Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Old School Karate #3: Sword vs. Bare Hand
Now this clip is bad-ass... it's from a movie called "Fighting Black Kings". The documentary is about an American team that goes to fight at the first annual international Kyukushin-kai full-contact tournament in Japan. Great video if you can find it.
My Korean master,Tae Hong Choi, would lead us in demonstrations at festivals where we would demonstrate breaking and sparring in front of Thousands of people. Near the end, he would demonstrate combat Hapkido and disarm a swordsman. Lots of similar techniques, but I never saw him catch a sword...
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Kyukushin-kai ... why does that sound familiar? Could it be .... nah! Wait there be dragons ;-)
Mythbusters busted this one. However, that video looks darn convincing!
I may e-mail Mythbusters. Maybe they'll test it again.
The mythbusters are pretty cool, but I do think an expert may be able to catch the sword. (perhaps with a little damage to the hand...)
More classic stuff tomorrow!
I think that catching a sword with the hands like that is probably a bogus technique, ie. in the sense of being used effectively in a fight. But as a demo technique it's pretty cool, I've seen it done a couple of times, and even with sharpened blades and some of the high level guys can pull it off. I wouldn't try!
I remember seeing that movie way back when at my first karate teacher's house, in 82 or 83. What I liked, even more than the catching sword thing is the sense of timing that guy brought to the demo, and his amazing leg mobility and control; look how he moves his legs and hits the other guy where he wants while rolling on the floor. Pretty cool.
I think it's real I studied Daito-ryu in Japan. Dai = Big or Great, To = Blade.
You'd be amazed at what these folks can do. My instructor would practice iaido with his family sword that was over 600 years old. He was amazing just to watch.
And my "dragons" reference was more than a joke. Mastsu Oyama. DR review your email and you will know what I mean.
Besides is there anybody here that wouldn't just LOVE take those know-it-alls "Adam, Jamie & gay asian boy" out back and kick them around a bit. (not the chick she's cute : ). Know it all condescending geeks ... They owe me lunch money ;-)
I think that catching swords and arrows is wonderful for demonstration with two guys who've trained and rehearsed together for years. The guys in DR's latest video are obviously friends and training partners who've worked together for a long time.
But that's all it is - a demonstration technique. To pull it off in combat would be miraculous.
I'm glad that Mythbusters examined those ninja feats (thanks Bob for the link) but using a robotic hand is a lot different than using a live and well-trained test subject.
As far as walking on water, there are lots of ways to fake that. I would think using an underwater platform would be the easiest.
But again, such a feat is good stage magic. Other than its propaganda use, I don't see a martial application to it.
I don't know about all that but I did post your video on the Myth Buster forum. Maybe they'll reevaluate their conclusion? Even if the sword in that video is not sharp, what he did was very impressive. Not to mention all the other disarming techniques. Very hardcore.
Watch it in slow motion again. The sword guy stops his swing before karate dude claps his hands together.
I don't think this is even remotely possible if the sword guy is actually swinging (a 3-foot, really sharp knife)to cut karate dude's body instead of just holding the sword out for him to clap his hands onto.
But I could be wrong...
I agree to an extent that it is a practiced and staged event. Still way cool!
CCP: I definately got the Dragon reference, I've been reading my homework!
Here's the trick to the arrow parry.
One guys stands x feet from target shoots an arrow. You count (the guy doing the catching) the number of seconds it takes to get there. Do this a few times to get a rhythm. The swap the guy and the target. Fire arrow at a slight angle off center of the guy catching it. This gives extra distance for the arrow to travel and then the crowd can see better.
Fire the arrow, count then grab. It's easy with practice.
I was on the drill and demo team for years, I know how most of these are done. i.e standing and breaking on eggs or ice, breaking ice or glass, flying side kick over a car. They're easy with practice. Think of them as magic tricks.
Some are real some are not. Some are "augmented" to make them easier. Like spacers between boards. (or pennies and bricks)
Here's a few I can't do, a real coconut break, knock the top off a whiskey bottle and poke my fingers through paper "speed break style"
My JDK instructor broke 202 clay (no baking, no sand, no spacers) in groups of 20 the last being 22. With his head. I was there I saw it, I've broken the same bricks. You'd be surprised what's real and what's not. I knew an old Korean grandmaster who would lay rocks (Chicago: so from Lake Michigan) flat on the floor an break them with a ridge hand. I want to see those mythbuster queers do that one.
And speaking of dragons anybody ever notice how a ninja's shuko (climbing claws) are often used in the context of blade catching. Hmm ..
Hey DR, I just connected another dot ;-)
Wow, I've been scooped half a dozen times by other martial arts bloggers this month! I really need to stop writing posts, and then filing them away for later instead of publishing.
I've got some related video clips I'll share with you in a day or two.
You really think it looks convincing? I don't think it looks like he strikes full force with the sword cached blow. Especially when you see it in slow motion, you can see that he slows down the sword, before it is caught. Yes mythboster has it flaws, no doubt, but they had one very good point about this myth, one thing is to move fast enough to slap your hands on the side of the sword, that is "no problem". But a sword is freaking sharp, and your hands are (ninja/samurai/chuck norris or not) soft. A sharp sword stroked to kill/maim you, is going to cut right through your hands.
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