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* ''Bō'': SimpleStaff. Commonly about six feet long. Some schools also teach use of the ''jō'', which is about 4 feet long.

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* ''Bō'': SimpleStaff.MartialArtsStaff. Commonly about six feet long. Some schools also teach use of the ''jō'', which is about 4 feet long.


Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in [[BladeOnAStick naginata]] vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''[[StockNinjaWeaponry kusarigama]]'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and [[WreckedWeapon the broken shaft of a naginata]]. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration through the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.

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Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in [[BladeOnAStick naginata]] vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''[[StockNinjaWeaponry ''[[EpicFlail kusarigama]]'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and [[WreckedWeapon the broken shaft of a naginata]]. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration through the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.


Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''[[StockNinjaWeaponry kusarigama]]'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and the broken shaft of a naginata. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration through the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.

to:

Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in naginata [[BladeOnAStick naginata]] vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''[[StockNinjaWeaponry kusarigama]]'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and [[WreckedWeapon the broken shaft of a naginata.naginata]]. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration through the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.


Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''kusarigama'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and the broken shaft of a naginata. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the Meiji Restoration through the end of WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.

to:

Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''kusarigama'', ''[[StockNinjaWeaponry kusarigama]]'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and the broken shaft of a naginata. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art among Japanese women from the Meiji Restoration UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration through the end of WorldWarII, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.


A branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo Ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. A very popular martial art amongst the women of ~1900 (despite being founded by men), it also includes some techniques with swords, or with the broken shaft of a naginata. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.

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A Originally a branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo Ryu Tendo-ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. A Tendo-ryu also includes techniques involving the ''kusarigama'', [[DualWielding paired shortswords]], and the broken shaft of a naginata. Tendo-ryu was very popular martial art amongst the among Japanese women of ~1900 (despite being founded by men), it also includes some techniques with swords, or with from the broken shaft Meiji Restoration through the end of a naginata.WorldWarII, it was taught to schoolgirls from the 1920s through the end of the war in place of traditional gym class, and it is still studied around the world today. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies']] weapon.


The word "kenjutsu" can either refer to Japanese sword arts as a whole, or to the subset of teachings that focus on action occurring after the two combatants have already drawn their swords. Another branch of Japanese sword arts is ''iaijutsu'', which is about techniques that start before one has noticed a threat. Generally, the techniques taught in iaijutsu have the same general structure: Make a quick attack as you draw the sword, grip it with both hands and deliver the finishing blow, wipe or shake off the blood, return the sword to the scabbard, all the while maintaining awareness towards possible new threats.

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The word "kenjutsu" can either refer to Japanese sword arts as a whole, or to the subset of teachings that focus on action occurring after the two combatants have already drawn their swords. Another branch of Japanese sword arts is ''iaijutsu'', ''[[IaijutsuPractitioner iaijutsu]]'', which is about techniques that start before one has noticed a threat. Generally, the The techniques taught in iaijutsu have the same general structure: Make a quick attack as you draw the sword, grip it with both hands and deliver the finishing blow, wipe or shake off the blood, return the sword to the scabbard, all the while maintaining awareness towards possible new threats.



* ''Nōdachi[=/=]Ōdachi'': The Japanese equivalent of a BFS, with blades reaching 4 to 5 feet in length. They fell out of favor after 1615 due to being impractical for use in confined indoors combat and the Shogunate prohibiting the use of swords above a set length.
* ''Nagamaki'': I relatively uncommonly see evolution of the Ōdachi, with the grip making up about half of the overall length, for better control and leverage, Making it somewhat of a hybrid between a sword and a Naginata.
* ''Katana'': The weapon most associated with the samurai class and Japanese sword arts. It was three feet or so long, with approximately a quarter of that as the hilt.
* ''Wakizashi'': The shorter companion sword to the katana, usually about two feet long. Used in two-sword forms or in some single forms. It was considered the "indoor" sword; samurai didn't use the katana indoors, because of low ceilings, etiquette and the like.

