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Swords, Cutting and Military History

Cutting the flame from a candle

Cutting the flame from a candle

photo by The Ewan

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Many arts practice the specialty art of drawing and cutting with the blade as a single movement. These include the Japanese arts of Iaido (The Way of Drawing), as well various forms of Iaijutsu and Battojutsu (The Science or Technique of Drawing: a much more martial application).

The Korean art of Haidong Gumdo also trains their students in this quick draw.  This training includes becoming skilled at “candle snuffing” ( ch’otbul kkûgi )

At high levels of training, students are expected to demonstrate extreme accuracy with their drawing cut, called the “Batto” in Japanese.

This is expected to be a very fast, explosive draw and cut;  maintaining accuracy while moving so quickly requires much training.

A rarely seen but very intense form of accuracy training is known as Candle Tameshigiri;  learning to cut the flame from a candle.   This requires the student to extinguish the flame of a candle with just the breeze created with the passage of the blade-tip  — without touching the candle itself — as seen in the following videos.

First, a master executes an extremely quick “batto” draw…


This practitioner performs a quick draw and turn, leading in to two very precise cuts…

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