In addition to teaching 2 regular Shotokan Karate classes in Acton, MA (USA), Sensei Matsuyama teaches some advanced classes on weapons, with an emphasis on the Bo (6 foot staff). We practice basics and then work with a partner to do the blocks and work on our timing.
Here is Sensei Matsuyama teaching two blocks against a sword, Soto uke and Uchi uke. Notice that the blocks are against the side of the sword, and not the sharp blade, and the main goal is to move the sword out of the way so an attack can be made to the head or body. Eymard Riel and Kevin Scully work on the blocks with some guidance from Sensei Matsuyama.