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I, Clausewitz : A Would-be Conqueror's Diary
Neither holy nor Roman nor an Emperor
20th-Sep-2012 04:38 am
medieval merchant
One of the oddest things I've begun to notice lately is that my increasing experience with swordsmanship (even though it's still not much) is starting to let me understand some of the subtler details in not only the system I'm most familiar with (i.e. the medieval German Liechtenauer tradition), but also other systems as well. A case in point is the Japanese koryu waza videos I watched last week; when I watched them the first time around after downloading them some three or four years ago, I had absolutely no idea what was happening. Last week, while I couldn't say I completely understood the techniques and the system behind them, a big lightbulb went up in my head about one feature that I simply couldn't wrap my head around back then: kiri-otoshi. My understanding of the geometry involved is still quite hazy but that's immeasurably better than several years ago, when I had absolutely no idea of how such a technique could work at all.

Enough rambling. Maybe I should go and pick the brains of some friends who are much, much more familiar with Japanese swordsmanship than me.
20th-Sep-2012 01:40 am (UTC)
Read up on Itto-ryu -- their kiriotoshi/kirioroshi is the most influential, and the philosophy is prominent in the ryu's literature.

I don't know how it works, I just know that it does. (Though I do have a sense of the factors that are involved in allowing it to work.)
20th-Sep-2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'm probably at around the same stage, and right now I'm wondering whether it involves a step just very slightly (and very subtly) off the opponent's centreline to achieve the desired deflection. It's really fascinating to see the mechanics of a system that puts so much emphasis on controlling the vertical centreline, in contrast to European systems where thee's not much emphasis on the vertical downwards strike with the true/long edge.

(And yes, the video was of the Ono-ha Itto-ryu. I don't remember whether you were the one who pointed it out to me or not but I'm pretty sure we had some discussion about it back then.)
21st-Sep-2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Ah, you're totally off on the wrong track then. When they say cut straight down, they mean it. I don't think you can really "get it" until you feel what happens. Just cut. The deflection is incidental.
21st-Sep-2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
Something or someone has to be slightly off-line though. Is it the opponent? Some of the Web discussions I've trawled state so, but I'm not convinced that the technique is only supposed to work if the opponent's technique isn't perfect. Or does the deflection rely largely on the presence of the shinogi's angle in the geometry of the blade?
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