Martial Arts

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by bostjan, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Ninja swords? I think a ninja would be 1,000x more likely to kill you with a rock, a hammer, or something easily disposed of. If they had swords, I don't see why they would use them. It'd be evidence, then. Also, why would they wear swords? That would give them away as tough-guys, and kind of ruin their disguise, unless they were disguising themselves as samurai. but then they would wear samurai swords…not special ninja swords. The whole idea of a "ninja sword" is counter-intuitive and illogical. Did ninjas wear signs around their necks that said "I am ninja?"

    The japanese sword is the best hand-to-hand weapon for killing an unarmored or lightly armored enemy. Japanese swords are so great due to many facts

    a) Metal ores are rarer in Japan than in the mainland, so if you were going to make something metal, you would make for damn certain that it was worth the expense of the materials.
    b) There were a lot of wars in Japan. Land there is scarce and no one wanted to lose their land to invaders, yet there were always invaders. War means weapons. The weapon of the day was the sword.
    c) Japanese sword makers were kept an ellite bunch. Very patient and developed. This is partly or mainly due to a and b.

    But, as I've said before, Japanese swords were designed to slice people in half. They were not designed to penetrate plate mail. European weaponry was designed for this. Two totally different purposes and styles. A warhammer was designed to poke through a helmet, a flail was designed to poke through a helmet, and most later european swords were designed to umm poke through a helmet. Anyone know what a lance was used for?

    Japanese odachi and nodachi were huge fucking swords, but difficult to weild and uncomfortable to carry. They would be pretty much impossible to control indoors, and were pretty damn rare. Nagintas and other pole arms were more often used against cavalry than swords, but it's still cool.

    ;)
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Oh yeah, not to mention middle eastern and indian swords. Most indian swords were designed for reaching around a shield, since shields were more popular than helmets.

    But I think everyone agrees that Japanese swords are the best.

    Anyone have thoughts on the Indonesian "Kris?" Supposed to be like one of the all-time best swords, too. I've never held one in my hand, though. I've only seen them in museums.
     
  3. forelander

    forelander you fail me

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    I'm currently learning muay thai. I'd argue it's one of the most effective striking styles. My shins are so battered.
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That was one thing about my new instructor that made me leave the dojo. I had shin splints because I also was training for seasonal sprinting. I couldn't take the pain of being kicked in the shins, but the instructor had us go full contact with no "no below the belt" rule, and just made the cup manditory. *ow*
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn Ibanez Guitars Forum MVP

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    My drummer was heavily into martial arts back in the day, me, I have always liked it, never tried it though, I should've. I love martial arts. :agreed:

    This movie right here has the best martial arts ever. :D
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Master with Broken Fingers was a cool movie, too. But the version I have goes from dubbed, to subtitles, to Chinese with no subtitles. I have no fucking clue what the hell is going on by the end of the movie. :lol:
     
  7. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    I think you have an incorrect perception of what a ninja was. They were not like Western assassins/spies like James Bond or Ethan Hunt who would disguise themselves as their enemies (in this case, samurai or the enemy's regular soldiers). They tried to hide from sight completely. Usually they would sneak into a fortress at night when everyone were sleeping.

    Although they would use a rock for making noise to distract someone (like in Star Wars), they would definitely not use it for combat. Why not? No certainty of killing the person. If they miss or hit, but fail in killing, then their whole mission may have failed.

    I wonder why you find it so hard to believe that they had swords in their inventory. A sword is much more effective in killing someone than a hammer or a rock or a stick.

    Of course, wearing a sword on their back would be like a sign saying "I'm a ninja", but the even bigger sign saying "I'm a ninja" is the mask and clothes they wore. If anyone saw a ninja (they probably would be killed before they could see one), they would KNOW it's a ninja by the clothes. They wouldn't say "Hey... that guy wearing the mask, dressed all in black, sneaking over the wall... he's got one of those straight swords strapped to his back... HE MUST BE A NINJA!"

    I think it's funny that you think they'd use something easily disposed of or leave evidence. They carried lots and lots of tools with them, all of which were only used by ninja (such as shuriken - aka throwing stars, which only ninjas used). Also, if they leave evidence, what is that evidence going to do? The master is dead. They know someone snuck in and killed him in the night. Without evidence, they know it was a ninja. With evidence, they know it was a ninja. There was no fingerprinting technology and ninja swords, unlike samurai swords, did not have any marks to signify what group they belonged to.

    And then, someone might say "Well, it's stupid that they wore those masks and clothes. Why didn't they sneak in pretending to be a samurai?" That would be a very Western spy/assassin way of doing things. Ninjas never let anyone see their face, so that one ninja was indistinguishable from another.

    The term "ninja" and the term "shinobi" both come from the term for sneaking and silently entering a place, unnoticed. They didn't care about a ninja sword being something only a ninja would have. Come on. The verb "shinobu" (the first symbol in "ninja" and the only symbol in "shinobi") means "to hide" in modern Japanese.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    But why do they need special swords? I disagree with your history of ninjas. Just sounds too romanticised to me. You don't need fingerprinting technology to identify a killer, in fact, fingerprinting technology is over-rated. If someone is dead and there is a rock with your fingerprints on it, you could just say, yeah, I might have touched that rock, it's a fucking rock, they all look alike. It doesn't mean I used it to kill someone.

