Collage of Nitō-ryū from a 1661 Denshō document


Offensive or winning efficacy of the short-sword in Nitō-ryū - where did it go?

From my Niten Ichi-ryū training with Iwami Toshio sōke I was admonished that the Nitō Seihō's primary focus is really about learning and acquiring the skill to use a single long-sword in just one hand to strike or win against an opponent. And within the outward transmission of the five Nitō kata, the short-sword is exclusively used to parry or control the opponent's long-sword so you can strike with your own long-sword - in other words, the short-sword's function is as a defensive or parrying weapon.

Furthermore, ... Read More





Musashi commented, "To move from one place to another, you slightly raise your toes and push off your foot from the heel, forcefully," and stressed "In my strategy the way of moving is no different from normal walking on a road."(1)

So let's consider the second above-mentioned statement first.... Read More




Frame-grabs from a private training video with my late mentor, Ishida Hiroaki shihan, teaching the fundamentals in Jūjidome (X-shaped/cross block) of Musashi's Niten Ichi-ryū.

At a surface level, the principle is simply to control Uchidachi's sword as they strike - applied situationally anywhere from Jōdan to Gedan with Uchidachi's sword on the exterior of the Nitō Jūji (cross). Ishida sensei called this seizing waza - Kani no Tsume (Crab's Pincers).

However, at a deeper level of principle, ... Read More




Shinken-Shōbu: What does partnered Kenjutsu Kata training really teach?

In the historical context of traditional Japanese swordsmanship, exponents had to assume there would come a time when they were to be directly faced with life-and-death. And they came to understand that the only way to deal with this is to practice it.

In that regard, the aim of practice is to experience a serious-style (shinkengata) matter of life-and-death, and there is no other way but to.... Read More



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