Kendo, kenjutsu and HEMA

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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 15 Apr 2012 07:24

scholadays wrote:I assume you have also asked youself why you are stressed?

I'm still musing over your questions. Definitely interesting ones!

scholadays wrote:Lucky, how?

Because:
a) it seems that you have a natural disposition to handle (competition) stress better than average,
or
b) you have already accumulated enough competition experience that allows you more relaxed attitude.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Mink » 15 Apr 2012 10:19

admin wrote:Purely as a piece of trivia I find it very interesting that these two very separate sports have ended up with a safe sparring tool that weighs in at 500g-ish.


In the discussion about weapon weight it's good to keep in mind that the mass distribution is also completely different between a shinai and a sport fencing saber. A shinai's mass is spread more or less uniformly from end to end (while there is apparently some variation depending on type), while sport fencing weapons have their mass concentrated about the hilt. This gives sport fencing weapons a much lighter weight in the blade even though the overall mass might be the same. This makes them easier to accelerate than a shinai, and less dangerous as well. A bigger blade mass is able to make deeper damages, which is part of why kendo protections are a lot more rigid and protective than anything used in sport fencing.

Overall mass is really a poor comparison criteria for weapons so different as these...

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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 15 Apr 2012 13:28

Mink wrote:A shinai's mass is spread more or less uniformly from end to end...

POB of an adult size shinai is 19,5cm from the edge of tsuka (measured without tsuba), 18,5cm with tsuba.

Mink wrote:... while sport fencing weapons have their mass concentrated about the hilt.

POB of a dry, Ukrainian made sabre is 6,5cm from the bell guard.

Mink wrote:... A bigger blade mass is able to make deeper damages, which is part of why kendo protections are a lot more rigid and protective than anything used in sport fencing.

Only once in my life I have experienced some kind of strange feeling in my brain (very mild dizziness?), after being repeatedly - 10-15 times - hit with a shinai over my Olympic fencing mask. Interestingly I have never experienced that feeling during 3 years of free sparring in boxing.
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Kendo and HEMA

Postby NeilG » 15 Apr 2012 16:07

Ulrich von L...n wrote:POB of an adult size shinai is 19,5cm from the edge of tsuka (measured without tsuba), 18,5cm with tsuba.
Wow, so precise. Shinai are made of natural materials and so vary even within examples of the same model from the same manufacturer. Also you are probably looking at cheap practice shinai which are "koto" style and tend to be more evenly distributed. Many people like the "dobari" style where the bulge near the handle is distinctly bigger and the tip smaller which of course brings the balance point back quite a bit. Some sensei like the "chokuto" style which has even more mass towards the tip than the koto and are often quite heavy, 600g or more. Moving from a 510g dobari to a 650g chokuto is quite an adjustment I can tell you! Certain techniques become more difficult to execute as the tip is so sluggish but that straight men up the middle is a thing of beauty. Making one that weighed close to a sword (900 g+) and was balanced similarly would require a big adjustment in technique. controlling the finish would be harder so there would be more pain in receiving for sure.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Mink » 15 Apr 2012 16:36

NeilG wrote:Making one that weighed close to a sword (900 g+) and was balanced similarly would require a big adjustment in technique. controlling the finish would be harder so there would be more pain in receiving for sure.

And this is very relevant for HEMA I think.
In order to physically encourage historical techniques the difficulty of handling must be reproduced which means heavier blades, but these automatically hit harder...

It seems most other weapon arts have rather modified the weapons to have safe impacts, and enforced additional restrictions in hit area and/or form. Sport fencing, kendo, la canne all did that to some degree.

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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby scholadays » 16 Apr 2012 10:12

Ulrich von L...n wrote:
scholadays wrote:I assume you have also asked youself why you are stressed?

I'm still musing over your questions. Definitely interesting ones!

Well, I tended to touch upon these topics when I was coaching - particularly when not coping well with stress could become a safety issue...

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2337&p=89236&hilit=Violent%2C+visceral%2C+emotional+Violent%2C+visceral%2C+emotional#p89236


Ulrich von L...n wrote:Because:
a) it seems that you have a natural disposition to handle (competition) stress better than average,
or
b) you have already accumulated enough competition experience that allows you more relaxed attitude.


Oh, during my younger, sport fencing days I'm sure I probably used to get as anxious about winning as the next man. But ultimately this stress will usually be the the detriment of your performance, so it makes sense to treat the cause rather then the symptom.

