Using the Tibetan sword

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by DannyinJapan, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Krull


    Aug 18, 2005
    "Berserker" can be discribed two ways:as Steely_Gunz said-shock troops,by legend fighters so bloodthirsty that they have no control and are real animals...the kind of folk one avoids! ;)

    Then you could classify a second type:those that turn and fight no matter what and accept that they can be hurt,or,killed but don't care they just plow into the enemy and kill anyway they can.
    No honor here kids;no "well trained and graceful" MA just plain 'ol hack and bash anything from ball-kicking to useing a fallen enemy as a shield..these are the way of the berserker.

    I'd be classed as the second type :D I don't look down at MA just don't find no use for it since my natural tendancy is to go nuts.

    All it is is different types of training....just one is inbred into a person,if you're not born with it you'll never learn it.

    And just so we don't drift too much I'd like to ask this,do they teach pommel-strikes? flipping the sword over and useing it edge up? as a gutter?? how about strenght training so you can sever limbs???
  2. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Krull, methinks you just aren't "getting it." Reread Danny's post until you understand.
  3. Krull


    Aug 18, 2005
    I know Yvsa..I'm just jerking Danny around :D
    The training he's getting sounds almost "passive",perfect for a ninja! :eek:
    One thing I do wonder though-the tibetan sword is a bit more heavy then,say a Katana or a Dao so how does one go about useing it "the Oriental way"? I dunno 'bout the short one,it's weight may line up more with a oriental type sword?

    I know Asian MA in use of the sword seem to go more for speed then brute force,a quick flick and that's all! :eek:
  4. bismark77


    Jun 24, 2004
    I love the Tibetan sword!

    I'm trying to absorb your advice, Danny. I've been pondering your Eastern fighting philosophy for a long time now, and I like what you're saying about "presence" versus a concentration on specific action and reaction. I've been trying to practice this line of thought in my "shadow sparring" using the tibetan sword. I think I'm going to try one of the "tai chi" style straight bokens--maybe with some weight added for balance--as a stand-in for live sparring. (Or should I just use any sword substitute--since all weapons should be treated the same??)

    I know that "how to" questions are not really the right line of thinking...but how do you suggest I hold the tibetan sword? It's light and lively with great "pointability," and the hand-and-a-half handle (or are my hands just small?) gives me lots of gripping options.

    -If I grip it close to the guard I can achieve a fairly neutral (almost pommel heavy, actually) balance--but that's only with a fairly "clubby" grip.

    -If I grip it loosely just at the top of the swell, I can place the tips of my index finger and thumb on the brass collar below the guard and have an "active" grip that is much more point heavy.

    -I can also hold it with two hands in several different positions.

    How should I orient the sword? Should I hold it vertically in front of my sternum? Or am I leading with the point toward an opponent? Should the sword hand or the free hand be closer to my opponent--or should I even face him squarely?

    I know there isn't a "right" answer and we aren't pursuing a rigid form here. I'm just wondering where to begin my practice--I guess I'm asking you to guide me into a "first position." ...Maybe I am still being too formulaic ?? I guess I jsut need to let the sword be comfortable so that it "disappears?"
  5. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    those are good questions, really. I am going to try to make a nice training version of the Tibetan sword. Of course you should use an accurate copy for training if you can, but its not a problem if you cant.

    How to holw it? Any way you want, provided you can change your grip at any time without losing control of the sword.
    That means firm but not too tight. also, dont let any fingers stick out, use them all for grip. don't let your thumb touch the guard. (thats too close) And keep that thumb straight.

    Other than that, you can do anything. I encourage you to practice different grips.

    How should the sword be held, at what angle?
    Again, as long as you can move your body properly, this is not so important.
    It would probably be best to keep this kind of sword low and out to the side, pointed at a spot on the ground about three feet in front of you.

    There are many sword kamae you could start with, it doesnt really matter.
  6. bismark77


    Jun 24, 2004
    Thank you Danny!
  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Danny I get the feeling that if one were able to spend just a day training with you that they would walk away with a lot of good information. Fasinating stuff, sir. Thank you.

