Samurai Swords and The Swordsmiths
Back in the early times of sword manufacture, the production of super strong high-grade carbon steel wasn't even a vague dream. But we know, as history has taught us, that sword makers of ancient times still managed to produce superb quality, strong weapons.
So just how was this possible all those hundreds of years ago? How did these ancient swordmakers manage to craft weapons of such high-quality? What was the secret to this skill of taking poor quality ore and turning it into the finest quality steel blades? Well, it seems the process of Japanese samurai swords making was an highly advanced artform. It wasn't as simple as casting a sword shape with molten steel and sharpening an edge. What the swords makers would do was to hammer the heated and softened steel flat, and fold it over and hammer it flat again, and repeat this process over and over, maybe by upto as much as thirty times.
This was a very long and labor-intensive process, but in the constant folding and hammering of the steel, it would create internally something comparable to layers. Take a book and fold it parallel to the spine, roll it up and you'll see what a swords structure inside would look like, and also see how strength increases. This gave the sword a superior strength. As in much of Japanese culture, like Martial Arts for example, many advancements and ways are attributed to emulating natures ways and by observing natures patterns.
It is sometimes thought by some that the idea for this 'folding' to create the 'rings/layers' inside the samurai sword came about by looking at the cross section of the inside of a tree trunk and observing the way these almost layer like rings of wood gave the tree the strength to stand upto natures forces without breaking very easily, but merely bending with the wind. This is thought by some to be the idea which gave birth to the folded steel concept of Japans samurai swords.
Shigeru Kimura Sensei 9th Dan Tani-Ha Shitoryu Shukokai had a punch that was like getting hit with a cannonball.
One of the 'mystical' aspects of the martial arts has always been the ability to feel another persons intention.
Is Aikido a Martial Art ?
Sensei Henry Ellis Co-Author of the new book Positive Aikido.- 2005. A direct student from 1957 of the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensi 1915 - 1985..
Traditionally, people trained in Martial Arts in order to utilized their skills as a form of attack and defense in both armed and unarmed combat. Today, people train in Martial Arts in order to keep fit, as a form of meditation, to learn self-discipline and as a competitive sport. Although Western culture associates Martial Arts with Asian countries, many countries developed their own Martial Arts as a form of military defense, prior to modern technology. There are many different styles of Marital Arts, such as Ju Jitsu, Tai Chi and Karate. All styles of Martial Arts follow a system of teaching. During teaching, a student is taught a series of forms. These forms, once learnt, help the student to develop a technique that they can then utilize when needed. There are also different levels of training that a student can progress through, once they have mastered the first level.All students must study under a Master of the particular Martial Art that they wish to learn with the hope of one day becoming also a Master. This is the traditional way in which the skills all Martial Arts has been handed down over the generations.
We all have a good foundation in the basic blows and combinations.
This is our last installment on "defining" the parameters of COMBATIVES.
Aikido Philosophy: An Oriental Concept of Energy, Self, and Mind
Why Every Cop Should Study Judo Part 1
Up until 30 years ago, JUDO was the martial art. Then with the introduction of the more mysterious martial arts with more of a "killing" edge to them this coupled with the focus of the USJF/USJI (the leading Judo organizations in the US and the world) focus on Olympic competition and the simple fact that training in judo is painful and to this day, very difficult to get a black belt rank in it, especially if you are in a competitive area. I could probably write another 5 pages on this, but I will stay on point.
Have No Misconceptions
I just received an Email from a woman who has a child (3 year old) and about to have another. Considering my wife is in a similar situation, this question couldn't be more relevant. This idea can be expanded to those of us getting older, injured or of smaller stature. Keep in mind, a little common sense goes a long way.
Eight Simple Rules for Saving Your Life
Let's put the non-lethal fantasy to rest.
Nuts & Bolts of Self Defense
Fundamental "Nuts & Bolts" training for close combat should be directed at dealing with the extremes. That is a life and death struggle for survival, i.e. worst case scenario. Restraint, control, and use of force scenarios and methods are peripheral to this core training. In other words train to deal with these beliefs at the forefront: The enemy is quite willing and capable of killing you - there are multiple threats - they are armed - the assailant(s) are bigger, stronger, faster than you and they CAN FIGHT! Can it get any worse that that? Now add this to the mix: You are physically/mentally exhausted - ill or injured - caught by absolute surprise - may have to protect others as well - no viable avenue of E&E.
Judo Nagewaza (Throwing Technique) In The Street
How practical are throwing techniques (nagewaza) for self-defense or street-fighting? NOT VERY!
Samurai - The Honourable & The Treacherous
The Japanese Samurai were warriors. Highly trained, skilled and efficient killers. Indeed, for many years the Samurai were the law of the land, a class of citizens above all except their Daimyo and the imperial Shogun. The samurai inhabited and roamed a land which was governed by the sword, and the samurai were masters of the sword.
Regular or De-escalated
We always stress that NOTHING occurs in a vacuum. There always exists stepping stones or a progression of events that lead up to a "situation". Whether YOU are AWARE of them or not is not the issue(it should be, but as they say "sh%& happens").
Things to Know About Learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture. It is known to almost everyone what Tai Chi Chuan is all about. Note there: I said "?MAY not be an issue", meaning that there are exceptions, particularly to Chinese who are not born and grown up in China.
"Fronting": The dodge to get in close to you. The frontal assault, as opposed to the ambush.
Are You Still Standing Toe to Toe?
How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, see how much you and your partner move. You will find you move very little or not at all. You see, when you are training, or doing ANYTHING for that matter, you always try to seek the path of least resistance. This is natural and can be viewed as a good thing (more on that later). Because you concentrate on the repetitions and the minutia of the detail, how hard we are hitting, what we look like, you are forgetting the big picture. And its easier to stand in the same spot. I am constantly reminding my guys- MOVE FORWARD!
I Know Karate and Kung Fu and Lots of Other Foreign Words!
Martial arts have become incredibly popular in the US. Drive through any little strip shopping center in nearly any city and you're likely to see a martial arts studio. There are dozens of styles to choose from. Karate, jujitsu, aikido, kung fu, qi gong, taekwondo, tai chi. How did that happen?
Generating More Power from Hip Rotation - Lessons from Martial Arts
One of the important lessons of Martial Arts training is the ability to use hip rotation as a way to generate power and speed for maximum impact.
Expect the Unexpected Grass Hopper
The Myth perpetuated by Self Defense Oriented Martial Arts
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