The SAS Trainings System is divided in three main categories: Technique (sword-, body- and foot-movements), Choreography (combined Techniques versus fictive opponents) and Stunt (briefed attacking / defending movements versus one or more partners)
In this Beginner Course for Individuals you will learn all techniques of the basic strikes, body movements and footwork that you can handle controlled strikes and defense in every position. Each practice lecture should be trained until you feel a controlled blade and a grounded balance. To adapt the sword as an extra sharp limb of your body you should train every day. The Spirit of a Warrior implemented in your daily life will let you experience the Power of NOW.
Master of the sword
Mastery. A state of effortless perfect professioncy. They said it takes ten thousand hours to master an art. I am a master of the Samurai sword and i found out that this is true. I practice the sword for more than ten years and i still practice every day. It is a violent art designed to defeat your opponents. In this tradition mastery is the difference between life and death. But in our days the skills with the sword is not a form of any kind of conflict solution even through the training with the sword you will learn to defend yourself in any fighting situation also with bare hands. One of my teachers, Miyamoto Musashi, said: The true science of martial arts means practicing them in a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in a way that they will be useful in all things. And this is a guideline in all my trainings. The sword training is a journey with your entire body. Through learning a physical skill it teaches you to be disciplined, strong, resiliant and perhaps most important of all, vulnerable. While facing our vulnerability and weakness we learn how strong we really are. The art of the sword is a sophisticated system of self defence which take years to master and this art include important basics of geometrie, physics and timing as the academic part beside the athletic and spiritual part. The way of the sword is much more about movements and positions than strength including attack, defence, deception and strategy. You will realize how essential movement is when you get really connected with it. There is a deep and powerful connection that you will get with yourself and the world when you feel that your body works with you and you work with it. You will gain fitness, coordination, balance, harmony and peace. I belief anyone can master movements and in fact it is vital to do so. It is a myth that talent is required to be good at something, that you need to be good right away or that learning should be a five minute video clip. It is just a matter of time. Mastery, it is not a destination, it is a way of being, it is a choice to strive, face challenges and know your own vulnerability. Through the journey of physical mastery on the outside we profoundly change on the inside. The way of the sword is not only fitness for body and soul, it is a lifestyle ! ... the way is in training ...
Short introduction to the SAS Training System ... more on http://sas-egypt.weebly.com ... and what is the spirit of a warrior in 2017 and how to use it in your daily life
Japanese sword-making developed centuries ago, before electron
microscopy, mass spectrometry, and other tools of modern materials
analysis enabled scientists to understand exactly why the swords are as
good as they are. Professor Michael Notis of Lehigh University, an
expert on samurai swords, sheds light on the principles that underlie
the weapons' strength, resilience, beauty, and distinctive shape...
Please do a warm up before each training session to avoid injuries ... after a training session you should stretch the worked out muscles to improve flexibility !
The perfect grip is essential for all different cuts.
Your hands should grip the sword grasping most firmly with the pinkie and ring finger, the middle and index finger hold looser ... the back of both hands should be facing upwards in your grip, so the first knuckle of each hand is visible ... there should be a slight squeezing feeling
to the grip but without tension ... Grip the long sword with a rather floating feeling in your thumb and forefinger, with the middle finger neither tight nor slack, and with the last two fingers tight ...Without the right grip nothing will work.
The Center Strike is the most basic and also the most difficult strike, so you cannot practice it too much. Make sure to study your form in a mirror: check to see if you are striking straight down and see if your posture is straight. Remember to breathe with the sword. Breathe in while raising the sword and out with KiAi when striking.
practice first the static horizontal cut to get the sword connected with your power center and to get used to the hand switches ... afterwards practice the dynamic horizontal cut versus one opponent before you practice the horizontal cut against multiple attackers ...
practice first the static diagonal downwards cut to get the sword connected with
your power center ... afterwards practice the dynamic diagonal downwards cut
versus multiple attackers while maintaining the balance
One of the most difficult strikes not only because of the different grips. You cannot practice the diagonal upward strikes enough.
Practicing basic strikes as a extended warm up for your training with rhythmic music. Timing and rhythm are essential in sword fighting. Choose a slow rhytm music at the beginning to get used to the timing and precision of your strikes. I do 5', 7' or 10' extended warm ups with my students in every class.
Zan = continue; Shin = spirit
The concept of Zanshin is very important in weapons training. On a physical level Zanshin
refers to the actual final position in each technique which should be maintained for several seconds after the completion of the movement. This gives your body time to settle into itself. It also allows you to check your balance, hand and feet position and other important elements.
On a spiritual level, Zanshin is the powerful channeling of Ki (physical and spiritual energy) outwards even after the actual technique has been performed. I would describe Zanshin as the continued state of spirit, mental alertness and physical readiness, relaxed alertness, the general
awareness of one's sourroundings ... After the KiAi you should have a slight amount of breath left. When this breath has been exhaled, your Zanshin should be completed.
Suburi are practice strikes and thrusts but you always cut with full spirit an imaginary opponent. The purpose of Suburi 1 is to learn the basic straight strike to the head which is called Shomen. The "Shime movement" is a very important part of the strike to accelerate the blade into the cut.
The art of drawing the sword (Iaido) is an important section in the SAS Training System. Sword draw practice should start with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard (or saya), striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. With the Bokken you always simulate the scabbard with your left hand. In this beginner course we focus only on two sword draws, the defense draw cut and the attacking draw cut. In training focus mainly on precise, controlled, fluid motion, before you raise the speed in your draws. In the Choreography section of this course you will also learn the kneeling horizontal reverse cut.
This Choreography includes the different basic strikes and thrusts against 8 attackers. You should learn to "see" all your imaginary opponents to come closer to real combat and strike them down as if you are on the battle field. After you are able perform this short choreography well, you can start to be creative, and let the attackers approach from different directions, or you change sequences of the strikes to new combinations.
Klaus J.R. Altersberger, born 1961 in Munich, is living since 1998 in Dahab / South Sinai / Egypt and worked for more than 10 years in diving business as an instructor trainer and diving center manager. Martial Arts have always been his hobby and after finishing his diving carrier he could dedicate his time to the Samurai sword training. 2010 he opened as an Aikiken Sensei his first sword school in Dahab / South Sinai, and created his own training system , SAS - Spirit & Art of the Sword, to teach especially the Samurai sword with Bokken and Katana. 2016 he opened his second SAS Dojo in Alexandria / Egypt to teach students. which are targeting to reach the SAS Master level. which open them the door to the SAS Teacher's Path.