View Full Version : Bob Elder's Batto Jutsu Tai Kai

17th September 2000, 19:28
Hi all,
just got back from this event, am surprised no one has talked about it yet. Met some great people from lots of different styles and got to swing swords with them. Kata, tameshigiri, wakizashi tameshigiri, kumitachi, and dodan cutting. Good stuff. Long day. Good support with Toyama Ryu senior people from Japan as judges. Hope the Orlando dojo broke even or came out ahead on this, but in any case it is a solid foundation to build on for sword arts in the US. Some organizational and pacing glitches, to be expected for a first time, but overall a great effort and I am looking forward to the next one.
Congrats to Bob, hope to see you again.

17th September 2000, 23:20
Hey I was at the Tai Kai. Did you compete? In What, How did you do. How did you like the demo's. The only real gripe I had was the starting two hours or so late. I have to admit if that mic had cut off again in the middle of them telling us where we needed to be I would have kicked that P.A system out the door.

P.S. Did you see any competers get swords for winning an event.

18th September 2000, 01:10
Hi Joseph,
I competed in the kata, tameshigiri, and dodan cutting. Enjoyed it, think I did ok. The toyama ryu folks (I'm not one) had a definite home-town advantage, lots more cutting than the rest of us poor deprived lot. Met some good people, that was the best part.
Yes, starting late was a drag, but at least they fed us. The demos were ok, one was a bit strange, but I'll reserve comment until I can do some research. Got most of them on video, plus a bit of most of the senior guys doing their thing. Some great cutting. I do think the cutting should have been earlier, though. Some of the mats seemed pretty dry at the end. Did you go to the dinner? I did, thought the sword presentations would be there, but didn't see it. Surprised it wasn't at the closing ceremony. Wonder what happened.
Did you compete? What events/style/dojo? Anyone else out there?

18th September 2000, 01:47
Hey I competed in Kata, Tameshigiri, and kumitachi and i was going to do team cutting but they canceled it at the last minute. You might have seen me I was the guy with a white top with real long hair and a face that looked like a pin cushin on acid. LOL Any way I made second round shodan kata but Elder told me ahead of time my peircings would hurt my score. I lost focas when cutting (there were some really nice looking girls watching and I think maybe I shouldn't have been watching them.)But you are right the mats were real dry did you notice that they never had to mop up any water off the floor, not a good sign when cutting goza. In Kumitachi my partner and I took second place. I taped a lot too. which demo did you think was strange descrip by which number in the order or by what they did and I will check my tape to see what you mean I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. But yes meeting a bunch of people was great but the Toyama ryu people did just a little to well for it to be all chance or skill.

no insult intended no apology offered

Carlos Estrella
19th September 2000, 03:40
Glad you guys enjoyed the Tai Kai (for the most part). I wasn't able to attend (just moved to CA from Orlando), but if I know Bob Elder, he broke his a** trying to put this together with minimal resources and assistance. I'm just glad that people got together in the southeast to experience some good Japanese-style swordsmanship and fellowship.

Since I wasn't there, I won't comment on the judging or glitches, but if you have comments good or bad, please forward them to ecmas@ecmas.com, and I'm sure that Bob and the other Orlando Toyama Ryu folks would would read them and reply if able.

How were the demos from Ueki Sensei and Hayata Sensei? I've seen them on tape but not in real life?


19th September 2000, 12:10
Well I not really in the mood to talk to Bob Elder at the moment but giving credit he did have some killer demos. But the cutting part of the demos was hurt By the somewhat dry goza (A lot of cuts just smacked the goza failing to cut durning the demos, but again the goza was dry.) Ueki Sensei did a great kata demo and Hataya was a knock out but I got to say I like the Seki Guichi Ryu Katas preformed by McClafferty Sensei a little better maybe because its not a widly used style so its new it being the first time it was demo in america. The only thing I can't figure out was why he put McCartney out to Demo with these guys he just wasn't in the same class as the rest of the Demos and it showed. Don't give me wrong McCartney is far better than I am but he doesn't stand with Hataya or McClafferty or even Elder let alone the rest of the people who did Demos. But my problem with Elder has to do with some Donated swords that were donated by several compines to be given to the top competitors and no one got one at the award cermony or banquet. Plus there was a feel that if you wern't toyama you were not going to win first place. But you are right I do need to contact Elder to discuss my problems with him but I am letting a few days pass so I don't act like a raging luntic when I speak with him

