Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2017

A Look at the Sword Grip in Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu

It is common in Jujutsu to attempt to disarm an opponent by somehow grabbing part of their weapon and levering it against the little finger edge of the wrist - in the configuration of what we call 'side wrist crush' (yokotekubihishigi). There is always some discussion as to the correct placement of the left hand on the katana in terms of how high it is on the handle.  Note here the grip of the Katori style - the bottom of the handle is far enough into the palm to allow it to be released and rotated forward so the palm presses on the end of the handle, avoiding being trapped in a side wrist lock position and allowing a solid thrust.  In the Katori style the hands are very much alive on the handle. This image shows when the handle has been rotated in the palm as it has been twisted up - the sword can be pushed from this position.  This manoeuvrability comes from the style of bottom hand grip used. To quote one translation of Musashi's work: " Generally, I dislike fixedne

Book Review - BJJ - Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro with Kevin Howell 2008

Usually, I am not a fan of books that are catalogues of techniques - the usual martial arts books full of pictures of if he does this you do that etc.  To me besides students of the exact art (or even teacher) depicted, these books are usually of limited use. There is no doubt that this is a book full of pictures of pictures of techniques, however it is one of the few books on any martial art that clearly sets out a systematic approach, a clear order of combat and strategic goals defined by the level of the practitioner. Ribeiro outlines the mission of each level of practitioner: White: Survival Blue: Escapes Purple: Guard Brown: Passing Guard Black: Submission Common positions are looked at through each of these lenses. Basic and detailed instructions are given with clear photographs and it is a solid full size 370 pages. Outlining the training goals for the practitioner in this way is simple yet brilliant - when I first picked up this book many years ago I was expecting a simple cata

Some Japanese Measures

It should be noted that the idea of these units being standardised is probably only somewhat true. Often I am asked why some of us still use old imperial or old Japanese weights and measures.  In some ways information is often recorded or given in these so it is a matter of relaying that information - the real usefulness of some of these things is that they relate directly to people and so are naturally useful measurements - they are ergonomic.  The metre is currently defined as the distance traveled by light in a vacuum in1/299,792,458 seconds - not particularly relevant to a human… with the exception of engineers of course. Bu 分 - 3.03mm Sun 寸 - 3.03cm (10 Bu) Shaku 尺 - 30.3cm (10 sun) Ken 間 - 1.818 metres (6 shaku) Jo 丈 - 3.03 metres (10 shaku) Cho 町 - 109.1 metres (360 shaku) Ri 里 - approx. 3.927km (12,960 shaku)

The Geometry of the Spear

I composed this article several years ago, it is essentially rough and unfinished - the diagrams were roughly sketched on paper.  Besides taking out some small sections that had what are considered 'secrets' I have elected to keep the article in its original form, down to the lazy hand sketches.  As is so often the case you start working on something and it then goes on to become part of a larger work - so it will never be revisited in its singular form. The Geometry of the Spear This discussion comes about from trying to understand the Kenjutsu of a certain Koryu. This system has a focus on structure but does not emphasise Hanmi as I was taught it. I have removed some parts of this section. The template and focus on structure I found quite useful, however for me the question in my mind was ‘How does this work without Hanmi?’ which of course poses a question for those of us who see Hanmi as important as Shizentai – what does it give us? I like to use the spear here as the spe

Judo Unofficial Katame-waza ura-no-kata

Katame-waza ura-no-kata  (固め技裏の形 Katame-waza ura-no-kata, "forms of reversing controlling techniques") is a judo kata that can be considered as a complement to Mifune Kyūzō's Nage-waza ura-no-kata, but that instead focuses on counter-attacks to controlling techniques rather than throwing techniques. It was compiled by Itō Kazuo from techniques developed by other Japanese newaza experts, and is not an officially recognized Kodokan kata.

