the cutting training. Unless I am reading something on his homepage wrong.:
    http://www.toyamaryu.org/DojoFlyer.htm
    These are direct quotes from his web page:
    "This is your chance to get hands-on training in authentic Japanese Swordsmanship."
    "Toyama Ryu is based on the practical application of the sword as a weapon. It consists of basic cutting techniques, basic kata, advanced two man kata and a variety of specific cutting patterns."
    "Classes cover every aspect of Japanese swordsmanship. You will learn the framework of the art through kata, kumitachi, and tameshigiri cutting forms of Toyama Ryu. "
    I am anticipating from this more of what I am looking for in JSA.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickA View Post
    If you are interested in attending the Orlando class, show up and train.
    The class isn't free. To start training I have to pay and I haven't been able to get anything from Bob on what I would need to do next. As I said until I'm sure which class I prefer or if I can juggle both dojos in a trainging cylce I am holding off on pursuing the matter further.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickA View Post
    ..show up and train. If Elder sensei doesn't want you there, you'll know it.
    Why, is public humiliation part of the ritual? Why not just answer the e-mail.

  2. #77
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    never mind.


    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Drawdy; 10-17-2007 at 09:14 PM. Reason: redundant
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark p. smith View Post
    They may have "sprung" from the same well so to speak but it would seem that Mike has expanded somewhat. Bob's class teaches strictly cutting techniques. I am only coming to this conclusion from having attended the class and talking to him and some of the other members.
    Elder sensei teaches kata, tameshigiri, kumetachi. Its all part of the Seizan Kai Toyama Ryu. Femal sensei teaches the same.
    Last edited by PatrickA; 10-17-2007 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Edited because I was rude.
    Patrick Anderson
    slowly learning Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu

  4. #79
    Try both and see what you like better. Sensei Femal also teaches sword maintence classes, such as handle wrapping, tsuka making, sword sharpen, sword polishing, etc. We also do two man techniques and sparring with padded swords and such. Don't know if they do that over in orlando, never been there.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Try both and see what you like better.
    That was my intention. As I said, I would like to be involved in tameshigiri but my real interest is in the sword handling techniques as shown in such videos as this (I am only using these as examples):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9YIn...elated&search=
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs-uRHtQaDQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpJB9...t%20Blissfield

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    We also do two man techniques and sparring with padded swords and such. Don't know if they do that over in orlando, never been there.
    No, they do not which is what I have been trying to emphasize in these last couple of post. I was told in Bob's class by the members that they do not do that type of training. Hence the reason for coming to St. Pete. This way I can get tameshigiri training during the week and the rest on my weekend trips to St. Pete.

  6. #81
    Are you sure? If you only went to one class, you may have not seen everything they do. I think the classes would be quite similar.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Are you sure? If you only went to one class, you may have not seen everything they do. I think the classes would be quite similar.
    Hi Chris;
    I got there early and was talking with one of the older members for a while regarding the class and then with some others after the class. While I'm sure they do some sword care and maintenance there training is strictly centered around Tameshigiri. I asked quite a few times to be sure because I am so interested in the other training and handling aspects of JSA. They only meet twice a week. Tuesdays and Fridays. The Tuesday class is usually around 1-1/2 hours and only involves doing sword strikes and cuts for the cutting. They try to get some actual cutting time in for the students that can't make it on Friday nights. The Friday night class is 2 hours. One hour for practice movements and one hour for all approved students to do cutting. This is the class I attended.

    BTW...How large is the actual "training" facility at Nihonzashi? At the Orlando dojo they had an Aikido class going on at the same time so they where pretty packed in.

  8. #83
    They have a pretty nice size area, they run the sword shop and such up front and the training floor is just behind that. It is alittle smaller than the aerobics rooms and dance floors I teach my Kun Tao Kung Fu classes at, but it is nice. The only thing they really need, which they should be getting soon, is some nice size mirrors up.

  9. #84
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    Looking at the japanese Iaitos, are there any suppliers or manufacturers that I should stay away from?

  10. #85
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    When thinking about the Japanese iaitos you won’t go wrong with any of them. Its quality is overall good in all of them. The prices are all about how expensive you want the fittings and how much metal you need and how long the tsuka is. Look around and know that the quality is good enough. That’s the rule but exceptions exist here to.
    I am sure some has had a bad experience and some have other opinions in it. But I think almost everyone agrees to that it is good quality. I fell for swordstore because of the big choose in fittings.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
    Norway
    Kakudokan dojo

    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    They have a pretty nice size area, they run the sword shop and such up front and the training floor is just behind that. It is alittle smaller than the aerobics rooms and dance floors I teach my Kun Tao Kung Fu classes at, but it is nice. The only thing they really need, which they should be getting soon, is some nice size mirrors up.