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* ''Nōdachi[=/=]Ōdachi'': The quintessential Japanese equivalent of a BFS, {{BFS}}, with blades reaching 4 to 5 feet in length. They fell out of favor after 1615 due to being impractical for use in confined indoors combat and the Shogunate prohibiting the use of swords above a set length.
* ''Nagamaki'': I A relatively uncommonly see seen evolution of the Ōdachi, with the grip making up about half of the overall length, length for better control and leverage, Making leverage. Think of it somewhat of as a hybrid between a sword and a Naginata.
* ''Katana'': The weapon most associated with the samurai class and Japanese sword arts. It was three feet or so long, with approximately a quarter of that as the hilt.
* ''Wakizashi'': The shorter companion sword to the katana, usually about two feet long. Used in two-sword forms or in some single forms. It was considered the "indoor" sword; samurai didn't use the katana indoors, indoors because of low ceilings, etiquette and the like.



* ''Shinai'': Mock sword made from four strips of flexible bamboo around a hollow core, used in Kendo to facilitate contact practice. Some kenjutsu schools also use shinai, although of a notably different structure from the ones used for Kendo.

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* ''Shinai'': Mock sword made from four strips of flexible bamboo around a hollow core, used in Kendo UsefulNotes/{{kendo}} to facilitate contact practice. Some kenjutsu schools also use shinai, although of a notably different structure from the ones used for Kendo.
kendo.



The first thing that a would-be initiate notices when observing a practice for the first time is the amount of ritual involved: bowing to the ''kamiza''[[note]]head of the dojo where the presiding spirit is said to reside according to tradition[[/note]], to the sword, to training partners, when crossing swords etc. This is a holdover from when the arts were widely practiced by samurai; Japanese culture places extreme emphasis on etiquette. More pragmatically, etiquette involving the sword is there for safety purposes; someone drawing a sword in iai practice without observing standard protocol could be mistaken as intent on attacking someone. Here are a few common points, by no means a complete list:

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The first thing that a would-be initiate notices when observing a practice for the first time is the amount of ritual involved: bowing to the ''kamiza''[[note]]head of the dojo where the presiding spirit is said to reside according to tradition[[/note]], to the sword, to training partners, when crossing swords swords, etc. This is a holdover from when the arts were widely practiced by samurai; [[JapanesePoliteness Japanese culture places extreme emphasis on etiquette.etiquette]]. More pragmatically, etiquette involving the sword is there for safety purposes; someone drawing a sword in iai practice without observing standard protocol could be mistaken as intent on attacking someone. Here are a few common points, by no means a complete list:



Despite its curved, single-edge construction, the katana was not limited to slicing; its structure made it possible to withstand chopping movements as well. For that reason, the most efficient way to cut would be to blend the two motions, so that the arc of the sword-tip is wider than the arc of the hands; like this, the sword would enter a target obliquely, then come out straight perpendicular to its own trajectory. Of course, since katana were scarcely heavier than 1kg, relying on the sword's weight was not sufficient to cut that way; the practitioner had to utilise his entire body (left hand giving as much or more power than the right, proper footwork, torso linear and angular momentum) to cut with power and precision. Holding the sword with both hands was the common practice; however, a handful of schools also taught techniques with a sword in each hand (one katana, one wakizashi), or (even rarer) a katana in one hand and its sheath in the other.

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Despite its curved, single-edge construction, the katana was not limited to slicing; its structure made it possible to withstand chopping movements as well. For that reason, the most efficient way to cut would be to blend the two motions, so that the arc of the sword-tip is wider than the arc of the hands; like this, the sword would enter a target obliquely, then come out straight perpendicular to its own trajectory. Of course, since katana were scarcely heavier than 1kg, relying on the sword's weight was not sufficient to cut that way; the practitioner had to utilise his entire body (left hand giving as much or more power than the right, proper footwork, torso linear and angular momentum) to cut with power and precision. Holding the sword with both hands was the common practice; however, a handful of schools also taught techniques with [[DualWielding a sword in each hand hand]] (one katana, one wakizashi), or (even rarer) a katana in one hand and [[SheathStrike its sheath in the other.
other]].



Like many feudal societies, the Japanese believed that left-handedness was a sign of evil or deception; therefore, sword techniques were taught exclusively as right-handed. This is reflected in the grip; the katana is usually gripped both-handed, with the left hand near the pommel/buttcap and the right near the hand-guard. This holds true whether the sword is placed by the right side of the body or the left.

