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Sound of cut

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  • Sound of cut

    How can I improve my iaido that sound of cut was better heard?
    IT is not due to cutting technique, because using another iaito sound is clearly audible.

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    get a double grooved iaito/one with larger bo-hi?

    tachikaze comes from proper hasuji and trip speed.


    • #3
      No personal experience but I've read that double bo-hi tends to be quieter as there is some cancellation effect. I've also read that the rounder edges of the bo-hi of an alloy iaito due to the softer metal of alloy produces less whistle than the hard edges of steel blades (this is actually a consideration as well in architecture when deciding on the look of facade components although usually cost considerations tend to dictate the choice). So it could be that one iaito has crisper bo-hi edges.

      Anyway, if the technique really isn't the issue, why worry?


      • #4
        I had this issue when I was a beginner: I simply could not produce tachi kaze. Peter West pointed out, on this forum, that it could be because my blade wasn't set accurately within my tsuka, i.e. it was twisted in the hilt. I experimented by altering the angle of my hands and hence the blade until it did produce tachi kaze. It seemed like I had to angle the blade well over in an anticlockwise fashion to make it sing! It was my stupid sword and not me! Now, in retrospect, I wonder if the sword was fine and I simply had poor hasuji! Very likely- I'll get it out and give it a swing and let you know!

        The other factor is blade speed. If it isn't moving fast enough, it won't whistle, but developing blade speed comes in good time and I'd advise not pursuing this in favour of correct form, just for the sake of a showy whistle! Someone who started Iai at the same time as me was able to produce a really loud, high-pitched tachikaze with his fancy light-weight sword-it was so impressive. I could've been swing mine in outer space for all the sound it was making and I found this very frustrating but I carried on. When the time came, we both attempted shodan grading-I passed, he failed and he was told there wasn't a single cut in his entire embu. He had been whipping his sword down in a short chopping action rather than the wide, expansive ovoid shape that was expected of us and that was part of the reason he failed. He disappeared a couple of weeks later never to be seen again.....


        • #5
          In our dojo have people iaito (mogito - imitation of sword for iai practice - not sharp and steel blade ) from different manufacturers and the iaitos create differently tachikaze (whoosh sound) from the same hands. But our sempai can create good tachikaze with all swords :-).

          I read some text from teacher of Tennen Rishin ryu kenjutsu and he noted, that tachikaze was undesirable issue in combat in past. He spoke about small mistake of modern iai. My experiences is that it is good aid for my cutting.
          Last edited by birch; 29th April 2016, 04:29 PM.


          • #6
            Sometimes, especially on thin blades, the Bohi is not deep enough.

            If it works for others and you think your tip speed is sufficient, all you have to do is (if cutting kirioshi), change your wrist angle slightly and listen. The same happens with Kesagiri - rotate wrists out or in until you hear it.


            • #7
              The aim is not to make sound. I don't mean it should be silent, but the aim of cutting is to cut. Every sword is different. Let it be what it is. Having Tach Kaze enables you to determine the consistency of your cuts. Gradually you learn what a good cut with your blade sounds like and can then determine whether your cutting has consistently good hasuji or not. My Sensei tells me to cut as if I am not trying to make a sound.


              • #8
                I've noticed that I rarely hear my own sword make a sound, when I do I find it quite satisfying.
                At West Mids seminar last year, you (Peter) got us to swap mobiles with someone else and film each other doing the whole Seitei, on playback, I could hear around 90% of my cuts and when I have filmed myself since it is the same. However, I still don't really hear my cuts, so for me I think it is my position in relation to my sword that plays around with the acoustics, that and 53 years of general hearing loss, gunfire in my youth, music etc.


                • #9
                  (duplicated post, can't delete it fully)
                  Last edited by nobolowski; 18th September 2016, 01:53 AM.