This marked a special day for the IKKU as Tsuba Presentations for Shihan Dai Billie and Larry Robinson of Robinson Karate Dojo took place. After bowing in for our annual IKKU Weapons of Choice Clinic, Soke Ruiz performed the ceremonial act of presenting and mounting Tsubas onto the Shihan Dai Obis. Soke has mentioned his tradition of Tsuba Presentations in the past, but here is a quick review. Soke only awards Tsuba periodically, and these generally are awarded to senior level Yudansha, 3rd Dan and up, that Soke considers his personal students of Karate.
A few words of introduction regarding Tsuba. A tsuba is a hand guard that is mounted on a Katana between the cutting edge of the blade and the Tsuka (handle of the weapon). Its primary function is to keep the user’s hand from sliding up and onto the blade of the sword, to protect the hand from an opponent’s blade, to counterbalance the weight of the blade, and to some degree to communicate the social standing, beliefs, and tastes of its owner.
The Ceremonial Tsuba from Soke and the IKKU represents the trust between Soke and the Student as well as the protection that Soke provides to all his students. The Ceremonial Tsuba also represents the balance that the IKKU helps to instill into its students. Mind, Body, and Spirit along proper traditional foundations in all our arts help to bring peace, protection, and balance into one’s life.
During the ceremony, Soke will remove ones Obi from around the waist and then mount a Tsuba over the Obi and then retie the Obi with the Tsuba in place. The Tsuba is then worn in a rear-facing position from that time forward. If you see someone wearing a Tsuba during class or in a clinic, then you will certainly now understand that the Tsuba was earned and awarded by Soke Ruiz himself. This isn’t a fashion statement but instead, a badge of honor with a rich history instilled in this time-honored tradition.
A big congratulations go out to Shian Dai Billie and Larry Robinson on their Tsuba Award. OSU!
Additional IKKU Information:
For information about joining the IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union then please visit our IKKU Registration Page. We welcome new members to our organization and have 6-10 scheduled events each year. This will allow you direct access to Soke Joseph Ruiz, founder of the IKKU and other High Dan Instructors from the IKKU.
For a full listing of upcoming scheduled sessions please visit our Events Page. Here we showcase our upcoming Clinics, Camps and other opportunities for engagement with the IKKU.