Judo Unofficial Nage-waza ura-no-kata

Nage-waza ura-no-kata  (投業裏の形 Nage-waza ura-no-kata, "forms of reversing throwing techniques") is a judo kata that, like the Gonosen-no-kata, focuses on counter-attacks to throwing techniques. It was developed by Mifune Kyūzō, and is not an officially recognized Kodokan kata. Techniques Uki otoshi countered by Tai otoshi Seoinage countered by Yoko guruma Kata guruma countered by Sumi gaeshi Tai otoshi countered by Kotsuri goshi Obi otoshi countered by O guruma Okuriashi harai countered by Tsubame gaeshi Kouchi gari countered by Hiza Guruma Ouchi gari countered by Ouchi gaeshi Sasae tsurikomi ashi countered by Sumi otoshi Uchi mata countered by Tai otoshi Hane goshi countered by Kari gaeshi Harai goshi countered by Ushiro goshi Han goshi countered by Utsuri goshi Uki goshi countered by Yoko wakare O goshi countered by Ippon seoinage In a video-taped version performed by Mifune dating from the 1950s, Ouchi gari gaeshi, the counter for Ouchi gari, is replaced with Tomoe name.

Judo Unofficial Gonosen-no-kata

Gonosen-no-kata  (後の先の形, Forms of counter-attack) is a judo kata that focuses on counter-attacks to throwing techniques. It is not an officially recognized kata of judo, but its importance is attested to by its inclusion in Kawaishi's The complete seven katas of judo. Writing in the early post-war period, Kawaishi described the kata as being practiced less in Japan than in Europe. However, according to recent scholarly research, gonosen-no-kata likely never even existed in Japan. After Japanese judoka from Waseda University in Tokyo visited England in the 1920s and publicly demonstrated several counter-techniques developed at their home University, the exercises were henceforth in Britain (and later in France and other parts of Europe) represented as a formalized kata and practiced and taught that way by Kawaishi Mikinosuke, Koizumi Gunji, Ōtani Masutarō, and Tani Yukio. Techniques Osoto Gari countered by Osoto Gari Hiza Guruma countered by Hiza Guruma Ouchi Gari countered by Tsuba

Judo Joshi-goshinho

Joshi-goshinhō  (女性護身法, Methods of self-defence for women). An exercise completed in 1943, and of which the development was ordered by Jiro Nango, the second Kodokan president.

Judo Seiryoku Zen'yo Kokumin Taiiku no Kata

Seiryoku Zen'yo Kokumin Taiiku no Kata  (精力善用国民体育の形 Maximum-Efficiency National Physical Education Kata) is a set of physical exercises that are part of judo. Its stated purpose is to promote the development of strong, healthy minds and bodies in an interesting and useful way. It consists of two groups of exercises, one to be practiced alone, the other with a partner.

Judo Koshiki no Kata

Koshiki no Kata  (古式の形 Koshiki-no-kata, Form of the antique things) Again this is compiled from online sources as there is little need to reinvent the wheel. The a kata (a set of prearranged techniques) in Judo. It is also known as Kito-ryu no Kata. It consists of 21 techniques originally belonging to the Takenaka-ha Kito School of jujutsu. The set of forms is antique and were intended for "Kumiuchi", the grappling of armored warriors in the feudal ages. As such, the kata is to be performed with both partners imagining that they are clad in armor.  The Koshiki-no-kata, together with Nage-no-kata, Katame-no-kata, Ju-no-kata, Kime-no-kata and Goshin-Jitsu, is recognised by the International Judo Federation (IJF.) Techniques Omote (Front) 1 Tai (Ready Posture) 2 Yume-no-uchi (Dreaming) 3 Ryokuhi (Strength Dodging) 4 Mizu-guruma (Water Wheel) 5 Mizu-nagare (Water Flow) 6 Hikiotoshi (Draw Drop) 7 Ko-daore (Log Fall) 8 Uchikudaki (Smashing) 9 Tani-otoshi (Valley D

Judo Itsutsu no Kata

Itsutsu-no-kata  (五の形, "forms of five") This summary is mostly from online sources. is a kata (a set of prearranged techniques) in Judo. It consists of five techniques, known only by their number. Although popular media generally claim that it was developed by Jigoro Kano, recent scientific research has conclusively shown that the kata predates the foundation of Kodokan judo and that Jigoro Kano took it from Tenjin Shinyō-ryū jujutsu and merely imported it into judo after he made minor amendments to it.  The kata is considered unfinished. However, a completed performance version of the kata, expanded to ten techniques, was recently presented under the name Tō-no-kata (十の形, "forms of ten"). The techniques of Itsutsu-no-kata are composed of gentle movements evocative of natural forces. Techniques • Ichi - direct concentrated energy - direct push • Ni - deflection - avoid and use Uki otoshi • San - circular energy or whirlpool - using form of Yoko wakare • Shi

Judo Go no Kata

Gō-no-kata  (剛の形, Forms of force). One of the oldest kata, created but either unfinished by Kano or completely out of favour, comprising ten forms that supposedly illustrate the efficient use of force and resistance. Now rarely practiced. A detailed article on can be found here . Below is the closest demonstration to what seems to be the original kata descriptions I can find.

