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Tachi Marubashi

Reference: Tachi Shomen

Marubashi is a basic Japanese sword move from the Yagyu School of Swordsmanship and not unique to Aikido. Marubashi translates as bridge of life. The idea is that two swordsmen meet on a log over the abyss. To move to either side is to fall into the abyss and to back up is to die. One can neither retreat or deviate to either side. One must confront death head on to live. Marubashi is sometimes used as a meditation technique.

Movie of Marubashi.

Movie of Marubashi detail.

Fig. 1 Start Fig. 2 Boken Raised Fig. 3 Parry

  1. Fig. 1 shows the start with Uke and Nage spaced so that their Boken do not quite touch.
  2. In Fig. 2 Uke and Nage have raised their Boken for Tachi Shomen.
  3. Fig. 3 shows Uke and Nage striking with Tachi Shomen and Nage's Boken deflects Uke's Boken as they strike each other. Nage was taught this as an Irimi move but as in most fighting parries this works much better if Nage shifts back slightly away from Uke as Nage parries. Uke's hands are a little lower than normal because the ceiling is low.

    Fig. 4 Finish Fig. 5 Detail

  4. Fig. 4 shows the end of Nage's cut to Uke's head and Uke's Boken has been deflected to the side.
  5. Fig. 5 shows the detail of how Nage does this. Nage was taught this by demonstration without explanation so this is Nage's solution. Nage's Boken is raised straight as in a normal Tachi Shomen. As Nage's cuts down Nage's wrist rotate slightly to Nage's left moving the handle of the Boken slightly to Nage's left and the tip slightly to Nage's right. The edge of the blade points at a 30 or 40 degree angle to Nage's left. This is similar to Tachi Tsuki. The Boken cuts way deflecting Uke's Boken to Nage's left. The effect is accentuated by Nage's Boken coming back to the center line during the parry. This is shown above in the detail video. This parry is subtle making it difficult for a spectator to see the detail.

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Last Update 1/21/2009