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!
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.