Shortly after we introduced our Tsunami Handle Wrap, I was contacted by a gentleman named Greg who said he heard great things about the Tsunami but wanted to know more about it from someone who had more experience with it.  Because one of our earlier customers (Russ McCartney, formerly of Seattle) had only recently set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD cutting Mats (Gozo) using his Sword which we had recently wrapped with Tsunami , I encouraged Greg to contact Russ directly.  The following is a copy of Greg's inquiry and Russ's reply.

Greg  inquired: 

Mr. McCartney, Fred Lohman suggested that it would be O.K. if I contacted you for information in regard to the Tsunami cord your working swords are wrapped with. I have a high-end Iaito which is my primary practice sword but the silk Tsuka ito is wearing out right where it sits in the crotch of my thumb. Obviously I want my handles rewrapped so it will last many years, and will not fall apart.   Has your experience with Fred's work been 100% satisfactory, and is the Tsunami good to practice with?    

Thanks in advance, Greg.

Russ replied:  

Greg, I would recommend Fred's Tsunami to everyone who is interested in a durable long lasting slip resistant Tsuka.  Its texture and feel is far superior to any of the materials that I have used in the past (I have tried them all) and consistently meets my requirements for durability and most importantly, reliability and longevity.  Of course various sorts of handle wrap material can do the job under light training conditions yet the Tsunami wrap holds up under the duress of hundreds of swings without gumming up like real suede leather (either Cow, Doe or Deer) or become slick like silk. Additionally, with Fred's Tsunami , there is not the heat issues from friction that accompany heavy training schedules.  I have had over 15 swords wrapped in as many years and given the opportunity to do it again, I would have used Fred's Tsunami on them all. Fred's handle wrapping service is extra-ordinary both from the quality of the material to the symmetry of the diamonds to the tightness of the twists.  Fred had a winning combination.

Domo Desu, Russell McCartney Founder and Chief Instructor, Shin Koryu, IshiYama Battojutsu and Peak Performance Sword Systems
PH: 206.321.8878  Email:             

A testimonial that tells it like it is !  Thanks Russ !

Another unsolicited letter:

Hi Fred,  Yes the Tsunami wrap only seems to get better with time. The perspiration from the hands and micro amounts of skin that wear off during heavy use or prolonged swing sessions don't seem to bother it. I really like it because the more use it gets the more it seems to resemble 'old style' silk ito with the traditional pitch application under the wrap. But note: I can only assume it will get like this over very long periods of intense use. I have never needed to wash or clean it either. Thus far I only have about 20 thousand swings on this wrap (see picture). In picture #2 you'll see the hand holds are compacted nicely and the space between my grip holds still have nearly the original nap of the cord. This wrap has been in regular use on this Shin Shinto sword since I received it from you over eight years ago.


I love the Tsunami wrap and recommend it to everyone. As a prolific stylist and cutter in the Ishi Yama Tradition my 5th Dan Black Belt Steve Baxter just received his new sword with this Tsunami wrap from you and seems to love it as much as I do. I'm sure Steve would also be happy to provide updates on his experiences with it too. He can be reached through an additional new web site for IYR Battojutsu,

Russell McCartney

Call for details:    503-282-4567


-or- write to:

FRED LOHMAN - 3405 N.E. Broadway -

Portland, OR  97232-1818   U.S.A.