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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject: New video: how to prepare tatami mats         Reply with quote

Hi all,

I've just uploaded our newest video, "Tatami Preparation and Mounting." People often ask me for instructions on where to get tatami mats, how to roll them, where to soak them, etc. This video covers all that, plus cutting stands and their use.

I hope it's helpful.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtAovo5fy4A

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/


Last edited by Michael Edelson on Fri 12 Nov, 2010 9:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ted Hewlett





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Michael:

That is very helpful -- thanks for putting it together. A couple of further questions:

1. How long do you soak the mats for?
2. Do you do anything special to them post-soaking but before you cut? Do they need time to partially dry out or anything?
3. Is there anything useful to do with the leftovers? Are tatami recyclable?
4. I've read about folks using other mediums for test cutting (pool noodles, other types of foam that are marketed specifically for cutting [ http://rockymountainswordplayguild.com/swordfodder/ ], milk jugs or soda bottles) -- does the NYHFA ever use anything other than real tatami? If so, what, and for what purpose? If not, what do the tatami help you to learn specifically that other (i.e., cheaper) targets don't offer?

Thanks for your insights!

Best,

Ted
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

5) Use the water to make Tatami soup, the soggy leftovers rolled into springrolls or fillings for dumplings. Razz Laughing Out Loud


O.K. but seriously, very useful information. Happy Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ted Hewlett wrote:
1. How long do you soak the mats for?


Hi Ted,

I've revised the video to add that information and updated the link (can't believe I forgot that! Happy ). You can soak them for 4-5 hours if you're in a rush, but 24 hours is ideal. Past that they will get denser/heavier, but past a certain point they will also get softer, so experiment and see what works best for you.

Quote:
2. Do you do anything special to them post-soaking but before you cut? Do they need time to partially dry out or anything?


Nope. They do take a minute or two to drain of excess water, but that doesn't affect anything, just how much of a puddle you have on the floor.

Quote:

3. Is there anything useful to do with the leftovers? Are tatami recyclable?


Not that I know of. They are completely bio degradable though.

Quote:
4. I've read about folks using other mediums for test cutting (pool noodles, other types of foam that are marketed specifically for cutting [ http://rockymountainswordplayguild.com/swordfodder/ ], milk jugs or soda bottles) -- does the NYHFA ever use anything other than real tatami? If so, what, and for what purpose? If not, what do the tatami help you to learn specifically that other (i.e., cheaper) targets don't offer?


Tatami mats help you learn about your own abilities because they are dense enough to cut realistically without altering your technique and consistent enough that you can see how your performance (and that of your sword) affects things. You can look at the mat you cut and see if you pulled your back hand or failed to extend your front, you can look at where the piece you cut lands and know what you did wrong, etc.

We tried Bugei Wara for a while, which is less dense and more forgiving. I prefer this to tatami, but it's a foot longer and I can't find a container (other than my bathtub) to soak them in. Tatami are easier, logistically speaking.

Pool noodles are fun, but too hard with a dull sword and too easy with a sharp one. They don't teach you nearly as much as tatami do, and are not bio degradable.

I don't have much experience with Sword Fodder, I've cut it a few times and liked it, but from what I remember it was too easy to cut and too short. I would also be nervous about being able to get large quantities of it on short notice, which makes it a no go for tournament competitions (the HEMA Alliance is planning on adding cutting competitions to some our our tournaments next year). And again, not bio-degradable.

Pumpkins, watermellons, plastic jugs, etc., are all great things to cut if you don't have tatami, but they are too easy for an expreienced cutter. They are great for beginners though, espeically pumpkins and watermellons.

Quote:

Thanks for your insights!


My pleasure!

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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Harry J. Fletcher




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Hello Michael         Reply with quote

Hello Jan,

Actually, you can cut pool noodles and tatami omote together. The water from soaking tatami as you suggested can be used as the broth for making tatami noodle soup. Big Grin Big Grin

Micahel I am still waiting for the meat cutting remake. Razz Razz Razz

Regards,

Harry

To Study The Edge of History
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, I LOVE the rubber band idea. What size do you use for a single roll?

Also noticed you fold the mat in half before rolling...any reason for that? I generally find that I get a tighter roll when I don't fold it in half first (although I do sometimes anyways due to space issues).
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
You know, I LOVE the rubber band idea. What size do you use for a single roll?

Also noticed you fold the mat in half before rolling...any reason for that? I generally find that I get a tighter roll when I don't fold it in half first (although I do sometimes anyways due to space issues).


I use either 32 or 64. Either works. I like 64 because I can always do a double or tripple roll without switching rubber bands.

There are two reasons to fold it in half. One is because you don't want the edge of the mat to stick out, it tends to fray. Some people fold the last foot or so, but if you fold the entire mat in half you save a lot of time, which is the second reason. It's much quicker when you fold it in half first. When you are rolling 20-60 mats at a time, it adds up quick.

As for tightness, I don't bother try to get it super tight. It doesn't make much of a difference, tight is tight. If it's loose, it makes cutting sloppy, but degrees of "tight" don't seem to matter.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Nov, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

top notch instructional video! Thanks a lot, I've learned much from it!

Best regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Nov, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Thomas, glad to help.
New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Nov, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A friend had been adding to aid stand and peg longevity in nesting pvc (plastic pipe) by making a larger the socket and the pegs wood sheathed in pvc. That makes for a quick swap out, or just to leave the peg out while cutting stumps unpegged.

As to leftovers, one artistic thought was to string angle cuts up as helix mobiles, byo paint and design. That was never more than a though, as most just ends up in a dumpster at the club.

Cheers

GC
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