Kendžitsu

Kenjutsu

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Kenjutsu is the Japanese martial art specializing in the use of the Japanese sword (katana).

Generally, kenjutsu takes the form of partnered practice exercised through kata (pre-arranged forms, as opposed to competition, solo, or freestyle practice). A practitioner of kenjutsu is called a kenjutsuka.

Kenjutsu is the core means by which koryū train their students to employ the Japanese swords against a variety of classical weapons, while indoctrinating the student in the combative mindset of the school. Therefore, kenjutsu can be seen as an integral aspect of all classical Japanese sword school curricula.

Today most koryū schools continue to employ kenjutsu as part of their curriculum. Some are even thriving on a relatively small scale. Schools (or ryū) such as Yagyū Shinkage-ryū, Katori Shinto-ryū, Kashima Shinto-ryū, Kashima Shin-ryū, Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū, Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryū are some of the more famous still existing. Some of these schools trace their lineage to the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate. Many other schools can legitimately trace their history from the founder dating back to the 14th century, such as Maniwa Nen-ryū (founded: 1368) or Tatsumi-ryū (founded: Eishō era 1504-1521) or Kashima Shin-ryū (founded: ca. 1450).

Jōdō

Jōdō, meaning "the way of the jō", or jōjutsu is a Japanese martial art using short staffs called jō. The art is similar to bōjutsu, and is strongly focused upon defense against the Japanese sword. The jō is a short staff, usually about 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) long, about the average length of a walking stick. However, the art was not used, as one might fancifully imagine, by travelers to ward off aggressive bandits or swordsmen. The martial art of jōdō was the province of professional warriors.

Ni-Ten Ichi Ryu

Within the book, Musashi mentions that the use of Two swords within strategy is mutually beneficial between those who utilise this skill. The idea of using two hands for a sword is an idea which Musashi disagrees with, in that there is not fluidity in movement when using two hands - "If you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the sword in one hand"; he as well disagrees with the idea of using a sword with two hands on a horse, and/or riding on unstable terrain, such as muddy swamps, rice fields, or within crowds of people.

In order to learn the strategy of Ni-Ten Ichi Ryu, Musashi employs that by training with two long swords, one in each hand, you will be able to overcome the cumbersome nature of using a sword in both hands. Although difficult, Musashi agrees that there are times in which the Longsword must be used with two hands, but if your skill is good enough, you should not need it. The idea of using two long swords is that you are starting with something to which you are unaccustomed, and that you will find difficult, but will adapt to after much use.

After using two long swords proficiently enough, Musashi then states that your mastery of a Longsword, and a "Companion Sword", most likely a wakizashi, will be much increased - "When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well.".

In short, it could be seen that from the excerpts from Go Rin No Sho, the real strategy behind Ni-Ten No Ichi Ryu, is that there is no real iron-clad method, path, or type of weaponry that is specific to the style of Ni-Ten No Ichi Ryu.

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