Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter Tameshigiri

On Easter Sunday I decided I would try something I had not done before. I thought I would try my hand at cutting eggs.

Interestingly enough the dozen eggs were not sacrificed purely in the name of fun.
I found out that I was not as accurate with my cutting as I initially believed. Sure I can break an egg. But the question became can I cut an egg exactly where I wanted to? You see to when cutting mats a centimeter here or there does not make much difference as long as your cut-line "Hasugi" is correct your cut is good, but is that really enough?

When you are aiming at a specific target, the throat, the eyes, a wrist, then being slightly off the mark could be the difference between life and death. I realised that close is not good enough. So after I had cut a couple of eggs, I re-adjusted my thinking. I tried various specific goals. Was I able to cut the egg without cutting the yoke? Was I able to cut part way through the egg? Was I able to hit the mark even with a full speed attack?

The answer to some of these questions was a definite NO! In order to get better I need a lot more practice.

So if any of you are thinking of trying this yourself... Well remember this:
Do not try this indoors unless you have a drop sheet or paper on the ground.*

Make sure you have tissue or cloth nearby. The albumen dries or hardens very quickly. Make sure you wipe it off your blade immediately after your cut. Under no circumstances should you re-sheath the blade before cleaning it.

Have a dog on hand*

* Raw egg is not easy to clean up without canine assistance :)

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The Book of Five Rings

It is said the warrior's is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. - Shinmen Musashi No Kami Fujiwara No Geshin