    Having a special sword, on the other hand, well…i don't think i even need to repeat myself. Just that it'd be easy to trace that way.

    These "ninja swords" you see for sale on-line and w/e are fakes. Most of them are made in China. Probably the same people making those fake Ibbys you see.

    I've heard from plenty of sword collectors.

    Would a ninja use a sword? Sure, but a special ninja sword? You'll never convince me.

    Now as for hitting someone in the head with a rock or a hammer not killing them, I think you overestimate the resiliance of the human body. A trained killer could kill an unsuspecting victim with just about any old thing. If you don't believe me, look in the newspaper. People are killed every day by iron pipes, glass bottles, hand tools, etc.
     
  9. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Man, you guys got some crazy, old school ideas about martial arts, talking about swords and ninjas n' shit.

    "Put him in a body bag, Johnny!" :lol:

    [​IMG]

    "I do not need martial art! Look at my dangerous stare! I will kill you with my chi! And my BO is pretty deadly, too!"
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Most of the "katanas" online are fakes that were made in China. Does that mean that they never existed too?

    Why do you find it hard to believe that there were swords made for ninjas. There were swords made for everyone else. Throughout Japan's history, there have been hundreds of variations of the sword in size and length.

    Sure, you could kill someone with a rock on the head. It's just that most ninjas did not. And don't think some naive master would be like "oh all my guards and my son were killed last night. Must've some wild animal." They knew it was a ninja.

    While the swords on this site are all fakes and replicas, the "ninja-tou" about halfway down the page is pretty close to how actual ninja swords look. I say "look" instead of "looked" because ninja swords still exist today (although they are from long ago) and they looked very similar to this. http://www.swordsdirect.com/functional-katanas.html

    You keep emphasising "SPECIAL ninja sword" as if it really was that special. It was basically just like a normal Japanese sword, except straight and a little shorter. It's not that special. There were other straight swords in use as well (by regular soldiers).

    As a Japanese history buff, I find it odd that you are so stubborn in not believing this. You have a pre-set image of how ninjas were and the ninja sword that is so common in ninja legends, movies, animation, cheapo Chinese remakes, and even the real deal does not fit your minds image. You imagine them using rocks and hammers, which, for the most part, just wasn't the case (I could see a ninja using either of those in the case that they lost their other equipment).

    You say it'd be easy to trace a special sword. How? Ninjas never showed their faces to anyone and ninja swords had no marks to show what school/group they belonged to. For all you knew, it could be a ninja sword from Southern Kyushu or a ninja sword from Tohoku (no one lived in Hokkaido during those days, which is why I left at Tohoku). Maybe you're thinking in terms of modern police dramas where they need evidence and then have their investigators trace it and say "Ah, this swordsmith in Edo made the swords for the Kiri Shinobi. And since this one had Amano Nobusuke's fingerprints on it, he's our murderer. Guess we should put him behind bars." Although ninjas were rarely seen, it was known throughout that they were behind certain assassinations and theft of documents. They had no honor, unlike the samurai who lived for honor alone.
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That's fine. You know Japanese history. I don't doubt that. :)

    You can believe what ever you want, and I'll believe that ninjas didn't have special ninja swords and that not everything you hear in a legend or see in a cartoon is true. It doesn't make any difference in anyone's life. If one of your ninjas kills me with a sword, I won't even see it coming, so I still won't believe. :lol:
     
  12. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    I will grant you that most information on ninjas comes from samurai's reports on them and, as a result, there are a lot of unsure things. But, ninjas had been around since the beginning of the Heian period (around 1000 AD), so they have a very long history.

    One weapon ninjas never used but it is commonly believed that they did use is nunchaku (or known to many Americans as "nunchucks").

    Here is a quote from Wikipedia:
    "In popular folklore, ninja also used special short swords called ninja-ken (or ninja-tō see below for explanation), or "shinobigatana" (Note the avoidance of the term 'ninja', but inclusion of the term shinobi, a synonym). Ninja-ken are smaller than katana but larger than wakizashi. The ninja-to was more of a utilitarian tool than a weapon. Another version of the ninja sword was the shikoro ken (saw sword). The shikoro ken was said to be used to gain entry into fortresses. The shikoro ken supposedly could also be used to cut (or saw) through opponents.

    Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that the nunchaku were used by the ninja, and there is no mention in any record of them using one. Though their records are filled with references to other weapons. Karate, judo, kendo, and most other martial arts were never practiced as well, as they were mostly formalized in late Edo period to Meiji period. Ninja practiced a variant of jujutsu and kenjutsu that could be summed up as ninjutsu."

    There are ninja museums, you know? Such as the Iga-ryu ninja museum.

    You have zero reasoning for believing that no such weapon exists. I think you're just trying to be contrary. ;)

    I have never claimed that ninja can disappear or make multiple copies/images of themselves or bring out huge toads or any of the other common legends and myths on ninjas, many of which were created by ninjas themselves in order to scare their enemies.

