Category: Iaido

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

As mentioned in the past, the Japanese sword is designed with the purpose of “chopping”. This means that making the blade shaper and giving it more cutting ability becomes the most important thing. To make it cut better, you need to make the blade thin, but if it is too Read More

Japanese sword Tsukurikomi image

Japanese Sword Tsukuri-komi: Structure Evolving through Time

Japanese has a word “tsukuri-komi” which refers to the structure and style of the sword blade. In a previous article about the sword’s appearance, I mentioned that the tachi had a strong back-bend whereas the uchigatana had a strong bend at the edge. The angle of the bend, the thickness Read More

Kaji Jinja shrine in Awata Jinja shrine in Kyoto

Crescent Moon Munechika: The Swordsmith Legend in Kyoto

Every year in July the atmosphere of Kyoto becomes mysteriously excited as the whole city prepares to hold Gion Matsuri – the biggest festival of the year that has been held annually for over a millennium. There is a connection between the world of Japanese swords and this historic festival. Read More

Being true to your Sword

– Though we use iaitō, bokutō and shinai; we must never forget that these are swords – Iaido and kendo are both budō that place a strong emphasis on manners and etiquette – not only to our partners, but also the spaces within which we practice and to opponents who are Read More

Mastering the Manners and Aiming for Beautiful Kendo

There are all kinds of sports in our world, but a big difference between kendo and other sports is its approach towards “manners”. Many people have the image that if you take up kendo you will learn good manners. Why is kendo so strict when ti comes to enfocring etiquette? Read More

mokuso meditation in dojo

Why Mokuso?

I’m sure many of you would sit silently and meditate with your eyes closed both before and after practice. Some groups call it mokuso (silent thinking), some meiso (closed-eye thinking), or seiza (simply, sitting). When you join the dojo, the instructor will tell you the meaning and how to do Read More

Kendo Kamae holding Shinai

Budo and the core muscle

The core muscle is very important not only in Budo but in many sports, and training your core muscle has many benefits. In this edition I will introduce some ways of training your core muscle, including ways that are effective for Budo. The core muscle (Japanese taikan) broadly refers to Read More

Danryu Koshirae coiled dragon motif Iaito sword

The new Iaito sword with noble Danryu dragon from Tozando

In Japan, various patterns involving the mythical creature of the dragon have been used since ancient times. In particular coiled dragons known as “Danryu” have been prized as patterns on items like plates and vases for the nobility since long ago. It is said dragons possess a mysterious power and Read More

Miyamoto Musashi with two swords

Nitoryu and the Brain

Miyamoto Musashi is well known for “Nitoryu” (double-sword style) and the founder of his own school “Niten-ichi-ryu”. With Nitoryu, you attack with swords in your right and left hands. Generally, in you stronger hand you hold a tachiI (large sword) and in your weaker hand a dagger. Originally the Japanese Read More

Kendo player with Chudan no Kamae

Mental Training in Kendo

Kendo of course requires physical strength but also mental strength. There are many ways to train up your mentality, but the most basic level is mannerisms. This relates to other martial arts too, but it all “begins and ends with manners”. If you are aiming to be a strong kenshi, Read More