Kenjutsu

Bob Hubbard

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From the rec.martialarts FAQ

(Contributor: Al Bowers - [email protected])

Intro: The combative use of a sword.

Origin: Japan

History:

The origins of this art are lost in the midst of history. It probably
has its origins in 12th century or 11th century Japan. It is famous
in myth and story from people like Miyamoto Mushashi in the 15th
century.

There are 4 root systems, Cujo-ryu, Nen-ryu, Kage-ryu and Shinto Ryu.
These probably all have roots prior to the beginning of the 16th
century. In the 16th century, there was an explosion of styles, with
many being formed between then and the present.

Modern kenjutsu schools trace from either the monk Jion (Nen ryu or
Cujo ryu) or from Iiosai, the founder of the Tenshin Shoden Katori
Shinto Ryu.

Description:

This is a hard, weapon style using the Japanese sword. It involves
powerful, high commitment strikes to selected targets in order to kill
the opponent. There is a strong side of spiritual and philosophical
study, similar in a way to that of Aikido.

Training:

There is a large amount of two-person work, mostly with wooden swords
(bokken). Some schools use the fukuru shinai, an ancestor of todays
weapon (Shinkage ryu, Nen-ryu). Sparring is a developed student
activity.

Sub-Styles:

Kage, Shinkage, Yagyu Shinkage Cujo, Itto-ryu, Nen-ryu, Katori Shinto
Ryu, Kashima shin-ryu, Niten-ichi-ryu, Jigen-ryu.

Shinkage was a royal school - for the Shogun.
 
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz

Training:

There is a large amount of two-person work, mostly with wooden swords bokken). Some schools use the fukuru shinai, an ancestor of todays weapon (Shinkage ryu, Nen-ryu). Sparring is a developed student activity.

I take it bokken training means two-person prearranged sets?

Does shinai training use kendo-style armor but is otherwise free sparring? I assume there are a wider variety of targets allowed than in kendo but is it actually anything goes?
 
Actually, bokken literally means 'wood sword'. They're those solid, one piece katana looking chunks of wood you see in MA catalogs, as opposed to shinai, which are the 'swords' made from strips of bamboo bound together.
 
Originally posted by KumaSan
Actually, bokken literally means 'wood sword'. They're those solid, one piece katana looking chunks of wood you see in MA catalogs, as opposed to shinai, which are the 'swords' made from strips of bamboo bound together.

I think arnisador has had some Japanese sword training, so he knows what a bokken is. I think his question was regarding whether or not the bokken training mentioned was prearranged, two-person sets.

Or I'm completely off base :)

Cthulhu
 
Originally posted by Cthulhu
I think his question was regarding whether or not the bokken training mentioned was prearranged, two-person sets.

Yes, exactly--a bokken is fairly hard after all.
 
Reading it over, I see. For some reason, I missed the entire word "training" after bokken. Consider it some education for anyone else who ventures into this thread. Again, Sorry!
 
Originally posted by arnisador



Yes, exactly--a bokken is fairly hard after all.


You can sparr with bokken at nearly full speed and power as long as both people have mental and physical controll over their weapons and themselves.



Despair Bear
 
Yes, many of us do that in arnis, though it's typically with rattan which is relatively soft wood.
 
The Aug. 2003 issue of Budo Intl. has a story on Kendo that includes discussion of the importance of kata and older traditions.

The cover says that there is a discussion of Aikido bokken in the magazine somewhere but I didn't see it.
 
Originally posted by Ronin
anyone know anything about shinkendo
Hey, I am one of the personal students/Teachers of Obata Kaiso, the founder of Shinkendo. If you have any particular question, please feel free to PM or visit our sites.

Salute,
 
In the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is no sparring. There are two kinds of kata:
-kobujutsu kata - 2 persons of which one wields a bokken and the opponent a bokken/bo/naginata/yari/kodachi/bokken+kodachi.
-iaijutsu kata - 1 person kata with bokken [beginner] or iaito/shinken [advanced].
 
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