Kenjutsu is the ancient swordfighting martial art of the Japanese Samurai class, which reached its height during the 15th and 16th century. Many people around the world practice the sport form of kenjutsu, called kendo, but the two have many differences. Kenjutsu has no restrictions or point systems in its fighting form, and is steeped in martial arts tradition. Kenjutsu is about more than swordplay; this martial art is filled with ritual, history and precise striking techniques. Practitioners of kenjutsu maintain a delicate balance between the traditional techniques of the martial art and the constraints of modern day sporting applications. Kenjutsu operates from five primary stances, or Itsutsu No Kamae.

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Self Defense Guides. Get Instant Access. Bay Marin Aikido offers students the unique opportunity to train in both Iwama Style weapons and the Ken tai Jo sword and staff weapons forms of Sugawara Sensei.

These are classical sword moves which serve as the basis of all the recognized modern sword schools. The Jo movements are generally based upon the Iwama Style 31 Jo Kata with some of the movements also based upon the usage of the bo, naginata, and the spear. The first four forms are in the classic "Omote" fashion.

That is, harder in attack and defense with larger more dramatic movements Originally these forms were. O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido, was adept with sword and staff, and he often demonstrated that Aikido techniques could be executed either empty-handed or with the bokken or jo. His student, Morihiro Saito Sensei, carried on the tradition of executing Aikido techniques identically regardless of whether a weapon was used or not. And he further taught that training with the weapons fostered a precision, power, and keen sense of timing that vastly aided in the learning of empty-handed Aikido.

Saito Sensei made the great contribution of organizing the Founder's weapons training practices into a systematic set of elements that could be preserved and passed on to future generations. It is important to note that the primary goals of Iwama Style weapons training are not to learn sword fighting or stick fighting for use in combat situations. Rather, the weapons training, both solo and partner practices, are designed to help the student develop a strong sense of timing, spatial awareness, and connection with a partner; to learn to stay in sync with a partner, while the weapon becomes a natural extension of one's own body.

As a certified teacher of Saito Sensei's weapons system, Goto Sensei offers instruction in all of the levels of the Iwama weapons practices. These include:. Iwama style Ken tai Jo, bokken and jo partner practices formulated to study attack and defense while wearing Japanese armor.

The second four forms are in the classic "Ura" or 'hidden' form. The movements are smaller, more subtle, and the distance is closer. These forms were formulated to study unarmored attack and defense. In the practice of these forms, distances are closer and the pace faster. There is more blurring of the roles in attack and defense, rather than having a clearly defined attacker kogeki or defender uke.

Most of the footwork requires sure steps and angles, avoiding the step and sliding adjustments students sometimes do. There is always a rotation of the hips as well as clear movements of the hands and arms.

There are always clear cutting and piercing moves at specific targets from both weapons. The general purpose of these ken tai jo forms is the honing of one's skills in judging critical distance. With practice, speed and accuracy develop naturally along with increasingly correct body movement and footwork.

Unlike Iwama style weapons training, the close relationship of the body movements in both weapons practice and empty-handed aikido is not emphasized. Additionally, the easy interchange from weapon-in-hand to a throw or disarm is not as apparent in Sugawara's Ken Tai Jo. These forms provide an exhilarating and stimulating weapons practice. One that hones our minds and intent to a razor sharpness nearly as keen as that of the ancient samurai swords.

In the modern world it is not common at least not where I live to encounter someone armed with a sword. This is a thankful state of affairs! However through historic tradition jitsuka are trained in the very basics of sword techniques or Ken Waza.

A sword is a weapon that is usually made of metal. Swords are used in a variety of attacking styles, thrusting, slashing and even bludgeoning. The Japanese are recognised as the first people to create truly sharp swords. Before 1 this swords were rarely able to slice into people rather they were used to bludgeon an opponent into unconsciousness and the sword could then be used to cleave and stab.

However the folding of steel and other metals led to stronger swords that retained their sharpness for more than a few blows. It was these swords that the samurai used in their battles and it is these swords that are used in jiu jitsu. The art of using a sword is an entire martial art or several in it's own right. The art of the sword is not one where the blade is swashbuckled around or fenced - at least not with the sword of the samurai, the Katana.

Ken Do the way of the sword is the most famous practice of Japanese sword work, but there are many other arts of the sword to learn. The art of Iai Do for example focuses solely on the art of drawing the sword from it's sheath, whereas Tameshi Giri concentrates on the art of actually cutting with a sword. Why train with swords? In jiu jitsu as with most of the gentle art, only the surface of a set of techniques is touched upon. There is always a life time of study to be spent on each technique.

Judoka for instance often spend their entire lives perfecting a single throw. Jiu jitsu aims for an all round coverage of techniques so that no matter what the situation the jitsuka can react appropriately.

Therefore whilst there is so much to learn about the sword, jitsu provides some knowledge about swords. After all perfecting a throw such as koshi guruma may not be as helpful against a sword as gaining a competency in a much larger range of throws. The katana is a versatile sword and is only one of several types of Japanese sword, but it was the preferred sword of most samurai.

