- It was a tie! - yells the first one.
- No, you lost - says the second one.
- No way! If you doubt me, then let's duel again, but now with the Katana (sharpen steel samurai sword). I challenge you again! - the first one draws his sword furiously.
This scenario is depicted in the movie "The Seven Samurai", from Akira Kurosawa, and it shows a duel between two Samurai. It takes place around the year 1700 and the end of the scene is the hot-headed Samurai (the first one) falling, in slow motion, after being cut flawlessly, 6 inches through his left shoulder, hit by the technique called Toraburi*.
Fortunately all the Samurai techniques were preserved in kata* form, but none of them were recorded being tested in real combat.
The outcome of this is that you can't arrive in a conclusion.
There will allways be someone that will interpret "his technique" or "his Kamae*" as more correct or more efficient.
For many times, in all the schools that I studied, I saw disagreements between them and even between teachers of the same school regarding a specific kata.
"It is not like that because in that way you wouldn't cut" or "If you do it his way, you will be at a disadvantage before your opponent".
Some say: "My way is better".
To know who is right, obviously it is not necessary to get a metal sword and start killing each other.
Nowadays, we can test the techniques with protection equipment and bamboo swords and then arrive at a conclusion. This is the Kenjutsu Combat.
The path should be clear: Less Speculation, More Convincing.
*Kamae= Posture or stance in preparation for a strike, usually named after elements of nature or animals.
*kata= pre-defined movements, simulating a duel
*Toraburi= Miyamoto Musashi's Niten Ichi School Kata from the Tachi Seiho (Long sword techniques).
It is known as the "Tiger's Onslaught" and it is part of the set of kata that we learn here in the Niten Institute.
剣術対戦 - Kenjutsu Combat
"By applying the old schools techniques in Kenjutsu Combat takes us closer to the understanding of the Go Rin no Sho (The Book of Five Rings - from Miyamoto Musashi), the Sun Tzu's Art of War and other old strategy books.
To relive these techniques you need to take them from the kata to the combat reality.
That way you will feel what are the secrets behind the Fire Kamae, the Sky Kamae, the Earth Kamae.
You will realize that against the Moon, there must be the Sun. Or that the Tree is as strong as the Metal.
In the end, to practice the Kenjutsu Combat is to dive deep in the old texts and give life to it all.""Give life to the past", page 138 of the Shin Hagakure (In Portuguese)
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