Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

December 2008 Blog Posts (9)


Blocking is not as sexy as tameshigiri or striking, but it is the understated hero of techniques.

The problem with blocks is that you can only practice them (for real) in situations where you are sparring or combat situations. This brings out the reality of developing reaction time and applying practical techniques. Blocking drills prepare your form only, but does not prepare you adequately for reaction time, impact force, movement and changing distance. Even with a Goshinken, many… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 30, 2008 at 1:10pm — No Comments

More Tsubamegaeshi variations

I think I stopped at 9.


a. Moving towards target, kiriage LtoR.

b. Veer past right side of target.

c. Following LtoR body turn of kiriage, step left leg past target, turn 180 degrees, drop right leg back.

d. Kesagiri LtoR before the goza falls.

NOTE: This can also be done in mirror image (cuts RtoL, and moving to left of target)


a. Kiriage LtoR,

b. before target falls, suihei LtoR.

NOTE: Both cuts are from the same side,… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 26, 2008 at 11:24am — No Comments

Surveying the differences between Gumdo and the root arts of the Japanese sword.

The following blog is not intended to offend anyone. I could have just as easily focused on the similarities, but, everyone can do that. I wanted to show a different perspective.

If you read this, and you seriously study a sword art, I welcome you as a kindred spirit.

Often, we find, we are more alike than different. This is intended to provoke scholarly thought on what we spend much of our time doing.

Surveying the differences between Gumdo and the root arts of the… Continue

Added by Al Kilgore on December 23, 2008 at 6:12pm — No Comments

The Korean tameshigiri vids

I've been looking at some of the tameshigiri demos by the Korean schools of gumdo on YouTube recently. There are some truly amazing shots in there, some of which I didn't think possible before.

For example, they have a version of tsubamegaeshi, where they cut the kiriage, and before it falls, they actuall do a walkaround the target / 180 turn cut the top piece from the other side of the goza. This requires not only a very sharp sword, but more importantly the footwork/movements to… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 23, 2008 at 11:19am — 2 Comments

First time cutting targets

I tested the students from the middle & highschool class on Tuesday out in the field at the back of CFHS. It was a cold afternoon and we were racing for time against sundown, but everyone got their chance. Only one student, Reed, actually cut for a test and did well. The three others had their first chance at cutting after about 2 years each of studying.

It's especially relevant for younger students--these guys started at age 12 or 13--to practice swinging only a bokken for a… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 18, 2008 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Demon of the Western Provinces

RawnShah asked me to post this as a blog. It is part of the disscussion about Kojiro and his technique.

Hello, thanks again for a good site. I too am interested in the mythical technique of tsubame giri. I have read a lot about it, but the most interesting thing I have found is the statue on Ganryu Island. I have studied it well, right now I am trying to track down the sculptor, I have some questions for him. The reason is, the hands on the figure of Kojiro are in interesting… Continue

Added by Al Kilgore on December 18, 2008 at 4:22pm — No Comments

Tsubamegaesh and variations

There's no complete documentation on what the historical "tsubame-gaesh" technique is like, although there are stories here and there. Number 9 feels hard to translate into practice but not impossible.

I’ve successfully performed most of these variations except for #6, 7b, 7c or 8. I tried but failed on 6 and 8. I have not attempted #7b or 7c yet.

I’ve seen all of these pulled off successfully by at least one sensei or another (all but 9). I’ll have to find those videos on… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 17, 2008 at 4:46pm — No Comments

More testing for the middle & highschool students

This week I tested two new students to the rank of 6th Kyu, and they did quite well: Ilan, and Nazar. They have both learned the 1st kata quite well in a short time, and show the spirit of the kata properly.

I also rolled up some dry goza and let them strike at the targets with their bokutos. Most students who start cutting have never experienced the impact force of taking a good swing and hitting a target. This comes as a surprise sometimes. It is different then when you actually… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 10, 2008 at 10:47am — No Comments

Sasaki Kojiro and Tsubamegaesh

Sasaki Kojiro was a famous swordsman who studied under Toda Seigan, founder of Chujo ryu, acclaimed at the turn of the 17th century for their Kodachi (shortsword) techniques. As partner to Toda Seigan, he became very proficient with the katana, eventually leaving the school and starting his own school, Ganryu (“The School of Rock”).

Sasaki Kojiro is most remembered for his duel with Miyamoto Musashi. At the time, Kojiro had become the swordmaster for Lord Hosokawa by… Continue

Added by rawnshah on December 2, 2008 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Web sites & Resources

Matsuri: A Festival of Japan (2008) - Phoenix, AZ, Feb 23-28, Heritage Square

Battodo Ryuseiken in Japan. Also a partial site in english.

The Kodenkan of Tucson

The UofA Ryuseiken Battodo on the ASUA site

Tameshigiri.com - where we get goza. The ordering and shipping process are given.

Hanwei/Paul Chen swords

The Knighthawk Armoury builds some interesting realistic looking goshinken. They're expensive but they claim to be pretty durable (not yet tested by us).

Folding a Hakama the proper way

Woodall's Custom Workshop makes nice cutting stands for tameshigiri.

© 2022   Created by rawnshah.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service