Unlike iaido, kenjutsu utilizes the “katana” (long sword), with a “bokken,” a wooden sword of similar size and weight, used in training. Kenjutsu is a general name for a variety of the traditional school of lethal Japanese swordsmanship. It’s beginning came from Japan’s feudal class known as the Samurai. It is essentially a noncompetitive, demonstrative, performance art, which takes on the form of prearranged set movements between dueling opponents. Over time, Kenjutsu developed into the art of Kendo.
The stuff of legends
The most famous practitioner was Miyamoto Musashi, also known as “The god of the Sword,” a legendary but real samurai who wrote The Five Rings, a tale of his warrior ship and his skill in double swordsmanship, to which he attributed his success in over 60 duels to the death.
As you can see in the video in this post sparring is extremely technical and it can take a student 5 to 10 years to learn how to do this effectively. There are a large variety of striking patterns and cutting angles a person can use . One of the basic first cutting pattern movements a student is taught in Kenjutsu is known as the basic “V”. This cutting pattern is a downward vertical path.
This movement is one of the most basic movements that beginners usually do when they first pick up the sword. With the sword held with both straight out in front move the hands up until they are over your head. Next, start the downward movement with both hands either in a straight vertical path or a slightly diagonal path between paths 6 & 11 (see figure to the right). This is a very basic but effective movement.
There are currently only a few school open that teach Kenjutsu, so it is a very difficult style to learn.
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