Monday, March 17, 2008

"Way of the Sword"

剣道

3 comments:

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

You've got to watch some of the classic samurai movies. Check out "Yojimbo" sometime. It inspired the first of the major spaghetti westerns, "A Fistful of Dollars".

I had a blog entry comparing the two protagonists of each film...Toshiro Mifune's character and Clint Eastwood's character. The Japanese have their Way of the Sword, and Americans (particularly in the late 19th century in the West) have their Way of the Colt. Both cultures have a unique mythology built around each weapon, with its operation honed to an art form. Many centuries before, it was the longbow to the British. Robin Hood and all that. In each case, some particular weapon system becomes so ingrained into the culture that there is a sort of "martial art" devoted to it, and popular heroes and characters evolve as masters of the art.

If you ever get a true katana, I'll have to have a look at it. They are beastly expensive though, but they can be immensely beautiful. Just don't chop your leg off by accident!

Percussivity said...

Well Kenjutsu is probably closer to authentic samurai sword fighting whereas Kendo is closer to a sport. Kenjutsu I believe uses real katanas in their kata. Since Nathan is starting so young, if he were to stick with it into adulthood I could see him studying some truer form of weapons-based martial art like Kenjutsu... but I doubt very much I will ever handle a real katana... at least not in any way that could potentially sever a limb from myself or others.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Yes, I can't see any way swinging real Japanese swords around is going to be safe, lol!

I'd stick with the bundled bamboo versions, too.

When I was a kid, I was moderately interested in fencing. But God was merciful and spared me from getting involved in something so froofroo and Niles Crane-y.