Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

The world around us keeps turning, things brilliant become dull in the light of new eras, and things long forgotten are exposed again to the gaze of thought. Perhaps it was when I and my small club were ridiculed for the lack of tradition in our swording, or our emerging phenominon, called bastardization by men whom I still admire out of spite for their comments. Perhaps when I was refused entry into certain tournaments for lack of a paper trail. This is when I realized that there was only one true belief for me at this time. If I was to be excluded from the reindeer games, I shall shine all the brighter.

The tournaments I was allowed entry to I won, decisivly. I was large and physically gifted, solid basics backing up a pinch of this from here and a dash of that from there. Proven I could advance through any system of competition, yet still scorned. I believed at one point in time I would have made quite a few friends in my swording endeavor. Such a fool I was. For once when ones who hold you scornfully are in turn defeated by the same thing they previously had judged as inferrior, the true beast sets forth from its cage. Jealousy, dismissivness, denial. Had I not such a large heart I might find it amusingly ironic.

I take inspiration from men like Musashi, for I feel as if I am all alone and at the forefront of my own endeavor. Something new, something to be evolved, something to be grown. Perhaps Kenjutsu is in fact a living entity, growing and changing with the times, different versions popping up as an oaks seedlings might sprout in spring.

Tanabe Tetsundos ideas are things I find quite appealing, for they are not an affront of the old, but a celebration of the grandfather of this phenominon. For in the beginning, there was a dirty, scantily clad human, who decided to pick up a sharp stick instead of being mauled by a bear. It makes me wonder what kind of hominid he (or she) was. As all humans, he either thought it would be funny to poke his older brother in the haunch with said stick, or perhaps drive away a foe from his particular area. Even less noble, he might have turned this thing on his brother for personal gain.

I believe a mans martial art should reflect his personality after he has reached certain understandings. That things should not remain static, for we certainly do not. I reflect myself in my practice and competition, and I am happy to have met with such success.

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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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