19th September 2000, 15:27
As a member of the Orlando Toyama Ryu Dojo, I would like to apologize for any glitches at the Tai Kai. We will try our hardest to correct them for next year. Two swords and a helmet were given out at end of the banquet. The Nidan-Sandan (Bob Lammp) and Shodan & under (John Schmidt) tamishigiri winners received the swords. The helmet was given to the over-all winner (Tom Smith). I do not believe that any other awards were given.

We are sorry that the certificates were printed with the incorrect date. Bob Elder has told me that new certificates will be mailed out when they arrive from Japan.

I would personally like to thank all the competitors for coming and hope you will return next year.

19th September 2000, 17:53
Mr. Elder did indeed work his a** off to bring this event off, but not without some other a**e* being worked off, too. Notably, Mike Femal (animo), Tom Smyth, and Robert Steele contributed enormously, as did numerous others from their dojo whom I can't name. Mr Steele told me they began rolling those tatami in early summer.

Some hitches are bound to occur on the first run. I did see the awards made late at the banquet (the first award came early when Hataya Sensei received his mounted boar's head).

Overall it was a great event, one I'd love to see repeated. I volunteer to help in any way I can. Maybe if we all did, it could go off without a hitch.

For the record, I bombed in everything. However, there's always next year....

Will Graves

19th September 2000, 19:40
Its nice to find out that the swords were given to the winners.

19th September 2000, 19:45
Eldorobo, I believe that Bob Elder was warning you to remove your jewelry because the Japanese judges would deduct points for it. Piercings are not a factor, but wearing any jewelry is. I can not make many comments about how the Japanese were judging events. They keep their own counsel about that. I do know that they have all trained in other Japanese sword and martial arts styles. The biggest advantage the Toyama Ryu students had was a history of being personally critiqued by some of the judges. You get to know what they like and don't like. I encourage you to have Ueki Sensei or Hataya Sensei teach seminars at your Dojo. They are both dedicated to spreading Japanese swordsmanship and Budo to the US.

Carlos Estrella
19th September 2000, 20:12
Will and Joe...

Thanks for getting me up to speed, and although I wasn't able to be there, I thank you both for the info.

I look forward to seeing you both for the next Tai Kai in Orlando (already got the bosses ok for the next one, barring business commitments).

Also, a personal thanks to the guys who helped Bob put this on... it takes a lot to put something like this together. Domo Arigato Gosaimashita!


19th September 2000, 21:01
I attended last Saturday's event in Orlando but did not participate (I was under the impression that this was Toyama-ryu only). Hats off to Bob Elder & to anyone who helped out with the festivities. Also acknowledgement to all those who participated, there was some high-caliber swordsmanship out there! Looking forward to next year.


Bradford Pomeroy

19th September 2000, 21:16
Orlando Tai Kai was a great day.

The oportunity to see the shihans from Japan was unique.

There were some "minor" difficulties but overall, it was a great event.

The fact that different branches of the Toyama family meet and compete was an upliftting experience. Other martial arts disiplines shoud take notice.

Well done Bob......

19th September 2000, 21:57

Welcome to E-budo. Please note that forum policy requires use of signature with posts (the easiest way to do this is to configure it into your signature block). Enjoy!

Be well,

19th September 2000, 23:02

I also fogot to add ditto kudos about the demos.

And I have two pictures up at:



http://trfn.clpgh.org/aop/cut.jpg (when Hataya Sensei's dinner finally arrived).

No action, sorry. Dispos. camera and flash allowed.

