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rugcat
11-24-2009, 04:35 AM
If someone had a high quality Katana, would it be kept in a scabbard, or some sort of cloth?

Same question for a "cheap" student sword, meant for learning.

And what basic moves could be learned in a hour, not for sword fighting, but just enough to enable someone coordinated to handle the sword without slicing their own ear off by accident. And maybe be able to use it effectively, like to quickly slice through a thick rope hanging from a rafter?

Any help appreciated. Just looking for the very basics.

thothguard51
11-24-2009, 05:08 AM
Scabbard, the blade might cut through cloth after several pulls and returns. It might be stored in cloth though to protect from moisture pitting the blade...

A student practices with a bamboo or wax wood sword until they become accomplished and can afford their own katana.

As to moves, just drawing the katana from its scabbard without cutting yourself is an accomplishment... lol. Google martial arts weapsons, or ninja/katana to read up on the weapons...

dclary
11-24-2009, 05:19 AM
If someone had a high quality Katana, would it be kept in a scabbard, or some sort of cloth?

Same question for a "cheap" student sword, meant for learning.

And what basic moves could be learned in a hour, not for sword fighting, but just enough to enable someone coordinated to handle the sword without slicing their own ear off by accident. And maybe be able to use it effectively, like to quickly slice through a thick rope hanging from a rafter?

Any help appreciated. Just looking for the very basics.

Tak Kubota leads Christopher Lambert through a "The ninjas will be here in an hour. Hold the sword like this and don't die" crash course late in the second act of "The Hunted" -- probably available via Netflix.

dclary
11-24-2009, 05:21 AM
Also, for swords, it's probably a little different, given their length (I've not studied iaido), but for the shorter weapons, you're taught that the weapons are extensions of the punches and blocks you already know. Block and punch with fists becomes block and stab with a sai. Block and chop becomes block and smash with a tonfa. The advanced stuff comes after that.

Pied_Piper
11-24-2009, 05:42 AM
Hi rugcat,

My understanding of a katana's scabbard (Saya) is that it is used both for martial arts purposes as well as for ceremonial ones. As thothguard51 mentioned, the cloth can be used for wiping the moisture from the blade. This is very true in Japan as the humidity is very high there and they actually don't even remove the katana from the Saya during the 'high moisture' seasons to protect the blade. Traditionally, the scabbard was made of food. It can be presented with silk but a scabbard is very important as it protects it from the beggining.

I have heard sometimes, that the sword is considered so important, that it maybe be presented without a scabbard. They may use alternate materials then like silk. But For katanas, I am quite sure even the legendary swords are often presented with scabbards;for protecting it from the elements at least.

Many moves can be grasped in a very short time. Some even in minutes. But to do a move well (even basic ones!) it takes a long time to learn. Sometimes, its the basic moves that take years to perfect while the specialized moves can be learned in a jiffy!

I know I haven't answered your questions well but I hope it may help a little. Good luck!

RobinGBrown
11-24-2009, 12:11 PM
I'd say that pretty much anyone can pick up and use a katana to _chop_ through a rope immediately, it doesn't require special training. After all you could do it with an axe easily enough.

To reliably cut through a rope in a single blow would require training and lots of it.

Katana's aren't light sabers, you won't cut your arm off by just picking it up and handling it. It's the stylised drawing and sheathing that gets messy if it goes wrong.

Alos note that katanas are highly overrated in most fiction:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KatanasAreJustBetter

A katana is a sharp piece of metal, it's the highly trained sworsdman wielding it that is dangerous.

Mike Martyn
11-24-2009, 10:54 PM
Good article.

If you're ever in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a massive weapons hall with displays of weapons throughout the ages. It includes ten or so European medieval knights on horseback as well as various Samuri types and multiple katanas.

After looking at the respective armour and weapons of the two groups, I'd put my money on the knights

rugcat
11-24-2009, 11:17 PM
Thanks much all.

I'm not doing any type of sword thing here -- basically it's just about someone borrowing a sharp sword for a specific purpose, and getting some quick instruction on the best way to hold it and strike with it -- sort of like a quick instructional lesson from a tennis pro for someone who's never held a tennis racket.

He's not going to go out and win a tennis match -- he just wants to be able to hit a simple ball relatively cleanly instead of shanking it off the frame.

RobinGBrown
11-25-2009, 12:38 PM
IIRC there's a Musashi forged blade in the Victoria and Albert museum. Very beautiful.

kaitie
11-25-2009, 01:33 PM
If someone had a high quality Katana, would it be kept in a scabbard, or some sort of cloth?

Same question for a "cheap" student sword, meant for learning.

And what basic moves could be learned in a hour, not for sword fighting, but just enough to enable someone coordinated to handle the sword without slicing their own ear off by accident. And maybe be able to use it effectively, like to quickly slice through a thick rope hanging from a rafter?

Any help appreciated. Just looking for the very basics.

I don't know...I've been studying the Chinese broadsword (and twins) for a year and I still occasionally cut off my own ear by accident. ;)