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Like many feudal societies, the Japanese believed that [[ASinisterClue left-handedness was a sign of evil or deception; deception]]; therefore, sword techniques were taught exclusively as right-handed. This is reflected in the grip; the katana is usually gripped both-handed, with the left hand near the pommel/buttcap and the right near the hand-guard. This holds true whether the sword is placed by the right side of the body or the left.



As with any type of swordsmanship, movement is vital in kenjutsu. Rather than passively defending against an attack, it's preferable to avoid it or use a counter-attack to nullify it; both of these require a good knowledge of footwork. The most common foot positioning in kenjutsu is called ''sankakudai,'' or "great triangle" in reference to the leg position. The lead foot (in most cases the right) points directly forward. The trailing foot is angled anywhere from 30 to 45 degrees outward. Different ryu will vary on the width and length of this stance; a few (mainly the more modern ones) prefer to keep the feet parallel.

Different schools taught different types of footwork. There's a wide gamut of walking methods taught: Some ryu walk ordinarily, others use the heels to support all of the weight, others don't even let them touch the ground. As time went on, the steps taken were refined, to the point that modern kendo teaches several different types of steps that one can take, depending on direction and foot order. Generally, the only teaching relative to footwork that the various ryu have in common, is that they all teach that the sword and body should move in unison.

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As with any type of swordsmanship, movement is vital in kenjutsu. Rather than passively defending against an attack, it's preferable to avoid it or use a counter-attack CounterAttack to nullify it; both of these require a good knowledge of footwork. The most common foot positioning in kenjutsu is called ''sankakudai,'' or "great triangle" in reference to the leg position. The lead foot (in most cases the right) points directly forward. The trailing foot is angled anywhere from 30 to 45 degrees outward. Different ryu will vary on the width and length of this stance; a few (mainly the more modern ones) prefer to keep the feet parallel.

Different schools taught different types of footwork. There's a wide gamut of walking methods taught: Some ryu walk ordinarily, others use the heels to support all of the weight, others don't even let them touch the ground. As time went on, the steps taken were refined, to the point that modern kendo teaches several different types of steps that one can take, depending on direction and foot order. Generally, the only one teaching relative to about footwork that all the various ryu have in common, common is that they all teach that the sword and body should move in unison.



* ''Waki'': Rear stance, philosophically associated with the element of Metal due to its latency, and Yang as it is if the user is like a source of light. As it could hide the sword behind the user's body, it was commonly called the "hidden guard" in many ryu. This may also help to conceal the length of the sword or a broken blade to surprise the opponent. Ostensibly an awkward stance, can actually perform various attacks rather smoothly.

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* ''Waki'': Rear stance, philosophically associated with the element of Metal due to its latency, and Yang as it is if the user is like a source of light. As it could hide the sword behind the user's body, it was commonly called the "hidden guard" in many ryu. This may also help to conceal the length of the sword or a broken blade to surprise the opponent. Ostensibly While ostensibly an awkward stance, it can actually perform various attacks rather smoothly.



Some schools taught techniques to avoid an attack, others taught techniques to flowingly move the enemy's sword off the centreline as part of one's regular attack. Generally, however, it was considered far more preferable to just attack before the enemy does. Secondary to that is to ruin the opponent's technique, and then attack. Tertiary is to let the opponent perform that technique and then make one's attack in response. This philosophy is very similar to the one found in German sword-fighting schools, and probably arose from similar combat experiences.

Also like German schools of swordsmanship, schools that date back to the time when armoured battlefield combat was more common used extremely close-quarters fighting techniques: grapples using the blade as leverage, low-line upward thrusts meant to pierce [[GroinAttack where an enemy's armor did not cover]], blows with the pommel aimed at the face, eyes, or throat if it was uncovered, cuts to the insides of the legs or other unprotected areas.

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Some schools taught techniques to avoid an attack, others taught techniques to flowingly fluidly move the enemy's sword off the centreline as part of one's regular attack. Generally, however, it was considered far more preferable to just attack before the enemy does. Secondary to that is to ruin the opponent's technique, and then attack. Tertiary is to let the opponent perform that technique and then make one's attack in response. This philosophy is very similar to the one found in German sword-fighting schools, and probably arose from similar combat experiences.

