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  • Nodachi Jigen-ryu Demonstration Video

    You can view the page at http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/con...stration-Video

  • #2
    So I got around to watching this video today. It seems rather interesting. Does anyone know much about this style? Some quick googling didn't pull up much information but it seems respectable.

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    • #3
      I don't know much about it neither. Watching the video, it seems like they use several quick cut to supress the enemy.

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      • #4
        @ZealUK, is this your mob? b

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        • #5
          I think I vaguely recall that it is a style practiced in the southern regions of Japan. Perhaps Satsuma.

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          • #6
            This is not ZealUK's group -- they practice against a standing (vertical) target, with smaller bokuto. Although being from the area and a smart fellow, I imagine he might be the best to answer this.

            However, paging through my Gakken Nihon no Kenjutsu, here's what I find: it's official name is Yakumaru Jigen-ryu. It was trained in by the lower-ranked bushi of Satsuma (I believe the higher ranked studied Jigen-ryu Heiho - ZealUK's group. While the groups are related, the kanji to write their names are different). The founder of Yakumaru Jigen-ryu, one Yakumaru Kenchin, combined Jigen-ryu with his own family art of nodachi kenjutsu.

            The first part of the demonstration is basic striking on the target, called a "kakari". It's hard to see, but their stance when doing their quick successive cuts is entirely on the toes, with knees deeply bent, a quite physically challenging position. In the second part, they train to run up to the kakari, and stop on a dime at perfect maai with a powerful cut. The third part demonstrates their "nuki", a rising strike from the draw. Next is "uchi-mawari", where they practice striking at multiple foes. In normal practice there are many more sticks stuck into the ground, and the man with the nagabo (called the "dashi") serves as a moving foe, who may enter the area at any time and has to be dealt with. The last demonstration is training against the nagabo, which serves as a stand in for any kind of long weapon.

            The current soke is Yakumaru Yasuo.
            Last edited by Josh Reyer; 22nd March 2010, 07:30 PM.

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            • #7
              Thanks Josh. That was much more informative than anything I could find on the web. I thought the stances and cuts looked physically demanding. Does "nodachi" mean that they study to use a sword that is longer than a normal sword and is that why the physical mechanics look so different? Those bokuto look longer than shinai from the video but it's hard for me to be sure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by turboyoshi View Post
                Thanks Josh. That was much more informative than anything I could find on the web. I thought the stances and cuts looked physically demanding. Does "nodachi" mean that they study to use a sword that is longer than a normal sword and is that why the physical mechanics look so different? Those bokuto look longer than shinai from the video but it's hard for me to be sure.
                I don't have nearly the familiarity with the YJR to feel comfortable commenting. All I can say is that nodachi are bigger than the standard-sized sword, and that deep stances in cutting (with a standard-size sword) are an important part of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, although we keep our feet flat on the floor. The length of the nodachi might be a factor in the use of the hands and elbows (they always cut kesa-giri, and always keep the left hand connected to the right elbow, no matter which kind of hasso they are in).

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                • #9
                  Thanks Josh, I appreciate you taking the time.

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                  • #10
                    From Alex Bennett (ed.) Budo: The Martial Ways of Japan, Nippon Budokan, 2009 (This is from one of the earlier manuscripts)

                    The Jigen-ryū is called the “secret sword art of Satsuma” because of the remote region where it is located. It developed from Taisha-ryū, an offshoot of the Shintō-ryū and the Shinkage-ryū, and is famous for its peculiar stance called “tombo” (dragonfly) and the shrill screams that adepts made when making their relentless attacks. Students of the school enter a frenzied state as they hack furiously at bundled tree branches or wooden poles “three-thousand times in the morning, and eight-thousand strikes at night.” Although trainees of the school were strongly discouraged from fighting, once cornered they would attack fiercely in a murderous flurry of screaming and slashing. Zen and esoteric Buddhist terms also feature predominantly in writings left by Tōgō Chūi to explain the philosophical framework of the Jigen-ryū.

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                    • #11
                      Ah thanks Alex. I hadn't thought to search under just Jigen-ryu but that gives me a little more material. With information this scarce I guess this is not a popular style, eh?

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                      • #12
                        This isn't the style I practice, as Josh noted, however I am familiar with them.

                        This group actually goes by the name Nodachi Jigen-ryu (Kenshukai). Yakumaru Jigen-ryu (Kenshokai) are featured in the Gakken publications mentioned above.


                        Alex, the excerpt you posted is about Jigen-ryu Hyoho, not Nodachi/Yakumaru Jigen-ryu.

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                        • #13
                          josh, is the reason why you guys use crooked wooden weapons (rather than the ultra smooth bokuto that most use) because the training is so vigorous that they would break often?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Twobitmage View Post
                            josh, is the reason why you guys use crooked wooden weapons (rather than the ultra smooth bokuto that most use) because the training is so vigorous that they would break often?
                            As I noted, I don't do either Jigen-ryu (示現流) or Yakumaru Jigen-ryu (薬丸自顕流). ZealUK would be the best one to answer that.

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                            • #15
                              The bokuto used are yusunoki (isunoki) and are dried out for 5 to 10 years before being used. The wood is very hard and the weapons last quite a long time, but do eventually break.

                              Carved bokuto are used for suburi and some kata, but they just wouldn't stand up to the punishment of repeated imact training.

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