The katana is a fairly long sword normally used two handed, but light enough to be wielded one handed when required. Katana vary in quality and in price as well as their particular style. Many katana posess ornately carved hilts with dragon heads or gold wire handle. Scabbards are also frequently etched and embossed in a Japanese style. Most of these artistic designs are for ornamental katana which are ineffective in combat, but there do exist some which are not. It may well be sharper than you think.

It was not an infrequent occurrence for the Samurai to carry a katana and a wakizashi see below into battle, one sword in each hand and fight with both at once. The smaller wakizashi made a good weapon for the off hand, and such a combination was referred to as diasho meaning the long and the short. The katana in the correct hands is a deadly weapon. In the wrong hands it a deadly liability to the person who is attempting to wield it.

It is normal practice however to train at least initially with a bokken see below and then move on to a katana that has been purposefully blunted. Even blunted katanas are dangerous.

They won't pierce the skin whne pressed gently to it, but they will cut if force is applied. More senior grades purple onwards typically spend time learning how to strike effectively with katana. This then allows them to train safely with one another in practicing defences against attacks with a katana.

The wakizashi is a shorter sword than the katana and is of a similar construction. The wakizashi was another preferred weapon of the Samurai and was often used in the off hand to the katana. The wakizashi is not as obvious as a katana, and so whilst not as visually impressive, it can be more easily concealed - making at least equally as deadly if not more so. The no dachi is an impressive two handed sword over five feet in length and very sharp.

Much heavier than a katana, the no dachi can easily cause grevious wounds on an attack, but it is not as maneuverable or fast as a katana, and so defences against them tend to be easier - assuming it doesn't hit on the first attack.

This sword is not well suited to thrusting attacks, but more to downward slashes, and so the attack is more easily predictable. No dachi are rarely used in jiu jitsu since the katana is at least as challenging a weapon to master. Bokken are wooden swords about the size of a katana. They arte essentially practice weapons, and potentially safer than a metal sword. Bokken are still weapons as much as a baseball bat could be used as a weapon.

Between the handle, modern bokken also have a tsuba or hilt to protect you when practicing fighting or kata with another. The tsuba is held in place by a rubbery band called a habaki. Many other types of swords exist, and may be found in dojos across the world, but the principles of using them are similar, as are the defences against them. Swords are highly dangerous weapons. For centuries they were man's primary weapon for close combat on the battle field.

Swords should be respected at all times whether they are blunt or sharp, wood or metal. Wearing your sword The swords used primarily in jiu jitsu are the katana and the wakizashi. Both of these weapons have slightly curved blades, and when they are worn, are worn on the opposite hip to the sword hand with the slicing edge of the blade pointing up. The tsuba is positioned so that it lies next to the knot of the obi.

The sword scabbard should slide through between the two bands of the obi. The sword scabbard often has securing tapes on it. These should be looped through and under the obi a few times to make sure that the scabbard does not slip out from the obi.

If you are using a bokken, this will not have a scabbard, but if you take the overlap of the obi at the back and bring it around to the side where the scabbard would be this is easily done with a couple of fingers , the bokken can be slid into the cross as shown in the diagram.

Up inside the outer band over the inner band, then under the inner band, and over the outer band. Finally you should always try and keep your off hand on the scabbard of the sword. Place the hand on the upper end and place the thumb over the tsuba. This means that when you rei to someone, your sword does not slide out onto the floor making you look very silly and leaving you practically disarmed. The art of drawing a sword is Iai Do, and is an entire martial art in itself.

In the very basics of sword work, it is enough to focus on drawing the sword smoothly and quickly into the first strike or into a ready position. With a long sword it often helps if you turn your hips away from the direction you are drawing the sword as you are doing it. This will help you get enough distance in your draw to get the tip of the blade out of the scabbard. In drawing the sword, you should try to follow the curvature of the blade.

For a straight bladed sword draw in a straight line.


What Is Kenjutsu and How Does It Differ From Kendo?

Kenjutsu is a type of sword fighting martial art that originated in Japan. These are often the techniques used by historical samurai sword fighters. Kenjutsu was very famous during the 15th and 16th century. Kenjutsu has no restrictions or limitations, and it emphasizes on a speedy fighting form. The interesting part about this martial art is that the practitioners often balance between traditional techniques and modern day sports. Below you will find information about Kenjutsu Techniques.


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How to learn kenjutsu? Learning anything as profound as a martial art needs a teacher. Kenjutsu, while fairly straightforward with a superficial glance, contains a lot of intricate subtleties and nuances. We need a few things to study properly.


Kenjutsu Techniques Overview

Self Defense Guides. Get Instant Access. Bay Marin Aikido offers students the unique opportunity to train in both Iwama Style weapons and the Ken tai Jo sword and staff weapons forms of Sugawara Sensei. These are classical sword moves which serve as the basis of all the recognized modern sword schools. The Jo movements are generally based upon the Iwama Style 31 Jo Kata with some of the movements also based upon the usage of the bo, naginata, and the spear.

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