I have a suburito but have recently discovered that I don't have the ceiling height to practice much indoors. For instance, an overhead strike is quite unfeasible.

Area of study

  • Mostly Iaido
  • Potentially open to other disciplines

At the moment, I seem to be limited to draw and horizontal slash.


Are there any disciplines that can use a full length blade in close quarters? Or, at least one that doesn't have too much emphasis on overhead strikes?

  • Should also mention I'm in an urban setting, wielding a giant wooden sword outdoors is going to be a no-no for me. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 3:42
  • 1
    I'm not sure about this question. I think any good kenjutsu school would teach all ranges, not just long-distance. I did Bujinkan, and they do go over kenjutsu technique that can be done close in. Like drawing your sword, and someone reaches out and grabs your wrist, so there are kata for dealing with that. Even kendo has somewhat close in strikes, seen when doing a pass and you do a slash to the body as you're passing. But I don't think you'll find these techniques are organized into "close range" kata in any ryu, where they specialize in them, if that's what you're thinking. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 6:17
  • As for the ceiling height issue, there are diagonal cuts that don't quite reach the ceiling. I prefer those to the standard vertical / over-head strike. They can be done from the draw, too, which makes them faster. There are sword cuts that come from low to high on a diagonal as well. Aside from that, if you really wanted to practice the vertical over-head strike, you would probably just need a smaller bokken, which you might want to add weight to? Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 6:22
  • This isn't quite a full answer, but you can side step this by creating an indoor trainer. There are such things for HEMA longswords, so why not bokken? (woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VB.INDOOR.LS.V1)
    – PipperChip
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 16:30
  • Suburitos are mainly a weight training device, so if you don't have enough space, I highly recommend getting a light Indian club (i.e. no more than 5 lbs) or as others mentioned above, an indoor trainer sword or something shorter. To answer your question straight though, yes, many kenjutsu and iaijutsu styles train indoors and deal with cramped spaces. A tweak that is done for downward cuts in cramped spaces is to use hasso no kamae instead of the typical overhead jodan no kamae when cutting downwards or to rest the sword on the shoulder (yin no kamae) and cut downward from it.
    – JZBai
    Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


I love the Suborito, it is large and heavy. Besides all the comments which are valid (e.g. diagonal cuts), from HEMA the first thing that comes to my mind if you want to practice using a large, heavy sword in confined spaces is Half-Swording (short YT introduction of the technique) which is useful for close quarter distance and includes joint lock and even take downs.

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