Interesting Facts on Samurai Sword Manufacture
A samurai's sword is his most sacred and prized possession. Not only did the samurai rely on his sword to defend him, but spiritually the sword held greater significance as the samurai actually believed his soul inhabited the sword. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the same discipline and respect in which the samurai wielded his sword, went into the actual making of the sword itself.
Swords weren't simply 'cast' in a mould and then sharpened. A Japanese samurai sword was made by an intricate process of heating the steel, hammering it flat, then folding it, then hammering it flat again, and folding. This process of repeated hammering and folding would be done up to as much as 30 times, or until the maker was satisfied it had been done properly.
There are quite a few reasons for this labour-intense procedure. Firstly, any air pockets which might develop during the heating of the steel would be eliminated. Having an air pocket in a seemingly solid blade would be a weak point, and any weak point would be seen as neglect and any dedicated artisan would produce the highest quality blades as if his own life depended upon the very blade he was forging. Secondly, in the repeated folding and hammering, what might be described as 'layers' were produced. Take a book and roll it up it parallel with the spine, these internal layers would look something like this, almost like the rings of a cross section of a tree trunk. This added much strength to the blade.
Also the natural strengthening carbon elements within the steel, as well as the steels impurities would be spread throughout the whole of the sword, therefore strengthening it in its entirety. When the blade came to be cooled it wasn't simply quenched in water, another process had to be done first. When steel is been cooled, if it cools from a high temperature right down to cold in a short amount of time, the metal becomes very hard and brittle. Conversely, if steel is cooled slowly from a lower temperature right down to cold, the steel takes on more supple, even softer properties. Because a samurai sword was used primarily as a slicing weapon the blades were subjected to a lot of shock upon impact on the enemy, therefore the blade couldn't be made of the more brittle steel throughout else it would shatter like glass. But the sword had to retain its sharp edge, so it couldn't be made of softly forged steel throughout else it would simply blunt. So a balance was struck using a very clever procedure.
What the Japanese samurai sword makers discovered was by painting on a clay formula onto the blade before quenching, thin amounts onto the cutting edge and thicker amounts onto the back, the steel could be made to take on two completely separate properties, thereby giving the blade the hard cutting edge it required, and the more supple back. Because of the different speeds in which the two halves of the steel cooled this also formed the beginning of the curve from which the sword makers would work to create the famous curved blade.
Its Not a Matter of Who is Right
"People here may belittle sports arts..
Catholic Self Defense
Note: I wrote this essay regarding the development of Tekkenryu jujutsu. However, I think it is applicable for all methods of self defense.
Does It Hurt When I Do This?
Let me tell you something. I don't bruise too easily.
The Thumb Jab
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The Plight of Industrialized Man
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Martial Training as a Timeless Portal
Thanks to several centuries of enlightened teachings by extraordinary men in the martial disciplines, we don't have to be restricted to lives of getting and spending, waiting in quiet desperation for the pain to cease.Most of us in the Arts focus on the tasks in front of our noses (the correct hand forms/kicks/body alignments), forgetting our option to consciously evolve along the way to physical perfection.
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Do not believe that practicing "by rote" 1-2-3,etc. type "responses" to street attacks is a viable or particularly useful training exercise.
Do You Take Yours Trained or Untrained?
If you ain't pissing anyone off, you're not doing anything worth while. Like religion and politics, martial arts are not for a lack of its zealots.
New Book: Positive Aikido
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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.
We all have a good foundation in the basic blows and combinations.Think about adding the following drills to your basic syllabus.
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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.
So You Think You Train Hard
"Tokio Hirano (1922-1993) 8th DanThe Man Who Revolutionized Judo"By Jim Chen, M.D .
The Best Martial Art
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Strategy as Applied to Warrior-citizens
After years of study, I have come to a small understanding of the way of strategy. I will here explain some strategy as it applies to warrior-citizens.