Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Morons and Masters of the Sword: From WTF to the Sublime

Here are a few YouTube videos that show up some of the extremes of the spectrum of those active in 'sword fighting'. Some of it is awe-inspiring; some of it is so damn ludicrous that it isn't actually 'funny'.

Let starts with the demented first. Right up there at the top in the line of WTF-is-the-matter-with-evolution. Why did it desert us? And WTF is the matter with the parents of these...Ahh, never mind.

From the absurd to the merely pathetic. Reminds me uncomfortably of those exercises we used to do at our dojo. You never know how silly they look until someone else does them, I guess...

And now for something more positive:

Not 'fast-draw', but never mind that. I'm still working on getting my sword to move this fast in four consecutive cuts—even without actually cutting anything. But it's something to aim for. That, plus doing it from a lightning-fast draw.

And you gotta see this one! I was stunned...with the banana cutting anyway. The kata were somewhat less impressive and lacked 'spirit'. Too perfunctory. But the draw and cut...whoa!

And finally—and here, inwardly, I bow with the greatest respect—is a true Master of the Sword: Otake Risuke, of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. Actually, this video is the best of him I've ever seen. Sufficiently good, well-lit and with a good angle; so that, when playing it at reduced speeds, say in VLC-player, I can actually work out his movements, despite the speed at which they're executed. I am in awe of this man, and always have been, ever since I first saw clips of him in a BBC documentary.

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