I am looking to shut down this old site that we once was quite active. It's been years since I have posted, and I don't see a need to continue. The last day will probably be this Friday, Dec 22nd, 2023.
Added by rawnshah on December 18, 2023 at 1:20pm —
Added by rawnshah on September 9, 2013 at 10:12am —
We're getting a lot of spam signups so I changed things a little.
Added by rawnshah on August 17, 2013 at 8:54pm —
This is sad news that you probably never knew about before. Bob Andersen was the British Olympic contender in 1952 for fencing and either instructed or did the stunts in the first few Star Wars movies, and the Lord of the Rings.
Added by rawnshah on January 3, 2012 at 11:55am —
I came across the Northern Carlifornia Japanese Sword club (token kai) formed by the renown author of The Samurai Sword -- A Handbook, Jon Yumoto. I noticed in particular how detailed their Visual Glossary is. This is a great resource if you want to know more about the different aspects of the sword, its, manufacture, the different types of design of both the blade and the mountings.
I know… Continue
Added by rawnshah on October 25, 2011 at 10:05am —
I've been awfully busy for quite some time, and I will try to keep adding content more regularly. Apologies to the folks who were interested in becoming members as well. I get so many spam members its hard to tell sometimes, which is why I put in the approval process.
Added by rawnshah on October 21, 2011 at 6:34am —
So far this new type of goshinken has held up pretty well. It's only been a month of use but so far nothing immediate.
We've tried it among the senseis and brown belts and it certainly held up. The entire class has used it (swapping it between people) for sparring and kata practice. They're getting used to others using it on them.
Wear and Tear
The grip is holding. Even with very hard smacks the is no paint chipping, cracks,… Continue
Added by rawnshah on April 19, 2011 at 12:06pm —
Now that I need a new goshinken, having run out of them, I'm going to order one of the 3rd generation type goshinkens. I'm trying them out to see how well they work, before anyone else spends their money on it.
These are the almost visually realistic looking foam swords created by the SCA types (the Renaissance renactment folk) and LARPers (Live Action Role Playing). There's quite an industry growing around these incidentally, judging by the… Continue
Added by rawnshah on February 24, 2011 at 8:36am —
Ning is planning to start charging for this site. Till now it's been free but I'll have to consider it. The very basic one has too few features but enough to put our photos. The video space is limited.
On the other hand Facebook technically owns any picture you put on it which I don't like either.
Any ideas folks?
Added by rawnshah on May 9, 2010 at 12:04am —
A bunch of spambots /users joined and I deleted their "online prescription" stuff. Sorry about that.
Added by rawnshah on February 18, 2010 at 2:22pm —
Recently I've been looking to replace my white oak bokuto with saya that I normally use. While white or red oak are both good woods to make bokuto out of they eventually wear down and start to splinter and crack. I went on an internet quest to find online bokuto sellers that would give more of a choice in customization of length, style and wood composition of the sword. My search has yielded two pretty cool new sites that offer a wide variety of choices, or at least much more than we are used… Continue
Added by Andrew Dicenso on January 26, 2010 at 6:58pm —
I came across a potential mismatch between theory and practice in Taisabaki 3 and 4 last weekend and took some photographs to figure it out.
The basic point is that Taisabaki #3 (hidari) is a shift to the left, so that you are offside to the opponent but still within the same range (maai
). Taisabaki #4 (migi) is a shift to the right to achieve the same but
may not put you within the same range.
Here is Taisabaki #3, with a drawing of foot positions before and… Continue
Added by rawnshah on December 3, 2009 at 12:59pm —
I tested 9 students yesterday for their Kyu ranks, most of them rokkyus, a few in the middle and two brown belts. The brown belts still have to demonstrate their cutting on Sunday the 13th to complete their test.
It took a good hour or so to do the testing but it seemed to go pretty quickly for me. It seems to take forever of waiting and then take a long time to do your own test, but in reality time passes pretty quickly. There's also the nervousness factor. It makes you forget what… Continue
Added by rawnshah on December 2, 2009 at 1:15pm —
For advanced cutters, such as those who have been shodan for a while in our class, I think a standing target is becoming too easy. Yes, there are certainly still many possible cuts that you and I can't do yet on a target that is in a fixed location. But there is a whole domain of cutting that requires a different set of skills that we don't practice as often.
If you've been to our cutting sessions, you may notice at the end of class, we sometimes toss the last small cutable pieces at… Continue
Added by rawnshah on November 16, 2009 at 9:20am —
It seemed like a long day (9am-1pm+) for cutting so I may not have all the details. Everyone certainly did better today. I think most people did quite good if not phenomenal today. I did record high speed videos but I never seem to find the time to edit and post them.
The best I saw today was Alex who is a yonkyu but was able to do a full (and nice) kihon-toho on a half goza. That's usually a nikkyu level cut. Charlie injured his palms and wasn't able to cut before they started… Continue
Added by rawnshah on November 8, 2009 at 1:50pm —
It might have just been an off-day for folks but from what I saw last weekend, all the candidates for the next black belt level, myself included, do not seem ready for their next test. As cutting criteria again, you need to be proficient in those cuts, which to me means you should be able to do it not just once or twice but pretty much on command 60-90% of the time.
You should not have to think through the cuts but you can certainly do it at a careful pace (slow in between cuts). The… Continue
Added by rawnshah on October 28, 2009 at 8:58am —
I purchased some sharpening stones from Nihonzashi to try out. They have a fairly large selection of stones from 100 to 8000 grit. This is based on the Japanese grit system, and all the stones are from Japan I believe. I only purchased a 1000/6000 combo stone, and a 3000 grit one, which are better for maintenance not hard core repair. The Japanese grit system is not the same as the US one (quite different actually). There is a conversion chart that I saw somewhere but you will need to be… Continue
Added by rawnshah on October 14, 2009 at 9:20am —
I'm considering another cutting day on Sat the 24th starting around 9am at Himmel park. It usually goes on till noon. I need responses from people on who can attend and how much goza you need.
We have goza again. As before goza is $6 for a full piece/ $3 for half piece. I plan to cut about 9 goza myself and may have students from the high school class too, so I simply can't soak it all and bring it all in my car. (one plastic tub only fits about 16 before it breaks). For Andrew C and… Continue
Added by rawnshah on October 5, 2009 at 4:44pm —
I have the new Peg sharpener in and have been making some pegs. Basically, it's cheaper in the long run than buying pre-made pegs for our cutting stand. I went out to Home Depot, got four 1" dowels and had them cut down to size, so now we have 16 possible pegs.
It works like a big pencil sharpener essentially. Blank peg goes in one end and you turn while it planes away the edge. It took me about 15 minutes to do one peg and made my… Continue
Added by rawnshah on October 4, 2009 at 9:04am —
Another myth from many movies: Swords should make "Zing!" sound when you draw them from the sheath.
Perhaps for other swords, but this is generally a bad idea for Japanese swords.
First, most, perhaps all, sayas are made from wood (or wood on the inside). Some have metal or horn fittings at the koiguchi
(the opening entry point for the sword), but that is mostly or entirely on the outside. So there is not really any other metal on the inside to make that metallic… Continue
Added by rawnshah on September 26, 2009 at 8:30am —