And I guess that perhaps folk often try to avoid investigating the cause because this will possibly lead them to an uncomfortable conversation with their Ego.
A lot of knowledge can also be a dangerous thing - in the right hands.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby admin » 16 Apr 2012 11:24

Gordon L wrote:Minimum shinai weight is considerably lower than 510g - that's minimum weight for an adult male's 2H competition 2H shinai. Adult male competition shinai go down to 440g. Adult competition shinai go down to 400g. Competition shinai go down to 260g.


We used to use weighted shinai for longsword sparring, before good nylon swords and feders came along. We bought them from Nine Circles in the UK and they weighed 500g - I know because we weighed them. We added a lead ring to the forte of the 'blade', which took the total weight to 1100g+ and put the point of balance in the right place.

I would not be surprised to hear that lots of sport sabres in use are less than 500g. The Hanwei Hutton's are only about 750g (too light for us), but they feel a lot heavier than most sport sabres I have used.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby admin » 16 Apr 2012 11:28

Mink wrote:Overall mass is really a poor comparison criteria for weapons so different as these...


I completely agree, but overall weight is still interesting.
Real military sabres tend to have their balance points between 4 and 7 inches from the guard. I wonder where most sport sabres balance?
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Lyceum » 16 Apr 2012 12:19

I fence with a Zagunis pro (yes a girls sabre, sue me) and its ridiculously light and awesome in the hand, if that helps. I get some mad shots with him.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 16 Apr 2012 13:59

admin wrote:I wonder where most sport sabres balance?

Don't know about most Olympic sabres, but POB of a dry, Ukrainian made sabre (with a V-shaped blade) is 6.5cm from the bell guard. Regarding electric sabres you have to take into account - probably - a lightweight guard and naturally a guard socket. So I would expect roughly the same POB.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby admin » 16 Apr 2012 14:09

So less than 3 inches, coupled with the light weight that of course makes for a drastically different handling characteristic compared to a real sword.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Gordon L » 16 Apr 2012 14:16

Matt/admin wrote:I completely agree, but overall weight is still interesting.
Real military sabres tend to have their balance points between 4 and 7 inches from the guard. I wonder where most sport sabres balance?


(Apologise if this ends up as a re-post, but my first attempt isn't showing)

The comparable real weapon for an Olympic-rules sabre is either spadroon or Italian duelling sabre.

Cavalry sabres are definitely point-heavier.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 16 Apr 2012 14:19

Neil,
Thanks for the clarification.

I'm not a shinai specialist, never wanted to be one. My figures weren't intended to be included in a definitive & comprehensive shinai PoB article of the future edition of Encyclopaedia Kendoica. They are for beginners who might want to have a general idea about this particular technical parameter.

I have checked one site - http://www.budo-aoi.com - at random, regarding PoB.

shinai_spec.gif
shinai_spec.gif (4.4 KiB) Viewed 14826 times

An example of "koto" shinai: E=63.5cm, C=42mm, weigh of bamboo slats: m=475-485g
An example of "dobari" shinai: E=64.5cm, C=47mm, weigh of bamboo slats: m=480-490g
Another "dobari": E=65.5cm

My cheap shinai is presumably "koto": C=41mm, E=65.7-65.8cm (originally I indicated from another direction PoB 18.3cm).
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Gordon L » 16 Apr 2012 14:34

Gordon L]...510g - that's minimum weight for an adult male's 2H competition 2H shinai...[/quote]

[quote="NeilG wrote:
Gordon you are just flat wrong about shinai weight. It is 510 g for adult males period. The other weights are for women or kids ... for one sword it must be at least 510 g...


Neil, unless you are splitting some sort of hair about the difference between '2H' and 'one sword', it's hard to see the flat-out wrongness of that statement.

The 1h shinai weights are taken from the IKF rulebook.

(Senior youth and youth 2h shinai are repurposings of 1h men and women's shinai, as far as I can tell.)

And, I cannot emphasise this enough - IKF-affiliated competition kendo bods are far from the only JSA people using shinai.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Ulrich von L...n » 16 Apr 2012 14:36

admin wrote:...makes for a drastically different handling characteristic compared to a real sword.

