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BI’s world record-slashing sword master

What began as a Lord of the Rings-inspired fantasy has become a record-breaking reality.

Enamored with swordsmanship since his early days reading the JRR Tolkien trilogy, Bainbridge native Aaron McCloud this week slashed his way to a world speed record in tameshigiri, or target cutting using a samurai sword.

“My back still hurts,” said McCloud, 20, three days after completing the feat on Sunday before a crowd of 150 people at the Bainbridge High School gym. “I’m recuperating now, but a feel pretty darn happy.”

Following the Japanese traditions of tameshigiri’s ‘1,000 cuts’ event, McCloud sliced through hundreds of rolled rush mats using a formalized cutting technique. He made is one-thousandth slice in 33 minutes and 24 seconds, besting the previous record set by Japanese sword master Isao Machii by almost three minutes.

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