These files are meant to be printed out in color with the red circle pages acting as the backs of the other pages. Consider using a darker piece of paper in between the pages to reduce transparency and laminating them after cutting and gluing them back to back. They are free for personal use as long as the the copyright information is included.
The cards introduce a random element to training. We can operate in our comfort zones too often by training with the same weapon, favoring the same target, working with the same people, etc., leading to an unintended narrow field of expertise. The cards compel people to practice outside their comfort zones and become more versatile.
RED AND BLACK TEAM cards encourage working with one and all. The fans can be used to indicate the person in charge, the person to be protected, the person with the long range, etc.
"SCORE WITHIN 'X' SECONDS" cards promote speed. Ideally, a conflict should be kept as short as possible. The longer it drags on the more skill drops and indiscriminate chance plays a part. Of course, you can also play for time until help arrives. . .
TARGET cards advance precision. Learn to read what your opponent is looking for; see if you can guess what the opponent's card was. Avoid rather than check, check rather than block, block rather than strike, strike rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill. . .
WEAPONS cards further flexibility. A preferred weapon may not always be available; spend some time working all weapons against all others. Become familiar with all available weapons so you know what your opponent in looking to do to you.
GROUP/SOLO cards advance time on both sides of the conflict. Useful for uneven numbers of participants as well.
"'X' POINTS TO WIN" cards examine the scoring strategies in different methodologies. Does 1 point to win change the way you practice vs. 3 points to win?
Try them out and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for new cards.
If you'd like to try Chanbara and live in or around the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA send us an e-mail and we'll let you know where our next occasional free session will be. Michael Langewisch is a certified Chanbara Instructor with the United States Chanbara Federation.