Make a Target Using Tatami Omote

There are many ways to make targets for tameshigiri. The instructions we offer have worked well for us for many years. If you have a good technique for making targets that you would like to share, please send us an email.

First you should decide whether you will be making half, full, or multiple mat targets. We have found that for most of our tameshigiri we prefer to use targets made from a half-mat. The smaller diameter targets show us more about the quality of our technique because they bend slightly if something is not correct. In a way full targets are less frustrating to use, but if you want to see your mistakes, half-targets will tell you more. An added bonus is that you can do twice as much cutting, or spend half as much money.

As a reference for people who have used beach mats for tameshigiri; a target made from one full piece of our tatami is equal in diameter to three or four beach mats rolled together. However, the tatami omote targets will be stiffer than the beachmat targets.

For horizontal target cutting techniques we recommend the standard practice of using full-mat targets.

For checking your power we recommend two or more full pieces of tatami omote rolled together to make one target.

Please Note: We do not recommend using a full-length piece of bamboo or dowel through the center of the target during cutting practice unless you have prior experience cutting hard materials. Serious damage to your sword may occur if you cut incorrectly!

It is important that you make sure the area where you roll your targets is completely free of dirt, rocks, or other abrasive materials. If one grain of sand or grit is rolled into your target and your sword strikes it, you will scratch the polish, dull the edge, or both. One big advantage of our new tatami omote is that you don’t have to check for staples or worry about embedded grit. Always shake out tatami omote before you roll a target whether it is new or used. Carefully check for staples in used tatami.

Making a Target Continued

To help make things a bit easier we have provided the following PDF files

Make a Target (text) | Make a Target (illustrations) | Make a Cutting Stand

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