Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

I tried the same experiment as before with my High school/middle school class. They actually did surprisingly well in terms of stamina but not necessarily in terms of cutting.

Andrew Dicenso sempai, our shodan in the class, beat my time for 99 cuts but a second. He says he practices with his shinken at home cutting 2-3 hundred times, so he's already well set for it. Many of the others however, ran short of breath and slowed down substantially in the middle.

Some things to note first: of the eight students who were at the session, only two have actually ever cut before, and one is already a black belt. So the other six do not really have an understanding of what a proper cut-swing feels like. Some of them look like they are ready, but it is hard to tell until they actually try.

Since all of those six are under 18, I'll have to get parental permission slips first before they try. The semester is almost over, so we will have to wait until the Fall before they can start. It will be interesting since about 4 or 5 of them will be practicing to reach the lowest brown belt rank after their yonkyu test next week.

The Catalina Foothills High School where they practice has some nice indoor facilities but sometimes we have to move around rooms. It'll be great to have a monthly cutting session with 5 more students practicing even if at the basic level, in addition to two others we have in that class already doing so. The newer students get an appreciation of cutting when they see their peers and friends doing it.


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Comment by Christopher Arendt on May 22, 2008 at 10:13am
I say wait until no one is around and go cut in the Plaza or the Cafeteria.
I remember sparring out there and it felt epic! :D

The wind that blows across the foothills in the evening might mess up your cut though.

How about the ping pong room?
Is that room suitable?
Comment by Andrew Dicenso on May 4, 2008 at 5:26pm
Well Mr. Bishop(The wrestling coach) didn't take too kindly to us cutting in our normal room, despite the fact we did a very good job of cleaning up. I agree, the dance room is probably the better option for cutting despite it being smaller. Is the Practical Plus sword normally used not available, or has it just seen too many winters? lol
Comment by rawnshah on May 4, 2008 at 4:26pm
They allow us to cut there given parental permission, although it may have to be in a different location than the wrestling room. I don't know what room we'll get next semester in any case, but hopefully the wood floor one. I'll have to consider getting a new class sword (which I am already) rather than let them use mine (simply because they are more expensive).
Comment by Andrew Dicenso on May 3, 2008 at 9:21pm
Monthly cutting sessions at the school? That would be good for the kids but do you think it's possible?

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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