Converting a size 39 to 37 daito shinai

So having finished watching Hiroyuki Danno’s Let’s make shoto video

How to make shoto video, I decided I would get busy and make my own daito.

With daito, you can purchase size 37 shinai for kids or purchase special 37 shinai for nito. I decided to convert one of my dobari 39 shinai to size 37.

A disassembled size 39 shinai:

Preparing the shinai to be cut:

Sanding the ends:

Checking the length of the shinai:

Finished (store bought daito on left/converted daito on right):

Some things I learned:
You have to cut the length shorter since the regulation length includes the sakigawa.
When shortening the tsuka, it’s easier to push the end inside out first BEFORE cutting it. See Paul Shin’s video on how to shorten tsuka.

Well [let’s] see how it works tonight.

So this happened

So after successfully passing my 3 dan exam, with the urging of one sensei and the permission of another, I’ve decided to take up nitoryu.

First impressions. It’s not easy. The daito is heavy. The shoto just stays there and doesn’t have a mind of its own. It’s easy to drop the shoto. It hurts when it drops on your toe. It’s going to be a long journey…



Last weekend was my 3-dan exam and the written question was “describe the elements of yuko-datotsu”.

Yuko-datotsu in kendo is defined as a valid cut/point. It requires striking with intent to the correct target with the correct part of the shinai at the correct angle of the shinai and with the correct spirit followed by zanshin. Yuko-datotsu must be done with ki-ken-tai-ichi, i.e., with spirit-sword-body as one.

The strike begins with an attacking, focused state of mind/spirit evidenced by loud kiai, good posture and readiness to strike at any time. When an opportunity is available or made through seme, an intentioned strike takes place with the datotsu-bui (or proper part) of the shinai to the datotsu-bu (the proper target). The strike should follow the proper cutting angle, following the correct striking path, and should connect with the target through the culmination/convergence of spirit, sword and body (ki-ken-tai-ichi). The cut by the trifecta of spirit-sword-body should continue through the target. Once through the target, the kenshi should be ready to strike again (zanshin).

Yuko-datotsu can be obtained through regular basic (kihon) practice.