Judo Ju no Kata

Ju no Kata  (柔の形 Jū-no-kata, "forms of gentleness") Ju no Kata consists of three sets of techniques and is performed by a pair of people one acting as an Uke and the other a Tori. The kata can be performed without wearing a judogi and, as it doesn't involve the completion of any throws, does not need to be performed in a dojo. Ju-no-Kata was created by Jigoro Kano around 1887 (I would point out it is worth looking into what was created by Kano and what was imported if this is of interest to you, I intend to address this in the future). First Set • Tsuki-dashi (Hand Thrust) • Kata-oshi (Shoulder Push) • Ryo-te-dori (Two-Hand Hold) • Kata-mawashi (Shoulder Turn) • Ago-oshi (Jaw Push) Second Set • Kiri-oroshi (Downward Cut) • Ryo-kata-oshi (Two-Shoulder Push) • Naname-uchi (Slanting Strike) • Kata-te-dori (One-Hand Hold) • Kata-te-age (One-Hand Lift) Third Set • Obi-tori (Belt Grab) • Mune-oshi (Chest Push) • Tsuki-age (Uppercut) • Uchi-oroshi (Do

Judo Goshinjutsu

Kōdōkan goshinjutsu (講道館護身術, Kodokan skills of self-defence) This a set of prearranged self-defence forms in Judo. It is the most recent kata of Judo, having been created in 1956. It incorporates techniques from aikido through the influence of Kenji Tomiki ( note there is no attribution of this fact in the source material) . It consists of several techniques to defend oneself from; unarmed attack, attack with a dagger, with a stick, and with a gun. Against unarmed attack When held • Ryote-dori (Two-Hand Hold) • Hidari-eri-dori (Left-lapel Hold) • Migi-eri-dori (Right-lapel Hold) • Kataude-dori (Single-Arm Hold) • Ushiro-eri-dori (Collar Hold from Behind) • Ushiro-jime (Choke from Behind) • Kakae-dori (Seize and Hold from Behind) At a distance • Naname-uchi (Slanting Strike) • Ago-tsuki (Uppercut) • Gammen-tsuki (Thrust-Punch to Face) • Mae-geri (Front Kick) • Yoko-geri (Side Kick) Against armed attack Dagger • Tsukkake (Thrust) • Choku-tsuki (Straight Thr

Judo Kime no Kata

Kime No Kata The following is compiled from online sources - note that the translations are from those sources.  There is a difference in understanding what the Kime No Kata is now, and how it came about - this post is only to do with what it is now. Kata of Kodokan Judo Revised, 1968 - “Applying techniques of throwing and grappling to which body attack techniques are added, Kime no Kata is formulated to aim to acquire the most basic and effective way of defending ourselves from the unexpected attack of others. Kime no Kata is composed of 8 techniques applicable by kneeling posture, and 12 techniques by standing posture. The practice of Kime no Kata aims to study not only the principle of defence and counterattack but also the principle of manipulative body movement. In the practice of Kime no Kata, tori and uke should breathe in good harmony with each other, and further, tori has to work his body manipulatively without laying himself open to to an attack of uke." Idori (kneeling

Judo Katame no Kata

Katame No Kata Initially the kata consisted of ten techniques. These were subsequently appended, bringing the number to fifteen. The katame-no-kata consists of fifteen techniques, grouped in three categories: Osaekomi-waza (押込技, holding or pinning techniques) Shime-waza (絞技, strangulation techniques) Kansetsu-waza (関節技, Joint techniques (locks)) Osae-komi-waza Kesa-gatame (in the Kuzure-kesa-gatame variant) Kata-gatame Kami-shiho-gatame Yoko-shiho-gatame Kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame Shime-waza Kata-juji-jime Hadaka-jime Okuri-eri-jime Kata ha jime Gyaku-juji-jime Kansetsu-waza Ude-garami Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame Ude-hishigi-ude-gatame Ude-hishigi-hiza-gatame Ashi-garami There are 29ish official Kodokan grappling techniques - the leg entanglement is one of four Kinishi-waza or techniques forbidden in Randori.  The Kodokan have released a detailed instructional guide to this kata which is included below.