Will Graves

19th September 2000, 23:25
I got to say I am surprised that desprite the difference of opinions we have all discussed here in this thread has anyone besides me noticed that for the most part there have been no name calling or personal attacks on each other. Its nice to be able to disagree with people and it not drop into a war of words.
Domo to everyone

Tom Smyth
20th September 2000, 10:53
As a member of the ORlando Toyama Ryu Dojo I also need to thank all the people who participated in this event to make it such a sucess. The fact that we had many different styles in the gym competing was great. It also sent a big message( I think) to the Japanese guests that we can get together and compete without scratching each other's eyes out over whos style is best, etc. Sorry for the few glitches ( especially the darn microphone) but rest assured all of the things we learned will definitely make next years much smoother and better yet. Again many thanks to all who helped to arrange it but more important to those who came and supported it!!

Tom Smyth
Orlando Toyama Ryu Batto-Do

20th September 2000, 13:53
Can anyone name off some of the styles they saw in Orlando?I have been doing MJER for a few years & have only 'seen' a few other styles of Iai: MSR, Mugai Ryu, some Koryu stuff from documentaries but not enough to be able to tell which is which except MJER (& even that varies depending on which stream you study under). Can anyone name some of the styles they saw there or maybe styles people talked about? Were all the tameshigiri kata Toyama Ryu?

Note: I do not want this to become a this style is better than that style conversation, it's just I have not been exposed to many 'other' styles & am interested in learning more about them. :)



bob elder
20th September 2000, 14:01
A word about "Bob Elders Tai kai." I call it
"our tai kai" because the work for it was spread
out amongst ( mainly) the Fla. branches of the U.S. Federation of Toyama Ryu Batto Jutsu which
are in Palm Bay, Tallahassee and Orlando. We have another in Pittsburgh but did not bother them as they are so far away. It was a major undertaking on our part since only I and 2 others ( Bob Lampp and Mike Femal) have been to tai kais in Japan. Altho attending one makes us tend to think they are easy to run , and thus make it easy to criticize, let me tell you brother it is darn near the most difficult thing I have ever done. Anyway, seeing it from this perspective has made me appreciate the way they are run in Japan. But they are no different in a way and have the same circle jerk problems we did. However after the meeting the judges had at my house Sun. , and the list of 12 things that were not done right, you can take it to the bank that they will be taken care of next November. I could write a book about this experience and can answer everyones concerns in this forum but I see the box is almost full. So, I will keep reading and answer each of you in other posts. I am finally getting up to speed after this ordeal. Thank you for your time. Bob Elder

Carl Long
20th September 2000, 15:59
Hi Bob,

Congratulations on running a successful event. I have heard sooo...many good things about it. I want to thank you for your supreme effort to promote japanese swordsmanship here in the USA. If it weren't for people like you and the rest of your Orlando Dojo, this art would never flourish here in the states. It takes BIG kahunas to pull off the first of anything. I know that when a few of the detrators sponsor their first event they will be knocking on your door for advice. Smile bigger,bow deeper!!

We have gotten some of the same critcism whenever we've tried anthing for the first time here in the US. SMILE BIGGER, BOW DEEPER. I am truly sorry I could not make your event due to surgery, but be sure I will support your efforts in the future.Thanks again...

Carl Long

Tim Wilmot
20th September 2000, 16:35
I want to thank Bob and all of his students in Florida for
their gracious hospitality. While these events always have
their share of glitches, I think everybody did a great job.

I would also like to congratulate all of the participants.
The opportunity to meet and compete with that many folks is
always a tremendous learning experience.

I want to take this opportunity to invite everyone to the
Western Regional tournament to be held in Renton Wa. Oct
14 and 15.

Once again congratulations to all the competitors.

