Check Out the Impressive Swordsmanship of ”Modern Samurai” Isao Machii

  • Isao Machii is a Japanese Iaido master who also holds several Guinness World Record titles. Iaido is a traditional Japanese Sword Martial Art so you could call Isao Machii a modern day samurai. Isao learned this sword art from the age of 5.


    “Most martial arts sword cuts to one mat (Suegiri)”


    Isao Machii holds the Guinness World Record for the “Most martial arts sword cuts to one mat (Suegiri)”. In 2008, he managed to cut a free-standing straw mat roll 7 times but he beat his own record in 2015 for cutting the mat 8 times. What this means is that he cut the free-standing mat roll (tatami) 8 times without it falling during the process. It is a technique that requires years of practice and great skills. As the tatami roll becomes shorter from more cuts, the sword needs to be swung harder which increases the likelihood of the sword hitting the ground and breaking. If not much power is put into swinging the sword, the sword could get stuck in the tatami and the tatami could fall over.

    To see Suegiri in action, you can watch this video.

    Fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts (Senbongiri)


    In 2007, Isao Machii achieved the Guinness feat of “Fastest 1,000 martial arts sword cuts (Senbongiri)” in which he completed 1000 cuts in 36 minutes and 4 seconds. For Senbongiri, the swordsman has to cut rolled tatami omote. Each rolled tatami omote has the resistance equivalent to that of a human limb.

    An example of Senbongiri performance can be seen in this video.

    Most sword cuts to straw mats in three minutes


    In 2011, Isao Machii earned the Guinness title for “Most sword cuts to straw mats in three minutes”. He managed to cut the straw mats 252 times in 3 minutes. In this challenge, Isao had to cut each vertically-placed straw mat 5 to 10 times. He used the Uchigatana which is a sword that has its blade facing upwards.

    Fastest tennis ball (820 km/h) cut by sword


    In addition to those feats, Isao Machii also holds the Guinness World Record for “Fastest tennis ball (820 km/h) cut by sword”. He also can cut a baseball traveling at 500 km/h with his katana. One may wonder that with these kind of achievements, why does Isao not play for an official tennis team and a baseball team as well?

    Cutting a Speeding BB Pellet


    If you are unimpressed by his tennis ball and baseball cutting feat, he has a greater achievement than that. Isao managed to cut a BB pellet traveling at 350 kmh. According to Ramani Durvasula from California State University, Isao could not see the BB pellet but relies on a different level of anticipatory processing (kind of like sixth sense?).

    With his amazing achievement of being able to slice a BB pellet, I am curious to know if he could actually slice a speeding bullet. Is a katana even strong enough to withstand an incoming bullet? Nevertheless, even if Isao is able to do so with his sword, it could still be dangerous. Are you impressed by his achievements?

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