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tatsujin
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 162

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2022 5:18 pm    Post subject: Need a reality check ("playing" with a live blade) Reply with quote

So, an old student of mine sent me a video of someone (who will remain nameless) who had done a training video on the use of the knife. At the beginning of the video, this person pulls out what appears to be a fixed blade (single edge) in a tanto style that is about 5" long (just the blade). He states on the video that it is insanely sharp and then begins to wave it all around his uke's arm, chest and neck! Over and over for a little over an hour, he is just waving the thing around like it is a toothpick or something.

The email response back to my old student was to run from this idiot and don't look back! This is not some kid trying to make himself look "cool". This is a guy my age or a little older. And, he carries a hanshi title in karate. My old student apparently did not agree with my assessment of the guy (which makes me seriously question HIS judgment now!).

So you good folks here give me a reality check...am I wrong here? I am ALL about reality based training. But playing with a live blade to, seemingly, make a video is NOT what I am about. I am not going to tell you that I haven't worked with live blades and other people before, but it was under a very specific set of circumstances with a tremendous amount of checks in place to reduce any and all risk. And it wasn't done to make a training video.

What say you?
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For me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body. Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not having seen the video, and therefore having only the context you have provided, means that we cannot provide a totally accurate assessment. That said, I agree that live knives should not be used in partner demonstrations. There's no reason to use a live knife in a live demo other than to add a bit of drama and suspense to the video while putting your uke in not a small amount of danger. The risks outweigh the rewards.
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Martial arts training is 30% classroom training, 70% solo training.

https://www.instagram.com/nordic_karate/
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2646
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only times that I consider live blade work to be reasonable are solo practice, cutting practice, and careful partnered training in armor (eg. HEMA).

In solo practice, it forces you to be very aware of the blade, and really cements the seriousness of blade work.

In cutting, you obviously need a sharp edge to be able to cut your targets, but this also ties into solo practice.

In HEMA, there are a number of techniques that are intended to be worked from "the bind," which is when two blades are physically crossed with each other (sort of like kakie), but blunt weapons don't "stick" to each other the way sharp ones do, because the edges can't bite into each other, so it simply isn't possible to effectively train those methods with blunt blades. The use of armor is pretty standard, though, and care is still taken to avoid accidents.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
Karate Obsession | Arizona Practical Karate
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2022 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
In HEMA, there are a number of techniques that are intended to be worked from "the bind," which is when two blades are physically crossed with each other (sort of like kakie), but blunt weapons don't "stick" to each other the way sharp ones do, because the edges can't bite into each other, so it simply isn't possible to effectively train those methods with blunt blades. The use of armor is pretty standard, though, and care is still taken to avoid accidents.


Practicing bind work is tricky, and I know a lot of clubs (in fact, all that I have been a part of) that don't even bother practicing it. Some disagree with this omitting, but it reduces liability and the situation is just not going to come up in any real way. HEMA, being largely an historical recreation turned into a sport, does not need to practice with live weapons. Some do though, and take great care when doing so.
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