Sunday, January 4, 2015

Naked Blade 1.0

     For those who missed it, here is Naked Blade 0.0.
     I know I promised to talk about the grip in my next post, but I lied.
     You see, before I can talk about grip, I have to do two things:
     1) Talk about the razor and
     2) Learn how to make video and post video to my blog.
     I have not figured out 2 above, but I will use this post to talk about the razor. That should give me at least a month to figure out 2.

     For any of this to make sense, you must know the terminology. 

See the caption in the illustration?
It is wrong.
These are the parts of a straight razor.
There are no other parts.

     The back is also called the spine.
     Likely you comprehend the importance of the terms blade, edge, point, heel, and spine. Like the muzzle of a gun, the edge is the business end of a straight razor, and the parts around it gets your attention fast.
     What might escape your attention are the shank, handle, pivot, and tang. These four parts are where you grip the razor. These four parts are where you control the razor.
     It is the same with a katana:

     Nobody denies that the blade is the killer, but everyone knows you do not grip a katana by the blade. You grip it by the handle.
     What most people do not know is that you do not grip a katana with all your fingers. (I know some will argue with me on this. They argued on the mat at the dojo, and we did not resolve the matter then. Who thinks we will resolve it now over the internet?)
     Because the grips are the same for both hands, I will talk about a one-hand grip. (You can wield a katana with only one hand, but I strongly recommend against that.)
     The first time someone grips a katana, he will use a four-finger grip. That is, he will wrap all four fingers around the handle.
     That is wrong.
     The right way to grip a katana is with three fingers. Which three fingers? Not the index finger.
     Look at your hand. 

     See where the fingers join the palm? The creases of the little finger, ring finger, and middle finger make one line. The index finger is not in that line. 

Notice how the last three fingers wrap the handle.
This gives the swordsman a good line and a strong grip.
Notice that the index finger is free.
This allows for fine control of the katana. 

     In fact, you can wield a katana without touching either index finger to the handle. Your control will be less, but the strength of your cuts will be the same.
     In terms of straight razor usage, what you should take away from this post is --
     1) the names for the parts of a straight razor and
     2) that the three-finger grip means a grip with the little, ring, and middle fingers. 

     (Okay, I know some of you weirdos are asking, "Could I shave with a katana?" I would not. You could. I doubt you would have an ear left after the shave, but you could do it. If you really, really have to go that way, better to use a wakazashi. 
A samurai carried two blades. The wakazashi was the shorter of the two.
It was and is wielded with one hand. 

     Now, I am telling you: Do not try to shave with a katana or a wakazashi. Doing so will win you a Darwin Award.)

1 comment:

  1. The handle gets no love. The metal bit has its front corner and back corner and even its hind end named. The handle is just a handle.

    Video might best be done by uploading to youtube, then using their code to embed the video into a post. If nothing else, that would give you another method of directing people to your blog (if you care.) If you're going to start doing videos semi-regularly, youtube would serve as good cloud storage, organization, and free bandwidth.