Every Sunday, Calabasas' own sword master in residence, Mick Chambers, teaches the Japanese cutting art of tameshigiri in his Adamor Street driveway
Developed in Japan during the Edo period between the 17th and 18th centuries, tameshigiri was a method by which warriors improved their swordsmanship.
"It's how they tested their blades," said Chambers, a sensei (teacher or master) who holds a fifth-degree black belt in aikido.
Using katana swords, he teaches his students how to cut tatami, a kind of Japanese mat. Tatami mats are rolled up and dipped in water for about 12 hours prior to cutting practice.
"And when we do that, [the tatami] has the consistency of a human limb," Chambers said.
He said practicing tameshigiri helps improve one's focus and concentration and offers several benefits not found in other martial arts.
"The tatami is not going to lie to you and your sword is not going to lie to you," Chambers said. "So it's a very good indication of where you are mentally."
Tameshigiri lessons are offered every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and are for those who are 16 or older. Classes cost $6.
Chambers is also head of Samurai Club Calabasas, where he teaches aikido. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba, aikido emphasizes self-defense. Classes are taught at Hees Hall at at a cost of $60 a month for an individual membership or $99 for a family.
The kids class is from 5-6 p.m. and the adult course is from 6-7 p.m on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Check out the accompanying video for a closer look at Chambers' tameshigiri class.