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Samurai Swords and The Swordsmiths
Back in the early times of sword manufacture, the production of super strong high-grade carbon steel wasn't even a vague dream. But we know, as history has taught us, that sword makers of ancient times still managed to produce superb quality, strong weapons.
So just how was this possible all those hundreds of years ago? How did these ancient swordmakers manage to craft weapons of such high-quality? What was the secret to this skill of taking poor quality ore and turning it into the finest quality steel blades? Well, it seems the process of Japanese samurai swords making was an highly advanced artform. It wasn't as simple as casting a sword shape with molten steel and sharpening an edge. What the swords makers would do was to hammer the heated and softened steel flat, and fold it over and hammer it flat again, and repeat this process over and over, maybe by upto as much as thirty times.
This was a very long and labor-intensive process, but in the constant folding and hammering of the steel, it would create internally something comparable to layers. Take a book and fold it parallel to the spine, roll it up and you'll see what a swords structure inside would look like, and also see how strength increases. This gave the sword a superior strength. As in much of Japanese culture, like Martial Arts for example, many advancements and ways are attributed to emulating natures ways and by observing natures patterns.
It is sometimes thought by some that the idea for this 'folding' to create the 'rings/layers' inside the samurai sword came about by looking at the cross section of the inside of a tree trunk and observing the way these almost layer like rings of wood gave the tree the strength to stand upto natures forces without breaking very easily, but merely bending with the wind. This is thought by some to be the idea which gave birth to the folded steel concept of Japans samurai swords.
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Is it a "Hurt" or is it an "Injury"
My father fed me this line every time I felt pain or discomfort. Growing up the coach's son was not without difficulty.
Things to Know About Learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture.
The Plight of Industrialized Man
Living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge for any body: the poor excuse for weather west of the Cascades is one of the worst on earth for human health. Luckily our Ch'uan Fa Club meets in central Oregon several times a week, rarely missing an opportunity to train outdoors .
So you are thinking of starting to train in okinawan karate. There are a lot of choices as far as okinawan karate schools are concerned.
Content, Are We?
I asked a simple question at the last seminar:"How much has everyone improved in the year since we last got together?"I've practiced the same basics everyday for decades.Everyday Rain or shine.
A Beginning History of Old School Jujutsu - Part 1
Over the next couple of day's I will writing an article of the history of Pre-WWII Japanese Jujitsu/Judo. I wasn't sure where to start, but here I am so let's get started.
Are You Still Standing Toe to Toe?
How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, see how much you and your partner move. You will find you move very little or not at all.
How To Defend Against A Knife - Dont Use The Stuff Taught In The Dojo!
Defences against Knife attacks, Firstly if at all possible get yourself and anyone else out of the potential danger area..
Have No Misconceptions
I just received an Email from a woman who has a child (3 year old) and about to have another. Considering my wife is in a similar situation, this question couldn't be more relevant.
Women in the Martial Arts
1st Lady Assistant to Sensei Henry Ellis Ellis Schools of Traditional AikidoI was born in West London in 1963, my father was very involved in the martial arts and a dan grade in Karate he was also a dealer in ancient Japanese arms and armour, although my father has an antiques shop in London's Bond Street, my home was more like a samurai warriors dressing room, with original suits of Japanese armour complete with very frighting face masks that would frighten the life out of my friends when ever they came to visit, there were also very many valuable swords yari and naginata spears.The MastersMy father would travel around the world searching for the best quality weapons, what intrigued me the most as a child was all these strange visitors that would come to my home, the famous Otani family were regular visitors with Sensei Matsuro Otani 7th dan Judo the UK National Coach, Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, Tomio Otani Sensei the UK National Coach for Kendo, his visitors were like the who's who of martial arts, as recently as two weeks ago I was pleased to meet with Sensei Kazuo Chiba 8th dan when he came to see my father.
How to Become A Modern-Day Ninja Master
The ninja were a military order in Japan. Most people have seen them in movies and fictional books.
COMBATIVES? ...... Don't Tell Me. I Know What That Is! (Part 1)
"Combatives" from the root word COMBAT - "to fight in direct contact", "active fighting between enemies", "any fight or struggle".Well, let's see??????.
Martial Arts Strength Training
According to various sources on the internet, a 1996 article in Iron Man Magazine revealed Bruce Lee's workout. In addition to his cardio and karate workouts, Lee lifted weights three times a week and performed the following routine: clean and presses 2 x 8 squats 2 x 12 barbell pullovers 2 x 8 bench presses 2 x 6 good mornings 2 x 8 barbell curls 2 x 8 Unfortunately, he injured his back doing good mornings, which nearly ruined his career.
So You Think You Train Hard
"Tokio Hirano (1922-1993) 8th Dan The Man Who Revolutionized Judo" By Jim Chen, M.D .
Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide
"Daddy, I want to take Karate!""Mommy, Jimmy on the bus hit me again today"There are many reasons why parents want to sign their children up for Self Defense or Martial Arts classes. Once you have made the decision, now you are faced with many different options and questions.
Its Not a Matter of Who is Right
"People here may belittle sports arts..
Most people have only been exposed to John Styers work through the book "Cold Steel".It is important to remember that first and foremost this book outlines a BASIC course of close-combat instruction.
Who Created Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)?
I have read a number of books, articles, and novels, and have watched movies and television series that touched on the origins of Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing), and the question, "Who Created Tai Chi Chuan?" made me concern very much!Although knowing the origins or the source of Tai Chi Chuan is not going to have much effects on your learning and practicing of the art, it is my responsibility to share with the masses of what I have found out. And understanding the origins of something that we loved so much about will make us appreciate the understand it better, if not improving our skills.
Martial Arts and The Bible
As a Christian and a martial arts student, I have often wrestled with the idea of self-defense. Does God expect me to defend my family and myself when physically attacked or am I to "turn the other cheek" and endure it in the name of Jesus? As I considered the many comments I encountered on this topic, I became even more confused.
This is our last installment on "defining" the parameters of COMBATIVES.The point, I am sure, will be missed by some but it must be emphasized that this material is historical fact and is accurate in substance and detail.