Thread: My Swords
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocahontas
Forgive my ignorance but do you mean one of your swords will slice through a glass bottle and cut it in two without shattering?? Now that's a serious blade!!
Yes, that's exactly what I mean, but I'm not saying that I can do that. My strike isn't fast enough and I don't have a decent enough blade for that kind of use. I also don't have the proper equipment for doing that exercise safely. Most guys who do it have a tripod built with a small rubber-jaw vice at the top to hold the bottle in place while they strike it. It takes a very good sword and a very fast strike. It also takes some accuracy skill too because the best place on your sword to strike the glass bottle is just below the yokote (see diagram). At this point, your blade is moving the fastest and there is less danger of the bottle skipping off of your kissaki.

The key is to develop a strike that eliminates ALL "cut resistance" in your blade when you swing it. In other words, you must develop a swing where the blade passes straight through the target and doesn't slow down even a little. It takes a delicate balance of both speed and strength to do this properly.

The balloon exercise is fun too and I've heard some kendo teachers use it on their students to build a faster swing. What you do there is attempt to pop one or more balloons with your typical swing. You're not allowed to thrust your blade because popping them with kissaki is far too easy. Some teachers will even check your blade to ensure it's not serrated.

I like using balloons for shuriken-jutsu (throwing knives) more. That's more fun for me and my accuracy isn't too bad.
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