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Katsujinken

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Everything posted by Katsujinken

  1. I'm kicking myself because I did not think the scrape the subdomain originally. I will see if I can pull it from archive.org this weekend. For the nerds out there: I'm using wget from the command line.
  2. Hi Ray, thanks so much. I also pulled a complete archive of the content just in case it might be needed down the line (but not the high resolution photos, to be clear). I’m also happy to provide any of this to Ted or anyone connected with the family. I don’t have a specific need right now, I was just looking to casually browse and in general I’m looking out for the future.
  3. I thought of Darcy today and thought I’d visit his site, but it appears to be gone. Does anyone have any more information about what will come of Darcy’s scholarship and the fruits of his photography collaboration with @Ted Tenold? Here’s hoping all of this great work is not lost.
  4. Hi Jeremy, I recommend you post photos of the nakago as well. Good luck!
  5. I’m with the other Michael on this one guys. The “ichi” on the nakago (both of them!) do not look right to me. It’ll probably clean up nice and maybe even be profitable for the buyer, but I do not believe this is any variety of Ichimonji.
  6. Trust in Ray! I do not see a hagire either. It’s a very specific fatal flaw.
  7. So. Many. Threads. About. This. In terms of training tools, it’s never been a better time for serious students of Japanese sword arts. Do some searching and you’ll find good advice elsewhere on this forum. No, never use an antique. Yes, Evolution Blades are the best modern “non-Japanese” swords. Here’s an article you might find helpful: https://www.brooklynbattodo.com/reading/5-6-2021/how-to-buy-a-real-sword
  8. Oh I totally glossed over the time element! Apologies. Yeah, that’s a lot of cardio — but with proper technique the joints should be okay.
  9. Your best option would be to keep an eye on these sites: http://giheiya.com/shouhin_list/japanese_sword/iaiyoushinken.html https://www.e-sword.jp/iai.htm
  10. I know the owner of Evolution Blades well. They are definitely the best non-traditional option for serious martial arts use available today. They’re not cheap, but eventually if you are a serious student Hanwei/Paul Chen/etc. simply won’t cut it (no pun intended). As others have said, you should be able to assemble one for less than $3k as long as you don’t go crazy with the fittings. But the overall quality is excellent, including assembly and finishing. I strongly recommend these blades for those who cannot afford or do not want to use a shinsakuto. Evolution Blades can customize every aspect of the blade if you are qualified to make such decisions, and they offer a good variety of steels to choose from. Most “off the rack” factory made blades have extremely bad proportions and balance, making them a poor training tool.
  11. I archived every email exchange I had with Darcy over the years because he was always so generous with his time and knowledge. What a loss. Heartfelt condolences to everyone, especially those closest to him.
  12. Yep, Wise is very good but it is persnickety as others have noted.
  13. Darcy Brockbank or Mike Yamasaki.
  14. Phenomenal outcome in every way.
  15. This is correct. Unless you are practicing an art that calls for a longer katana (e.g. Shin Shin Ryu) or a shorter katana (e.g. Ryushin Shouchi Ryu) the kissaki should just barely hover above the ground when the sword is held at your side in a relaxed grip. As someone else mentioned these details are usually prescribed by the style of swordsmanship you are studying. Where do you live Barrett? Perhaps we can put you in touch with a qualified dojo.
  16. Connoisseur’s is in print, but it’s admittedly not cheap at $75: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1568365810/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_YG3K7NHBJK914PKWBCV8
  17. Tennis elbow and joint problems in the upper body within the context of swordsmanship signal that the lower body is not sufficiently connected. No upper body conditioning on its own is sufficient to prevent injury from overuse when you’re swinging a 30+ inch length of steel thousands of times at speed. Even aluminum iaito can cause problems over time if the lower body and tanden are not sufficiently engaged. Slow, loaded suburi with a 3-4 pound tanrenbo should be part any sword curriculum, not to build pure upper body strength, but rather to teach the body to use the lower body for power generation. With a base level of appropriate conditioning (for swordsmanship) the upper body transmits power. This is a massive oversimplification of course—I’m just sharing some concepts that I hope contribute to the thread. And the flexbar is an amazing thing! Highly recommended for tennis elbow. Edit: when used properly a suburito/tanrenbo will not cause tendinitis. But as Mark has intimated, you do need a foundational level of strength and overall joint health. I wouldn’t work with the tanrenbo until the joint problems are better. Feel free to PM me in the future and I can recommend some resources.
