What are YOU doing to save kendo? (And iaido and jodo and any of the koryū you do…) By Kim Taylor Seriously, what are you doing to promote the art, to preserve it for the next generation? Here’s a list of ideas, tick off the ones you do to find out what kind of budo bunny you are. 1. Go to practice. Not just now and then, not just a couple times a week, but every single practice your sensei holds, and then some practices on your own where you do your homework to reinforce what sensei taught you last class. 60 points for “yes”;Read More →

Research and Writing on Budo By Kim Taylor After exactly 20 years I have gone back to writing the series of books on the Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryū, my koryū iaido practice. The last of the manuals on the core solo kata was published in 1994, and recently I finished a fourth book on the partner kata. I have a couple left to clean up some loose ends, but it’s a relief to be so close to the end of a 20-year project. Why so long? Well actually the question might rather be, why the nerve to write a book on a martial art when youRead More →

The 37th Kobudō Embu Taikai By Jeff Broderick The Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai is an organization established to recognise, research, protect, and promote legitimate koryū (“old style”) martial arts in Japan. The organisation holds several demonstrations throughout the year, one of the largest being the Kobudō Embu Taikai. On February 9, 2014, following the heaviest snowfall the Tokyo area had seen in 40 years, the 37th Taikai was held at the Nippon Budokan, near the Imperial Palace in the centre of Tokyo. Despite the cancelled flights, delayed trains, and general transportation chaos the snow wreaked on Tokyo (a city not well accustomed to harsh winters) thereRead More →

Koryū and Seitei By Kim Taylor Is there anything in the kendo, iai or jō world more discussed than the difference between koryū and seitei? Even people who are not in the federation discuss the differences, so why not have one more go at it? We should get the definition out of the way first. “Koryū” means old school, but just how old is old? A popular dividing date is the Meiji Restoration (1868), and that is the one that I tend to use. 1868 is 145 years ago, a good long time, but more importantly, it stretches back to the age of the samurai,Read More →

By Jeff Broderick The 34th Nippon Kobudo Embu Taikai was held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, on February 6th, 2011. Taking place annually, this event always attracts a large crowd of history buffs and martial arts enthusiasts. This year in particular, perhaps due to a recent surge of interest in all things samurai-related, the crowd seemed even larger than usual. 35 different martial ryuha from across Japan gathered to demonstrate their varied techniques to the crowd – everything from empty-hand arts such as jujutsu, karate, and aikijujutsu, to weapon arts like iaido, sojutsu (spearmanship), archery, kenjutsu, and even gunnery were on display.Before the demonstrations,Read More →