Judo Nage no Kata

Nage No Kata The following is compiled from online source. Initially the kata consisted of ten techniques. These were subsequently appended with the addition of a further five throws, including kata guruma and sumi otoshi. The kata is composed of 3 techniques each from the five classifications of throw in judo: Te-waza (手技, hand techniques) Koshi-waza (腰技, hip techniques) Ashi-waza (足技, foot techniques) Ma-sutemi-waza (真捨身技, rear sacrifice techniques) Yoko-sutemi-waza (橫捨身技, side sacrifice techniques) Each of these 15 techniques is performed twice in the specified order, both right and left handed. The kata is generally performed in a strictly formalised manner with clearly defined Reigi sahō (礼儀作法, rules of etiquette). Te-waza Uki otoshi  Seoi nage  Kata guruma  Koshi-waza Uki goshi  Harai goshi  Tsurikomi goshi  Ashi-waza Okuriashi harai  Sasae tsurikomi ashi  Uchi mata  Ma-sutemi-waza Tomoe nage  Ura nage  Sumi gaeshi  Yoko-sutemi-waza Yoko gake  Yoko guruma  Uki waza  The Kodokan h

The Structure of the Judo Syllabus

It should be noted that most Judoka concentrate on Nagewaza, Katamewaza and Shimewaza for Randori for most of their early training.  Also, note that not all of the techniques are contained within the kata - for example the Nage No Kata only has 15 throws however there are around 62 official throwing techniques. The following outline is compiled from internet sources, mostly edited from wikipedia. Randori  (free practice) Judo pedagogy emphasizes randori (乱取り, literally "taking chaos", but meaning "free practice"). This term covers a variety of forms of practice, and the intensity at which it is carried out varies depending on intent and the level of expertise of the participants. At one extreme, is a compliant style of randori, known as Yakusoku geiko (約束稽古, prearranged practice), in which neither participant offers resistance to their partner's attempts to throw. A related concept is that of Sute geiko (捨稽古, throw-away practice), in which an experienced judoka

Judo Other Videos, Demonstrations & Links

The Kano Society can be found  here .

Yagyu Seigo Ryu Iaijutsu

Hand in hand with Shinkage Ryu, the Yagyu later absorbed an art of Iai as well which is taught in tandem at the Yagyukai.  The first part of this article is taken from the Yagyukai site which is an informative reference and can be found  here .  The second part in italics is quoted from the kampaibudokai site. Yagyu Seigo Ryu Batto-jutsu Isahaya Chouzaemon Nobumasa learned the techniques of ju-jutsu and batto (sword drawing) from the monk Seigo, and created a school which he called Seigo Ryu. Isahaya's leading disciple, Kajiwara Genzaemon Naokage, passed Seigo Ryu down to the warriors of the Owari domain, and Nagaoka Fusahide, who played an active role as an assistant to the headmasters of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heihou, mastered the heart of Seigo Ryu Batto. In the following generation, Nagaoka Fusashige, another important figure in the history of Owari Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, continued to develop its theory and technique in accordance with the principles of Shinkage Ryu. Yagyu Toshichika

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu

-Kenjutsu (Otake lists Tachi, Ryuto and Kodachi under Kenjustsu) --Tachi (Use of the single long sword against the single long sword) ---Omote no Tachi 4 forms ----Itsutsu no Tachi ----Nanatsu no Tachi ----Kasumi no Tachi ----Hakka no Tachi I have put in the video below showing the breakdown of one of the kata.  It is important to bear in mind the varying targets and weight of the content of each of the Katori kata. ---Gogyo no Tachi 5 forms ----Mitsu no Tachi ----Yotsu no Tachi ----In no Tachi ----Sha no Tachi ----Hotsu no Tachi ---Shichijo no Tachi 3 forms ----Toyama no Tachi (Otake: "ukifuni no kurai") ----Katanami no Tachi (Otake: "hasui no kurai") ----Agenami no Tachi (Otake: "sangetsu no kurai") (Otake notes "The tradition also contains a large syllabus of secret sword teachings including fudochi-shinmyo-ken and tsubame-gaeshi.")

