Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

All Blog Posts (97)

New goza stand is here

I received the new goza stand this evening and had to take some photos and post. You can see the photos on the site. I have to hand it to Bill Woodall; this thing is beautiful. It's also pretty heavy being made of Brazillian Cherry. I'd say much heavier than our current stand.

The weight isn't a bad thing necessarily, meaning it would probably last us a much longer time. I'm not sure if people remember the stand I built before in 2003. It was meant to be portable, meaning we had… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 29, 2007 at 6:59pm — 2 Comments

Kanji of Ryuseiken Battodo

I figured out how to get the Kanji for Ryuseiken Battodo written out in Microsoft Word. It was a pain for one. If you want any foreign language installed for Microsoft Word and Office, you need to go to Start > Control Panels > Regional and Language Options > Languages > Details button. You can then click on Add and pick additional languages (on top of English) to install on the machine. This works for some other tools on Windows XP too, but not… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 14, 2007 at 9:00am — No Comments

More goza and more cutting

Tameshigiri in November has been a bit of a lull. We're short on goza now, and have just enough for demos during the November 18th picnic. I just put in another order for 6 boxes, which runs me around $500 that hopefully people will pay back over time. It's still a big hit for me; on top of the new cutting stand (around $450).

It's much easier to store and soak in two or three places than everyone soaking their own. The boxes take up a bit of room, and unless you have a storage shed… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 14, 2007 at 7:24am — No Comments

The "floating" target - tsubamegaeshi

Tsubamegaeshi brings to mind one of the classic ideas of "fictional swordmanship" that you see depicted in movies, anime, stories and other types of entertainment: the "floating target", as I call it.

This is where you cut a target so well that either the cut piece seems to be just floating in the air, for a brief moment, simply "hops" up and lands back exactly where it was cut from, or in the most amazing fashion (usually more fantasy than reality) simply sits there as if your sword… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 7, 2007 at 4:33pm — No Comments

Swords are getting so affordable now

I just looked over the recent CAS/Hanwei catalog, the US distributor for Paul Chen/Hanwei swords. CAS is the top distributor of these swords in the US and they typically sell only to retailers who then sell to people. Many of the same swords that you see listed by other martial arts stores typically resell the stuff from CAS. In any case, the product comes through CAS.

The interesting thing about these Paul Chen swords and many other sword manufacturers in general is how much more… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 7, 2007 at 2:31pm — No Comments

(Older) Videos from Sep 8th, 2007

I've started uploading some of the videos recorded on Sep 8th this year. The camera was handheld here so it's a little shaky but not too much. I had to brighten the video in software since the shade really made things look dark. So far tonight I've only uploaded 6 videos but there are more to come.

Shihan does a nice kihon-toho on three goza. In fact the goza even stay for a half-second on the kesa. There's one of mine with the complete tsubamegaesh which has the nikutsuke-kesagiri at… Continue

Added by rawnshah on November 4, 2007 at 1:23am — No Comments

Tameshigiri videos on youtube

I've been just randomly going through different iaijutsu, battojutsu, and tameshigiri videos on Youtube. There certainly are a lot of them. They vary quite significantly in terms of quality (both video and martial), complexity and styles.

If you aren't already aware, there are many different japanese sword styles worldwide, some old, some new. Try not to adapt what you see into your practice without asking your sensei. In some cases, even your sensei may not know why they do some… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 23, 2007 at 11:54pm — No Comments

Video clips from tameshigiri on 10/21

I've uploaded about 14 video clips of individuals on 10/21. I think I got everyone at least once, but most folks also did a second cutting on the same day. I haven't put up shihan's ones and need to check with him before I do. So there are certainly more videos for me to create. It takes a bit of time to edit, title and create each one, so I'm doing it in bits at a time.

I did do two extra clips on myself with a slow motion on one of them to see how the tsubamegaeshi… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 23, 2007 at 9:36pm — 1 Comment

Another busy day of cutting at the park

We had a good day at the park yesterday. There was a bit of a crowd at the park itself because of a soccer match, and the wind was up, but overall most people had a good cutting day.