Train hard and with a good heart

Tim Wilmot

20th September 2000, 18:42
I have posted several of my personal opinions on this page and had some misconcepts corrected by various people who had been polite the whole time even if they disagreed with me but who ever sent me the garbled e-mail discussing McCarntey's Demos you need to resend as my computer ate most of it but the one part labeled part three lets deal with that. I was asked my opinion on the demos and i give it. I did not and still do not (after reviewing my tape) Don't feel the his demo was up to the level of the other's doing demos. This is not to say McCartney is not a great swordsman far better than I. I don't feel it is disrecpecting anyone to say that its not like I am calling him a hack or a fake no I am just saying that I didn't feel he was up to someone like Hataya sensei's level but then few are. I am also happy to hear that the problems at the Tai Kai are going to be addressed before the next one and please guys get a new microphone.

Dennis Hooker
20th September 2000, 20:38
Well you should be sorry, you wimp. Letting a little thing like surgery stop you! Hell, I had a needle and thread in the truck if things came undone. Old Bob and his redneck Samurai did a right smart job on the event, although I thought them Tallahassee boys should have been chained up between events. Canít let um just run lose like that around city folk.

Did you see one of our own; Dan, finished third in the shodan kata? It just goes to show you that us MJERI folks are so damn pretty we canít be ignored no matter how hard some folks try. That one white gi in field of blue, what a magnificent site! Yes sir, Mr. Elder has come a long way from that young feller that sold Joís and Bokken out the back of a beat up old station wagon. What he did was a milestone for budo, Orlando, Toyama Ryu and Bob Elder. More power to him and good luck on the next one Mr. Elder my friend.

Dennis Hooker

Originally posted by Carl Long
Hi Bob,

Congratulations on running a successful event. I have heard sooo...many good things about it. I want to thank you for your supreme effort to promote japanese swordsmanship here in the USA. If it weren't for people like you and the rest of your Orlando Dojo, this art would never flourish here in the states. It takes BIG kahunas to pull off the first of anything. I know that when a few of the detrators sponsor their first event they will be knocking on your door for advice. Smile bigger,bow deeper!!

We have gotten some of the same critcism whenever we've tried anthing for the first time here in the US. SMILE BIGGER, BOW DEEPER. I am truly sorry I could not make your event due to surgery, but be sure I will support your efforts in the future.Thanks again...

Carl Long

bob elder
21st September 2000, 00:18
The reason we were so jazzed zbout this being an open tourn and not a Toyama one is so folks from different disciplines could come down and show their stuff. we are not naive enough to think "we" are it. we are ( meaning our Toyama Ryu ) people very serious. There are maybe 40 different cutting waza we do. That's a lot. I was lead to believe ( the last time I was in Japan) that a 7th dan MJER , a 4th dan MSR , a 5th dan Tamiya Ryu, and a Menkyo kaiden Katori Shinto Ryu were gonna show up .I also had a husband/wife Japanese couple living here in Fla gonna demonstrate Muso Shinden Ryu. Non of the above showed up. We were happy as hell to have McClafferty Sensei show us a very rare style, Sekiguichi Ryu exhibition. That was cool. First I have ever seen it. and he did it well. Also Russell McCartney did Ishi yama Ryu. He has great style and timing. THe one Japanese that did some kata and cutting was Hoju Ryu and he was from Chiba. Of course Ueki Sensei ( who has his own video out) and Sakaida Sensei are Toyama ryu. So..the plans did not work out. Of course there is always next year......Bb Elder

bob elder
21st September 2000, 00:38
If you are not still mad about the swords being given away and you didn't know about it, and some other things, scribe me personally and I will answer you. Bob Elder P.S the reason I told you about the pin cushion face was not too piss you off. That is not my style. It was to forewarn you. The problem Americans have who are far removed from Japanese influence is that they have no idea how they are percieved. especially with the karate tournament menatality here that allows someone to go to a tourney in a clown suit and he's proud of it. I should know, I make part of my living selling karate tourn clown suits, But what we are doing is a different ball game. The meaning of "kata" is what we are about. Not only your "prearranged movements" but your overall appearance. From how you wear your uniform to how you act, talk, walk,have patience and on and on. This is not taught much in American classes except from the viewpoint ( and totally missingthe point) as an ego builder. But if yu rattle a seniors cage, see how they act. That'll tell you if they "got it" or not. I got the nasty eye contact from your instructor. Anyway, let me know. Bob Elder

21st September 2000, 01:14
Hello Bob

First let me say my problems with the swords was two points .

