Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

Black belt (Shodan) testing coming up

I haven't posted in a while, being busy with my day job, but just a few notes.

We have one candidate testing for his Battodo shodan under the Kodenkan and Ryuseikan this month: Reed Wittman. We usually split the test across two days because of venue. The first part is the cutting and individual kata tests with a shinken which we normally conduct outdoors. We videotape this portion to send to our Soke in Japan. The second part is testing of all katas individual and with a partner, wazas and all their knowledge at that level. This is conducted by the instructor and performed by the student before a panel of a number of Shihans from the Kodenkan.

Reed has been a consistent student for about 4 years and now is sempai in the high school class. He helps me teach the younger and newer students ranging from 12-18 which can be quite challenging. He will be graduating high-school fairly soon as well, and going off to college, so we also wish him the best of luck in his future.

As we tell our students, we only test students that we think can perform at that level already. A shodan rank is also a beginning, not an end. There is so much more they can learn. But, it does mark their proficiency across a significant level of progress and ready to work on the harder skills that require deeper practice and commitment. In my view, after a certain level of practice you may realize that higher ranks are not as important as the skills you gain, and how contribute to encourage the martial arts.


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Comment by Al Kilgore on June 11, 2009 at 1:22pm
Congrats to you and your student Rawn! This is excellent news! I know it is not a forgone conclusion that he will make it. So, I wish him the best of the day, on the day!

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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