  8. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I am not a river, I am a net.

    Truthfully, real Budo is 99% psychological. One must give up desire, accept death and yet develop a strong heart that can shine out in any situation. This all sounds like abstract stuff, btu somehow it all seems so very real and commonplace to me know.
    One must accept that, no matter how much training you receive, you will not "know" what to do when the time comes. You will do it naturally, without thinking. that's why and how it works.
    Its a scary thing to accept "not knowing", but it does work...
  9. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    I'm a fish.

  10. Bai Lang

    Bai Lang

    Jul 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  11. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    Right above that one is Zhang Yun's "Art of Chinese Swordsmanship." I had the opportunity to study briefly with Zhang Yun for a couple of days at a seminar, and gained great respect for his skill. Talking in person it is easy to see the similarities between swordplay of different cultures. Soon we were talking of foibles and forte, entry and evasion. Sometimes the cultural trappings obscure as much as they reveal.

    On the Tibetan, many of the written works are by Chinese people writing of supposedly Tibetan-inspired traditions. I wonder how much of these traditions are Tibetan in orgin, and how many come from the vibrant Chinese Wu Shu traditions. There are Chinese traditions named after eagles, buddhas, snakes, drunken sots, etc.. A name referencing Tibet in a Chinese tradition may (???) have just a tenous connection to Tibetan culture. The Tibetans I've encountered are quite down to earth and I would be somewhat surprised to see much ornamentation in their martial arts. However, they do have ornate dances so I could be very wrong on that impression.

    Tibet certainly has cultural history in bladed weapons, banditry, warfare, etc. Details are sometimes hard to come by.
  12. Bai Lang

    Bai Lang

    Jul 31, 2009
    Yes very difficult to find information on the original Tibetan Martial arts methods or martial arts traditions that may still be extent in Tibet.

    The root of Chinese/Tibetan martial arts seems to be the 8 ways a concise to the point method of teaching combat

    "The system consisted of 8 fist strikes, 8 palm strikes, 8 elbow strikes, 8 finger strikes, 8 kicking techniques, 8 seizing (clawing) techniques, 8 stances and 8 stepping patterns"

    And as time went on they became became more sophisticated or cluttered depending on how you look at it.

    Just as Tai Chi is said to have evolved from the 8 shapes 5 steps to the many major tai chi chuan schools there are today.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  13. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    Gods Below! This thread is 5 years old! Somebody has been grave robbing. And still, I never quite got my point across. I'll give it a try, half a decade later - I ought to understand it better myself (maybe).
    The way of the ninja sword is called "muto dori." That means "no sword" (basically)
    One moves as if he has no sword whether or not he has a sword. So, imagine some guy is cutting at you with his sword. What do you do? Whatever you would do to stay alive without a sword - do that same thing even when you do have a sword. If he gets cut by your sword, that's fine but not important.
    The funny thing is, when you practice moving in this way, your weapons become so much more effective.
  14. tedwca


    Dec 10, 2005
    For some reason this thread reminds me of a pet peeve. In Hollywoood sword fights the actors are attacking each others sword instead of each other. A lot of times even if the guy didn't move to block the opposing sword it would still never touch him.

    I totally get what Danny is saying. The most important rule is to be where the sword is not and if your sword happens to occupy the same space as your opponent then so much the better, but that's not the primary goal.
  15. BFH44


    Nov 3, 2010
    I was an iron worker / millwright / boilermaker for most my life and i am a good sized guy - people always tell me "man you you have big shoulders / arms do you work out" - answer - no Ive been swinging 4, 6 and 12 pound hammers and turning wrenches all my life - now that i am disabled because of my back -- i really do not want to nor can i afford to put a lot of effort into defending my self - (though i dont see a time when i would have to as i try not to put myself in situations but if it came up ?)

