Martial Arts - Kenjutsu - Intermediate Longsword
What you'll learn
- Execute basic longsword drills [keiko]
- Perform unarmed capturing techniques against a longsword [mutoudori]
- Learn longsword concepts [gainen]
- Bokken (wooden training sword) or shinai (bamboo training sword)
- Martial Arts - Kenjutsu - Beginner Longsword (Daitoujutsu Shoden)
Bujinkan Ikari Dōjō Online (武神館奭道場) presents intermediate longsword for kenjutsu, a martial art of the Samurai. Ikari Dōjō (Majestic Hall 奭道場) is affiliated with the Bujinkan organisation (Divine Warrior Temple 武神館). The Bujinkan teaches Budō Taijutsu (Classical Martial Arts of the Way of War 武道體術) and is based in Noda, Japan, and headed by grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. The Bujinkan teaches nine traditional Japanese martial arts schools including:
Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術) [Hidden Door School]
Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術) [Jade Tiger School]
Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術) [Nine Fierce Gods School]
Koto Ryū Koppōjutsu (虎倒流骨法術) [Tiger Felling School]
Shinden Fudo Ryū Dakentaijutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術) [Immovable Heart School]
Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtaijutsu (高木揚心流柔体術) [Willow Heart School]
Gikan Ryū Koppōjutsu (義鑑流骨法術) [Virtues Paragon School]
Gyokushin-ryū Ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法) [Jade Heart School]
Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法) [Hidden Clouds School]
Intermediate longsword for kenjutsu (daitoujutsu chuuden 大刀術中伝) is part of the the Bujinkan Unified Fundamental Curriculum (Touitsuteki Kihon Katei 武神館統一的基本課程 [TKK]), which is a general curriculum made up of multiple modules to prepare students for the practice of the nine schools of the Bujinkan. The TKK contains foundational basics for the three general aspects of the Bujinkan; taijutsu, jujutsu and ninjutsu. It also prepares students with specialist modules for further training in preparation for the denshou (transmission 伝承) of the nine schools.
This course is part of a sub-section of the TKK called the Jade Tiger Branch (Gyokkoha 玉虎派) designed to prepare a student for the practice of the Jade Tiger lineage (Gyokko Ryū 玉虎流) of the Bujinkan. Gyokkoha includes 18 modules focusing on developing the techniques, skills and knowledge required for the practice of Gyokko Ryū. The Gyokkoha is split into six general areas, 'vital point striking methods' (kosshijutsu 骨指術), 'long-sword methods' (daitoujutsu 大刀術), 'short-sword methods' (shoutoujutsu 小刀術), 'dagger methods' (tantoujutsu 短刀術), 'blade drawing methods' (battoujutsu 抜刀術), and 'two sword method' (ryoutoujutsu 両刀術). Kosshijutsu are striking and capturing methods focusing on attacking weak and vital points. Daitoujutsu are long-sword methods designed for a two handed blade. Shoutoujutsu are shortsword methods designed for a single handed blade. Tantoujutsu are dagger methods for striking from a concealed position and defending against surprise attacks from a dagger. Battoujutsu are techniques for drawing a blade into a cut or attack, or intercepting a draw to neutralise a drawn attack. Ryoutoujutsu are methods for using two swords at once.
Gyokkoha modules are split into three levels; beginner level (shoden 初伝), intermediate level (chuuden 中伝) and advanced level (jouden 上伝). Shoden modules are designed for solo practice. Chuuden modules involve paired drills and techniques. Jouden modules are practiced by a group of three or more people. The purpose of these modules is to prepare students for the practice of the nine schools of the Bujinkan.
