Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Open to public view.

How often do you do test cutting in your club?

once a year
5
71%
twice a year
0
No votes
three times a year
0
No votes
more than three times a year
2
29%
 
Total votes : 7

Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Herbert » 10 Nov 2014 18:44

We do a lot of test cutting - and a lot of it in front of audiences.

I think it is an integral part of swordsmanship.
I heard from other clubs that they don't really do it that often.
I would be interested in how often you do test cuts within your club.

Here are some impressions of our test cutting in the last years. Some good, some less…perfect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E1xvS7j-PA

best wishes

Herbert
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Phil C » 10 Nov 2014 20:02

Never- smallswords don't have edges
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Magnus Hagelberg » 10 Nov 2014 22:20

Clay cutting when we get an excuse- every second month or so.

then there is this chockolate bunny and chocolate santa cutting happenings each year.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby admin » 11 Nov 2014 00:12

Funny timing that you ask. I personally cut a fair amount, but we haven't had the realistic possibility to do it in class - however, recently I have been looking at buying a massive lump of clay, which would enable us to do at least basic cutting training in class. It's very costly and difficult to get hold of good tatami here and we can't realistically cut things that will make a big mess in the hall we use.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Herbert » 11 Nov 2014 07:50

admin wrote: recently I have been looking at buying a massive lump of clay, which would enable us to do at least basic cutting training in class. It's very costly and difficult to get hold of good tatami here and we can't realistically cut things that will make a big mess in the hall we use.

I have never tried clay so far. How big a lump would you think is necessary? And how do you mount it - just putting it up on a stand?

The problem with the costs of the tatami and the messy hall are the same here. But our members like to cut, so they pay the tatamis…also we do some demonstrations where the tatamis are paid.
We never cut in the hall, always outside.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby KeithFarrell » 11 Nov 2014 10:26

If we are lucky, my group at Glasgow University manages to cut once a year - but there are sometimes difficulties managing even that. Personally, I try to do cutting a bit more often, a few times a year, but it can be problematic to arrange it formally for a group.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby admin » 11 Nov 2014 16:58

Herbert wrote:I have never tried clay so far. How big a lump would you think is necessary? And how do you mount it - just putting it up on a stand?


I haven't either, yet. However Mike Edelson and a few others who post on Facebook have done it and you need quite a big lump - about the size of a human torso. And yes you just stick it on a stand with a little table top (which is what the Victorians like Waite used to put their cutting targets on also).
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby knirirr » 11 Nov 2014 17:40

Herbert wrote:I would be interested in how often you do test cuts within your club.


Rarely, if at all. We don't have any suitable space, and so rely upon trying it at special events where the opportunity has been arranged. Andy has managed to sort out a dead pig for us on some occasions.
Echoing Phil's point, 50% of our sword training is with the small-sword anyway.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Magnus Hagelberg » 11 Nov 2014 21:47

Herbert wrote:
admin wrote: recently I have been looking at buying a massive lump of clay, which would enable us to do at least basic cutting training in class. It's very costly and difficult to get hold of good tatami here and we can't realistically cut things that will make a big mess in the hall we use.

I have never tried clay so far. How big a lump would you think is necessary? And how do you mount it - just putting it up on a stand?

The problem with the costs of the tatami and the messy hall are the same here. But our members like to cut, so they pay the tatamis…also we do some demonstrations where the tatamis are paid.
We never cut in the hall, always outside.


question is more what you want from the clay - a tatami experience? mix it with straw, this will eventually make the clay useless since the straw turns to mush after a while acording to Mike Edelsson.

We use clay to cut with unsharpened and sharp weapons. It will tell you the edge alignement of your cutt -this is the good thing. It will also help you establish precission in your cutt. But regular clay needs to have some girth to it in order to offer any recistance. I tend to make a roll 10-15cm diameter around 30cm high and just impale it on a stick in the ground. If you ballance it propperly you don't have to sacrifice more than 4-5cm to the stick. A cutting stand may be usefull, but a stick in the ground is easy to find.
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 12 Nov 2014 08:19

I tend to make a roll 10-15cm diameter around 30cm high and just impale it on a stick in the ground.

It is funny to see how close are these dimensions - presumably obtained experimentally - to the values recommended in Grekov's article (1912) on cutting. The Russian officer recommended the following values for clay cones, depending on the density of clay (clay + clean sand + some water):

height: 7-8 units (~31-35 cm),
top diametre: 3+ units (~13 cm),
bottom diametre: 4+ units (~18 cm)

1 unit = Russian vershok (1/16 arshin) = 44,45 mm

NB. Naturally it is easier to make a roll than to fiddle with a cone.
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Re:

Postby Herbert » 12 Nov 2014 09:25

Ulrich von L...n wrote:(clay + clean sand + some water)

Sand? Not very nice on the blade… I'd rather leave out the sand.
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Postby Ulrich von L...n » 15 Nov 2014 10:04

Herbert,

I fully understand your reservation, but that Russian source specifically mentions sand, even takes care to explain that one should clean sand (remove all impurities, including small pebbles). Unfortunately I haven't experimented with clay, clay + sand, etc. But a cheap machete might be a good tool to start these brutish experiments.

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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Martin Greywolf » 20 Nov 2014 12:58

admin wrote:It's very costly and difficult to get hold of good tatami here and we can't realistically cut things that will make a big mess in the hall we use.


I just met with some guys near where I live who reconstruct Sengoku Jidai Japan, and they said pretty much the same thing.

What they ended up using were stacks of reeds they found around various ponds, they worked pretty well, though, as they said it, they were "a <expletive redacted> to make". If you can find the time (or people with time), that might be a way to go.
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Re: Is test cutting part of your curriculum?

Postby Reinier » 20 Nov 2014 13:52

I remember that we used those rollup beach mats sometimes. The ones made of reed. Still a big mess, but they are cheap, at least.
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