Skip to main content

Kusarigama of Isshin Ryu 一心流 (Type 3) - Summary of Set Ups and Actions

In the last 12 posts I have looked at individual kata within Isshin Ryu.  In combination with Kaminoda's book, I have made a summary of the kata in the table below.

One of the points of interest is that for the most part the chain is used as a flail in the off hand.  Of 30 kata, only 6 see the weapon actually cast, one of those being a dubious backwards over the shoulder without looking, in the Okuden.

None of the 9 entanglements originate from a cast.

None of the 9 entanglements result in a disarmament or attempt thereof.

The body is entangled once at close rang - there are no neck, foot or forearm entanglements, although occasionally a foot is stood on. 

As to the lack of casting entanglements, Amdur comments: 'On the other hand I find another commonly used technique to be quite dubious.  This is a long range cast of the chain and weight that tangles and ensnares the swordsman…I have had the rather frequent experience of using the chained weapons in freestyle sparring in which the chain wraps around the opponents weapon, arms or body - in no case was this an advantage.  My kusarigama was largely immobilised and the enemy, having a long handled rigid weapon held in two hands could use strength and leverage to bring his sword or naginata to bear against me…the best alternative is to yank the chain as soon as it begins to wrap…with practice the weapon can be whirled into another strike when it is freed.  However this can not be accomplished with the long chained weapon when it is cast with the off hand'.

I believe on looking in detail, this long range attempted entanglement is not the case but the common misunderstanding - on looking at the actions before and after an entanglement I would suggest the kata is dealing with an entaglement rather than seeking it out.


#
Group
Sickle SetUp
Cast
Entangle
Initial Contact
Sword
Note
1
Omote
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Stab from wrap
Level change
2
Omote
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Stab from wrap
Grapple stab
3
Omote
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Pull wrap high
Let out slack
4
Omote
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Hands trapped
End with hit
5
Omote
Handle Right
No
No
Right Blade
Beat away
End with hit
6
Omote
Guard Left
Yes
No
Right Blade
Hand dodge
Backhand line cast
7
Omote
Guard Left
Yes
No
Right Blade
Hand dodge
Backhand line cast
8
Omote
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Bind
End with hit
9
Omote
Guard Right
No
No
Chain Block
Survives
No finishing move
10
Omote
Guard Right
No
No
Chain Block


11
Omote
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Pull wrap high
Let out slack
12
Omote
Guard Right
No
Yes
Right Funnel
Hands trapped
Chain over body
13
Ura
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Stab from wrap

14
Ura
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Stab from wrap

15
Ura
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Pull to hasso
Drop chain grapple
16
Ura
Guard Right
No
No


Level change
17
Ura
Guard Left
Yes
No
Right Blade
Hand dodge
Backhand line cast
18
Ura
Guard Left
Yes
No
Right Blade
Hand dodge
Backhand line cast
19
Ura
Guard Left
Yes
No
Right Blade
Hand dodge
Forehand line cast
20
Ura
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Bind
End with hit
21
Ura
Guard Right
No
No
Chain Block


22
Ura
Guard Right
No
No
Chain Block


23
Ura
Guard Right
No
Yes
Left Chain Wrap
Pull wrap high
Let out slack
24
Ura
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Hands trapped
End with hit
25
Okuden
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Hands trapped
Seiza front
26
Okuden
Guard Right
Yes
No
Right Blade

Seiza rear, blind cast
27
Okuden
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Seiza iai
Seiza right
28
Okuden
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Seiza iai
Seiza left
29
Okuden
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Bind
Against spear
30
Okuden
Guard Right
No
No
Right Funnel
Beat away
Against spear


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