Love watching these high level sensei do Musoshindenryu iaido. It’s very interesting to see slight variations on how we do it. If you understand the picture being painted, seeing it in a different way sometimes adds insight to how you’re painting it yourself.
Junichi KUSAMA Sensei Iaido Hanshi 8 Dan, Noboru OGURA Sensei Iaido Hanshi 8 Dan
Last class we had our first experience with tameshigiri, or test cutting with a live blade.
We ordered 80 mats with the money we received from the demo we did this fall, and over the last few weeks, we’ve been practicing the different “cuts” used in tameshigiri. During our breaks, we rolled the targets from the mats – mostly single mats, along with one double-mat target for each member to try. We had to soak them in water for over 24 hours, and then let them drip dry for another 6 or so. It was a lot of work in preparation, but it made for a good cutting session.
One of the things we learned is that we need to cut the same as we do in our iaido class. The movement of the kissaki through the air and the slicing motion of the blade is what cuts the mat, not strength. Tenouchi and using hara in our cut is very important as well.
Members of all experience levels were able to cut successfully, and I enjoyed seeing the satisfaction as each of the members made at least one perfect cut.
Student Joey put together a holiday greetings video with some of our cuts. It’s pretty funny, and you can see it below.
We’ll be putting more links up with everyone’s favorite cuts.
Good work everyone!
This one is of a very unique style – Yagyu Shinkage ryu. Kenjutsu, unlike iaido, starts with the sword (or in this case bokuto) out of the saya. The techniques are usually done in pairs, and involve strikes and counter-strikes at full speed and intensity.
Here’s another kendo favorite. This fellow in white is an 82 year old 9 dan. He goes up against a couple of 7 and 8 dans. Pretty amazing!
Here’s a good find that was referenced in Kendo World. Note the experience and intensity of the first three that go against the sensei, and then note the change that’s evident once that sensei goes against someone who’s also very experienced. The new sensei enters around 6:45.