The kusarigama is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of a kama on a kusari-fundo – a type of metal chain with a heavy iron weight at the end. The kusarigama is said to have developed during the Muromachi period; the art of handling the kusarigama is called kusarigamajutsu. Attacking with the weapon entailed swinging the weighted chain in a large circle over one's head, whipping it forward to entangle an opponent's spear, sword, or other weapon, or immobilizing his arms or legs; this allows the kusarigama user to rush forward and strike with the sickle. The weapon is said to have the highest mortality rate of any and all weapons of it's time. A kusarigama wielder might strike with the spinning weighted end of the chain directly while still outside the range of an opponent's hand weapon. In the Republic of Ireland, the kusari gama is classified as an illegal offensive weapon. In Canada, under the Criminal Code of Canada's centrifugal force criteria, the kusarigama is a prohibited weapon due to the chain using said force.
A kama is legal. Chigiriki Kusari-fundo Kusarigamajutsu, the art of handling the kusarigama Kyoketsu-shoge Okinawan kusarigama, Okinawan chain and sickle weapon Chain weapon Grappling hook Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan Ellis Amdur, Old School: Essays of Japanese Martial Traditions
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre
Shintō Musō-ryū, or Shindō Musō-ryū,a most known by its practice of jōdō, is a traditional school of the Japanese martial art of jōjutsu, or the art of wielding the short staff. The technical purpose of the art is to learn how to defeat a swordsman in combat using the jō, with an emphasis on proper combative distance and concentration; the system includes teachings of other weapon systems which are contained in Shintō Musō-ryū as auxiliary arts. The school is sometimes abbreviated as SMR; the art was founded by the samurai Musō Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi in the early Edo period and, according to legend, first put to use in a duel with Miyamoto Musashi. The original art created by Musō Gonnosuke has evolved and been added upon since its inception and up to modern times; the art was brought outside of its original domain in Fukuoka and outside Japan itself in the 19th and 20th century. The spreading of Shintō Musō-ryū beyond Japan was the effort of Takaji Shimizu, considered the 25thd headmaster, unlike many other traditional martial arts teachers, wanted Jodo to be known and taught internationally.
With the assistance of his own students and the cooperation of the kendō community, Shimizu spread Shintō Musō-ryū worldwide. According to its own history, Shintō Musō-ryū was founded in the Keichō era by Musō Gonnosuke, a samurai with considerable martial arts experience. A wandering warrior, Gonnosuke would cross paths with the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi; the two men fought a duel. Gonnosuke, a proud warrior who according to the stories had never been defeated, was shocked by his defeat and retired to a cave for meditation and reflectation; this period of isolation led him to create a set of techniques for the jō, with a goal of defeating Musashi's two-sword style. These jo techniques constituted the core of Gonnosuke's new school, which he named Shintō Musō-ryū; the school's history states that Musō Gonnosuke was victorious in a second duel, using his newly developed jōjutsu techniques to either defeat Musashi or force the duel into a draw. One of several legends says that while resting near a fire in a certain temple, Gonnosuke heard a voice say, "With the round stick, know the strategy of the solar plexus".
That was his inspiration to develop his new techniques and go fight Musashi a second time. Gonnosuke used his training in kenjutsu, naginatajutsu, sōjutsu and bōjutsu, which he acquired in part from Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū and Kashima Jikishinkage-ryū, to develop his art. Gonnosuke was said to have mastered the secret form called The Sword of One Cut, a form, developed by the founder of the Kashima Shintō-ryū and spread to other Kashima schools such as Kashima Jikishinkage-ryū and Kashima Shin-ryū. Gonnosuke developed several techniques for the jō that were to be used against an opponent armed with a sword by using the superior length of the jō to keep the swordsman at a disadvantage. After the creation of his jō techniques and his establishment as a skilled jōjutsu practitioner he was invited by the Kuroda clan of Fukuoka, in northern Kyūshū, to teach his art to their warriors. Gonnosuke settled down there. Shintō Musō-ryū survived the abolishment of the samurai in 1877, the Second World War.
With the efforts made by Shiraishi Hanjirō and his successor Shimizu Takaji, the art's 24th and 25th unofficial headmasters the art progressed into an international martial art with numerous dōjo all over the world. Because Shintō Musō-ryū has had no single head-organization or single governing body since the late 1600s, there is no standardized way of passing on the tradition. Dōjos belonging to individual SMR groups have individual ways of training and passing on the tradition; as with several other arts, such as iaidō and aikidō, Shimizu Takaji renamed "jōjutsu" "jōdō" in the year 1940. The words jōjutsu and jōdō are used interchangeably by the various groups. Being a koryū, an old school with a traditional way of teaching, SMR relies on verbal instructions in order to teach the large majority of the practical applications in the art; the teacher-student relationship is important to koryu-arts. The training forms alone do not reveal all the large number of practical applications and variations of the techniques.
