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A long time ago I used to study fighting with a tanto, derived loosely from aikijujutsu. Recently I have found myself glancing through a lot of forms practice and analyzing the movements, and was wondering if there are any good references out there to tanto forms. I've found a few online, but many of them don't quite have the right feel to them at least in video form, and so I am looking for some sort of printed reference I can look through and try to better understand.

Art isn't that important, but older forms are preferable.

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Sadly, the majority of information I've come across has been rather poor. I do rather like Hatsumi Masaaki's material from Knife and Pistol Fighting (ナイフ・ピストルファイティング) – stslavik Feb 27 '12 at 23:33
I don't know if it's any good, but there is also Tanto: Japanese Knives and Knife Fighting by Russell Maynard – THelper Mar 1 '12 at 20:46
Thanks for the reference, I'll check it out. Unfortunately the vast majority of references I've found on knife fighting are really atrocious >_< – David H. Clements Mar 7 '12 at 7:56
Kali-s focus mostly on knifes e.g. – Vorac Jul 13 '12 at 5:24

1 Answer 1

I would need more information on what you mean by forms and what you are try to accomplish. If it is how to fight with a knife/Tanto, there are many good styles. I am partial to some of the Israeli commando forms.

If you are looking for defense I can comment on this a little. I have trained in Aikido for many years in the US, Canada and Japan. When I asked the similar question to our master and sempai in Japan, most do not train with the weapons. They admit it is useful, but it is use to present a priority when doing a technique.

They all said basically the same thing. Practice your basic movements without a weapon. Make sure you are clear and efficient. When you do add a weapon, you will have to move a little sooner and be clear in taking of balance, pins and throws. Ask yourself when doing a technique, am I in a position to strike with a tanto or atemi?

This same advice was given to me when I studied American Kempo and Tae kwon Do.

For me we introduce Tanto at Nidan, but it is still just Yokomen Uchi Shihonage or tsuki Kotegashi, the only difference is the attacker has a weapon. Same at Sandan we have a Jo and Bokken.

So in the end, my recommendation is to be proficient in your style, look for openings to strike. In the end no one wins in a knife fight. Someone always gets cut.

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