Samurai Fitness Maine

Test Cutting – How a Swordsman keeps his Edge

There are few opportunities for a Samurai swordsman to test his skill. One of the most common ways this is done is by Tameshigiri; test cutting.

Back in the days of Feudal Japan the test cutting was as much about testing the sword smith’s new creation as it was about the skill of the swordsman wielding the blade. Targets were often condemned criminals who were tied in various positions or their corpses were unceremoniously stacked like fire wood. Records were kept of the results, ie; how many human torsos the blade could pass through in a single stroke. The record I believe was seven according to the engraving on one blades tang.

Since battle was a real possibility in those days steel helmets were also a preferred target for this cutting demonstrations. Making a gash a couple of inches long during…

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