Skip to main content

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 and Toshinaga polished Seigo Ryu Batto, and it has been passed down to Yagyu Koichi as Yagyu Seigo Ryu Batto.

William de Lange's book "Iaido"

In his book de Lange gives an outline of the kata (it should be noted this is a branch school).   De Lange says the Yagyu had also drawn upon Sekiguchi Ryu and Rikishin Ryu Iai.

Yagyu Seigo Ryu Videos


The following is taken directly from the kampaibudokai site - the original article with further informaiton can be found here.

The Yagyu Shinkage ryu was founded by Sekishusai in the beginning of the Edo period, so there are no techniques implying armour, no tate hiza, and nukitsuke is a cut only on exception. Mostly it's taking a defensive posture. Only if the bad guy insists does he get a beating. At the moment there are about 100-200 students of this ryu in Japan. There are 43 iai kata with no particular order, but 7 are considered basic. Cuts use only the tip, so the cuts never stop (never touch bone) but are part of a flowing movement. One will often shift back near the end of the cut as a defensive move. A Yagyu suburi demonstrated by sensei is making big circles (or figure 8's) from left hasso to right waki to right hasso to left waki, while changing feet. (sorry about the poor description) Cuts are made using the muscles of the back, not the arms.

Properly speaking, Shinkage-ryu does not contain iaijutsu techniques, it is strictly a school of hyoho (or heiho, i.e., martial strategy) and kenjutsu. However, the Yagyu Shinkage-ryu line has subsumed the battojutsu of Yagyu Seigo-ryu, a school derived from Seigo-ryu jujutsu (and some jojutsu techniques developed by Yagyu Jubei Mitsutoshi). Also, present-day Yagyu Seigo-ryu battojutsu waza are a reconstruction of the original techniques, probably at the end of the Meiji era, by Yagyu Toshichika (Genshu) and his son, Gencho.

Originally, Seigo-ryu was a jujutsu ryu that was practised in the Owari han (domain). The founder was a man named Mizuhaya Chozaemon Nobumasa, who was also involved (perhaps the founder) of Ippon-ryu. It was a jujutsu ryu, but it also included iai and hojojutsu (rope-tying, a common adjunct to jujutsu ryu).

Back in the late 1700s, the then-headmaster, Nagaoka Fusashige (Torei), was an assistant instructor (shihan hosa) of the then-head of the Shinkage-ryu. He was a very exceptional man as a scholar, administrator *and* swordsman, and he took voluminous notes on what he'd learned. He incorporated Shinkage-ryu principles and training methods into Seigo-ryu and created a number of techniques of sword-drawing, which we refer to over-all as battojutsu. Seated techniques are called iai, the standing techniques are tachi-ai batto.

Popular posts from this blog

Spear (Yari) in Owari Kan Ryu 尾張貫流 (Kudayari & others)

Owari Kan ryū is known for its use of the kuda-yari (tube spear). The e (shaft) is run through a kuda (metal pipe) that’s in the front hand of the practitioner.  Interestingly the school’s students start training by doing shiai (competition) and only after considerable training they learn the school's kata (forms). Most classical schools that practice shiai do so after learning kata. Thrusting using the kuda. Cross-stepping.                           Thrusting attack with kuda. Wide stance.   Shiai. Shiai using a spear with a cross piece. The original demonstration from which these stills were taken is here:

The Structure of the Tenshinshoden Katori Shinto Ryu Syllabus

It should be noted that the current head, Otake Risuke, has commented that not all of the parts of Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu survive.  I recall his comments in various documentaries that Archery was once a component, and only some of the spear survives. Through various sources, mostly Otake's book, I have put together this brief outline of their syllabus, however I have little idea of the exact stage each is taught except that I believe the students start with Omote no Tachi.  I will use this as the basis for further posts and may add to it over time. I believe their are important implications when Otake says that one of the main reasons for training all the weapons is to train the swordsman against them. Note in this section in brackets are my own comments and should therefore not be relied upon, those from the written work of Otake are clearly marked. Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto Ryu -Kenjutsu (Otake lists Tachi, Ryuto and Kodachi under Kenjustsu) --Tachi (Use of the singl

Kendo Shinai Weights & Measures

As a note the recommended length and weight for shinai are: - Women 38 inches 440 grams. - Men 39 inches 510 grams. The Wikipedia shinai page lists the following tables: Regulations In  kendo  competitions that follow the FIK rules, there are regulated weights and lengths for the use of  shinai .  Table A. FIK Specifications for competition use of one Shinai (Itto). Specification Gender Junior High School (12–15 yrs) Senior High School (15–18 yrs) University students and Adults (18yrs+) Maximum length Male & female 114cm 117cm 120cm Minimum weight Male 440g 480g 510g Female 400g 420g 440g Minimum diameter of sakigawa Male 25mm 26mm 26mm Female 24mm 25mm 25mm Minimum length of sakigawa Male and Female 50mm 50mm 50mm Shinai  are weighed complete with leather fittings, but without  tsuba  or  tsuba-dome . The full length is measured. Maximum diameter of the  tsuba  is 9cm. Table B. FIK Specifications for competition use of two Shinai (Nito). Specification Gender Daito (long shinai) Sh