Also like German schools of swordsmanship, schools that date back to the time when armoured battlefield combat was more common used extremely close-quarters fighting techniques: grapples using the blade as leverage, low-line upward thrusts meant to [[AttackItsWeakPoint pierce [[GroinAttack where an enemy's armor did not cover]], blows with the pommel aimed at the face, eyes, or throat if it was uncovered, cuts to the insides of the legs or other unprotected areas.



-> ''Context of application:'' Many different ones. With or without armour, in a duel or a battlefield, with a drawn or sheathed sword, with other weapons, the techniques practiced are very diverse. Even some wrestling techniques are taught, as well as a few other battlefield skills. Students are swiftly prepared to survive a prospective battle, and are even instructed to be cautious around one another.

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-> ''Context of application:'' Many different ones. With or without armour, in a duel or a battlefield, with a drawn or sheathed sword, with other weapons, the techniques contexts practiced are also very diverse. Even some wrestling techniques are taught, as well as a few other battlefield skills. Students are swiftly prepared to survive a prospective battle, and are even instructed to be cautious around one another.



A school that owes its fame to its founder: the most famous Japanese swordsman, UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi. Officially formulated during Musashi's later years, it mainly concerns itself with the sword (katana, wakizashi or simultaneous wielding of the two), with some bojutsu and wrestling techniques included.
Niten Ichi Ryu is most famous for its dual-sword curriculum, with a katana in one hand and a wakizashi in the other. However, it's worth noting that it's neither the only nor the first school to teach dual-sword techniques. Also, the main purpose of dual-wielding practice was to make the katana easier to wield one-handed.
-> ''Philosophy:'' ???

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A school that owes its fame to its founder: the most famous Japanese swordsman, UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi. Officially formulated during Musashi's later years, it mainly concerns itself with the sword (katana, katana, the wakizashi or simultaneous wielding of and DualWielding [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs the two), katana and wakizashi]], with some bojutsu and wrestling techniques included.
included. This dual-sword curriculum is what Niten Ichi Ryu is most famous for its dual-sword curriculum, with a katana in one hand and a wakizashi in the other. However, for, but it's worth noting that it's it is neither the only first nor the first only school to teach dual-sword techniques. Also, the The main purpose of dual-wielding practice was in fact to make the katana easier to wield one-handed.
-> ''Philosophy:'' ??? ???



-> ''Philosophy:'' "One strike is all you need. Don't even consider a second one."
-> ''Temperament:'' Highly aggressive. In rumour, students of this style required a paper cord to keep themselves from drawing their swords (and killing) more frequently than they had to.
-> ''Technical focus:'' Downward strike. That, combined with ''very'' loud and continuous yelling. Seriously, there was nothing else; just was one technique, practiced for over four million times yearly. It was so quick as to make evasion extremely difficult, and so powerful as to kill people by clanging their own sword against their skull.

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-> ''Philosophy:'' [[SingleStrokeBattle "One strike is all you need. Don't even consider a second one."
"]]
-> ''Temperament:'' [[AttackAttackAttack Highly aggressive. In rumour, aggressive.]] It is rumoured that students of this style required a paper cord to keep themselves from drawing their swords (and killing) more frequently than they had to.
-> ''Technical focus:'' Downward strike. That, combined with ''very'' loud and continuous yelling.[[{{Kiai}} yelling]]. Seriously, there was nothing else; just was one technique, practiced for over four million times yearly. It was so quick as to make evasion extremely difficult, and so powerful as to kill people by clanging their own sword against their skull.



The afore-mentioned schools, like most old Japanese sword arts, were mainly focused on sword vs sword exercises. There were, however, a few famous schools with different areas of expertise, such as those outlined below.

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The afore-mentioned aforementioned schools, like most old Japanese sword arts, were mainly focused on sword vs sword exercises. There were, however, a few famous schools with different areas of expertise, such as those outlined below.



A branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo Ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. A very popular martial art amongst the women of ~1900 (despite being founded by men), it also includes some techniques with swords, or with the broken shaft of a naginata. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her house-hold with the by-then-traditionally ladies' weapon.

to:

A branch of an earlier kenjutsu school, Tendo Ryu ended up specialising in naginata vs sword techniques, taking advantage of the naginata's much longer reach and ease of cutting. A very popular martial art amongst the women of ~1900 (despite being founded by men), it also includes some techniques with swords, or with the broken shaft of a naginata. Well-suited to the woman intent on protecting her house-hold household with the [[NaginatasAreFeminine by-then-traditionally ladies' ladies']] weapon.



An art descendant of various older bojutsu teachings, it opted to shorten the bo by 30% to create a new, shorter staff called a jo. Mainly consisting of jo vs sword exercises, it uses the staff's longer reach to swipe the sword to the sides, attack the hands or head, trap the weapon and thrust to vulnerable points of the body. A few other weapons are also taught auxiliarly.

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An art descendant of various older bojutsu teachings, it opted to shorten the bo by 30% to create a new, shorter staff called a jo. Mainly consisting of jo vs sword exercises, it uses the staff's longer reach to swipe the sword to the sides, attack the hands or head, trap the weapon and thrust to vulnerable points of the body. A few other weapons are also taught auxiliarly.
auxiliarily.



One of the earliest schools to solely focus on iaijutsu techniques. Eishin-ryu has techniques performed from ''seiza'', ''tatehiza'' and from standing position. One notable aspect of Eishin-ryu when compared to other arts is its focus on environmental considerations, such as attacking from beneath an overhanging ledge or when passing under a gate. The majority of its techniques are intended for eliminating a single opponent, but there are techniques for dealing with multiple opponents.

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One of the earliest schools to solely focus on iaijutsu techniques. Eishin-ryu has techniques performed from ''seiza'', ''tatehiza'' and from standing position. One notable aspect of Eishin-ryu when compared to other arts is its focus on environmental considerations, such as attacking from [[DeathFromAbove beneath an overhanging ledge ledge]] or when passing under a gate. The majority of its techniques are intended for eliminating a single opponent, but there are techniques for dealing with multiple opponents.


''Kenjutsu'' is the historical conglomerate of Japanese sword arts, sometimes referred to as JSA. The way most fiction tells it, a [[MasterSwordsman seasoned master]] of [[KatanasAreJustBetter the Japanese sword]] can not only perform [[ImplausibleFencingPowers nigh-impossible feats]] but [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower do things that outright defy physics and logic]], sometimes even bordering on SupernaturalMartialArts. Like all types of propaganda, the anecdotes about users of the katana have some basis in fact, with the amount of truth varying from source to source. Kenjutsu schools often have a well-preserved lineage, unlike, sadly, their [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts European counterparts]]. Because of this, we know a lot more about how the {{samurai}} used their weaponry in battle than we do about how knights and men-at-arms of Europe used theirs, despite the misconceptions surrounding Japanese weaponry and the growing body of knowledge of European swordplay.

to:

''Kenjutsu'' is the historical conglomerate of Japanese sword arts, sometimes referred to as JSA. The way most popular fiction tells it, a [[MasterSwordsman seasoned master]] of [[KatanasAreJustBetter the Japanese sword]] can not only perform [[ImplausibleFencingPowers nigh-impossible feats]] but [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower do things that outright defy physics and logic]], sometimes even bordering on SupernaturalMartialArts. Like all types of propaganda, the anecdotes about users of the katana have some basis in fact, with the amount of truth varying from source to source. Kenjutsu schools often have a well-preserved lineage, unlike, sadly, their [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts European counterparts]]. Because of this, we know a lot more about how the {{samurai}} used their weaponry in battle than we do about how knights and men-at-arms of Europe used theirs, despite the misconceptions surrounding Japanese weaponry and the growing body of knowledge of European swordplay.


