WHAT WE DO
Battodo (抜刀道) is the technique of drawing a sword and cutting. You may already be familiar with the Japanese martial art of iaido (居合道). Iaido is the art of drawing, cutting and sheathing of the sword into the scabbard. It is performed through the practice of kata or forms aimed at defeating one or more imaginary foes through the application of swordsmanship. The katas are practiced with iaitos which are non-sharpened swords resembling the Japanese katanas. Although the iaitos have the appearance and weight of a Japanese sword they can be safely used for sword drawing exercises. Toyama ryu (戸山流) is a Japanese sword form that was developed in 1925 for Japanese military training. Earlier Twentieth century warfare still entailed close quarters combat.
This military iai system was deployed to train Japanese army officers in the use of the katana or Japanese sword in combat. We practice both the Battodo standard kata forms as well the Toyama ryu kata forms to simulate techniques used in sword confrontations. The distinguishing elements of Toyama ryu as an iai art is that it applies practical techniques for sword combat, is practiced entirely in a standing position and it employs tameshigiri or test cutting. At the Genbukan dojo tameshigiri is used to test and enhance the practitioner’s ability to cut a target using a shinken or a live, sharp Japanese sword. The swordsman’s cut’s are evaluated on the precise angles of the cuts, distance between cuts, accuracy and form of the practitioner. The targets are tatami mat covers which are sheets of woven straw.
Join us and test your skills with the swords!