I was forwarded this short video clip from a colleague involved in high-level Aikido practice - which in their Japanese School involves Katana (Long Sword) 'cutting' (carried out in a peaceful, meditative state). It was explained to me that their Sensei had explained that prior to WWII - many 'Official' Sword Smiths in Japan possessed a 'Permanent' Governmental Permission to 'Test' the effectiveness of freshly forged blades on the necks of judicial prisoners Sentenced to Death. As the process of 'Test Cutting' blades today (only using rolled-up tatami mats) is referred to as 'Tameshigiri (試し切り) - could I decipher, translate and transliterate this Japanese term to see if this 'history' is denoted in the concept. My research is as follows:
1) 試 (Tame) = Trial, Experiment and Exploration.
2)し(Shi) = Death, Execution and Judicial Decapitation - achieved through s single (efficient) Sword 'cut' or 'swing' - where the blade does NOT oscillate (wobble) left and right when in movement.
3) 切 (Gi) = Slice, Cut and Cleave apart.
4) り(Ri) = Perfected Form, Finished and Completed Movement.
The data obtained when forensically translating this term - which requires rolling-back layers of 'politically correct' (interpretive) terminology accrued over several post-1945 decades - does indeed support the history lesson as transmitted by the 'Aikido' Sensei concerned. The tatami mats - which must be struck and cleaved with a 'graceful ease' - have 'replaced' the necks of condemned Japanese criminals (who are now 'Hanged' in private). This is in fact a 'Death-Cut' - or a sword strike designed to render an opponent DEAD in the quickest and most efficient manner!
I have been looking through the Chinese language internet for 'Ju Jitsu' (or 'Jiu Jitsu') information and found a very good historical article which I have fed through a universal translator:
The early history of Ju Jitsu (Rou Shu) - or 'Giving-Way Art' is described as follows (I have translated this extract exactly):
'The origins of Ju-Jitsu can be traced back to around 2000 BCE (in Egypt). There are hundreds of murals in the famous Khufu Pyramid in Egypt depicting Ju Jitsu-type combat techniques. These North African martial arts techniques appear very similar to modern-day Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. The combat techniques that define Ju Jitsu are found (today) throughout the world within the traditional fighting systems of China, Japan, India, Greece, Egypt, Russia and Mesopotamian, etc. Some scholars speculate that Asian Ju-Jitsu developed separately (and parallel) to its African variant - and is a martial art that originated in ancient India. This Indian martial art then spread to China - where it was consolidated - before being spread across the world by migrating monks and soldiers. It is currently unknown whether there is a direct link between the Egyptian and Asian variants.'
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.