    So, if a ninja kills you, then it's probably your own fault for A: bringing them 400 years into the future, B: bringing them to the otherside of the world, and C: for doing something that would make a daimyo hire them to kill you. So, unless you've done those three things, I don't know why you're so paranoid or believe that I have ninjas out to kill you. :nuts:

    But, yes, whether they did or not have swords does not have any effect on our lives. In fact, whether cowboys actually carried guns or not has no effect on our lives either. And if someone believes that the world is hollow on the inside with a secret society of moles, that has no effect on their lives either. Okay, that last one was a little bit overboard... :lol:
     
  13. forelander

    forelander you fail me

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    I can choose not to believe that my guitar has 7 strings, but that won't change the fact that it does.
     
  14. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Thank you, forelander.
     
  15. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Well, there goes that theory. :lol: None of them make it over here though, and I've seen some pretty nice ancient sword collections. It just seemed to me to be sort of pointless to carry something like that around, ya know? Considering that the best cutting place on a 'katana' like sword is a few inches down from the tip, and extents into the curve. Oh well.

    Most of the straight-bladed Japanese swords I've seen have been similar to chinese designs, and pre-900.

    Anime exagerates everything. Can anyone here into the martial arts throw a 'visible' Ki-blast? :lol:
     
  16. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Indeed. Actually all Japanese swords before 900 AD were straight. Like I said, the "new" method of sword making which came out some time like 1100 or 1200 AD (don't remember exactly when) had the naturally curving property, which soldiers really liked.

    You mention that it seems pointless for ninjas to carry swords like that. And for some ninjas it was pointless to carry something like that, which is why a lot of them didn't. It was only one of an array of weapons ninja used to "get the job done." Also, the wikipedia article said that the ninja-ken/ninja-to "was more of a utilitarian tool than a weapon."

    Animation does exaggerate everything, but all of the crazy stuff regarding ninjas in animation is based on legends, myths, folkstories, mixed with real history. Many martial arts taught their students that a truly strong martial art's "ki" could be seen if you focused on it. Animation took that to the extreme making characters with huge colored "ki"s that anyone could see that they'd use like fire. There usually is some real basis behind stuff in animation, but they take things so far that it's hard to see where they got such a ridiculous idea much of the time (like blood shooting out of a guy's nose when he sees a girl naked. You can see where that came from, but it never happens in real life).

    I also think that the best place in a Japanese blade is on the side near the tip.

    And, one of the reasons none of the real ninja swords make it to the US is the same reason that none of the real normal Japanese swords make it over to the US. All the Japanese swords that come to the US are remakes and models, not actual antiques. There are some ninjutsu schools still around that fight using old ninja weapons. If someone in the US has a 300 year old "katana," they are probably a collector and paid quite a bit of money to obtain it.
     
  17. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Eh, I'm talking about private collections, not the stuff at a gun and knife show. :lol: A lot of family blades came back with GI's at the end of WWII. I'm just saying in all the collections I've seen in person, an ancient ninja blade was not there. ;)

    But seriously, the only stuff I have now are wall-hanger stainless steel garbage. I miss my Bugei blade. :( I think a Hanwei might be able to fill the void without eating the rent money. :lol:
     
  18. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Ah, I see. But seeing how rare ninjas themselves were (Even though, throughout the history of ninjas, there have been over 100 ninja styles/schools, there have never been that many ninjas at one time. I don't know the statistics, but something small like 1 ninja for every 10,000 soldiers), it doesn't suprise me that GIs wouldn't bring back a blade. I think a good deal of them are in ninja museums, Japanese ninjutsu schools, and places like that. A kendo/kenjutsu practitioner would generally not own a ninja sword or even want one.

    Well, as long as you don't intend to actually use the sword to fight people, you can get some pretty good looking ones that are well balanced for kind of cheap ($100-300). They may not be sharp. But looks are all that matters nowadays, anyway.
     
  19. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Yeah, still I'd prefer something sharpened. ;) It's not like I'll be walking around town with it, this isn't *Yojimbo*. :lol: Would really break the 3" blade law here with that. Folded steel is out of my price range now, so something like Hanwei's Practical Plus sounds like a good idea. The Musashi set calls to me though.... Must.... fight.... urge....

    There's some serious nice stuff floating around in small pockets here in the US. Some of the soldiers in WWII would take their family blade and have it mounted in the standard military issue handle/scabbard. From the outside they looked like every other stamped steel sword carried by the infantry, but inside were gems. Fred Lohman(probably not spelling this right, it's been like 10 years) out in the North west specializes in re-mounting blades in more traditional appointments for collectors and martial artists. I bet he makes a good living.
     
  20. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Folded steel is very very expensive because it takes a long time to make one blade and it requires a lot of attention and care. One way to tell the folded steel ones is the milky white color along the edge of the blade. There are some fake ones where that milky white color is just colored on and isn't natural, but if you've seen a real one before, you should be able to tell the difference.

    I'd love to have one myself. I've loved swords from all around the world since I was a kid, but Japanese traditional swords have always been my favorite. I want a regular length standard "katana."
     

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