Gyokkaha Katei (Jade Tiger Curriculum)
Kosshijutsu Shoden (骨指術初伝)
Kosshijutsu Chuuden (骨指術中伝)
Kosshijutsu Jouden (骨指術上伝)
Daitoujutsu Shoden (大刀術初伝)
Daitoujutsu Chuuden (大刀術中伝)
Daitoujutsu Jouden (大刀術上伝)
Shoutoujutsu Shoden (小刀術初伝)
Shoutoujutsu Chuuden (小刀術中伝)
Shoutoujutsu Jouden (小刀術上伝)
Tantoujutsu Shoden (短刀術初伝)
Tantoujutsu Chuuden (短刀術中伝)
Tantoujutsu Jouden (短刀術上伝)
Battoujutsu Shoden (抜刀術初伝)
Battoujutsu Chuuden (抜刀術中伝)
Battoujutsu Jouden (抜刀術上伝)
Ryoutoujutsu Shoden (両刀術初伝)
Ryoutoujutsu Chuuden (両刀術中伝)
Ryoutoujutsu Jouden (両刀術上伝)
Daitoujutsu (太刀術) is a sub-specialisation of kenjutsu (刀術) focusing on the use of the Japanese long-sword. Daitoujutsu chuuden is an intermediate module that teaches the more advanced principles and concepts of two handed Japanese swordsmanship.
The fundamentals of daitoujutsu are split into three levels; shoden, chuuden and jouden or beginner, intermediate and advanced. Shoden focuses on solo drills and techniques, chuuden teaches paired techniques and jouden looks at multiple attacker scenarios.
Daitoujutsu chuuden is made up of 18 forms split into three categories, drills [keiko] (稽古), capturing[mutoudori] (無刀捕) and concepts [gainen] (概念). These three areas are called Daitou Roppou Keiko, Daitou Roppou Mutoudori and Daitou Roppou Gainen respectively.
These forms are designed to reinforce muscle memory and practice good martial habits.
Prerequisites for Daitoujutsu Chuuden:
Daitoujutsu Chuuden Keiko - 大刀術中伝稽古
Keiko (稽古) are drills designed to practice posture, receiving and attacking. Keiko should be fluid and practiced with intent.
[一] Hi no Keiko - 一の稽古 (First Drill): Gedan no kamae. The opponent strikes with kiri age from joudan no kamae. Evade to the right or left and thrust into the right or left jakkin with tsuki.
[二] Fu no Keiko - 二の稽古 (Second Drill): Joudan no kamae. The opponent strikes with kiri sage from kuji no kamae. Evade to the right or left and strike down to the nagare of the lead or rear arm with kiri age.
[三] Mi no Keiko - 三の稽古 (Third Drill): Gedan no kamae. The opponent strikes with migi or hidari kiri kesa from joudan no kamae. Evade to the right or left and receive the opponent's blade with the back of your blade, inside or outside respectively. This is joudan uke migi and hidari.
[四] Yo no Keiko - 四の稽古 (Fourth Drill): Joudan no kamae. The opponent strikes with migi or hidari kiri ichimonji from hassou no kamae. Evade to the right or left and receive with the back of the blade, inside our outside respectively. This is gedan uke migi and hidari.
[五] I no Keiko - 五の稽古 (Fifth Drill): Gedan no kamae. The opponent thrusts with tsuki from chuudan no kamae. Evade to the right or left and receive the opponent's blade with gedan uke on the inside or outside respectively.
[六] Mu no Keiko - 六の稽古 (Sixth Drill): Gedan no kamae. The opponent feints with a thrust to the face and then kicks with the lead leg to the sai. Receive the opponents feint with seigan uke and lock hand guards, as the opponent goes to kick, shift the leg behind and kick up to the opponents kaku or yaku.
These drills can be practiced up and down the dojo to hone both attack and defense for both students. Keiko should be done with commitment and intent. Focus on striking the body for a true cut.
Daitoujutsu Chuuden Mutoudori - 大刀術中伝無刀捕
Mutoudori (無刀捕) are the methods of catching and disarming an opponent who is armed with a weapon. Daitoujutsu mutoudori or sword capturing techniques are not solely intended for disarming armed attackers, rather they are used to teach a student the strengths and weaknesses of the long-sword and proper distance for engaging and disengaging.
[一] Hi no Mutoudori - 一の無刀捕 (First Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent cuts from joudan no kamae with kiri age. Shift forward and catch the opponent's lead elbow with the rear hand and use the lead hand to cover the kashira (pommel) with the lead hand.
[二] Fu no Mutoudori - 二の無刀捕 (Second Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent cuts from joudan no kamae with kesagiri. Shift back then immediately shift forward using the rear hand to control the elbow and the lead hand to control the wrist. Same for the right and left with switched hands.
