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Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū

The school of swordmanship known as Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū holds practice at Shinbukan Dōjō in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture. Katori Shintō-ryū was the first Japanese martial art to be designated an intangible cultural asset by Chiba Prefecture in 1960. Katori Shintō-ryū is guided by 20th generation headmaster Iizasa Yasusada Sōke, with instruction lead by Ōtake Risuke Shihan together with his son Ōtake Nobutoshi, Shihan is now taking over these duties. ( Ōtake Risuke Shihan is seen above with our director, Jon Braeley).

Today the tradition maintains a significant syllabus of martial training (including kenjutsu (swordsmanship), iaijutsu (sword drawing), bōjutsu (staff techniques), naginatajutsu (halberd techniques), sōjutsu (spear techniques), shuriken (throwing spikes), and jujutsu (unarmed combat)), as well as strategic study of warfare same as a Samurai would master.

Students are taught kata (pre-arranged routines) that are studied and practiced together with more senior practitioners under the supervision of their teacher. Training consists of the practice of prearranged forms that embody the art’s quintessence, and enable students to gradually embody the art’s technical, theoretical and philosophical approach. The first kata learnt are omote no tachi (swordsmanship: 4 kata), omote iaijutsu (sword drawing: 6 kata), tachiai battōjutsu (standing sword drawing: 5 kata), omote no bōjutsu (staff techniques: 6 kata), and omote no naginata (halberd techniques: 4 kata).