The Myth of Chiburi?

In many iaido ryuha, chiburi is a fundamental part of kata. Chiburi, usually written 血振 in Japanese, literally means “shaking off blood,” and the image presented is that of flinging the blood of a defeated enemy off the blade with a deft movement before resheathing. Perhaps mainly due to the prevalence of Muso Shinden-ryu and … Continue reading The Myth of Chiburi?

A Lineage all but Forgotten: The Yushinkan (Nakayama Hakudo)

Introduction There are few martial artists in history who have been able to influence an entire generation of politicians, military personnel, police, educators, and civilians alike.  Who’s student’s (if only for a day) talked about their experiences with him in detail nearly seventy years after his death.  The first San-Dou-no-Hanshi (三道の藩士) in history. The “God of Kendo”  (剣道の神様) … Continue reading A Lineage all but Forgotten: The Yushinkan (Nakayama Hakudo)

Thoughts on Tameshigiri from Famous Swordsmen

Tameshigiri is a very popular element of swordsmanship today. This is perhaps thanks in part to the spread of Toyama-ryu, a system originally created in the 1920s to teach fundamental sword technique to officers in the Imperial Japanese Military. Tameshigiri forms a central part of training in Toyama-ryu and its derivatives, but traditionally, this form … Continue reading Thoughts on Tameshigiri from Famous Swordsmen

Nukitsuke

Nukitsuke and nukiuchi are different. “Tsuke” means you are acting to forestall an opponent’s attack before it begins. Nukiuchi on the other hand means, precisely, to cut down an opponent. Without understanding the difference between these two, your swordsmanship will not be effective.*   - Kamimoto Eiichi sensei, iaido hanshi 9 dan, kendo hanshi 8 … Continue reading Nukitsuke

The Art of Drawing a Crowd

In budo circles today, it is not uncommon for students of swordsmanship to get angry or upset when they see attempts to make a profit from their chosen arts or turn them into spectacles of showmanship, especially when the person doing so is considered less than “qualified.” There are some exceptions to this, such as … Continue reading The Art of Drawing a Crowd