Sword and Smith Forged, by Joe Pierre

An alumnus of our swordsmithing School Tomboyama Nihonto Tanren Dojo, Joe Pierre, has put together a three part documentary about our work, our swordsmithing school and classes, entitled Sword and Smith Forged, and shared it on YouTube. Joe attended our swordsmithing school in 2007, taking our Basic Forging Course under the instruction of Michael Bell, and returned again in 2008 for another session. The video footage he used was shot at our dojo on the southern Oregon coast, with some shot in our old smithy and some in our newer larger and better equipped shop. The film also includes photos of our work, and is narrated by Joe.

Thank you Joe for your diligent efforts producing this great documentary.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

2012 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule


We are proud to announce the 2012 class and event schedule for our Japanese sword-making courses here at Tomboyama Nihonto Tanren Dojo. The school year is scheduled to begin the last week of March, during many schools’ spring break, with a Basic Forging Course.

The Basic Forging Course has proved to be our most popular course over these years, so we have decided to schedule five sessions next year to hopeful best accommodate our students schedules.

We have also scheduled another session of our Intermediate Forging Course returning/advanced students. Sessions of Koshirae, Tsuka-maki, Kajioshi, Habaki, and Habaki-Kajioshi-Combo Courses have also been scheduled.

Classes are limited to four students per session, unless otherwise stated. Generally, a deposit is required to reserve one’s place in a class. Reservations are made on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis and can be made on this site with payment via PayPal.

Please visit the FAQ section for more information on our classes.

We would love to have you attend a class at the dojo next year!


2012 School Year

March 2012

Monday, March 26 – Friday, March 30 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, March 31 – Sunday, April 1 – Kajioshi Course

April 2012

Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15: Oregon Knife Collectors Association (OKCA) Knife Show in Eugene, Oregon

Monday, April 23 – Friday, April 27 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, April 28 – Sunday, April 29 – Kajioshi Course
May 2012

Monday, May 28 – Friday, June 1 – Koshirae Course

June 2012

Monday, June 25 – Friday, June 29 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, June 30 – Sunday, July 1 – Tsuka-maki (Handle-wrapping) Course

July 2012
Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 20 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, July 21 – Sunday, July 22 – Habaki Course

August 2012
Friday, August 3 – Sunday, August 5 – San Francisco Token Kai

August 27-31 – Intermediate Forging Course

September 2012
Saturday, September 1 – Sunday, September 2 – Oroshigane (Steel-making) Seminar

Monday, September 10 – Friday, September 14 – Kajioshi-Habaki Combo-Course

October 2012
Monday, October 1 – Friday, October 5 – Basic Forging Course

Monday, October 22 – Friday, October 26 – Basic Forging Course

Tomboyama 2011 School Year in Review

Tomboyama Nihonto Tanren Dojo is proud to complete another school year. 2011 marked the year fourth since the construction and foundation of the dojo, and the sixth year that Michael Bell has offered scheduled swordsmithing classes here at Dragonfly Forge.
June was a busy month for a school, as we hosted two five-day classes within two weeks. First, we held a Basic Forging Course, which was attend by two students, Charles and returning alumnus Aaron. Aaron would also returned the following week to take our Kajioshi-Habaki Combo-Course.


Completing nearly our entire current curriculum, Aaron returned to the dojo in the month of July for two more weeks of classes. Continuing to learn, while bringing the katana forged in class further along towards completion, Aaron took our Koshirae Course followed by a five-day Tsuka Course.


The next class of the year would be our August Basic Forging Course. This class was attend by two students, Emerald and Fred. Emerald’s father is a knifemaker and wrote a short entry on his blog regarding his daughters experience at the dojo.


Our final class of the year was our September Intermediate Forging Course. The Intermediate Forging Course was a new additional to the school’s curriculum which explores the myriad shapes of tanto, as well as forge-folded steel. Dean was fascinated with the blade geometry of the kanmuri-otoshi style and choose it as his class project. His blade was forged from forge-weld and folded cable steel. Dean was able to stay for the weekend to attend a two-day Kajioshi, further refining his kanmuri-otoshi o-tanto/wakizashi.

Habaki Replacement and Tsuba Repair by Tomboyama Alumnus

A critical failure

An esteemed alumnus of Tomboyama, Jeff Adachi, recently performed an emergency repair for a fellow iaido classmate. The owner noticed a rattle and it turned out the habaki had almost completely split. Somewhat surprisingly, the failure to occurred down the mune side rather than at the solder seam. It was probably the worst condition habaki Jeff had ever seen. Continue reading Habaki Replacement and Tsuba Repair by Tomboyama Alumnus

May Basic Forging Course Fully Booked

Let this serve as an update for the 2011 School Year. The May 9-13 Basic Forging Course has now been fully booked. The other scheduled classes of 2011 are also beginning to fill up.

A reservation deposit is required to reserves one’s place in a scheduled session. Reservations are ‘first-come, first serve’, and may be made through our school’s website and PayPal, or by telephone.

Annual Oregon Knife Collectors Association (OKCA) Knife Show

Dragonfly Forge will soon be attending the Oregon Knife Collectors Association (OKCA) annual knife show in Eugene, Oregon.

The show, held at the convention center at the Lane County Fairgrounds, will be held April 8-10, 2011.  Friday admission is open to club members only, but Saturday and Sunday the show is open to any who enjoy “things that go cut.”

A large variety of lectures and live demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend, including a presentation by Michael Bell, master swordsmith of Dragonfly Forge, scheduled on Sunday of the show at noon.  Entitled “Origins: The Evolution of Blade Technology”, the talk will focus on the metallurgical development of blades worldwide, from around 1000 BC to present day.

For more information on the annual show, please visit the OKCA website.