    Hey Chris;
    Just pulled up your facility on Earth Google for some visual driving references. If earth google got the right address those large white tanks will really help.
    BTW...Does the dojo and store take up that entire building or just part of it?
    Building is long and narrow with a wider center section. Did I get the right location?

  12. #87
    Sounds right, they are just one section of the strip mall.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    When moving to cutting, I will not need to adjust to a new sword, nor be surprised by a heavier sword.
    Where do you train again Chris? My experience has shown that at cutting seminars the number of cuts with a shinken are a mere fraction vs the number done in regular iai or kenjutsu training. There is little to no adjustment required...more the psychological factor that you're actually cutting something.

    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.
    False. Iaito are generally lighter to preserve people's joints and tendons. Few people in this modern era start swordplay at very young ages, and thus do not develop the muscles required to prevent damage to their joints, tendons etc. etc. Thus swinging something heavy around from the get-go is potentially dangerous. There is no false sense of security here.

    Iaito are simply a necessary next step after the bokken in some styles before a shinken to allow for people's techniques to prosper correctly and their body to adjust.

    Besides, when cutting, the sword's weight has nothing to do with it...it's all technique. Or should be.

    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.
    Utterly false. Where are you deriving your experience from? In no sport or discipline do you go from crawling to flying. If sufficient time to develop the required physicality to do the proper movements is not allowed for, then your technique will be garbage. Period. If your technique is also sound using a lighter blade then it won't matter if you cut with a heavier sword. So long as the technique holds up you will cut.

    There are no seperate techniques for heavier and lighter blades, at least not in JSA that I've ever heard of. You are trained the same regardless of weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    If someone is developing problems in there joints, they are probably doing a bad technique, or abusing their joints in some other way.
    False. Doing movements however correct the technique is with an object beyond a person's physical ability will cause injury. THAT'S WHY WE USE IAITO.

    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.
    You do realize this is the year 2007 right? Again, show me how many people here have started swordplay of any type at 6 years of age. If not, then you must surely understand that this is a new movement for people's bodies to adjust to. Most JSA'ers start their discipline as fully grown adults, and the movements can be tough on all of their joints. So you cannot compare the two era's. There is no comparison there. That is why those of us with day jobs like to protect our bodies so we can still work and also enjoy our hobbies.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    It's not about being macho, it's about training the best you can.
    I don't think your ideology supports the best way to train. I think starting off doing something that your body is simply not adapted for will greatly increase your chance of immediate injury, and almost guarantee you for injuries down the road.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    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...
    You're forgetting EVERY step before your examples. Marathon runners will run for 1 minute, then walk for 1 minute, and increase until they are running constant for their goal distance. This happens over months and months. A person does not wake up one morning, decide to run a marathon, and go for a 5 km, 10 km, or a 20 km run. Rubbish. They build up slowly to prevent injury by allowing their bodies to adjust.

    The same goes with ALL of your other sports related examples. You have completely skipped over the fact that there is months and sometimes years of build up to allow the body to acquire the physical ability to perform at a competition level.

    So what this all comes back to, is that training with a heavier sword is going to make you a lot more prone to injury. And what is the point? Your techinques will be exactly the same should you use an iaito that is suited to your body and feels comfortable.

    Japanese iaito generally are of better quality than their chinese counter parts. There is no debate to this. Japan is the home of nihonto, do you really think that another country is going to top them when it comes to their own heritage?
    - What really scares the heck out of me is that stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones.

  14. #89
    Understand what I am saying before you say it is false.

    I don't think you will disagree with me, nor state what I am saying is false, if you understand what I am saying. Btw, I have 17 years experience in martial arts and close to same in different style of swordsmanship.

    I never said people should train with a sword that is too heavy for them, or over their limit.

    I never said people should jump into heavy training, yes you need to easy into it. The swords I am talking about are just slightly heavier, and yes they are closer to a real shinken wieght, in fact the one in particular I was speaking of, is a real shinken, just dulled down. There is no need to easy into it because the weight difference is not that much. And you easy into by your training, not by your sword weight.

    What I am saying is alot of the iaito out there, are just way to light, some are around only 1 lb or even less. These can be lighter than even a boken. A normal person can handle a 2 lb to 3 lb sword with no problem, so why not use it? Why, I believe it is because alot people want to take the easy way out and not train their bodies to their full potential. This is happening in more than just Japanese swordsmanship.