[三] Mi no Mutoudori - 三の無刀捕 (Third Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent thrusts in from chuudan no kamae with a tsuki. Shift to the side into hichou no kamae, then kick the blade away with keri kaeshi. Same for the left and right.
[四] Yo no Mutoudori - 四の無刀捕 (Fourth Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent thrusts in from chuudan no kamae with a tsuki. Shift to the side then shift forward using the rear hand to capture the opponent's lead hand. Use the rear hand to support the lead hand.
[五] I no Mutoudori - 五の無刀捕 (Fifth Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent cuts in with kiri ichimonji from the right or left side. Jump back to evade. As the opponent raises the blade to cut in from kiri age, jump in and grab the elbow with the rear hand while controlling the kashira (pommel) with the lead hand.
[六] Mu no Mutoudori - 六の無刀捕 (Sixth Capture): Shizen no kamae, rear foot leading. The opponent cuts in with kiri ichimonji from the right or left side. Jump back to evade. As the opponent lowers the blade to cut in from kiri sage, jump in and grab the elbow with the rear hand, then control the wrist with the lead hand.
Mutoudori is a vehicle for learning. Unarmed defense against armed opponents is extremely difficult for even the most experienced practitioner. What this means however is that practicing these techniques will give students a strong understanding of distance, timing and angles. Practice mutoudori with the purpose of learning, rather then applying these techniques in real life.
Daitoujutsu Chuuden Gainen - 大刀術中伝概念
Gainen (概念) are core combat concepts for the Japanese long-sword. These are basic counter attacks and engaging techniques.
[一] Hi no Gainen - 一の概念 (First Concept): Gedan no kamae. The opponent cuts down from joudan no kamae with kiri age. Shift to the side and thrust into the opponent's throat.
[二] Fu no Gainen - 二の概念 (Second Concept): Gedan no kamae. The opponent strikes with migi kiri kesa from joudan no kamae. Intercept the opponent's blade on the inside and turn it counter-clockwise, while stepping. Cut through the opponent's kimon.
[三] Mi no Gainen - 三の概念 (Third Concept): Gedan no kamae. The opponent strikes with hidari kiri kesa from joudan no kamae. Intercept the opponent's blade on the outside and turn clock-wise. Cut through the opponent's kimon.
[四] Yo no Gainen - 四の概念 (Fourth Concept): Hassou no kamae. The opponent cuts in with kiri age from joudan no kamae. Drop the blade back and step through cutting the kimon.
[五] I no Gainen - 五の概念 (Fifth Concept): Hassou no kamae. The opponent cuts in with migi kiri ichimonji. Shift back, then immediately shift forward and cut down to the opponent's nagare.
[六] Mu no Gainen - 六の概念 (Sixth Concept): Hassou no kamae. The opponent cuts in with hidari kiri ichimonji. Shift back, then immediately jump in and cut to the opponent's amedo.
These concepts form the very basis of swordsmanship. Practice them consistently to get a feel for the flow and rhythm of the Japanese long sword.
Review and Conclusion
The fundamental practice of the Japanese blade relies heavily on muscle memory and instinct, which can only be attained through consistent and diligent practice over a long period of time.
Who this course is for:
- Students interested in developing their knowledge of the Japanese longsword (daitou
I'm an 8th Degree black belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu under Dr. Hatsumi Masaaki; the last living Ninja. The Bujinkan is an organisation and that teaches the martial arts of the Samurai, Ninja and Sohei (Warrior Monks). I've been training martial arts for 24 years. I first started with Judo and trained until I was 18, then started Japanese jujutsu and ninjutsu, which I have been training ever since.
I run my own dojo in Brisbane, Australia and travel to Japan yearly to train with Dr. Hatsumi at the Honbu Dojo (Main Branch). I have also previously lived in Japan to train Ninjutsu and Japanese martial arts.
My background is in business and communications, but I have served in both the Army and Navy as a Rifleman and Warfare Officer respectively. I have studied cyber-intelligence and counter-terrorism, but gradually migrated over to business intelligence and data analysis after I completed my degree.
I have been involved with martial arts for most of my life and consider it part of who I am. It influences how I live and its principles guide my actions. I wouldn't be who I am today without having trained in the martial arts.
To me martial arts is more than a hobby, its a way of life.