How to swing a samurai sword

There are many differences in the way of swinging a sword by school and so on. How to swing the sword which we know is introduced here. But, details can't be transmitted by the sentence. Therefor, i want to increase detailed explanations and so on later.

About the beginner.

The orbit of the proper sword is said as "Hasuji". A beginner must make the practice which makes "Hasuji" right first more than swinging it fast. If "Hasuji" is right, a sound rings with the sword which "Hi" Carves. "Hi" is the groove carved in the swords body.

1. It lightens the weight of the sword.

2. It makes a sword stronger so it doesn't break easily.

3. It eases the shock.

It is good to practice first by using a iaito which has a gutter carved.

Warning !!!

When "mekugi" becomes loose, a sword body comes out of the handle. Never turn the edge of the sword to a person. Be careful not to hurt yourself or anybody else when handling a sword.

How to hold a sword

Avoid the fuchigane (end) of the handle first, and hold a sword lightly with your right hand. And leave the left hand from teh right hand about 4 cm (It varies according to the length of the handle), and hold the handle.

Tighten the little finger and the third finger strongly, and than tighten the middle finger lightly. And try to float a thumb and a forefinger a little. It's the same in both hands. At this time, there must not be looseness in the hand. But, don't hold the handle with all your strength. A sword is fixed when a handle is held with all your strength. Then you can't swing a sword the way need or want.

The distribution of the power of the right hand and the left hand is about 4 (the right) and 6 (the left). Bend our elbow a little, and loosen the shoulder a little. And tighten both armpits ligthly. Then the space between the handle and the navel is about one fist.

How to cut a koikuchi

The part of the entrance of the sheath is cald a Koikuchi. Because it has a shape like the mouth of the carp. A sword is pulled out a little when a sword guard is pushed with the thumb of the left hand. This is called "Cut a Koikuchi"

Grip a koikuchi first with you left hand, and put the thumb of the left hand on the inside of the sword guard. And than push out the sword guard between the point of the thumb of the left hand and het first joint. At this time, you must not put a thumb right over the edge of the sword. This is the most careful point. When a thumb is put right on the edge, a finger is cut on the edge of the sword.

Try to push up the handle with you right hand from the bottom, and pull out the sword. Then a sword comes out easily along the curve of the sheath.

Basic Swing.

When a sword is swung, it is most important that the biggest power is applied to the kissaki. But, the power sometimes goes into the shoulder when a beginner tries to put the power in the kissaki. A sword isn't swung fast when the power goes into the shoulder. Remove the power from the shoulder and swing the sword like you do when you throw a fishing rod. Swing a sword by a feeling that a kissaki is thrown toward the target. Then, strech both arms enough, and try to draw a big circle. At this time, the orbit of the sword must always pass through the center of the body. Tighten the little finger and the third finger strongly when swinging down a sword.

After you finish swinging a sword, make the handle head of the sword come out in front of the navel. Space between the handle head and the navel is about one fist. And turn a kissaki a little below from the level. Then, bend an elbow a little, and relax the shoulder. Tighten both armpits lightly.

The distribution of the power of the right hand and the left hand is about 4 (the right) and 6 (the left. The orbit of the sword deviates when the power goes in right hand too much.

Level (Right)

A fundamental principle is the same as a Basic Swing. But a sense is really wrong because it becomes horizontal from teh vertical. Therefore, the orbit of the sword deviates easily to much.

A point is almost the same as a basic swing. Therefore, swing it with a feeling that a kissaki is thrown. An attention point is to stretch the right arm firmly. When a right arm bends, a hard target can be hard to cut with a sword. It is because an elbow becomes a cushion and the power is absorbed by it.

Level (Left)

This is a little different from level right. Level left looks like a swing of a bat easily. Be careful, because "Hasuji" deviates when swing becomes like a swing of a bat.

Here you give the attention to stretch the left arm firmly. Be careful that the elbow does not bend, because the elbow bends easily when doing a level Left.