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Ryoto

-Ryoto 4 forms (use of long and short swords against the long sword) --Eigetsu no Tachi (Otake: "nio no kurai") --Suigetsu no Tachi (Otake: "tenchi no kurai") --Isonami no Tachi (Otake: "fuha no kurai") --Murakumo no Tachi (Otake: "sasu no kurai")

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Kodachi

-Kodachi 3 forms (use of the short sword against the long sword) --Hangetsu no Kodachi --Suigetsu no Kodachi --Seigan no Kodachi

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Iaijutsu

-Iaijutsu (cutting from the draw, practiced singularly due to use of the live blade but taught with applications) --Omote no Iai 6 forms (from half kneeling) ---Kusanagi no Ken ---Nukitsuke no Ken ---Nukiuchi no Ken ---Uken ---Saken ---Happo-ken --Tachiai battojutsu 5 forms (standing, walking) ---Yukiai Gyakunuki no Tachi ---Zengo Chidori no Tachi ---Yukiai Migi Chidori no Tachi ---Gyakunuki no Tachi ---Nukiuchi no Tachi Application of Gyakunuki no Tachi --Gokui no Tachi 5 forms ---Kumokiri no Ken ---Hangetsu no Ken ---Muichi no Ken ---Muni no Ken ---Seigan no Tachi

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Bojutsu

-Bojutsu (use of the 6 foot staff against the long sword) --Omote no Bojutsu 6 forms ---Seriai no Bo ---Sune Hishigi no Bo ---Sayu no Bo ---Kasa Hazushi no Bo ---Hanetsurube no Bo ---Tatenami no Bo --Gogyo no Bo 6 forms ---Gedan Gamae no Bo ---Kasumi Gake no Bo ---Denko Gamae no Bo ---In Gamae no Bo ---Hikizue Gamae no Bo ---Tatezue Gamae no Bo

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Naginatajutsu

-Naginatajutsu (use of the halberd against the long sword) --Omote no Naginatajutsu 4 forms ---Itsutsu no Naginata ---Nanatsu no Naginata ---Kasumi no Naginata ---Hakka no Naginata -- Gokui Shichijo no Naginata 3 forms ---Enpi no Naginata ---Tonbo no Naginata ---Ryuko no Naginata

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Sojutsu

-Sojutsu (use of the spear against the long sword) --Omote no Yari 6 forms ---Hiryu no Yari (the only one shown in video) ---Koryu no Yari ---Tsukidome no Yari ---Anya no Yari ---Denko no Yari ---Yorunoya Yari Obviously not as good a quality demonstration, and I don't know the group, however slow enough to see what is going on and on comparison with Otake's book close enough in form to get an idea: This point in the video shows the movement described as "hashikakaru" where the swordsman binds and enters. --Hiden (Otake: "Secret forms") ---Jodan no Yariai ---Gedan no Yariai

Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Jujutsu

Little footage of the Jujutsu section is available. -Jujutsu --Idori no bu 13 forms ---Gyaku Yubi ---Konoha Gaeshi ---Hiniku Jime ---Kata Emon ---Giboshi Gaeshi ---Hiji Gane ---Saruko Jime ---Tachi Ojo ---Ryo Emon ---Koromo Shibori ---Musasoku ---Do Shibori ---Hagai Shibori --Tachiai no bu 17 forms ---Toru Kobushi ---Uchi Tokko ---Soto Tokko ---Shichiri Biki ---Kareki Ori ---Oni Osae ---Shogi Daoshi ---Yami no Yo ---Yume no Makura ---Taki Otoshi ---Washi no Issoku ---U no Hagai Ori ---Tengu Gaeshi ---Sugatami ---Sasu Dome ---Kami Tori ---Yama Otoshi --Tachiai Kiai-nage no Bu 6 forms ---Ashi Barai ---Koshi Seoi ---Yagura Otoshi ---Kawari Goshi ---Sumi Kaeshi ---Katagaruma