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Old 07-08-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: True Samurai tactics

Samurai Tactics


Warriors who respected themselves and their opponents, and the rules of orthodox dueling were required to introduce themselves and state their reasons for engaging in combat. This requirements was even honored, when possible, in the heat of combat on the battlefield. After composing themselves, the duelists would unsheathe their weapons and advance slowly until they were the proper distance of each other. Each would then assume the posture appropriate to the strategy he intended to apply. From this point, the techniques would usually develop with blinding speed and total commitment.


16 varieties of cut are delivered with the Japanese sword, and each has its own name, as the "four sides cut," the "pear splitter," the "thunder stroke," the "scarf sweep," and so on. Appelations rather fanciful then descriptive , but of course conveying an exact meaning to Samurai ears.


Particularly famous was the whiplike motion of the blade known as kisagake, which could be developed into any one of the techniques mentioned above. page 274 of Secrets of the Samurai


The various techniques were generally divided into two main groups, the first comprising the techniques of cutting (kiri) and those of thrusting (tsuki) used in attack and counterattack, the second comprising the parries used in defense. Their targets were also clearly identified. According to orthodox canons of fencing, "no soldier was proud of having wounded an enemy in any other manner than the one established by strict samurai rule. The long sword had for its goal only four points; top of the head, the wrist, the side, and the leg below the knee. Sugimoto page 109

However experts abounded who would study the techniques of orthodox fencing and then devise appopriate counter measures--many of which were not in accordance with the standards of bushido. Unpredictable cuts, thrusts, and parries directed against any available target; various psychological devices intended to disturb in opponents concentration; and they continued reliance upon the element of tactical surprise. page 275 of Secrets of the Samurai


Almost every student of kenjutsu fancied himself the possessor of a secret, unique, and irresistable way of penetrating every other swordsman defense, with the razor sharp edge of his Katana. The initial movement of drawing the sword became a major art in its own right (iaijutsu). This art was based upon instantaneous , coordinated speed in unsheathing the sword and delivering a searing and often fatal blow as a continuation of the unsheathing motion. Particular suited to tan armed encounter in the course of daily life, as opposed to combat on a battlefield where weapons were already unsheathed, iaijutsu could be employed without warning against an unwary opponent or against one or more adveraries preparing to attack... page 276 of Secrets of the Samurai
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