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Tameshigiri is the Japanese sword art of cutting rolled bamboo mats with a single strike. Each individual tatami mat is said to have a difficulty of cut equal to severing a man’s upper leg, which is more difficult than severing a head.

On October 6, 2003, Daniel Watson set a new personal record with a 6 mat cut.

On October 25, 2003, Master Swordsmith Daniel Watson set a new record performing Japanese tameshigiri by cutting nine tatami mats with a single katana strike. In this feat showing the superiority of both sword and swordsman, Master Watson wielded one of his Bright Knight katanas.  The previous record was believed to be eight tatami mats with a single katana strike.

On November 1, 2003, Daniel Watson once again set a record with a 9 ½ mat cut.

During the few days following the record cut three separate individuals claimed a ten mat cut, beating the new record.  On November 1, 2003, Daniel Watson set out to break the record again with the same blade as before and twenty-eight mats stacked on the stand.  Once again, Master Watson set a new record with eleven and three-quarter mats cut.

On November 15, 2003, Daniel Watson pushed the record further with a 12 mat cut.

Not satisfied until he achieved his record with a clean cut severing all tatami mats on the stand, on November 15, 2003, Daniel Watson raised the bar yet again with an astonishing twelve mat cut.

Master Watson took the new year as an opportunity to push power cutting to new levels.  During a demonstration in Driftwood, Texas, before a small crowd, Daniel Watson once again severed twelve tatami mats in a single power cut.

 After the twelve mat cut, the nay-sayers of the Internet determined that cutting multiple tatami mats stacked individually was significantly easier than cutting multiple tatami mats rolled together into one large bundle.  So, on May 1, 2004, before a large crowd at Scarborough Faire, Daniel Watson stood before a single bundle of twelve water-soaked tatami mats.  A few moments and a flash of movement later, the bundle stood at half its previous height.

On May 15, 2004, Daniel Watson succeeded with a 14 mat cut.

Again, the nay-sayers of the Internet spoke up.  This time, however, nobody claimed to have equaled or beaten the cut from May 1, 2004.  Still not satisfied, on May 15, 2004, Daniel Watson stood yet again before the crowd at Scarborough Faire -- only this time facing a single bundle of fourteen water-soaked tatami mats.  After a few minutes of focusing and warm-up motions, the cut was made -- a successful cut.  This time, the nay-sayers were silent.

On May 31, 2004, Daniel Watson stood before a bundle of 16 tatami mats.

On May 31, 2004, the latest attempt to push the world record in tameshigiri power cutting failed to succeed.  Several attempts between three tameshigiri practitioners were made, albeit without success.  Alas, it wouldn't be a world record if it was easy.

Daniel’s Recent Tameshigiri Demonstrations

Date Location Blade Mats Cut
May 2003 Scarborough Katana 4 ½
Aug 2003 NYRF Katana 4 ¾
Oct 6, 2003 TRF O'Dachi 6
Oct 11, 2003 TRF O'Dachi 8
Oct 12, 2003 TRF European 1½ Hand 4 ½
Oct 18, 2003 TRF European 1½ Hand 5 ¼, 7
Oct 19, 2003 TRF European 1½ Hand 6 ¾, 5 ¼
Oct 25, 2003 TRF O'Dachi 9, 8 ½, 9 ½
Nov 1, 2003 TRF O'Dachi 11 ¾, 10 ¾
Nov 15, 2003 TRF O'No Dachi 12
Spring, 2004 Driftwood O'No Dachi 12
May 1, 2004 Scarborough O'No Dachi 12
May 15, 2004 Scarborough O'No Dachi 14

Tameshigiri Videos

(click on the icon on the lift to view video)
Daniel's 8 mat cut on October 11, 2003 [5.05 MB]
Daniel's 8 mat cut on October 11, 2003 (slow motion) [6.3 MB]
Daniel's 9 mat cut on October 25, 2003 [6.79 MB]
Daniel's 9 ½ mat cut on October 25, 2003 [3.68 MB]
Daniel's 12 mat cut from the spring of 2004 [4.96 MB]

Other Cutting Videos

(click on the icon on the lift to view video)
Daniel cutting 1" braided hemp rope (Scarborough) [474 KB]
Daniel cutting 1" braided hemp rope (up-swing) [474 KB]
Jeremy's knife fighting demonstration (10/26/2003) [13.9 MB]
Jeremy's knife fighting demonstration (slow motion) [2.49 MB]
 
 
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