Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun May 06, 2018 3:46 am

Today I officially graduated from my Master. His last lesson was test-cutting water bottles with a sharp blade (a Katana supplied by the Iaidoka). At first I was hesitant in fear of injuring myself and thought that it would be really hard to make a clean cut based on what many people on forums and commenters on Youtube have said. I started with a simple cut and it slid clean through the bottle like a knife through butter. I then ran through some of my favourite techniques from basic cuts to more advanced ones from different angles and then one-handed. Only on the advanced ones did I have to make multiple attempts to deliver a clean cut. Most of the bottles were very small and light too. My worst fuck-up was with an advanced one-handed technique that requires you to hold the sword with your back hand. I still cut through the bottle fine, it just wasn't pretty. I messed up two or three times when a little girl kept running up, even though her mum was right there watching!!! -evil-

Anyways, my point is that this is the first and only time that I ever used a real blade and I made perfectly acceptable cuts with it - great power and accuracy - fluid and fast. A lot of naysayers have said this or that about my technique and practise methods but the results say otherwise. I train a lot. I always pay attention to edge alignment. My training produces great, raw power, but also good technique. Unlike rote learning, it also produces the footwork, distancing, timing etc. that make one a good fighter. Edge alignment is very important, but correct training should develop that. Today I learned that I am on the right path and that I have a long way to go. I'm more that content with that. I can't wait to train all of my techniques in this way when I can afford it. I also realise that cutting through straw men is a bit more challenging, but a clean cut is a clean cut and I have trained hard enough to easily deliver cuts capable of cutting through those as well.

Just like forms, focusing too much on things like test-cutting and Tuishou, when we should really be training the more exhausting things and fencing or sparring more can lead us down a dangerous path of diminishing returns. What I care about is that my cuts are good enough to do grievous damage to the enemy (percussive or cutting damage both can get the job done), not whether every one will cleave a man in half, because things never work out perfectly in the real world. In that regard the views of Chinese and Japanese martial artists seem to differ, but striking a balance between the two may be ideal.

Anyways, I wrote this more for me and for those not in-the-know than for those naysayers whose opinions will probably never be swayed one way or the other. It is my honest account of training with a Master that has learned Chinese swordsmanship from an unbroken line (actually lines) of badarses. I put my faith in my Master and it was well-placed. Anyone that cares to disagree can come visit me for some friendly fencing once I have returned back to the West and settled in. I can't guarantee that I'll win against all of you, but I don't think that you'll leave thinking that what I've learned is worthless.. ;D
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MaartenSFS
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Re: Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Postby windwalker on Sun May 06, 2018 4:09 am

MaartenSFS wrote:
Anyways, my point is that this is the first and only time that I ever used a real blade and I made perfectly acceptable cuts with it - great power and accuracy - fluid and fast. A lot of naysayers have said this or that about my technique and practise methods but the results say otherwise.

I train a lot. I always pay attention to edge alignment. My training produces great, raw power, but also good technique. Unlike rote learning, it also produces the footwork, distancing, timing etc. that make one a good fighter. Edge alignment is very important, but correct training should develop that.

Today I learned that I am on the right path and that I have a long way to go. I'm more that content with that. I can't wait to train all of my techniques in this way when I can afford it. I also realise that cutting through straw men is a bit more challenging, but a clean cut is a clean cut and I have trained hard enough to easily deliver cuts capable of cutting through those as well.



ha ;) must be psychic...you've answered this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=27006&start=15
would be interested to know your thoughts on their work if you can view it.
rule 19
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Re: Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun May 06, 2018 5:16 am

A most unexpected side effect of my training it is.. 8-)
Last edited by MaartenSFS on Sun May 06, 2018 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Postby Greg J on Sun May 06, 2018 7:25 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:
Today I officially graduated from my Master.



Congratulations. I'm sure it was a great day for both of you.

Best,
Greg
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Re: Edge Alignment in Swordsmanship..

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed May 09, 2018 7:47 pm

Thanks, mate. Indeed, it was. :)
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