ONE I didn't see the swords get given away and nither did several other people who I ran into online.
TWO I admit I got some bad info concerning the swords from people on the internet and foolishly ran with it.

My other concerns were the late start, the changing of rules at the start of events( Kumitachi) The deletion of team cutting. And the lack of translators made it diffucult to ask questions. (I have to say that girl ran her butt off.) As for my peirceings ask me one time why I wear them and I will explain in a more private arena. Afterwards I think you will understand why I get upset when they come up as an issue.

Now let me say most of my concerns have been addressed and explained on these boards in a surprising polite fashion and I will admit when I was wrong concerning most of them. But from the start I have said I enjoyed the event and meeting the large and different group of swordsman from all over. One other matter still keeps bring me a lot of email and thats my OPINION of the demos (please limit emails to no more than three a day please.) I was asked my opinion on the demos and I gave it period. I don't ask that anyone agree with me just that everyone remembers that opinions are like a**h**es everyone has one.
I still feel that Toyama Ryu competitors had an advantage and that is a shared opinion by several people and even that has been addressed and explained. And while I don't agree completly with the explantions they are valid points and I can accept them.

Jeff DeSantis
22nd September 2000, 03:48
Hey Bob,
Great event! I have posted another reply on your other thread...just a few words about Joe McDonald here...
Joe was misinformed I think and didn't know the sword awards were held at the banquet. As for his piercings, I teach some very stricked reishiki in my Dojo but Joes' piercings are those that cannot be removed and reapplied whenever...he is one of those few very dedicated students that sensei's like you and I wish we had a dojo full of. Therefore I tolerate them! He studies both Karate and Batto-jutsu under me and has in the past at many karate tournaments run into trouble over them (piercings) to the point now that he wears a full face mask to satisfy the rules. Please don't take my evil eye look at you personaly, my concern was that he may have not been allowed to compete and that would have been a bummer! Once again, great event and look for me on your other thread.

P.S. By the way people...Anytime you get a bunch of people together to participate in something like this you will always have some "Glitches" so take a chill pill, enjoy the comradeship and have some fun!

bob elder
23rd September 2000, 14:52
Hello Jeff, thanks for the real nice response. I'm glad you liked it so much. I heard yours and Mr. McDonalds kumi tachi was killer. Wish I'd seen it. I heard it was even harder for you two cause ya'll had bokuto. That must have been something. Anyway again thanks for the positive response. I hope you guys kick ass next year! Now that you know what to expect. 4 of us are going to McCartney Senseis tai kai next month and we'll probably have the same problem of finding out the hard way what they look for. Oh well, if i can dish it out, I can take it. Bo Elder P. S how did the nami gaeshi go?

Jeff DeSantis
23rd September 2000, 23:03
Hey Bob,
Thanks for the complement on our Kumitachi. Yes, we use the bokken cause we like to play hard. (WARNING: Do not attempt this at home without proper control and focas. Bokkens don't cut, but they sure as hell break bones...LOL) Anyway, thanks to the judges messing up at the start of the secound round in cutting, I would not of had the chance to try the Nami Gaeshi. Never did that one before...cut it like butter!
That was so cool! Thanks Judges you made my day!!! As you may be aware, we that practice Saruta Sokes' Ryuseiken Batto-Jutsu usually practice our cutting while performing our Kata. We will be better prepared next year so look out!
Had a great time ...thanks!

bob elder
3rd October 2000, 23:30
Does any one out there that was a the Batto Jutsu Tai kai in Orlando know who the pair was that came in third in kumi tachi? Animo is putting out a 2 part video with the winners names listed and we can't figure out who they were. Thanks! Bob Elder