Iaijutsu is the ancient Japanese martial art of drawing the
sword and cutting in one fluid motion.
The first creation of techniques that emphasized the
draw-and-cut are widely credited to Hayashizaki Jinsuke
Minamoto no Shigenobu (1546–1621). The first schools dedicated
exclusively to sword drawing appeared during the late 16th and
early 17th centuries.
Until this time most schools of swordsmanship emphasized
techniques that started with the sword already drawn— two
people aware of each others presence and intending to do
battle. In modern times we refer to these techniques and
schools as Kenjutsu.
Because all techniques start with the sword in the scabbard,
iaijutsu is often used for counterattack while higher levels of
practice may include techniques for aggressive surprise
attacks. As a system of techniques iaijutsu is less relevant to
the situations of open warfare and more applicable to the daily
life of Samurai.
The practice of Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu differ therefore in
their implementaions; while iaijutsu students must visualize
their opponent (and often many opponents), kenjutsu must be
practiced with a physical opponent.
Modern practice of iaijutsu generally begins with a bokuto /
bokken (wooden sword), in time, students will use a mogito—
typically an alluminum-alloy blade with a dull edge mounted
with traditional sword furniture. The use of mogito / iaito allows the student to get very real understanding of the
mechanics of proper drawing and cutting techniques while
maintaining a safe practice environment. Upper level
instructors may also use a shinken (sharp sword) in their
practice but this is rare and normally not done in a typical
Because kenjutsu techniques require a partner, iaito are not
suitable for practice— a bokuto that can stand up to rigourous
training is required. Shiro kashi (white oak) is the prefered
wood stock for bokuto.
Ono Ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu
Ono Ha Itto Ryu is the oldest of the sword schools stemming
from the original Itto Ryu (one sword school) and
dates back to the 16th century.
The techniques of Ono Ha are characterized by direct
downward cuts and subtle lateral movements almost imperceptible
from any angle other than straight on. Ono Ha is also famous
for its use of Oni-gote (demon gloves) to teach
students how to carry the cut through the target.
The school itself contains a vast catalog of techniques that
encompass the use of Otachi (long sword), Kodachi (short sword)
and also Taijutsu (body techniques). Ono Ha Itto Ryu is
informed by both an unarmoured dueling perspective and an
awareness of armored tactics.
Sasamori Junzo was the 16th master of Ono Ha Itto Ryu as
well as a resptected politician, educator, peace advocate,
christian minister and a high ranking Kendo practioner who
wrote one of the first books on Kendo in english: This is
Kendo: The Art of Japanese Fencing. In fact, the
techniques of Ono Ha Itto Ryu and the invention of the
shinai (bamboo sword) are what eventually led to the
formulation of Kendo (Japanese sport fencing) as it
In 1975 Sasamori Takemi inherited leadership of the Ono Ha
Itto Ryu, becoming the 17th master of the style and has been
studying the art for over sixty years.
Sasamori Takemi Soke also maintains the following
- Board Member for the Kobudo Kyokai
(Association of Ancient Martial Ars).
- Instructor for Keisatsu-daigaku (University
Police) of Tokyo.
- Headmaster: Reigakudo, Tokyo, Japan.
- Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu, Soke
- Choku Gen Ryu Naginata, Soke
Bakersfield Budo also maintains a Kenkyukai (study group) of
Ono Ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu under the KNBK.
7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai
The KNBK is an international organization dedicated to the
preservation and continuation of the teachings of traditional
Japanese Koryu and gendai martial arts.
Our focus is the preservation of the Masaoka-Ha tradition of
Seito Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho through it's direct
transmission over twenty-one generations.
The KNBK also preserves the teachings of Shindo Muso Ryu
Jojutsu and the associated sogo bujutsu, Onno Ha Itto Ryu
Kenjutsu and other modern forms of Japanese and Okinawan
The organization was established in 2007 by Hanshi Masayuki
Shimabukuro at the request of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai and
Hanshi Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa.
Miura Takeyuki Hidefusa
Founding Chairman Emeritus and Soshihan
Shimabukuro Masayuki Hidenobu
First Chairman and Soshihan
Carl E. Long
Current Chairman and Soshihan
Seito Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho
Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu is one of the most popular styles of
iaijutsu practiced across the world. The origins of Eishin Ryu
extend back to Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu
(1546–1621) and the tradition istelf has been shaped by many
important teachers since Hayashizaki sensei.
