Terms & Definitions

Below you will find terms and definitions related to coaching and katana.


Japanese style swords also known as Samurai swords have their own terminology. With metal working, forging or blacksmithing there are terms I might use that not everyone is familiar with. And there are times when I choose to narrowly define a word to serve my purposes talking about a theme or idea. So here is my definitions page. Nothing here is Merriam-Webster approved. These are my own understanding of terms. And you do not need to know these words to understand the concepts of transformation, coaching, or forging a life.


If you have watched Tom Cruise in “Last Samurai”, Keanu Reeves in “47 Ronin", or heaven forbid any of the Kill Bill movies you have seen Japanese style swords.


The defining attributes are the curve of the blade, the undulating line above the cutting edge and the handle construction. There are many different styles of blades within with these attributes.

The three most common that I am familiar with:

  • Katana - Large sword with a blade over 24 inches.
  • Wakizashi - Medium sword. It’s blade is over 12 inches and under 24 inches
  • Tanto - Small sword with blade length under 12 inches

The katana that Howard makes on average have 29 inch blades.


The curve of the blade.


The undulating line. The line is where the structure of the steel changes from hard cutting edge to softer springy back.