Konjaku Kioi Toyama Ryu Dojo Toyama Ryu Batto Do
Konjaku Kioi Dojo
(Ancient and Modern Fighting Spirit Dojo)
5980 66th St N Suite M
St Petersburg FL 33709
Email: info@toyama-ryu.com
Phone: 727-329-9679
Yari (Spear)

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Tameshigiri 試し - Test Cutting

Comparison of Tameshigiri Targets

New Tatami Omote

New tatami omote can be purchased from Mugen Dachi (West Coast) and Nihonzashi (East Coast). These are the standard targets used at the Dojo. They provide a consistent firm target. In bulk they have a fairly strong odor comparable to newly cut grass. There is little mess when rolling the targets. Adding additional tatami mats to a target will increase the difficulty.

Used Tatami Omote

Used tatami omote are the tatami mat covering removed from traditional floors in Japan. There is large variation in the stiffness of these targets. Some are older and fairly worn and will cut easily. Some have been treated with a sealant and do not soak up water and will be very hard to cut. There can be debris ranging from long staples (used to fasten them down) to duct tape patches. These need to be carefully inspected before use. In bulk they can have a strong musty odor. There is moderate mess when rolling the targets. Adding additional tatami mats to a target will increase the difficulty.

Beach Mats

Two or three beach mats can be rolled up as a target. They provide a consistent target, but do not have much resistance to cutting. A dull sword will leave a mass of frayed strings and fiber. Thin cuts will break into individual pieces of straw making more of a mess to clean up. In bulk they have little smell. When soaked they pretty much smell like a barn. Rolling them makes a mess since the border needs to be removed. They are about 6 shorter than tatami mats. Adding additional beach mats does not make the targets much harder to cut.

Bamboo

There is a huge variety of bamboo with a wide range of toughness. Harder than tatami targets but can actually be easier to cut if the diameter is small (katana does not have as much travel through the target). All should be cut green. Letting the sword blade turn in the cut can result in a chipped edge. Not commercially available in bulk. Cut pieces have a tendency to go flying. Horizontal cuts across the bamboo are not recommended. Bamboo can also be used as a core for Tatami Omote targets providing a target with more resistance and requiring control through a longer distance.

Hardwood Dowels

While we do not normally cut hardwood dowels in the dojo, but our other targets are spiked on a 1 to 7/8 hardwood dowel. These dowels cut much like bamboo and tend to be pretty tough. Edge damage can occur if the blade turns after becoming lodged in the dowel. Some dojos use hardwood dowel cores for Tatami Omote targets.

Paper Roll Cores

We sometime use 3 to 6 paper roll cores. These can be gotten as scrap from printing businesses and it is hard to turn down free targets. These have a wall thickness from 1/8 to 1/2". 6 cores with 1/2" walls are extremely tough to cut and not recommended. 4 cores with 1/4" walls make good heavy duty cutting targets. 3 cores with 1/8 walls are still pretty challenging. The biggest problem is that paper and cardboard targets are pretty abrasive and will quickly dull a blade.

Copyright 2006 by Konjaku Kioi Toyama Ryu Dojo, All rights reserved.

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