This can only be done properly by an experienced teacher who spends many years passing on the teachings to the student in person. Many koryū arts have deliberately hidden some, or all, applications inside their training forms, making them invisible unless properly explained by a teacher knowledgeable in the art; this was done as a way of making sure the secrets and principles could not be copied by rival schools or individuals, should an outsider accidentally observe the techniques in action. The SMR tradition has been shaped over the centuries as to teach the student the proper value and application of combative distance to the opponent and mental awareness, among other skills; as a traditional Japanese martial art, there is a high emphasis on etiquette, such as bowing and attaining a proper mental attitude in the student and the approach to training. In the pure fighting art of SMR, the aim is to use the staff defeat an opponent armed with one o
Kashima Shinryū is a Japanese koryū martial art whose foundation dates back to the early 16th century. The art developed some notoriety in Japan during the early 20th century under Kunii Zen'ya, the 18th generation sōke; the current sōke is Kunii Masakatsu. While the line is still headed by the Kunii family, the title of sōke is now honorific, the responsibility for the preservation and transmission of the ryūha now lies in the shihanke line represented by the 19th generation, Seki Humitake; the characters Kashima 鹿島 are in honor of the deity enshrined in the Kashima Shrine located in Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, supposed to have provided the divine inspiration for Kashima Shin-ryū. The earliest elements of the school are credited to Kashima no Tachi, fencing techniques passed down by the priests of the Kashima Shrine following their creation by Kuninazu no Mahito in the 7th century. In Kashima Shinryū lore, Matsumoto Bizen-no-kami, assisted by Kunii Kagetsugu and expounded on Kashima no Tachi into the basis of the modern school.
After this development, they went their separate ways. Kunii Kagetsugu began what is now named the sōke lineage, based in Iwaki province and handed down through the Kunii family line. Conversely, Matsumoto Bizen-no-kami taught a large number of students, creating a number of martial lineages with characters reading shinkage in the name. In 1780, the 12th generation sōke, Kunii Taizen Minamoto no Ritsuzan attained mastery in Jikishinkage-ryū, studying under Ono Seiemon Taira no Shigemasa; as Jikishinkage-ryū traced its founding back to Matsumoto Bizen-no-kami, but passed down through Kamiizumi Ise-no-kami Fujiwara-no-Nobutsuna rather than the Kunii family, this lineage is recognized within Kashima Shinryū as the shihanke line, crediting Matsumoto Bizen-no-kami as the 1st generation. The sōke and shihanke lines remained united within the Kunii family until Kunii Zen'ya appointed Seki Humitake as his successor and the 19th generation shihanke while leaving his wife, Kunii Shizu, to carry on as the 19th generation sōke.
Despite the similarity of names, Kashima Shinryū is of only passing relation to Kashima Shintō-ryū. While both schools regard Kashima no Tachi as a major antecedent, Kashima Shintō-ryū claims as founder Tsukahara Bokuden, who independently generated a different refinement on Kashima no Tachi than that of Matsumoto Bizen-no-Kami; the following licenses exist under the Kashima-Shinryū Federation of Martial Sciences: Kashima Shin-ryū can be studied in Japan, in the United States and in Europe. Kashima-Shinryū Federation of Martial Sciences website
Bōjutsu, translated from Japanese as "staff technique", is the martial art of using a staff weapon called bō which means "staff". Staves have been in use for thousands of years in East Asian martial arts like Silambam; some techniques involve slashing and stabbing with the staff. Others involve using the staff as a prop for hand-to-hand strikes. Today bōjutsu is associated either with Okinawan kobudō or with Japanese koryū budō. Japanese bōjutsu is one of the core elements of classical martial training. Thrusting and striking techniques resemble empty-hand movements, following the philosophy that the bō is an "extension of one’s limbs". Bōjutsu is incorporated into other styles of empty-hand fighting, like traditional Jiu-jitsu, karate. In the Okinawan context, the weapon is referred to as the kon. Jō Jōjutsu Hanbō Kanabō Quarterstaff Yamanni-ryū Silambam
Kyushin Ryu is a form of the martial art Jujutsu consisting of striking and grappling techniques. It was developed by the Samurai in feudal Japan as a method of dispatching an armored opponent using unarmed techniques. According to the Densho of various schools and historical records, these systems of unarmed combat began to be known as Jujutsu during the Muromachi period. During the Edo period several Jujutsu styles became paramount; these schools focused their activities on various techniques that their masters had developed over time. The Kyushin Ryu school specialised in systems of Atemi waza; the art was practiced by many shōguns with the aim of refining methods of attacking the exposed target areas around the armour of their opponent. Credit for the foundation of the Kyushin Ryu school is given to Inugami Sakon-no-shokan Nagakatsu during the Eiroku period. Nagakatsu was a Samurai from the Hikone area within the ancient kuni of Ōmi, a holding of the Ii clan, he worked as an Imperial Palace guard in nearby Kyoto.
