The Japanese sword attained a status within its country of origin and among its warriors like no other weapon. Indeed, it became a symbol of the spirit of the Japanese Empire, one of three gifts from the Gods and was considered the soul of the samurai wielding it. Since the explosive western interest in Japanese martial arts in the 20th Century, numerous books have been published, including recently, describing the specific techniques of iaido, kenjutsu and kendo, traditional sword arts comprised of sparing, pattern training and self-development, but not engaged in cutting per se.
The authors, Richard W. Babin, MD and Sensei Bob Elder present a complete handbook on cutting targets with the Japanese sword. The first part describes how the Japanese sword came to be, and why, sword movement during the cutting process and how to select the right sword to cut with from whats available. The second part presents an approach to holding and swinging a sword, emphasizing safety and attitude, including the Toyama ryu curriculum. How to create suitable targets and stands to hold them is described.. The third part outlines how to tell a military sword appropriate for cutting from a valuable or collectable sword. Finally, he details a method of completely rehabilitating a military sword for use in cutting, including straightening, sharpening and polishing the blade and making a new handle and scabbard using current day tools and non-traditional techniques. A chapter exploring traveling and related insurance are included.
Following closely on the heels of his successful volume, Iaido Sword, in Cutting with the Japanese Sword, Dr. Babin provides a lavishly illustrated, definitive work on practical cutting. There is nothing like this book to be found anywhere out there.
Cutting Targets with the Japanese Sword - Practical Tameshigiri and Battodo for the Modern Swordsman.
Richard W. Babin MD with Sensei Bob Elder