  15. #90
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    What I am saying is alot of the iaito out there, are just way to light, some are around only 1 lb or even less.
    Are you sure you aren't including kid's iaito in this? 550g is the lightest I could find on Tozando for example, and that is specifically for kids. The Learner and other basic models go up to 820g. Most of the "better" models are right at about 1000gm. Swordstore is about the same.

    So, I don't think many adults are using a 550g iaito. Most are right in there at the 820-1000g range. Perhaps there is a medical reason why someone would want a lighter sword, which is fine. It is their training. The vast majority of Japanese iaito being offered for sale to adults, however, are not 550g. (Maybe some of the other non-Japanese companies are selling lighter iaito...I don't pay much attention to them so I wouldn't know.)


    Why, I believe it is because alot people want to take the easy way out and not train their bodies to their full potential.
    I'm not sure I understand the thinking behind this statement. Why would someone not interested in learning how his or her body can efficiently use a sword take up such an esoteric art in the first place? If you want the easy way out, just don't show up to the dojo in the first place, no? It seems like more work to train incorrectly with the wrong weapon for your body.

    If you are training in a legitimate dojo, I would think you are using the sword that is appropriate for you. You have your teacher's guidance, not to mention a network of seniors, ensuring that you're training with what you should be. You've handled their blades and know what you should buy and where you should buy it.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 10-20-2007 at 02:13 PM.

  16. #91
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    Is not using your full potential up to the point that your body won’t handle it any more? Witch means using a too heavy sword is above your potential, yet. Your potential will increase in parallel with careful and correct training.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
    Norway
    Kakudokan dojo

    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  17. #92
    Even the 1000 gm model equates to only 2.2 lbs, that for me is still light, I can see that being great for others.

    The iaitos I was refering too specifically were the paul chen ones, I believe they are lighter than the japanese ones that went up too 1000 gm.

    "Is not using your full potential up to the point that your body won’t handle it any more? Witch means using a too heavy sword is above your potential, yet. Your potential will increase in parallel with careful and correct training."

    Nope.

    I say people want to take the easy way out of training, because I see it all the time. Again, this is what I personally see, and doesn't apply to everyone. A good example of this, is some one is running through a form several times, and then complain, "my 2 lb sword is too heavy, I need a lighter sword". I believe this person should be trying to train his body for the weapon, instead of changing to an unrealistically light weapon to fit his body, so he should be saying "Oh, I need to keep working with this sword more to get use to it". Make sense?

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post

    I say people want to take the easy way out of training, because I see it all the time. Again, this is what I personally see, and doesn't apply to everyone. A good example of this, is some one is running through a form several times, and then complain, "my 2 lb sword is too heavy, I need a lighter sword". I believe this person should be trying to train his body for the weapon, instead of changing to an unrealistically light weapon to fit his body, so he should be saying "Oh, I need to keep working with this sword more to get use to it". Make sense?
    Chris, it seems to me you are uncapable of understanding that probably the fact that you have some 10 years behind you in other forms of martial arts and fencing makes you much more phisically prepared than the average iaido beginner. Maybe you have the technique of somebody who's been training for 1 year, but you may have the joints and tendons of somebody who's been doing it for 10.

    What I find bizzarre is why you don't understand that giving beginners advice based on your very particular situation, exposes them to risks. Risks of physical injuries and of learning bad technique. I have heard that all the time, peoiple using improper training tools (iaitos too heavy, too light or too short). IMHO you should more considerate about what is the part of your experience that can be applied to others too, and about the advice that you give.
    Last edited by Bogdan M.; 10-21-2007 at 03:53 AM.
    Against ignorance, gods themselves struggle in vain.

  19. #94
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    A good example of this, is some one is running through a form several times, and then complain, "my 2 lb sword is too heavy, I need a lighter sword".
    What do the teacher and seniors have to say when they hear this?

    Make sense?
    Everybody has different concepts of what training is all about and different paradigms. If the person says this on the first day it is quite different from a person training for a few years feeling twinges of pain saying, "Man, this isn't working for me. Maybe I should talk to Sensei about getting a lighter blade."

    Plus, if that person if practicing conscientiously and sincerely, how is that the easy way?

    When I first started iaido, I used a 2.5 (I'm 6'1") shaku sword. While I don't do formal iaido anymore, I still train in swordsmanship. The sword I use to practice with now is between 2.4 -2.45. It feels much more natural for me. Plus, I've had off and on issues with my elbow throughout training, and the heavier blade would actually cause me to miss training with more injury. (I train in naginata also, and that sucker is heavy. The last thing I want to do is compound problems with a heavy sword.)

    I pull out my old sword every now and again and it feels a bit clunky. Now, I could probably get more used to the 2.5, but why? Training isn't about using the heaviest or longest weapon you can. This may not have anything to do with realizing potential. It's about efficient training with longevity. You want to be doing this stuff when you're 80, so yes you push your body, but not to the point of burning out or injury. I think the idea is that a bit pain is fine and didactic but injury is not something you want.

