Mu-Tou Dori (Swordless Take)

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by sshh, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

    I've been working on this aspect of taijutsu training a lot lately. I did a search and found some discussion in the general Q&A forum:

    There was also some brief, in passing discussion of evasion on this thread:

    What are some of the usual mutodori training the rest of you ninja's partake in?

    The basic taihenjutsu mutodori kamae kata is a good one to do nearly every training session, but what about other kata, say from gyokko ryu chu- & ge-ryaku no maki?

    The principles I try to focus on most are calmness, smoothness, not revealing intention, and staying alert to possible counters from uke.

    I'd like to hear some other views on the following aspects of muto dori:

    tai-sabaki and kurai dori (body control, evasion, use of kamae, etc.)
    use of atemi (strikes), and gyakugi (joint-reversals) to effect a disarm
    henka (variations) found during practice of muto dori kata

    and whatever else you feel is related.
  2. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

    wow, zero replies...

    I'm up early on a tuesday morning - thought I'd go online and see what y'all have been talking about before starting my day. Seems no one is interested in unarmed defense against a sword.

    Hmm, I thought mutodori was a fundamental aspect of bujinkan training?

    I just had a discussion with one of my sempai about applying gyaku waza to sword techniques and applying sword techniques further down to knife techniques. Seems pretty relevent to me - know one else is interested in defense against a knife?

    Anyhoo, the topic was what to do if you were the swordsman / or person with a knife and someone was using a mutodori / disarm technique against you - how to counter the counter.

    Any experience / insight to share?
  3. Tudoggz

    Tudoggz Valued Member

    Gday mate

    im still young in training so wat ever i say might b way off, but we do alot of mutodori. as from the perspective of swordsman, just say i was in dajodan no kamae. the person is oviously going to try and invite my cut yes? so that wen i have cut i think i have cut him the evasion is that close! it is tricky though i think because knowing that, wen ski (is it?) is exposed i am stuck at whether to attck or not knowing that if i do, unless he makes a mistake and gets cut in half, we will be in the next stage where he is trying to disarm kill me. or he will close the distance cing ive hesitated and disarm me from inside my effective cut distance. :S did i just make any sense? lol

    well i guess that if i have cut, he counters with wateva and tries to disarm me, id hope maby i could c or feel a point where he has left a opening in where maby i could attack with tai jutsu? to get control again and make a cut? or maby use my smaller sword? (forgotten name wakasashi? spelling?) guess it depends on the type of counter he is performing.

    as i said im not a very high ranked person, so if iv said silly things or am makeing no sense lemme know so we can discuss it!!

  4. Vanir

    Vanir lost my sidhe

    After a google, at best guess some techniques of Gyokko and Koto ryu during Takamatsu ryuha study. Didn't attend long enough to commit the terminology to memory.
    Can't say about Gikan ryu techniques, don't think so.

    I found the main focus being in patience and commitment of motion.
  5. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore


    it is important to have the proper perspective whether you are the one that is armed vs the one that is unarmed, e.g. like in the mutodori scenario.
    as the armed attacker, you are going to have certain assumptions depending on your depth of strategy.
    this makes it even harder as the unarmed defender to survive such a situation
    the gyokko and koto styles of unarmed defense are like the bread and butter of taijutsu, i think. I like their methods very much when it comes to muto waza.

    in like a kenjadori situation, attacker in daijodan cuts down, but the cut is evaded to the side, what does the attacker think? "got 'em, nope missed 'em, cut again..." as the unarmed defender, you can't wait for this thought process to continue, you must defeat the attacker already assuming that the one armed is going to cut again, so that's why the immediate taking of a safe space, then disabling the attacker's abilities (e.g. strikes to vitals on head/neck/arm/hand locations, and then disarm with joint-reversal or whatever, etc. etc.)

    in a happobiken situation, the armed vs. unarmed situation is just a moment in time between each person's accessing of further weapons - their own, their opponent's, or the environment - another thing to keep in mind.
  6. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Thought I'd reopen this thread. Somewhat out of boredom and also because I think I missed it the first time around.

    I agree with you on the principles you bring up first: calmness, smoothness, not revealing intention and staying alert. How many times have we been "cut" in the beginning because once we got past the initial cut, we thought we were safe? I'd like to add distance and timing to the mix. Obviously, if your timing is off, your uke "feels" what you are doing (not hiding your intent comes to mind also, but I'm talking about timing here) and makes adjustments to their attack. Distance, need I say more? Too close, dead. Too far away, conflict not over.
    Tai sabaki: I found that if I'm nervous or uptight, for whatever reason, I have little "unconscious" control over my body. That is to say, I may know when to move and I may ttempt to move at that point, but, I have no control over the little signals that let my uke know in advance what I'm about to do. And when the evasion is successful, trying to control my uke becomes a chore instead of natural progression.
    Now, I'm not the best person in the world when it comes to memorizing kata from different ryu, so I have nothing to add there. I do know, that I'm no longer afraid of practicing muto dori, whether with a shinai, bokken or live blade. I actually find I quite fun and relaxing now. Calms me mentally and prepares me for class. At least it did. We would practice muto dori at the beginning of class (right after doing 100 rolls as a warm up).

    Sorry for the ramble, suffering from pneumonia and boredom. I may have repeated myslef or left partial thoughts floating around.
  7. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

    I originally wanted to discuss this subject, because it seems a pretty common training tool - at least with my group. it's very common to use it as a "cool-down" drill at the end of class. Lots of interesting things come up at such times.

    With the buj' theme this year of roppo kuji biken, we have been studying muto waza very closely - especially from the perspective of being the swordsman.

    yeah... timing - very important. Many times when I'm just doing the basics, but at quite a realistic speed, the timing has to be right on, or else my form completely breaks down and I end up leaving behind body parts to be cut off.
    A big problem I still have is trying to stay relaxed. I dunno, I just get a little jumpy when someone's swinging a weapon at me.

    I've done a few evade-disarms versus a live blade (extremely slowly, of course..) and I actually prefer it to bokken. The realism keeps the details clean, and is a fierce motivator sometimes - depends on the mood...

    Other things I've been working on in my training group and just ideas I've been thinking about, is using swordwork (the perspectives of both the swordsman, and the unarmed defender) with other bladed weapons, and even hand-to-hand. A major theme I've been mulling over (and trying to work in with the roppo kuji bikenjutsu stuff) is using postures and footwork of weapons form with unarmed movements and vice-versa. It seems such a recurring theme, showing up in different ways, that it warrants occasional meditation.

    I'll just leave all that out there and see where this goes.
  8. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Ditto here. Something we were working on in class recently. Quite an interesting concept. So closely related to yet opposite of the Juppo Sessho theme of last year. Has made for interesting class and after class discussion.

    Used to be my problem. A few things that helped were a) reminding myself that it's class, a training enviroment. b) Being able to trust my instructor completely c) Starting this kind of training early in my journey, not knowing what I was doing with it and making all sorts of mistakes d) Having someone pull a gun on me and threatening to shoot me (for real). Puts the sword bit in perspective.

    Oh yeah! I prefer the live blade too. My last instructor was extremely centered in his technique, and kept reminding me "A sword is a sword. It still hurts if you get hit."

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