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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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