Absolutely.
It is a trade-off: one has got a very fast & safe training weapon, but not very realistic. An Olympic sabre is quite close to the low end of Hungarian duelling sabres (400-600g). With a heavier hexagonal nut it could easily surpass this 400g threshold, but even after that it won't be good enough as a military sabre simulator.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Gordon L » 16 Apr 2012 14:56

NeilG wrote:We don't do strength training traditionally
,

A) modern competition kendo 'tradition' dates back to 1955.

B) the "warm-ups, stretching, toning, strength-training and conditioning that the kendoka use" that I referred to came from "Kendo" by Broderick, Chart & Koo, (New Holland, 2004)

(a book I have recommended in the past to longsword-ers specifically for it's warm-up, stretching, further conditioning sections, plus it's only £8.99).
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/1843305909/ref=sr_1_2?p=S02J&keywords=kendo+british&ie=UTF8&qid=1334583840

I never used the word "traditionally" in my post, but these sorts of activities were certainly part of the class when I did kendo briefly in the '80s, and have been part of the kendo class in other, more recent, classes I have watched, carried out in the same sports halls I use/d for fencing and (non-IKF-rules) JSA.
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Kendo and HEMA

Postby NeilG » 16 Apr 2012 14:57

Well Gordon I admit I didn't catch "2H" as meaning two-handed being that the only kendoka that play single handed are injured or disabled but they too must use those shinai you refer to as 2H. Some play with a sword in either hand (your "1H") but they are very rare (less than 1%). But you also said:

Gordon L wrote:I ended up weighing all the components of my steam sabres a wee while ago, and they ranged from ~330g to ~420g.

The last time i was playing with shinai, all the shinai I used were lighter than the sabre I was using. I don't have any shinai to hand to weigh just now, but the shinai instructors were surprised to discover the sabre was heavier than their shinai. [snip] Competition shinai go down to 260g.
A 260g shinai is a 3.2 which is for kids not yet in school, or the short sword for women's nito players. I've never even personally seen a woman playing nito. You wouldn't be comparing either of those to a sabre. The biggest shinai that might be lighter than your sabre would be a 3.6 at 360g, meant for kids in grade school. Not safe for use by adults. They feel like toothpicks. If you are using those you must be breaking them routinely.

Now I understand that kendoka aren't the only JSA people using shinai but the others tend towards things like fukuro shinai which are even heavier.
Last edited by NeilG on 16 Apr 2012 17:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby NeilG » 16 Apr 2012 16:31

Wow, I wasn't even aware that Jeff and Ed wrote a book. They are primarily iaido people with some kendo - I think Ed is only 3 dan, not sure what Jeff is these days. I'm curious to know what sort of "strength training" you are referring to. Toning as I said before is a nonsense term from a fitness point of view.
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Gordon L » 16 Apr 2012 17:33

admin wrote:...makes for a drastically different handling characteristic compared to a real sword.


Well, it's not meant to be a military sabre simulator - military sabres are point-heavy. Chopping heads off at a gallop is a different task to fencing, after all. Then again, the set of 'real swords' is wider than military sabre.

They are simulators of the spadroon, and the successor to the spadroon, the duelling sabre. Some quintessential spadroons are the British infantry officer's swords from either side of the turn of the 1800s.


Ulrich von L...n wrote:
Absolutely.
It is a trade-off: one has got a very fast & safe training weapon, but not very realistic. An Olympic sabre is quite close to the low end of Hungarian duelling sabres (400-600g). With a heavier hexagonal nut it could easily surpass this 400g threshold, but even after that it won't be good enough as a military sabre simulator.


My current set of (Olympic-rules) steam sabres surpasses the 400g threshold, and if I cherry-picked components for weight, I could easily assemble a 490g steam sabre. (And if I used my electric-competition guard it would tip over the 500g mark, and I'd then have to selecting lighter versions of the other components if I wanted to use in Olympic-rules competition).

(As a by-the-by, my heaviest pommel is my most modern pommel, at a mere 25 years old)

While we're on the topic of kendo (and by extension, kenjutsu) another comparison is my old bokken, at 594g, sans tsuba (which I'd guess is about 15 to 20g, tops).
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Re: Kendo and HEMA

Postby Gordon L » 16 Apr 2012 17:42

NeilG wrote:The biggest shinai that might be lighter than your sabre would be a 3.6 at 360g,


The largest shinai that is lighter than my usual sabre is 400g (Adult woman's 1h or youth 2h).
Last edited by Gordon L on 23 Apr 2012 06:19, edited 1 time in total.
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