Budo, Kobudo & Japanese Artisanry - The Seido Blog

Welcome to the Seido Blog.

The purpose of this blog is neither to advertise our products nor to use it as a marketing tool. Our true goal is to share with you all we’ve learnt since we began training in Japan and since we started selling, creating and designing martial arts equipment a decade ago.

We will mainly talk about traditional craftsmanship, Budo events in Japan, and of course, of our #BudoStudies work. #BudoStudies mainly focus on video interviews and demonstration, but you will also find some in-depth articles time to time.

Feel free to contact us if you have any question, wondering about a partnership or simply if you want to say hello to the team.


  • The origin and manufacture of the Iaito

    The origin of the Iaito does not date back very far, to the 60s or so. The creation of this tool for practice was primarily driven by new laws and regulations, enacted after World War ll. Since then, with the experience of many trades in the manufacture of the Nihonto (Japanese sword), some Japanese craftsmen have developed an expertise, still unparalleled outside the archipelago.
    We went to the region called Gifu to visit the workshops Minosaka and Nihon Token (Jisei), two of the most famous in Japan. Familiar with this topic for some years, we had many questions to ask – which we are summarizing here.

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    Article tags: BudoStudies, Craftsmanship, Iaito, Katana, YouTube

    3 comments


  • How to choose your Aikido belt

    Many practitioners choose their Aikido belt by chance, one takes what one finds. This may work out, at least for a certain time. However, white belts usually start falling apart after one or two years of practice, black belts are often too thick and uncomfortable under a Hakama. So how to choose one's belt? Here is the answer to this question.

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    Article tags: Aikido, Belt, HowTo, Obi

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  • Different types of Bokken, visit at the Horinouchi workshop

    The Bokken is a tool. It can either faithfully represent a sword, be used for muscle training or, if it is very light, become an instrument in order to work on precision. Some schools even consider the Bokken as weapon itself and study it as such. In Aikido, Kendo or Iaido, relatively conventional Bokken are used, compared to some schools of Kenjutsu, Koryu and Kobudo, for which specific weapons are chosen, especially to support the physical development and the specific techniques of the school. Since 1923, the Horinouchi workshop takes pride in keeping a copy of every manufactured weapon. Even though the exact number of the available models is unclear, there are certainly over a hundred types displayed in the small private museum of the workshop.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

    3 comments


  • Traditional manufacturing: The Sashiko fabric

    The Sashiko fabric, also called "rice grain" fabric in the west is the core of the Keikogi (Kimono) manufacturing and is worn in Aikido, Judo and also Kendo. Although there are many prestigious designers worldwide, there are only a few artisans who are capable of weaving a high quality Sashiko fabric. In this article we will open the doors to Seido's partner workshops, the only two workshops in the world to master the entire production line from weaving to sewing, to show you how your Keikogi is made.

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    Article tags: Aikido, Craftsmanship, Dogi

    2 comments


  • Comparative: How to choose your Aikidogi (Kimono)

    Choosing a Dogi is not a simple task, especially if you are a beginner. Light-, standard-, heavy-weight, traditional cut, modern cut, original cut: There are many models and choosing the one that best suits you does not only depend on the thickness of the fabric! Here we will discuss the different Seido models, fully representative of all the existing "Made in Japan" Aikidogi. However, low-end Dogi made outside of Japan are not to be part of the topic.

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    Article tags: Aikido, Craftsmanship, Dogi, HowTo

    5 comments


  • Handmade Bokken, Jo & Tanto at the Aramaki Workshop

    Enjoying the quiet summer months, we travelled across Japan to visit the officially recognized workshops manufacturing wooden weapons in Japan "Aramaki Budogu Mokojo", "Nidome Bokuto Seisakujo", "Horinouchi Noboru Seisakujo" and "Matsuzashi Bokuto Seisakujo". These last four companies fabricating wooden weapons are all located in "Miyakonojo", a small town on the peninsula of Kyushu (southern Japan), enclosed by two mountain ranges. In this article we will show all the steps of the making of a Bokken, guided through by an artisan of the workshop Aramaki Bokuto Mojojo, led by master Aramaki Kazuhiro, the 3rd.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

    2 comments


  • History of Japanese Bokken, interview with master Nidome

    The Bokken, wooden imitation of the famous Katana, is almost as old as the latter. Its poor quality in the beginning made it a "consumable item" which could easily be replaced if broken. The Bokken's quality improved gradually over time but it was not until the early 20th century, with the birth of the workshop in Miyakonojo (Kyushu) that the Bokken, the wooden sword, became a piece of art. At this workshop the ancient art of woodworking met the traditional martial arts, both of them sharing common values.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons, YouTube

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