The Nuts & Bolts of Kendo By Hanshi 9th Dan Nakano Yasoji — Translated by Alex Bennett First published in Kendo World 1.4, 2002 ***  Tsuki-waza What is the most basic method of executing tsuki? Of course, the most basic method for tsuki is to go straight in and thrust, but this is difficult to achieve if the opponent has a strong kamae. There are many other methods you can employ such as suriage as they lift their kensen up, or applying pressure from the omote side, and then making the thrust from the opposite side (ura) of the shinai. However, I find the mostRead More →

Kendo World

By Baptiste Tavernier   Miyamoto Musashi, arguably Japan’s most famous warrior, needs no introduction. Martial arts enthusiasts from all over the world have heard of his life and feats and many have read Gorin no Sho, a.k.a. The Book of Five Rings, which has been translated into several foreign languages. Musashi however wrote a few more treatises that people outside Japan may be unaware of. The following is a list of Musashi’s writings: – Heidōkyō 『兵道鏡』 written in 1605. – Heihō Kakitsuke 『兵法書付』 achieved in 1638. This text is little-known, even in Japan. – Heihō Sanjūgo Kajō 『兵法三十五箇条』 written in 1641. – Gohō no KamaeRead More →


By Baptiste Tavernier. Originally published in Kendo World 6.4, June 2013   Introduction We already introduced in Kendo World the Naginatadō Kihon Dōsa teaching guidelines that were published at the beginning of 1941 by the Dai Nippon Butokukai in order to promote a unified form of naginata in schools. We saw that this initiative somehow failed because of the antagonism between the two major naginata ryūha: the Jikishin Kage-ryū and the Tendō-ryū. Exponents of the Tendō-ryū tradition considered the Naginatadō Kihon Dōsa to be a simplification of the Jikishin Kage-ryū style rather than a unification of different traditions, and thus refused to follow the new guidelines. AsRead More →


By baptiste Tavernier Gohon-me: men wo harai men-uchi – go no sen Uchikata assumes jōdan-no-kamae and shikata goes into chūdan-irimi-no-kamae, but with his kensen pointing towards uchikata’s right wrist. Starting from the front foot, uchikata and shikata take three big steps forward. As soon as they enter into the maai for attack, uchikata takes the initiative and strikes shikata’s men. However, shikata responds with a suri-age, immediately followed by a strike onto uchikata’s men. Shikata lowers his weapon in front of his opponent’s eyes and then shows zanshin by taking a small step backward while assuming jōdan-no-kamae. Uchikata and shikata then go back to chūdan-no-kamae. They disengageRead More →

book of five rings

Gorin no Sho – Book of Five Rings The last six months of my life has been pretty much all about Miyamoto Musashi. When I’m not doing my real job, Musashi is sure to be there giving me a hard time. He has even been haunting my dreams of late. The reason for this obsessiveness is a recent book project that, in a fleeting moment of madness, I decided to take on. Yes folks, the world’s bookshelves are about to be adorned with yet another translation of Musashi’s classic, Gorin no Sho a.k.a the Book of Five Rings. As if we need another one, right? TrueRead More →