    I understand the person who said use any means necessary but i also would rather be smart and calm (sometimes hard to be calm when adrenalin is pumping)

    as for as the berserker thing i am pretty quiet but i have a temper but people can usually tell when i am getting upset and they tend to leave me alone - i want to learn martial arts to be able to slow my temper

    look forward to reading more -- thanks to all for all the input
  16. BFH44


    Nov 3, 2010
    actually when i get really mad they dont just leave me alone they usually leave the area -- LOL
  17. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    This topic never goes away for me. So many of my fellow martial artists never let go.
    Think about tameshigiri. (practice cutting of rolled tatami mats)
    Many people think there is a right way and a wrong way and the results of your cut determine your success. In the sense of sheer sport, this is true.
    But we are not allowed to think of it in those terms. We have to always see someone's neck and not an inanimate target. How well do you need to swing the sword to do what must be done? Not well at all. You don't even need to swing it. Just laying it on there and pushing will do. (or letting them pull away)
    Allowing this to happen requires that you overcome your own desire to "perform."
  18. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Still a lot of awesome stuff in this thread:)
  19. Spectre


    Nov 3, 1998
    I was talking to someone recently who is very concerned about defense. He has a wife and kids.

    He's suffered some physical issues, and has gone from being a very large, powerful man to a much smaller one with health problems similar to those with immuno-deficiencies.

    I gave him a very large folding knife. One I actually wouldn't have thought to give to any other friend. I told him it's easy to get trapped into using a lot of power, and when we lose some of our physical power, to feel helpless.

    But I gave you a powerful knife
    , I told him. You don't have to be strong. The knife is strong for you. Let it do the work.

    "Small circles", he said.

  20. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar

    Oct 25, 2004
    That was two careers ago! (Three, if you count being on unemployment.)

    Just checking in on my travels. I don't swing swords much these days, unfortunately. Moved into town, no yard, illness, lost some know the drill. Life and time drag us down. Five years ago I thought that I'd never grow old. It's a bit different these days. The moment that other people stopped trying to kill me, my health went downhill. It's sadly ironic. :D Perhaps I should find a more dangerous line of work. ;)

    I never did figure that sword out, Danny. I take it out occasionally, mostly to show it to friends and allow them to swing it (carefully!), but I feel bad about it. It deserved a better home, but I'm unwilling to let go of it. It's a very special thing. I hope that it finds a suitable owner after I'm gone.

    Some folks inherit large sums. Others win the lottery. Some strike oil or gold. I got my big break another way. It wasn't what I expected, but I'm really glad that this thing entered my life. I don't know what it is about it, but years later, even as things are now, it makes me happy and confused. How many things make me happy and confused, all at once? Not much. A good woman, good weapons, and good motorcycles, basically, and my life would be worthless without any of that, so this is important stuff to me.

    The entire collection has a wall now, but I really ought to move the Tibetan out of the basement. This requires further thought. I don't like putting important things in view of the living room window (this is Bremerton, after all), but I can probably find it some wall space out of view of the street. It deserves at least this much. I don't want it hidden away.

    I got a new camera recently that takes much better pictures than my old Kodak POS. I'll do a little photo shoot in the near future. It really is a nice sword, and something that I'm very happy to own.

    Good to hear from some of the old guard. Danny, John, Jake, Howard, Ted, others...I should stop by here more often. It was these sorts of posts that drew me here in the first place, and got my life moving in a better direction.

    And where the hell did Brad go? I tried calling him a few years ago after he withdrew from the internet and it was disconnected. No luck on email either. Is anyone in touch with him?

    I very much appreciate all that you've taught me, Danny, and not just with regard to swords. Knife throwing is a bit of a pass time in my trade, and I not only impress folks by throwing without a spin at random distances, but I also astonish them by throwing files, hammers, ballpoint pens, and even sewing needles and pieces of wire(!) with the same method. When they ask me where I learned that, I tell them that a ninja taught me, and they all laugh...and I keep astonishing them. :) (And yes, I still have that DVD somewhere!)

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