Friday, January 9, 2009

Heavy Weaponry (Use and Techniques)




Extensive studies were done by my kenjutsu class and I in the field of Heavy Weaponry and including Body Armor. Heat and Exhaustion can be your worst enemy. Providing that you have the techniques and given that you only have a second or less to spend with each incoming attacker. You must ration your energy and pace yourself, this is detrimental to your survival. But not to worry, your enemies' are suffering the same way. Cool your body in any way possible - elaborate on that. Subterfuge, you must confuse your enemies (fake here, strike there, fake there, strike here...you must not show your enemies your true objective.
Keep in mind your worst enemy will creep-up from within. I have seen combatants drop their guards and have chosen to much rather take a big whack on the side of the head instead of blocking the incoming attack to save themselves - due to heat exhaustion. If double vision suddenly plagues you, strike at the middle - you will hit the target (but you canot observe your weapon in this way - you have to use physical instinct).


Shadows are useful, you can monitor any movements from behind and time your opponents' attack properly observing the movement of the shadows. This is an example of how to use nature to your advantage. Early morning and later afternoon cast the longest shadows that would be useful to your observation.
By observing varied situations, one can determine where or when to maneuver for an attack. Whichever situation you're in (attacking or retreating), the ability to counter attack is detrimental. I will explain more about the handling of heavy weaponry in the chapter (click to open - left title block). The most important thing about the heavy weapons is the handling. You have to use every possible hand position - due to the fact that you have to ride and steer these weapons instead of whipping them around like the swords. The destructive momentum of these weapons are hardly stoppable, but when familiarized you can somewhat redirect its momentum or its vector of force rather quickly. ...
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VIDEO 2-1
Demonstrating basic sword drawing techniques
(Shinobi Kai Kenjutsu)
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VIDEO 2-2
Sanchaku techniques, parries and strikes.
(Strikes to the wrists, ankles, collar bones, and sides of the head)
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VIDEO 2-3
VIDEO: Sword Exercise III
(Maneuvering with the long sword - balance and agility
showing Reverse Grip, Forward, Inside, and Outside)
VIDEO: Sword Play VII
(Demonstration of various strikes and maneuvers)
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Heavy Weapon Techniques
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The following are the proper ways to handle long weapons such as (nodachi, kanabo and as well as the chinese halberd known as Kwan):
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1) See the illustration and the video above (It shows the four different hands combinations).
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2) Your hands must be far apart (you need this leverage to handle heavy and long weapons).
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3) One hand is essentially at the base of the weapon (this will provide not only reach but also maneuverability - you will use the figure-eight system, and the over-sized pomels of the kanabo are specially adapted for this kind of maneuver).
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4) Your other hand (at the center of gravity - with staff weapons) will assist in the following maneuvers (pulling the weapon back to parry and to re-chamber, assisting to aim your thrusts, and to push the weapon for a strike).
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5) The hand (stationed at the base of the weapon) will also assist in catching the weapon to stop it from a swing or a strike. Generally, one hand cradles the weapon at its center of gravity, while the other hand maneuvers the weapon, points it, spins it, or direct it to any direction. Hands are switched nominally, to reduce fatigue.
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6) Switching hands are done essentially fifty-percent of the time (this will provide an effective redirectional of your vector of force, switch hands at the end of the swing).
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7) Strikes, thrusts and sweeps are implemented from all situations (standing, kneeling, seated on the ground or lying down). It's easier to get-up using the weapons centrifugal force.
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8) Since the weapon is heavy, it is normal to rest its end on the ground (with one hand, you are ready to parry from this position as well as deliver a thrust or strike - learn these). Resting the hand near the center of gravity of the weapon, can provide a quicker maneuverability - re-directing the point (balanced like a propeller).
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9) Throwing long and heavy weapons are essentially the same as in the long-sword techniques.
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10) I show most of the hand grips and maneuvers of these weapons on the above video (with practice you will find the proper distance between the hands - for effective handling of such weapons).
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11) You should be able to apply an attack or parry from any situation, with this technique - you should be able to maneuver such weapons effectively and efficiently, and not get tired quickly.
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12) Advisable targets of attack (all areas: ankles, greaves, knees, thighs, hip, lower-back, solar plexus, shoulders, collar bones, arms, wrists, metacarpals, neck areas, head, and also to include the strike to the attacking weapons)

13) The techniques should be continuous. The continuity and timing should harmonize with the incoming attacks. As I mentioned the figure-8 movement, that is only a simplified picture of what I try to convey. The actual movement is: a series of loops, zig-zags, with fakes, parries and strikes. Breathing sequences and footwork must be applied in accord. In this way, you are breathing and walking with the techniques - it would be hard to get tired quickly in this way. Do not wait for an attack. When in range, initiate with a subterfuge, and continuous combinations until the opponent is defeated.
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2 comments:

  1. HEY I THINK OUR BLOGS ARE TOO SIMILAR
    GET OFF THE INTERNET!

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  2. Thank you for sharing the information. I don't use kanabou, but I do use a oak bo as a walking stick, and willing to use it if someone attacks me. Even though the weapon I use is different, it seems to share some commanalities. Now I have better understanding of how to use this walking stick. Again, thank you.

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