For now we are back down to the 1-peg goza stand, but that's where most of the students are at anyway. Shihan and I tried more complicated cuts like the variation on tsubamegaeshi that starts with nikutsuke-kiriage (one-hand draw & cut) with a crossover kesagiri. So you draw a X from the bottom left to… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 22, 2007 at 7:34am — No Comments

Sword safety and cutting accidents

Everyone should read this article to understand the dangers of being too casual with your sword, trying things that are inherently dangerous, just showing off, or plain stupid.

I recommend that you never ever bring up your live sword against an opponent, even if you are absolutely sure of what you are doing...

... and certainly no twirling your sword in the air, or cutting fruit off of people's… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 18, 2007 at 8:17am — 1 Comment

Testing this week

Yesterday, I tested six students in the high-school class:

  • Andrew Dicenso for his ikkyu
  • Reed Wittman for his sankyu
  • Ian B, Theo C, Alexander S, and Nati G for their rokkyu

The testing overall went well. Andrew and Reed also have the second half of their tests, the cutting portion, the next time we meet for tameshigiri. Also Derek G, and Michael H. will be tested for their rokkyu next week.

Then I introduced Shogun to them, and all… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 10, 2007 at 11:48am — No Comments

Our Shogun games are back on

Now that we have a bunch of folks with padded swords (goshinken) in the Kodenkan class, we can have full rounds of Shogun again.

This is a team sport we created to make sparring even more fun. The basic rules are:

  • two teams of equal numbers armed with goshinken - best if 5 on 5
  • each team picks a leader daimyo
  • The real goal is to eliminate the daimyo of the opposing team, but…

Added by rawnshah on October 7, 2007 at 11:59am — 1 Comment

Kodenkan is now a retailer for Hanwei/Paul Chen swords

I was informed by Debbie Smith over at the Kodenkan that we are now set up as a retailer for katanas from the Paul Chen collection created by his company Hanwei. These swords are distributed in the US by CAS Hanwei which also sells a large selection of other non-Japanese weapons and armor.

Paul Chen's katanas are quite widely used and manufactured in China by his company Hanwei. You will find these swords everywhere with a wide range… Continue

Added by rawnshah on October 5, 2007 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Doing 200 cuts

At the Saturday class, I tried to see how long it would take me to do about 50 cuts on air, and to my surprise, I found that I could do it in about a minute and a half. This is to perform that many cuts on air with the power it takes to actually do it right, cut the right lines (tachitsuji), and not mess up.

Basically I imagined 4 stands before me and cut 4 cuts on average, and threw in 2 more somewhere in between. That makes 50 cuts. I did only 4 cuts on a goza most of the time… Continue

Added by rawnshah on September 30, 2007 at 1:31pm — No Comments

New goza stand ideas

I wokring on ordering a new goza stand from Bill Woodall's workshop in Florida. They have been creating some nice stands for a while, but what we have will be a new idea:

  • A yokonarabi stand is like a long bar where you can have multiple pegs and gozas, and it sits on two separate legs. This is a much more stable system than a single leg stand, at least if you want it to survive for a while
  • each of the legs…

Added by rawnshah on September 28, 2007 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Tameshigiri at the park, Rawn sensei out-of-town

There should be a tameshigiri (cutting) practice at Himmel Park on Sunday Sep 30th, 9am - 12pm. All are welcome to come watch. You may be able to participate if you have already, or are told by Shihan you can join in. If you are a student, please bring your bokuto.

The meeting is at the regular spot on the east side of Himmel park.

Directions: Go to Speedway and Tucson, drive east towards Speedway and Treat. Turn south (after the church) and the group should meet someone… Continue

Added by rawnshah on September 25, 2007 at 9:30am — No Comments

Upcoming tests for Kyu ranks

We should be coming up on tests for the Kyu ranks in early October:

  • Patrick Quintero, gokkyu, UofA RSKB - is testing for his yonkyu rank
  • Kimmie Ryan, mukyu, UofA RSKB - is testing for her rokkyu rank

  • Andrew Dicenso, nikkyu, CFHS RSKB - is testing for his ikkyu rank
  • Reed Wittman, yonkyu, CFHS RSKB - is testing for his sankyu rank

Fairly soon after, there are about 4-5 more from the Catalina Foothills High School District that… Continue

Added by rawnshah on September 24, 2007 at 9:32am — No 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.

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