Ryuseiken Battodo

Japanese swordfighting

The fencer who did the Darth Vader swordfights in Star Wars dies at 89

This is sad news that you probably never knew about before. Bob Andersen was the British Olympic contender in 1952 for fencing and either instructed or did the stunts in the first few Star Wars movies, and the Lord of the Rings. 

NPR article on Bob Andersen

Even if you didn't know him, his swordfighting inspired a great many through the exposure on Star Wars. He inspired many new sword students. While Vader's costume is very much based on a samurai warrior in full yoroi armor with the addition of a black cape, the fighting style was not Japanese. It wasn't until the third movie (Return of the Jedi) did we see more Japanese style fighting. Then we had Ray Park playing Darth Maul in the newer Star Wars prequel that did an awesome job.

-rawn sensei

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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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