Jeremy Hagop lives in Australia and trains at the Seishinkan
Iaido Dojo. Every now and then he splurges and endures staggering
shipping costs to get Mugen Dachi tatami omote. We suggested he
test a less expensive alternative target to save some money. Please
note that he first uses a 5/16" dowel in the center, and when that
does not offer a good enough target he moves up to a 5/8" dowel.
With his permission we would like to share his observations:
As requested, I tried
cutting 4 beach mats wrapped together around a pine dowel of 8mm in
diameter. The mats were soaked for 8 hours and dried between 2-3
hours. My sword cut through effortlessly on two kesa giri cuts
without even feeling the dowel in centre. To be quite frank, I
still reckon the tatami-omote from Mugen Dachi offer more resistance
when cutting, when allowed to soak and dry the same amount of time.
The result of the 16mm diameter pine
dowel wrapped with 4 beach mats is very similar in resistance to
your tatami omote. I am very pleased with this find! But, please
do send me the tatami omote!!!!!!
Well, the beach mats cost about $2 each. I used
4 to make one target. So, thats $8. Another $2 for the dowel equals
$10AUD. So one target costs $9USD. It is cheaper than importing
the tatami mats from you. But I still do like the tatami! After
cutting the last tatami mats I received from you, I cant go back
to beach mats!
Seishinkan Iaido Dojo
Sunday, March 4 2007
We recently received the
tatami that we ordered from your company and we just rolled and
cut some. It was excellent quality as you had said and we are very
happy about the results. We are a pretty small group but we wanted
you to know that you have our business from here on. Thank you
Ryujokan, Carbon Cliff, Illinois
Friday, Feb 16 2007
I received the targets today. I made
a side by side comparison between your
mats and (4 foot Wara from another company).
Both were tested in the following conditions:
4 @ 1 each soaked for 3 hours
4 @ 1 each soaked for 6 hours
2 @ 2 each soaked for 6 hours
2 @ 4 each soaked for 6 hours
4 @ 1 each dry
Blades used were (1) Shinsakuto 2005 by Tsuneharu and (2) Paul
Firstly, the weight difference is huge, your mats are denser and
Your mats are shorter (standard size) and the wara is longer.
Cutting was easier on the Wara and more
difficult on the Tatami Omote. More skill is required to cut the
Tatami from you. We have supplied the 4 foot Wara for students
in the past and will seriously consider switching them (once more
advanced) to your mats.
They are much more like what we were used to in Japan.
Thank you and hope to do much more business in the near future.
Just thought you might like to know.
Jun 4 2004
Japanese sword arts that incorporate cutting as part of their training need a
steady supply of consistent and challenging targets. In Japan, the standard target
is tatami omote. I began tameshigiri training while stationed in Japan with the
US Army. I was pleased and relieved to find a reliable source of tatami omote
when I returned to the States. I have been doing business with Mugen Dachi since
autumn of 2000 and have never been disappointed. Their mats are of consistently
high quality and their customer service has always been friendly and efficient.
The Northern Virginia Kenshinkai and the Northern Virginia Budokai strongly endorse
Mugen Dachi as our preferred source of tatami omote for tameshigiri.
Northern Virginia Budokai
Apr 1 2004
Thanks for the tatami, as well as the instructions for rolling targets.
Definitely a professional package overall. Thanks again for your product and
Mar 13 2004
I did my first test cutting today of the tatami and was very pleased. being
accustomed to used mats I was impressed with the quality and
cleanliness of your mats. The cutting characteristics were
excellent and the results were very satisfying. Thank you for
providing such a high quality product.
Feb 29 2004
Recently I ordered two boxes of mats from your company. Our Shinkendo dojo located
in Gilbert, Arizona, used approximately 18 of the mats, cut into half mat targets
of 36 targets. About a third were used for practice cutting in preparation for
our local Festival of Japan, called Matsuri, and the rest were used in demonstration
cutting by our sensai and students. It went splendidly and the mats are first
rate. I just wanted to thank you for providing a quality product that allows
us to practice our art.
Nov 17 2004
The Mugen Dachi tatami make excellent targets, quite similar to the tatami targets
I've used in Japan. The main difference is they're clean tatami, so there's no
dirt to add extra scratches to the sword. The targets cut well and cleanly when
you do it right, and they let you know it when you don't.
Nov 5 2003
I've cut a lot of dry, brown bamboo, and as long as the hasuji is good, it's
not terribly difficult. Bad hasuji is another story though. The tatami cut quite
nicely. We actually did both boxes in one weekend at the ren. faire. Unfortunately
I don't have any pictures, because I was busy either doing the cutting, or supervising
other people. They cut like good tatami in Japan. I was quite pleased and you
can expect me to order from you again.
Sep 15 2003
My group had our test cutting day this past Saturday and we cut
@60 of your mats plus some bugei wara, and some used tatami omote
from Japan given to me by Fumio Demura sensei. We cut them with
a selection of blades, some CAS Iberia Shinto Katana and wakizashi,
some imperial weapons bwt katana, a few refitted gunto,and 2 antique
blades from japan.Your mats cut identically to the mats from Japan,
and are much cleaner, with no grit imbedded in the mats.Your mats
are much denser and provide a better feel than the bugei mats,
and following your recomendation about half mats we gave that a
try to to check angles, it worked very nicely.In our ryu we often
cut mats that are rolled tight, and rather than use a peg to hold
them in place we balance them on the cutting post and strive to
cut leaving the bottom portion still on the post. Your mats have
the weight to make this
type of practice challanging and very enjoyable.
Thanks agin, looking forward to getting more mats from you
in the future.
Yagyu shin kage ryu
Yamato yagyu kai USA Representative