The Japanese Shirasaya

Tameshigiri

The most challenging cuts you will first learn are the double cuts. Yet this is where all the trick cuts start. It can be daunting, especially the speed of cuts, sudden directional changes, and needed accuracy. All these need to be demonstrated and may come off as impossible at first.

Yet there are some things that can be done. Specifically when it comes to that inevitable time when you deal your first double cut.

Tameshigiri

When doing the double Tameshigiri cuts, two bottles targets will be stacked on each other. The bottom one is cut, letting the top bottle drop. Before it hits the ground, it needs to get cut into two pieces.

Generally, the bottom bottle and then the top one is cut. There isn’t a specific direction as to where the cuts should come from. Yet if both cuts come from the same side, this is called the returning cut or returning double cut.

How to Set up for Tameshigri?

To begin, you will need the right cutting stand which is something that won’t damage your blade once you hit it. A safe area for cutting is needed, plus a flat ground too.

Of course, you need the two stacked bottles here for practice. If you are attempting to balance the bottles, it’s best to remove the cap of the bottom bottle for balance.

Remember that most fizzy drink bottles do not have flat tops. These have slightly angled tips which make balancing them appear impossible.

Self-preparation for Tameshigri

While holding the sword of your choice, step back from the stand and look at the bottles. Pay attention to the height of the first one. This is where you make your two cuts. Once you cut the bottle at the bottom, the top will fall.

By the time you have switched the angle of your blade to cut the next bottle, it will be where the first one used to be. Decide which double cut you plan to practice without stepping close to the target.

Dry cutting means making the cuts without using the targets. This is a good start when practicing for double cuts. You can do two cuts repeatedly without using bottles. It also aids in awakening the muscle groups that you’ll need for training.

Always start at a comfortable speed. Don’t worry about overdoing it. Optimal speed will come with practice. It is completely natural to begin with big sweeping. Through practice, you will eventually determine how much movement you need to successfully do the cut.

Some of the best cutters use a variety of techniques such as increasing their speed. They do this by reducing their movements when cutting. Eventually, you will find the best movements and speed to properly execute the cuts.

Everyone appears to have different approaches to cutting. Keep on practicing to learn how much or how little speed and movement you need. Performing these cuts don’t require lightning fast movements.

How to Begin the Tameshigri Double Cut?

Adjust the position of your feet when you attempt to do a diagonal cut. You should shift back the leg that is in the way. If your cut will be upward from left to right, then back again, take a step back with your left leg to keep this out of the way.

Instead, step forward with your right foot. Doing this will angle your body correctly as you cut. Keeping your leg out of the way does not only allow you to smoothly do the cuts. It also reduces the risks of accidents such as lodging your blade on your leg.

Next step is to check your distance. The top portion of the blade is a vital part. When you hold out the blade, the last 8 to 9 inches at the top should touch the target.

Attempting the Double Cut

It will be difficult for the blade to pass through the target if you are too close or too far from it. As you progress, you will be able to tell the adequate distance just by the eye.

The best approach is to dry cut at maximum speed. Pretend that no targets are present. See what happens when you make the two cuts without thinking that the targets are there. Through this approach, you will get a feel on how easily the bottles can be cut.

Once you make your first cuts on the targets, that’s when you can review. It is not likely for anyone to successfully do the double cut on the first attempt. Also, do not focus on the failure. Instead, know why the failure happened, then improve this.

How is Tameshigri Dry Cutting Done? 

Dry cutting

Even experienced cutters can have difficulties in cutting targets. When a practitioner tenses up, his swings become wider and increase in power.  This causes the drop of accuracy in the cuts.

Regardless of how much dry cutting you perform, you will require a certain state of mind to reproduce the dry cuts on real targets. Have a calm, quiet, and focused mind for best results.

When dry cutting at full speed, this should be your best technique. It is not different from target cutting.

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How to Achieve Timing in Cutting?

To be able to do double cuts, you need to learn how to change your timing. There are times when the second cut does not return fast enough. You may think that the required speed is too quick.

Fortunately, there are some helpful tips that you may use.

Try to slightly restrict the movement of the top part of your body. Do this by turning against the direction of your first cut. When you do this, you can prevent overswinging while maintaining the focus of your core.

For instance, you start cutting from left to right and then go back by following it with a slice from right to left. From there, you can start cutting with your body slightly turning to the left. This initial stance restricts the movement of the first cut to prevent your overswinging. It also keeps you from moving too far.

Since your body is twisted to the right, your next pull can be easily put into play. Simply align your blade, then engage your core. Twist back into a position that feels more comfortable as you tighten your blade.

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