Takenouchi-Hangan-Ryu-Matsuno-Crandall School of Iaido and Batto-Do held its first in-school Batto-Do Competition this year.
Our school is first an Iaido school, and very proud to carry on the teachings, philosophy, and physical skills of the samurai as taught to me by Headmaster Tsuneyoshi Matsuno. After Headmaster Matsuno’s passing a friend and fellow martial artist, Master Fumio Demura, offered to teach me his sword style of Batto-do. I accepted his offer and over the years I and my students have benefited from the skills and history of traditional Batto-do. So much so that on November 22, 2014 Master Demura and I worked together to present the first East Coast Invitational Batto-do Taikai in New York State. It was a great success and a fun-filled learning experience for my students.
Now four years later we brought back those good times and fond memories by holding our first in-school Batto-do Competition on Friday, September 28, 2018. The participants were all Advanced students of the school with years of experience in cutting with live samurai swords. Headmaster Crandall took time before the start of the competition to inform the audience as to what each competitor would need to demonstrate, as well as the grading process for each cutting division. Headmaster Crandall’s highest student who is also a certified instructor in the Iaido/Batto-Do School, Kyoshi Nathan Morris, judged the event with Headmaster Crandall at the front judges’ table.
The competitors each demonstrated skills and safety which made the grading close and challenging. When the Taikai concluded one individual stood out above the rest to win in each division. For the women it was Miss Sabrina Crandall taking first place and the trophy, and for the men’s division it was Mr. Eric Stalloch in first place taking the trophy. Our congratulations to all of the competitors.
Plans are already being made for next year’s Batto-do competition. At this time it is planned to be held on Saturday October 5, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be a women’s division and a men’s division. Competitors will perform one of the following katas: Gohon-Me, Roppon-Me, Shichihon-Me or Happon-Me. Competitors will also be cutting in a preliminary round and the second or final round. There will be an optional team cutting division as well. This event will be open to the public. We look forward to seeing you there.