Post Reply Weapon training
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18 / M / Chalky Woods
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Posted 7/5/13
What texts would be recommended for self-teaching weaponry? I have read texts on basic grips and stances for katana and german longsword, but am hard pressed to find more in depth writings on the subject both irl and online. Information about any martial style is welcome here, as the aim is to create a pool of general knowledge on weaponry for those self-taught and struggling like myself.

I will start with what swing methods I have learned. (Excuse me on names, I never get to use/see them)

The hand and a half longsword's two-handed grip is with the dominant hand close but not touching the cross guard and the off-hand on the pommel. When swinging the arms are to be out stretched without locking joints (not perfectly straight). The distance between hands is to create a lever action while swinging, the sword the "lever" and its fulcrum between the two hands. This motion generates more velocity than simply swinging by itself.
A passing step further increases the blade speed by adding the torso's pivot to those of the shoulders and "lever."

The katana also uses a two-handed grip, but has ample space for both hands unlike the hand and a half. Thus the top hand can be placed further from the cross guard. The same actions above can be applied but there is one crucial difference which almost doubles the katana's force over the longsword: loose fingers. Ideally only the pinkies should actually grip the handle, the rest relaxed around it. This lets the blade's own momentum pivot it as you swing. The grip should be so the katana does not fly away, but also so that its natural motion/momentum is unhindered mid-swing.
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Posted 7/5/13
People always tell me that when you want to learn a different language, the best way to do it is to expose yourself to it, by living in that country.
Basically, fuck reading and start cutting people up.
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22 / M / Perth
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Posted 7/5/13
If your self teaching, your technique is going to be a bit broken compared to a practitioner of the art. I'm speaking from experience here since i did sword training and when I went to a proper dojo there were so many things missed. Even looking at youtube videos or reading books you are going to miss vital points. So I would recommend going to your local martial arts practitioner.
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28 / M / London, England
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Posted 7/5/13

haikinka wrote:

People always tell me that when you want to learn a different language, the best way to do it is to expose yourself to it, by living in that country.
Basically, fuck reading and start cutting people up.


It's scary how right you are.

The reason why schools dojo's and training exists is because it's the hand me down of knowledge and practices of people who, in effect. Have cut people up.

It's practical and applied knowledge from people who have used and learned ways that work for them in inflicting harm/defending and killing others.

So .. please don't cut anyone up. go to a school.
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33 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 7/5/13
What gambit said basically,

If you seriously want to learn how to use weapons, find a school that teaches you.
Do not just learn them from sources like books or youtube videos.
Not only will your technique be off, but there's another extremely important aspect you need to take in account and that is safety.
You are wielding a weapon, an item that can potentially hurt you or others close to you and not to forget any property damage which may come from inexperienced use.

Not only will a teacher teach you techniques, he will also teach you how to use a weapon responsibly and safely.
Posted 7/5/13
Work on your flexibility and you're good to learn anything and you don't need a school that teaches weapons if you follow instructions well enough
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18 / M / Chalky Woods
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Posted 7/5/13

gambit99 wrote:

If your self teaching, your technique is going to be a bit broken compared to a practitioner of the art. I'm speaking from experience here since i did sword training and when I went to a proper dojo there were so many things missed. Even looking at youtube videos or reading books you are going to miss vital points. So I would recommend going to your local martial arts practitioner.


There are few practitioners in my area, specialising in kendo and hand to hand, but no western styles. This is why I have to learn from texts and swinging a practice weapon on my lawn. A friend has experience fencing saber among other CQC styles (I've tried fencing but the style is too different from two-handed weapons to apply), so I've asked him to help train as I am aware there is only so much to learn through theory. The point I want elucidated most is defensive measures, since the stances only gave me a vague idea.
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31 / M / US
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Posted 7/5/13
Self teaching is not a good way to go about things, especially at first. Someone with skill and experience may be able to learn a new trick or two by watching it, but you cannot learn how to fight without real-world training. Could you ride a bike by reading a book about it? No. Could you drive a stickshift without learning to feel the clutch? No. You have to know how each action feels (and you won't know if it feels "right" unless someone tells you). You need to get hit in training to learn where your openings are. You need significant practice to get the orientation of the blade correct (a slight angle of the wrist is the difference between cutting your target and chipping your sword).

So if you want to become knowledgeable about weaponry, that is easy to do through books. A good library will likely have shelves of books on the topics you want (look for military history). Books can tell you how a weapon was used, what periods it was used in, how it was manufactured, its role on the battlefield, what made it popular, etc.

Actually USING a weapon requires a great deal of real-world practice and instruction (normally in the 4-5 year range to get half-way decent). That's the real reason swords are obsolete in the military - it takes 4 weeks to train a competent rifleman but four years to train a competent swordsman. There is a great deal of finesse required that just can't be shortcut.

And as far as your recount of your information, it is kind of wrong. It would take a long time to explain how it is wrong, but it is. The body produces the energy, the placement of the hands exists to keep the sword in your hands and give you the best possible dexterity. A broadsword/longsword/bastard sword will be sharpened to a cleaving (not razor sharp) edge and the motion of your hands will do little to add to power. The heaviest usable swords in history have come in around 6 lbs (with ornamental swords weighing more) but most swords used in battle came in around 3-4 lbs. The weight of the sword will not add significant power and may even bounce off a soft target. The whole body is used to generate power and footwork must be properly linked with the swordwork in order to be effective. It is actually quite common for sword schools to spend months on footwork alone before you even hold a sword.

So if you want to learn how to use a weapon, look around for schools. If you're interested in the topic, reading is fine. Don't kid yourself into thinking one is a substitute for the other.

I know this because I had four years of private lessons in my youth (I specialized in Kendo, but also learned foil, epee/rapier, broadsword and greatsword techniques. There are only so many ways the human body can move and once you learn one style really well it is easier to adopt others).
CaelK 
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Posted 7/5/13 , edited 7/5/13

Ffastyl wrote:
There are few practitioners in my area, specialising in kendo and hand to hand, but no western styles.


... I will say that I've seen a few videos of reconstructed longsword techniques, and some of it looked really similar to what I've seen with the katana. They're both straight (or mostly straight), bladed instruments after all.

I personally gave kendo a shot and decided it wasn't for me. Might be for you, who knows, though if I had the luxury of choosing (again) what to take up to learn the sword, I'd look for a koryu of some sort. If I were lucky enough to have one by me...
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