Kesa Right

"Kesa" is the clothes of the japanese priest. It is the rectangular cloth to put on the right shoulder from the left armpit. Therefore, it is said as "Kesagiri" that means cut with the sword from an enemy's shoulder to the armpit. A sense looks like "Basicswing", "Kesagiri" is thought so that is can be done fast.

The power may not go into the "kissaki" when it changes from position 2 to position 3. This is because an arm isn't stretched enough. Then, the orbit of the sword draws a little circle. Therefore, the character of  the sword isn't being made use of. Therefore, stretch an arm enough, and swing it.

Kesa (Left)

Because this is almost the same as a "Basic Swing", "Kesa (left)" can also be done fast.

When changing from position 1 to position 2, be careful that the power doesn't go into your right hand too much. "Hasuji" deviates when the power goes into your right hand too much. The point of the rest is about the same as the "Basic Swing". Try to change the edge a little when "Hasuji' deviates. A beginner's case, there are many cases that an edge becomes oblique too much.


A Nukitsuke is the skill which can cope with an enemy's preemptive attack. Offcourse, it is effective in the preemptive attack toward the enemy as well. A Nukitsuke is the important skill which a battle is decided on.

1. Bend both knees a little, and stabilize the posture of the body.

2. Take the left foot forward a little, and then put a hand on the handle. Do "cut a Koikuchi" in the thumb of the left hand, and hold the handle with your right hand from the bottom. At this time, do it quietly so that an enemy may not notice this movement. Then, you must not hold the handle with all strength.

3. Take the right foot forward greatly, and pull out a sword with turning the edge of the sword to the top. A beginner may slant a sheath from the beginning. Then, a sword is easy to pull out from the sheath. When a sword is pulled out, you must not pull it out fast suddenly. Pull it out to become fast gradually after beginning to pull it out. Then, pul it out from kisssaki to 9 cm.

4. Slant a sheath horizontally the moment a swords pulls out of the sheath. Then, cut a target horizontally with the sword quickly. At this time, pull the sheath backward with your left hand. This is said as "Sayabiki". If you don't do a "Sayabiki", a sheath is likely to be shaved by the sword's edge. Nukitsuke's power increases when this reaction of hte "Sayabiki" is used. The height of the right fist after you finished swinging the sword is the height of the shoulder. And it is improper to raise the sword point more than the horizontal.


The performance of the Japanese sword is very excellent as a cutlery. But, how to handle a japanese sword is very difficult. Because the body of the sword is slender and curves. The wide shape of the body width is more suitable for the cutlery to cut an objec. Than, the straight sowrd's body is suitable for stabbing an object.

1. When a target is hard, the sword is repeled, and the sword body may break.

2. The edge of the sword may sometimes slides of the bamboo.

3. The right way to cut bamboo.

Offcourse, there is also a point where the japanese sword is superior too. A japanese sword has moderately curve. Therefore, the shock is absorbed when a target is cut with the sword. This way the target can be cut easily with the sword without adding useless power if a Hasuji is performed correctly. Most of the time there would be used straw (Makiware) to practice on. This becuase the sharp edge can be damaged easily by bamboo.

Tamashigari 1

How to cut a target (Makiware) with a sword is being explained here. The japanese sword cuts very well when it's very sharp. Therefore, even if you don't put power in the swing, you can cut a target easily. But, when you handle the sword carelessly, you can't cut anything, and the sword may bend.

1. Swing up the sword as the figure. At this time, stretch an elbow and the wrist. Then, lower the left foot at the same time of Kesa (left). Be aware do not cut you own foot off.

2. Swing down a sword under the condition that an elbow and a wrist are stretched. At this time, be conscious so that the power may go into kissaki. The power must not go into the root of the sword. You can't cut a target well with a sword if an elbow an wrist are curved when the sword hits it target.

3. At this time, be carefull not to cut your foot with a sword. and be carefull that the sword doesn't hit the ground. Do Chiburi after cutting the tareget, and take care of the sword. Then you put the sword back in the sheath.

Imagine that there are at least three Makiwaras if you can't cut Makiware well with the sword. It often fails when a beginner cuts Makiwara with a feeling that only one Makiwara is cut with the sword.