After receiving reiken from his father Inugami Hyogonosuke Nagatsugu, he studied with Hayamizu Nagakado-no-kami Enshin, from whom he received menkyo in Kumiuchi. Enshin was a bodyguard to Emperor Ōgimachi from 1557 to 1586 and densho of his teachings along with densho and kuden from Inugami's family formed the art of Enshin Ryu. Inukami District, just outside Hikone, Japan still bears the family name and contains one of the most famous shrines Taga-taisha, in the Shiga Prefecture. Inugami went on to found his own ryu with a special focus on the core principles: Atemi waza – striking techniques Katsu waza – methods of resuscitation and first aidHis son, Inugami Gunbei Nagatomo developed the Kyushin Ryu curriculum further and established it in Kyūshū. Here, it became a regarded school and was known by a number of variant writings, it contained techniques for grappling and other weaponry. Inugami Gunbei Nagayasu, better known as Inugami Gunbei, attained great eminence in the art and developed it further.
So much so that he has been deemed the originator of Kyushin Ryu. There is a great similarity between the principles of Kito Ryu and Kyushin Ryu and this has led to the suggestion that Kyushin Ryu had been derived from Kito Ryu, it is said that in the second year of Kioho Inugami studied Kito Ryu under Takino which might attribute to this similarity. Among those who were famous in Kyushin Ryu are. Kyushin Ryu was known as Inugami Ryu and the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten or "Encyclopedia of Martial Art Schools" lists a Densho "Kyushin Ichiryu Jujutsu". A man by the name of Takahashi was awarded mokuroku in Meiji 14, by a panel including Inugami, Ishino and Kobayashi. Takahashi is believed to be the grandson of master Takahashiihyoei Mitsumasa, founder of Nanba Ippo Ryu. A famous tale about Inugami Gunbei was published in "The Idler", London in October 1892: One day Inugami Gunbei, a celebrated teacher of the Kyushin school, met Onogawa Kisaburō, the most famous wrestler of the time, in a teahouse, they drank sake together, Onogawa began to brag, whereupon Inugami said that a great wrestler might not be able to defeat an old man like himself.
The angry wrestler proposed a trial of strength. Onogawa took hold of Inugami saying, "Can you escape?" Inugami replied, "Of course, if you do not hold me more tightly." So Onogawa grasped him more and repeated his question. He did this three times, when Inugami said, "Can you do no more?" Onogawa, relaxing his grip to take a firmer hold, was in a moment pitched over upon his honourable back by Inugami. This he did twice. Onogawa was so much surprised. Inugami taught Onogawa how to overcome an enemy by falling down and tripping him up; the most noteworthy master of Kyushin Ryu Jujutsu in more recent times is Shihan Yoshinori Eguchi of Kumamoto Prefecture, who received recognition during the formative stages of modern Judo in the early 1880s. In 1895, Governor Watanabe of Kyoto Prefecture met with the masters of the prominent schools and established the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai; this was the first official Japanese martial arts institution authorised by the Ministry of Education and endorsed by the Meiji Emperor.
It was here in 1906, that Dr Jigoro Kano founder of Judo, selected techniques from the more influential Jujutsu schools: Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū Yoshin ryu Shiten ryu Sekiguchi Ryu Sosuishi Ryu Fusen Ryu Kito Ryu Takenouchi Ryu Miura Ryu Kyushin RyuEguchi Shihan became one of Dr Kano's closest disciples during these early years and it was at about this time that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department chose the techniques of Kyushin Ryu Jujutsu as part of their officer combat and defence training schedules. Edward William Barton-Wright, founder of Bartitsu trained with Eguchi Shihan, although it is not known to what extent. Barton-Wright appears in many early photos with Eguchi Shihan and performed numerous public demonstrations with him and other martial arts exponents of the time. Ryōgorō Uchida, Chief of the Prefectural Police he
Hōzōin-ryū is a traditional school of Japanese martial arts that specializes in the art of spearmanship. Hōzōin-ryū was founded by Hōzōin Kakuzenbō In'ei in c. 1560. In'ei was a Buddhist monk of Kōfuku-ji Temple in Nara, Japan, he trained in the art of swordsmanship. At the same time, he was mentored by Daizendayū Moritada, a master of the spear. Under this master's guidance, In'ei honed his spearmanship, it is said that one evening, on seeing the reflection of the crescent moon shining on Sarusawa pond, he was inspired to create a spear with a cross-shaped spearhead. He imagined. With this new type of spear, he founded the Hōzōin-ryū; the teachings Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu were passed down to Nakamura Naomasa and Takada Matabei Yoshitsugu. The three best disciples of Takada went to Edo, present day Tokyo, its reputation spread nationwide and the number of disciples increased. As martial art of Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu was passed down from generation to generation, various new techniques as well as new dojo were created.
At the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, there were many masters of Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu employed at the shogunate's martial arts training center. In 1976, Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu returned to Nara. In 1991 Kagita Chubei was appointed the 20th headmaster and has been leading the Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu school since then. An ancient Japanese poem expresses the spear of Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu: "It can be a spear to thrust, it can be a naginata to cleave. It can be a Kama to slash. In any case, it never fails to hit the target." Koryu.com entry Hozoin-ryu Sojutsu