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Iain Abernethy
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Smooth is Fast (sword)

A cool video from Brent Yamamoto showing Koichi Kashiwaya sword drawing:

Brent Yamamoto: This month a few of us are focused on sword work.  Although the sword isn’t a practical weapon in this age, it is a lot of fun and there is training value for many martial applications.

You always hear the old mantra “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”. Well, yes and no. In reality, slow is just frickin’ slow. But smooth is definitely fast. Eliminating unnecessary tension and movement, relaxing properly, performing only what you need with nothing extraneous…this is part of what makes you smooth, and as a result makes you fast.

The sword (in this case a “bokken”, a wooden training sword) is a very useful training tool. Not so much as a functional weapon, though it can certainly be used that way, but more as a “magnifying glass”. You may be able to hide sloppy movement with nothing in your hands, but the sword magnifies any imperfection and makes it obvious on video. When you can see imperfection, you can fix it.

Enjoy the drill and apply the ideas to your own martial training.