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Every year at New England Warrior Camp, we have the opportunity to do tameshigiri, or live blade cutting. A bamboo mat is soaked in water, rolled up, and put on a pedestal. Martial practitioners then take a sharp sword and attempt to cut it in half.


Learning how to perform a cut with a sword is only part of the picture. Once you learn the mechanics of making a cut and how to operate a sword, the next hardest part is making the commitment to cut. Many people are hesitant to put their full weight, momentum, and force behind their sword cut, and as a result they get through half the mat at best. Some nearly bounce off of it, making only a surface scratch.

Tameshigiri illustrates this lack of commitment in a very visceral, obvious way. If you don’t commit to the cut, you get an exceptionally poor result. If the tameshigiri target were an actual attacker, you’d be ineffective at best.

Why do you hesitate with a katana? Why don’t you commit to the cut? Sometimes it’s lack of confidence in your knowledge and ability about how to use a sword. Sometimes it’s outright fear of the sword – understandably so, since most people don’t routinely use a four foot razor blade regularly. But sometimes, it’s a deeper fear of committing and putting your full force behind anything at all in life that holds you back from even something as simple as swinging a sword.

Once you make that personal breakthrough, once you get some knowledge, overcome your fear, and commit to giving it your all, the sword cuts. The target falls, lopped in half, and you walk away amazed at yourself, amazed at what you are capable of. Despite your lack of confidence, despite your fear, your willingness to commit, your will to act, pushes you through to victory and success.

Ask yourself this:

What in your life are you seeing lackluster results in?

What in your life are you seeing lackluster results in because you are hesitating to commit, and how would your life change for the better if you pushed past your fear, pushed past your hesitation, and committed to the cut?

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