masayuki shimabukuro

Whether you're cutting tatami mats or bamboo stalks, it's easy to bend the blade on a katana. Learn how to repair the damage with this essential advice from Carl E. Long.

If you regularly cut tatami mats or bamboo, you’ll become an expert at not only cutting but also bending or, rather, straightening your sword. A bent sword can be the result of using a poor quality weapon, an incorrect cutting technique or both. Even a well-manufactured mono-steel blade or traditionally folded-steel model will bend or twist if your technique is off.

Keep Reading Show less
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

In this EXCLUSIVE video, we take you into the studio, behind the cameras, for a glimpse of a true sword master in action! This is some of the last footage of Masayuki Shimabukuro shot at Black Belt magazine -- and perhaps anywhere.

As Black Belt's director of digital media, I have been privileged to meet, interview and work with some of the world's greatest martial arts masters — men and women of great skill, poise, humility, humor and knowledge in their chosen style of practice. In 2011, I had the distinct honor of hosting samurai weapons master and Black Belt Hall of Fame member Masayuki Shimabukuro at the Black Belt video studio to shoot the three-DVD set Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship. It would be the second of two Masayuki Shimabukuro DVD sets for which I was privileged to serve as project supervisor.

As Black Belt's director of digital media, I have been privileged to meet, interview and work with some of the world's greatest martial arts masters — men and women of great skill, poise, humility, humor and knowledge in their chosen style of practice. In 2011, I had the distinct honor of hosting samurai weapons master and Black Belt Hall of Fame member Masayuki Shimabukuro at the Black Belt video studio to shoot the three-DVD set Advanced Samurai Swordsmanship. It would be the second of two Masayuki Shimabukuro DVD sets for which I was privileged to serve as project supervisor

Keep Reading Show less

Watch the late Masayuki Shimabukuro use a short samurai sword for swift and graceful cutting of a single-roll tatami mat!

"The fundamentals of cutting with the short sword are the same as the fundamentals of the long sword," says samurai weapons expert Carl E. Long, "except that we use the arm as an extension of the first part of the blade." In this samurai weapons demonstration with the short sword, Carl E. Long and the late eighth-dan swordmaster Masayuki Shimabukuro describe and portray how a single rolled tatami can be cut with the most refined technique and accuracy.

Keep Reading Show less

Samurai Swordsmanship authors Masayuki Shimabukuro and Carl E. Long answer the most common questions Black Belt magazine receives about Japanese swords!

From the medieval epics of Akira Kurosawa to the space operas of George Lucas, the samurai have long inspired us with stories of their legendary swords and superhuman skills. Nowadays, when we think of samurai, we imagine invincible warriors like Miyamoto Musashi nimbly wielding super-sharp swords, slicing through ninja and catching blades with their bare hands.

Keep Reading Show less

Black Belt columnist Dave Lowry examines the role that scrolls and tablets played in the transmission of the budo in ancient Japan!

In 1588 the famous samurai swordsman Kagehisa Ittosai started thinking about which of his two students would officially inherit his itto-ryu. Always enigmatic, he told them they were too equal in skill for him to decide. They’d have to come up with a test of their talents. The men, Zenki and Migogami Tenzen, decided to duel with real swords. They met in a clearing with their teacher sitting off to the side, watching. He’d brought a scroll that symbolized the authority of the school’s head mastery, and the winner would receive it. Zenki and Tenzen squared off, and after a long, tense encounter in which neither could find an opening, Zenki turned and ran — straight for the scroll. He grabbed it and took off, with Tenzen in pursuit. Tenzen cornered Zenki, who died under Tenzen’s sword, the stolen scroll still clutched in his teeth. From our perspective, the story seems bizarre. What did Zenki expect to gain from stealing the scroll? Ittosai was standing right there. He could simply write another scroll with a note that the one Zenki had wasn’t legitimate and give it to Tenzen. If I steal the deed to your house, it doesn’t make me the owner, right? To understand the importance these scrolls had for the feudal Japanese is to gain insight into the culture of the traditional martial arts.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter