Section 10 - Appendix I - Great Weapons


X. Exercises

  1. Greatsword Kata I – Block/strike

    This kata supplies a repeating series of movements that allow you to practice all aspects of striking and blocking while maintaining your balance and an upright position. In performing the blocks, use the rotation of your body to assist your arms in moving the weapon into the proper position.

  2. Greatsword Kata II – Combination
    FLASH video of "Kata II - combination - front view" (0.8 MB)
    FLASH video of "Kata II - combination - side view 1" (0.8 MB)
    FLASH video of "Kata II - combination - side view 2" (0.9 MB)
    This combination of techniques allows you to practice flowing from one technique to the next. You might never use the entire sequence, but you will very likely use parts of it.
    1. Take a stance with your sword in the high guard.
    2. Strike towards your opponent’s head.
    3. Stride forwards with your back foot into a reversed stance. At the same time, pull your blade back into a Point Guard.
    4. Thrust towards your opponent’s face. If you are trying to build accuracy:
      1. Be careful to move the weapon down its own length as it moves towards the target.
      2. Thrust very slowly. The thrust in the video is faster than is useful in building accuracy.
    5. Pull back into a forehand block.
      1. Be careful not to shift your weight to your back foot.
      2. Keep your weight balanced, and your body upright.
      3. Ensure that the tip of the blade drops quickly as the block is executed.
    6. Swing down and across in a leg blow, while starting to stride forward with your back foot.
      1. Pull the blow through with out contact by pulling your hands closer into your body.
      2. The tip of the weapon should move so that it points directly out to your side at the point where it starts to move back towards the target.
      3. Your back foot should move as the sword passes in front of you. Allow the sword to pull your foot off of the ground, rather than making the stride a separate movement.
    7. Your back foot should complete its stride just after the tip of the sword starts to rise towards the target, while still pointing out to your side.
      1. Reverse your hands by pulling with the lower hand towards the hilt and up, directing a blow towards your opponent’s face, and pushing with your upper hand.
    8. Pause, then move the blade back up into a high guard, then repeat.

  3. Naginata
    The exercises with the naginata are meant to increase your facility with handling the weapon. Strive for fluidity and control.