    Kevin Cantwell
    Last edited by K. Cantwell; 10-21-2007 at 06:46 AM.

  20. #95
    Oh my lord people, read my posts!

    I was talking about iaito that are so light, that they are lighter than even boken. That, to me, is too light.

    Everyone starts with a boken, so why would drop to a lighter sword?


  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    I was talking about iaito that are so light, that they are lighter than even boken. That, to me, is too light.

    Everyone starts with a boken, so why would drop to a lighter sword?

    ..because it's not supposed to be muscle workout? Just kidding.

    With most bokken you have a balance that's nothing like it should be, no grip worth mentioning, no bo-hi to give audible feedback, and so on. I've heard (no personal experience) that you can get heavier Japanese iaito, too, without altering the length of the blade; possibly by using heavier material for the blade, and altering mihaba and kasane?

    I use a carbon steel iaito/mogito myself, I like how it balances and feels in use, but there's much more to it than just the weight. The tsuka is selfmade, with a full same wrap and silk tsukamaki, so it's durable and shaped exactly (well, best I could make it) for my hands. As a contrast, one of my instructors has an aluminum/zinc iaito which weighs something like 0.4-0.5kg, which is ridiculously light. Further, I find that the shaping of JP-made iaito makes it difficult for me to get a good grip (my fingers are long-ish). But that's just me. Also, the kata we do (Muso Shinden Ryu) are hardly meant for cutting, so there is no actual need to "upgrade" to a shinken.
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    I say people want to take the easy way out of training, because I see it all the time. Again, this is what I personally see, and doesn't apply to everyone. A good example of this, is some one is running through a form several times, and then complain, "my 2 lb sword is too heavy, I need a lighter sword". I believe this person should be trying to train his body for the weapon, instead of changing to an unrealistically light weapon to fit his body, so he should be saying "Oh, I need to keep working with this sword more to get use to it". Make sense?
    Most people will start with a bokken, then iaito and then shinken. You start with a lighter one upgrade to a heavier, and then to the real thing. This has something to do with building the correct techniques in terms of sharp edge and to the building of the correct muscles.

    If this person thinks his sword is too heavy, it most likely is. Sure, it is possible to adopt your body to it over time, but it is with a curtain danger of harming your wrist or elbow, witch I am sure you agree to.
    It would be much better if you said I agree with you on the danger of damaging your wrist or elbow and that you then begin with a lighter weapon when the first sign of it occurs. But my opinion is that it is much better to practice the correct techniques with a lighter weapon, because you are going to upgrade to a heavier weapon in later times anyway. You don’t have a hurry today. As Cantwell said, you want to do this till the day you become senile. Doing this the fastest way with much danger to your body and technique; I don’t se the point.
    But everyone is different, thank god.
    Steffen W. Gjerding
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    Yup lousy English, sorry…

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fields View Post
    Oh my lord people, read my posts!

    I was talking about iaito that are so light, that they are lighter than even boken. That, to me, is too light.

    Everyone starts with a boken, so why would drop to a lighter sword?

    Hey Chris,

    I think Bogdan M. brought a good point into perspective that kind of reflects where you are at in training. Using both our past examples regarding progression in a sport/activity, given your experience you're already at point D, but have naturally progressed through A, B, and C. So it may be difficult for you to see why a person continues to use a lighter training tool.

    Also, who do you know that is using a lighter sword? Are you fully aware of the conditions surrounding that person's decision to use a lighter iaito? Not everyone is built the same physically, nor starting swordplay at an early enough age to allow their joints to adapt in enough time.

    Another important point is in the above quote, you say..."that to me, is too light". Well choosing an iaito or a shinken is a very personal thing. Sometimes one aspect of it is sacrificed in order to gain another (style vs weight, for example). The point is that what's good for one person, may not be for another. Since this is opinion based and there are many physical and potential medical conditions surrounding the choice of an iaito, it's not fair for you to condem someone's choice. Especially since you're body is very well adapted to these conditions...others may not be.

    I think if you go on the idea that not all those who "play with swords" are built equally, then you may be able to better accept that some people just need lighter iaito.
    - What really scares the heck out of me is that stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones.

  24. #99
    Great posts!

    Timo - When you did you full wrap, did you place some wood shims on the front and back of the same before wrapping it prevent the same from scaring up the wrap? Just curious, I am still up in air wether to replace just the panels or the do a full wrap. Thanks

  25. #100
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    Now that where back on track for this thread, has anybody every bought from this supplier?

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