Parts of the sword - Mountain Warriors

Parts of the sword - Mountain Warriors
Parts of the sword
Hilt - Tsuka
• Butt end cap of the hilt
• Collar at fore end cap of hilt
• Hilt braid used in Tsuka Maki, the hilt
braid of wrapping
• Pair of hilt ornaments used to enhance
grip of each hand
• Hilt retaining peg
• Retaining peg hole in hilt
• Hand guard - Tsuba
• Oval washers – Seppa, these retain the
hand guard
• Blade collar – Habaki, this holds the blade
in the sheath (saya).
The tang
• Nakago – Body of tang
• Nakago-jiri – Butt end of tang
• Mekugi ana – retaining peg whole
• hitoe – back edge of tang
• ha machi – notch on cutting edge side of
blade (between blade and tang)
• mune machi – notch on back side of blade
(lying between blade and tang
The blade
• ha or hasaki – Cutting edge
• Yakiba – Tempered area
• Hamon – Pattern of temperline of cutting
• Shinogi – Logitudal ridge line
• Jigane – Blade surface between Hamon &
• Mune or Mine – Back edge surface of blade
• Shinogi Ji – Surface between Shinogi and
• Kissaki – Point section
• Hi – Longitudal groove
• Yokote – Short transverse ridgeline
extending from misukado
• Ko shinogi – Continuation of the Shinogi
beyond Yokote
• Mitsukado – Point of junction of shinogi, ko
shinogi, and yokote
• Boshi – Tempered part of Kissaki above
• Fukura – Cutting edge of Kissaki
• Monuchi – area of maximum force
approximately 15cm from tip of point section
toward base of blade
The saya
• Kojiri – Butt cap
• Koiguchii – Mouth band on open end of
• Kurigata – Cord retaining knob, projection
on the front of the scabbard
• Saego – Braided cord attached to the
Saya - Scabbard
Passing the sword between students
Hand a sword to a Japanese swordsman with the edge towards him and your right hand on
the hilt and you could end up as a construction kit! This is an insult to the receiver as you are
in a position to spring into action and shows contempt or distrust to the receiver. Hand it over
in its sheath, with its edge towards you and the Tsuba in your left hand with the index and
middle finger on either sides of the Tsuba. This is recognised as a sign of non-aggression and
trust to the receiver as the sword is difficult to draw and press into action quickly.
Never draw another man’s sword without his permission and even then, draw it only part way.
Ask permission to draw it fully and then hold the blade with the edge towards you, if you think
the blade merits close inspection. Never breath on it or handle the blade with your fingers as
this stains and corrodes the blade.
Kihon – Basics
8 directions form - Happo no kuzushi
It is important that you understand the effect of taking one step in any of the eight major
directions, you should be aware of the effects that shortening or extending the range between
you and your attacker.
Forward (Left and Right leg)
Zenpou Sayu
Diagonal forward on both sides
Nanamemae Sayu
Side movements on both sides
Yoko Sayu
Rear (Left and Right leg)
Koho Sayu
Diagonal rear on both sides
Naname koho Sayu
Working circle
The working circle is the furthest point that you can reach roughly 3 foot, when you use a
weapon then this area will increase by the range of the weapon plus the reach of your arm,
e.g. a katana blade would be about 2 foot, therefore your circle should be a 5 foot radius.
Care and maintenance of the sword
Withdrawing the blade
Hold the sheath of the sword in both hands, with the blade facing upwards, and the
=scabbard facing forwards. Grip the hilt with the right hand and hold the scabbard
with your left hand palm facing upwards. Using your right hand withdraw the sword
with the cutting edge upwards. Ensure that you press the back of the sword against
the scabbard to ensure the blade does not cut into the saya. Fully withdraw the
sword and lay the saya on your left side.
Wiping the oiled or soiled blade
Hold the sword with the cutting edge upwards. Take a piece of sword cleaning paper
in your right hand and run it up the length of the blade. Start at the rear and work
your way to the tip of the blade. Keep pinching pressure on the sword in order to
wipe away all debris. Repeat this two or three times, DO NOT wipe from the tipto the
Powdering the blade
Use the Uchiko device and apply the fine powder to lateral surfaces of the blade and
along the back of the sword. It is not necessary to cover every square centermeter
with the fine powder, but rather apply powder liberally at intervals. The powder is
designed to absorb the remaining oil and/or soil that remains on the blade after
Wiping the powdered blade
Take up a clean piece of sword cleaning paper in your right hand and wipe the all the
powder from the blade, from the Tsuba to the tip.
Inspecting the blade
After you have removed the powder from the blade, take time to carefully inspect all
surfaces of the blade, noting any traces of oil or soil that remain on the blade and that
must now be carefully removed.
Oiling the blade
Take up a small piece of cotton flannel on which several drops of oil have been
applied. Wipe the oil evenly over all surfaces of the blade.
Resheathing the sword
The sword is placed back in the scabbard in the same way that it was removed, hold
the sword in the right hand and scabbard in the left hand with the blade facing
Tying the Saigo
Grip - Tenouchi
Grasp the hilt firmly in the left hand and take hold with the right hand just behind the sword
guard. A distance of approximately two fingers should separate your hands. A strong
twisting motion as if wringing water from a towel is exerted when cutting, to keep the blade at
the optimum cutting angle to the target.
Drawing the sword - Batto Jutsu
Rotate the saya between 45o to 90o to the left. when drawing the sword it is important that the
sword is fully drawn prior to the cut being made. To do this it might be required to pull the
sheath “saya” backwards and possibly rotate the hips in a winding motion away from your
opponent prior to the strike.
To draw the sword in reverse “gyaku” turn the sheath “Saya” 180 degrees so the blade faces
downwards and then smoothly draw the sword in an upward stroke. Although this is a
straightforward draw you will often find that someone new to sword work will leave the sheath
upside down and jam the sword when re-sheathing it. A tip here is to ensure that where the
cord is attached to the sword is kept on the outside.
Sheathing the sword - Noto
Hold the scabbard at its opening “koiguchi” then laying the top one third of the blade on the
web of the skin between the thumb and forefinger. Keeping the shoulders straight draw the
back of the sword along the web of the hand until the point of the sword drops into the mouth
of the scabbard. Being careful not to cut into the scabbard slowly insert the blade into the
scabbard then as it slides home, take hold of the guard with your thumb.
Cleaning the blade - Chiburi
To clean the blade after it has been used on an opponent, raise it above you head and then
bring it abruptly down to a halt with a sharp snap in order to fling the debris or fluids from the
blade. You should sweep it downwards and away from you in a natural arc. Even at the
culmination of this action you should be aware of your opponent and your surroundings (you
should be in a state of alertness known as “zanshin”).
Basic stance kata - Kihon Kamae no gata
Middle stance
Chudan no Kamae
Lower stance
Gedan no Kamae
Rear stance
Waki no Kamae
High stance
Hasso no Kamae
Upper stance
Jodan no Kamae
Basic cuts kata – Happo Giri no gata
Thrust – Tsuki
Side cut (L – R) - Yoko Giri
Rising cut (R-L) - Kiri Age
Diagonal cut (L-R) - Kesa Giri
Side cut (R - L) - Yoko Giri
Rising cut (L - R) - Kiri Age
Diagonal cut (R - L) - Kesa Giri
Straight downward cut - Shin Choko Giri
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