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Iaijutsu Tennis

Samurai tennis in which players have to sheath and unsheath their racket-cum-katana before and after every shot
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Iaijutsu is the ancient Samurai art of unsheathing a sword. In feudal Japan, the act of removing a katana from its scabbard was considered just as important as the dueling that took place afterwards. I suggest incorporating the same skill into modern dueling: professional tennis.

In Iaijutsu Tennis, players wear a special scabbard that holds a tennis racket. During play, you have to return the racket to the scabbard after every shot and serve—so shot preparation is minimal, decisions are made at the moment before the swing, and reflexes are the rule. Bonus points may be allotted to a player who shows exceptional grace and honor on the court.

For practical reasons, players' hands would almost never leave the racket handles during play. For impractical reasons, the outfit of choice in Iaijutsu Tennis would be a suit of heavy plate armor. Ballboys and girls are ninjas.

DrWorm, Apr 20 2010

Japanese armour http://en.wikipedia...iki/Japanese_armour
Remarkable. [8th of 7, Apr 20 2010]

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       Well, the lighter woven armour favoured by the Samurai would be more practical (and cooler), and the rackets would have to be produced by folding a bar of steel thirtytwo times while chanting and heating it to the colour of the Spring Moon seen through cherry blossom, then ground to a razor-sharp edge, but overall, yes.
8th of 7, Apr 20 2010
  

       You know, there's a limit to how far the Japanese can really stretch this stuff before it becomes silly. I mean, ninety- three different styles of punching and kicking is sort of stretching it, but coming up with a name (and, presumably, an elaborate set of rituals) for the art of pulling out a big knife is a stretch too far.   

       It's a bit like the French and their bloody cheeses. If someone makes brie whilst wearing a slightly different colour of shirt, they immediately give it its own name.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 20 2010
  

       // give it its own name //   

       They name their shirts ?   

       // art of pulling out a big knife is a stretch too far //   

       You may well be correct. When you go up to a Japanese who is an expert at the "art of pulling out a big knife" and telling him that all his practice and dedication is "a stretch too far", make sure you have written down somewhere the place to send your remains, if any.
8th of 7, Apr 20 2010
  

       Most specifically, learning to be friendly, pleasant and understanding to anyone with a very big knife, in the use of which they are highly expert.
8th of 7, Apr 20 2010
  

       Someone's making assumptions. [MaxwellBuchanan] hasn't told us what weapon *he's* carrying.
mouseposture, Apr 20 2010
  

       This would work with real katanas. The first serve sends two half-balls arcing over the net. Both have to be struck by the opposing player, sending 4 quarter-balls in return. Etc. So each volley back and forth quadruples the number of ball fragments in play, leading to some truly remarkable swordsmanship.
pocmloc, Apr 20 2010
  

       [pocmloc]--that would work in a computer simulation. Post it as a game, and I'll give it all the buns I have.
DrWorm, Apr 20 2010
  

       Huh, call that a racquet?
Ian Tindale, Apr 21 2010
  

       //[MaxwellBuchanan] hasn't told us what weapon *he's* carrying.//   

       I walk softly and carry a big schtick.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 21 2010
  

       You clearly haven't thought this through.   

       The players should use real swords, obviously. The ball would be spiky with a magnetic core.   

       To serve, the ball is thrown in the air, the sword unsheathed and the ball struck. The force of the magnet is such that the ball accelerates along the blade and is released at the tip. The server must judge his serve so that he can re-sheath and remove his hands from the handle before the ball reaches his opponent.   

       The receiver may reach for his sword as soon as the ball leaves the server's hand. He blocks the ball and flings it back to his opponent, having to sheath his sword before it reaches his opponent.   

       The winner is the one who's ball boy has the most serious injuries.
marklar, Apr 21 2010
  

       Titanium mesh for the net ? Or Chobham plate ?
8th of 7, Apr 21 2010
  

       You had me at "Samurai tennis" [DrWorm].
kaz, Apr 21 2010
  
      
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