  18. Yes I do think we agree overall! I would only add/clarify that upper body strength alone, without proper development of the legs and tanden, is insufficient and will 1) fail as the body ages, and 2) lead to poor technique overall. Western athletic science is an important/accretive component of holistic kenjutsu training, but one must also focus on specifically developing the role of the tanden in sword work, specifically connecting the spine and arms to power from the legs. The role of the upper body is the transmission of power that is generated below. This isn’t highfalutin martial arts fantasy, it just hasn’t been merchandised well and frankly is offered by very few qualified instructors/dojos. Simply “swinging” the sword is not correct, nor is it enough.
  19. The only thing I would add to Mark’s excellent post is that “strength” for the sword is not the same as strength in the traditional western sense. You need to be careful not to bulk up your shoulders and chest too much. The power to wield and support the sword should come from the legs and through the tanden once a base level of upper body conditioning has been achieved. Hida Harumichi said the power of the kissaki is in the base of the big toe. Musashi had a similar point of view on the role of the legs in swordsmanship. Ultimately internal practices are the way to longevity with the sword.
  20. 1mm blade thickness at the deepest point of the bohi seems like a deep bohi to me given a 5mm sakikasane. My sword has a 70cm nagasa and also has a 5mm sakikasane. If memory serves my bohi is only about .5-1mm deep (on each side, of course). But again these are all interrelated variables and craftsmen make choices for different reasons (theoretically balancing all the variables discussed above against the intended use for the sword).
  21. This is a great thread, and an issue of ongoing concern and bewilderment for those of us who practice a sword art. I struggled with this decision myself awhile back and conducted similar research. Mark's responses above are fantastic. As he said, adding a bohi will sacrifice some flexural rigidity in exchange for a proportionally outsized gain in agility via a reduction in weight and changes in balance. About 40% of nihonto katana have bohi, and I haven’t been able to detect much of a pattern. I’ve seen masterpiece blades with kirikomi from fighting with bohi and just as many without across all periods after Heian. I think the idea with bohi is to use it to make a heavier sword as light as an equivalent sword without bohi – so you essentially end up with the same mass but greater maneuverability. It improves the strength to weight ratio, basically. As Mark also said, a tamehagane sword will bend on any cut of sufficient power in which the hasuji is off. My shinsakuto, with very traditional geometry, cuts like a lightsaber when my hasuji is good and I cut with proper technique. If one or both of those elements are off it's a very different story, which is quite a different experience from the ultra-thin optimized "cutters" that are in vogue these days. Re: depth of bohi, the bohi on my shinsakuto, a sword made by Ogawa Kanekuni in 1984, the bohi is quite shallow (and therefore tachikaze is generally low in volume, although an experienced practitioner can easily judge quality of tachikaze regardless of volume). My understanding is that shallow bohi on shinsakuto (relative to modern "shinken" not made with traditional materials or methods) are the norm. Basically, anecdotally speaking, bohi on real shinsakuto are shallower than on mass market swords intended for use in "iai". I realize I haven't added much substance to Mark's already excellent contributions, but hope this is helpful in some small way.
  22. Fantastic responses from Jean and John. One important distinction/clarification for Michael from the UK: when Nakamura Sensei and I mentioned "depth" of the hamon, we were referring to its "height" from the ha to towards the shinogi. Other references after that to actual blade construction (i.e. the arrangement of kawagane and shingane, how "deep" the hamon "penetrates" blade structure, etc.) are also extremely important to understand, but these are distinct ideas.
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