Western Martial Arts

Western Martial Arts...
and Cutting Practice

We started teaching our Western Martial Arts cutting seminars back in 2002 after we were invited to one of the early Schola St. George Western Martial Arts Symposiums in California. Over the years we have been asked to teach cutting classes at a number of events, including the 2006 WMAW, and we have met some fantastic Western Martial Arts instructors, equipment makers, and students. It has been our extreme pleasure to discuss the similarities and differences between the Western Martial Arts and the Eastern Martial Arts with some of the top instructors in the WMA and "compare notes".

One of the things that was brought up early on was the issue that, even though the study of treatises and the re-introduction of the WMA's has been going on in earnest since the early 80's, there is little or no teaching tradition that has been passed down along with the literature to educate and train students. This is one of the reasons that we are asked to teach seminars on cutting technique. Something that our years of training in the EMA has taught us well.

After quite a bit of enthusiastic conversation at these WMA events we have all come away with the same idea; that the use of a sword in the two different styles has much more in common than it has differences. Body mechanics and sword mechanics only work in so many ways, and, even though they may be given different names, the way the techniques are put into practice is very much the same for both the Western and Eastern Martial Arts.

We also discussed the value of cutting practice in the WMA. Opinions varied some but the overall feeling was that cutting is a valuable tool for anyone wanting to seriously practice a martial sword style, and a necessary part of a well-rounded training regimen. If you would like to read some of the specific comments by the WMA Instructors, Sword Makers, and Students, please look here.

So that leaves the big question of what to use for cutting practice. This is a topic that is highly subjective, as much so as whether or not cutting practice itself is necessary. We will try to present different cutting materials as objectively as possible.

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