The name of the style itself “Hasegawa Eishin Ryu” came from
the seventh generation headmaster Hasegawa Eishin who adapted
techniques originally meant for use with a tachi (longer
predecessor to the katana) to the shorter sword of the time.
Hasegawa Eishin is also credited with the addition of
techniques now known as Chuden Tatehiza no Bu.
Oe Masamichi Shikei, the 17th generation headmaster later
combined the techniques of his line of Eishin Ryu known as the
Tanimura-ha with the techniques of the Shimomura-ha line (the
two had split after the 11th generation). Oe sensei also
reduced a number of redundant techniques while keeping the
originals and changing their names for clarity. He named the
restructured school Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu.
Oe Masamichi had many students, one of which was Masaoka
Kazumi. After the passing of his teacher, Masaoka Sensei
established his own seperate line of transmission; Masaoka-ha
was carried on by Narise Sakahiro and Miura Takeyuki
In present day, this lineage is now carried on by the
students of Shimabukuro Masayuki Hidenobu, disciple and
successor of Miura Sensei. It is this lineage that is
recognized by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai— the oldest governing
body of traditional martial arts with the backing of the
Bakersfield Budo follows the teachings of the Seito Muso
Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai Heiho as outlined by the KNBK.
Our iaijutsu program includes the standing Batto-Ho set as
detailed by Kono Hyakuren; a student of Oe Masamichi Shikei and
peer to Masaoka Kazumi from whom our lineage stems.
The Koryu (old school) curriculum includes the Shoden Omori
Ryu Seiza no bu, Chuden Tatehiza Waza, Okuden Suwariwaza,
Okuden Tachiwaza, Tachiuchi no Kurai and Bangai no bu. During
his lifetime Shimabukuro Hanshi also espoused standing versions
of the Shoden and Chuden sets called “Tachi Iai.”
This tradition also encompasses the practice of tameshigiri / suemonogiri (test cutting using a live/sharp sword on various
targets). These components all serve to make the student aware
of proper body mechanics, focus, and technique for the
effective use of the sword.
Together with an integral observance and practice of sincere
etiquette, these elements make up the core curriculum of our
The Reality of Training
Many traditional martial arts have easily visible
applications in the real world— karate teaches body mechanics
for effective self-defense, jujutsu teaches the control of the
musculoskeletal system, aikido takes attack energy and
redirects its focus; the use of the sword in the real world is
Iaijutsu translates to “art of mental presence and
immediate action;” it is the study of being mentally present in
the moment. Even as individuals it is not possible to be in the
moment by ourselves. We exist in every moment with our
environment and other human beings.
Practicing iaijutsu (iaido as more commonly termed today),
teaches students to have the mental presence to act with
dignity and compassion in every moment of everyday life. In practical terms, effective use of the sword is not possible while allowing one's thoughts to stray; attention, focus and control must be utilizied in every moment for the realization of correct technique and the safety of those around you. Iaijutsu allows us to expand our everyday mental awareness by first demanding a physical awareness on the dojo floor.
It is through this practice of being mentally present that
we can use to be aware of more correct, dignified action and become better people— human beings that make their
communities better, that make their cities better, that
ultimately make their nations and the world better.
recognize and realize peaceful, fruitful and prosperous
existence is now the goal of Samurai ideals— it is the
sustaining reason behind training in a traditional Japanese
Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu
The Jo (short staff) used in Shindo Muso ryu Jojutsu is
measured at 4 Shaku, 2 Sun, 1 Bu, which is roughly 50 and a
quarter inches. It’s use developed around the mid 17th century
as a result of a duel between the famous Miyamoto Musashi and
Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi.
According to Muso Shindo Ryu tradition, divine inspiration
gave Gonnosuke the dimensions of a short staff with whom he
would be able to defeat Musashi.
The length of the Jo is designed to be just out of reach of
a daito (long sword) and is characterized by direct
strikes which utilize the sharp edge of the cut ends.
is frequently designed to control the sword by striking to the
flat of the blade and controling the opponents hands with locks
and other techniques. Distance is used in such a way that the
sword’s effectiveness is mitigated.
Jojutsu is a very intricate art which demands exact
technique in order to work against a sword properly. For this
reason it is one of the harder sword arts to learn and requires
much attention to detail, practiced body awareness and
Jojutsu is an aggressive but fine compliment to the
understanding of other sword arts in general.