''Kenjutsu'' is the historical conglomerate of Japanese sword arts, sometimes referred to as JSA. [[KatanasAreJustBetter The way most fictional media tells it,]] [[CharlesAtlasSuperPower a skilled student of the Japanese sword]] can achieve [[ImplausibleFencingPowers insane levels of skill and do things that outright defy physics and logic,]] sometimes even bordering on SupernaturalMartialArts. Like all types of propaganda, the anecdotes about users of the katana have some basis in fact, with the amount of truth varying from source to source. Kenjutsu schools often have a well-preserved lineage, unlike, unfortunately, its [[{{UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship}} European counterparts]]. Because of this, we know a lot more about how the samurai used their weaponry in battle than we do about how knights and men-at-arms of Europe used theirs, despite the misconceptions surrounding Japanese weaponry and the growing body of knowledge of European swordplay.

If one were to compare schools of Japanese fencing to schools of European fencing, one would find many similarities, but also significant differences. Due to the consistent nature of katanas, the design change in which is near negligible compared to alterations in European swords, the Japanese schools differentiate from one-another on much more subtle basis. Where a European school might differ from another on basic technical grounds, a Japanese school is more likely to define its differences in terms of how to achieve an end result (e.g. an attack to the head) rather than what this end result is. This is not to say that the European arts lack subtlety, but the context of Japanese sword arts demanded a higher emphasis on matters that some would consider quite minor, such as "one school lets the sword tip fall back as they arm, its sibling school does not."

to:

''Kenjutsu'' is the historical conglomerate of Japanese sword arts, sometimes referred to as JSA. The way most fiction tells it, a [[MasterSwordsman seasoned master]] of [[KatanasAreJustBetter The way most fictional media tells it,]] [[CharlesAtlasSuperPower a skilled student of the Japanese sword]] can achieve not only perform [[ImplausibleFencingPowers insane levels of skill and nigh-impossible feats]] but [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower do things that outright defy physics and logic,]] logic]], sometimes even bordering on SupernaturalMartialArts. Like all types of propaganda, the anecdotes about users of the katana have some basis in fact, with the amount of truth varying from source to source. Kenjutsu schools often have a well-preserved lineage, unlike, unfortunately, its [[{{UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship}} sadly, their [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts European counterparts]]. Because of this, we know a lot more about how the samurai {{samurai}} used their weaponry in battle than we do about how knights and men-at-arms of Europe used theirs, despite the misconceptions surrounding Japanese weaponry and the growing body of knowledge of European swordplay.

If one were to compare schools of Japanese fencing to schools of European fencing, one would find many similarities, but also significant differences. Due to the consistent nature of katanas, the design change in which is near negligible compared to alterations in European swords, the Japanese schools differentiate from one-another on much more subtle basis. Where a European school might differ from another on basic technical grounds, a Japanese school is more likely to define its differences in terms of how to achieve an end result (e.g. an attack to the head) rather than what this end result is. This is not to say that the European arts lack subtlety, but the context of Japanese sword arts demanded a higher emphasis on matters that some would consider quite minor, such as "one "One school lets the sword tip fall back as they arm, arm; its sibling school does not."



Kenjutsu was developed, on the whole, entirely within Japan during the periods of isolation. This is why it sometimes appears, to students of European swordplay, to be an example of CripplingOverspecialization. The katana and similar swords were, after all, designed and made to fight against one another.

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Kenjutsu was developed, on the whole, entirely within Japan during the periods of isolation. This is why it sometimes appears, appears to students of European swordplay, swordplay to be an example of CripplingOverspecialization. The katana and similar swords were, after all, designed and made to fight against one another.


* ''Nagamaki'': I relatively uncommonly see evolution of the Ōdachi, with the grip making up about half of the overall length,for better control and leverage, Making it somewhat of a hybrid between a sword and a Naginata.

to:

* ''Nagamaki'': I relatively uncommonly see evolution of the Ōdachi, with the grip making up about half of the overall length,for length, for better control and leverage, Making it somewhat of a hybrid between a sword and a Naginata.

Added DiffLines:

* ''Nagamaki'': I relatively uncommonly see evolution of the Ōdachi, with the grip making up about half of the overall length,for better control and leverage, Making it somewhat of a hybrid between a sword and a Naginata.


A school that owes its fame to its founder: the most famous Japanese swordsman, MiyamotoMusashi. Officially formulated during Musashi's later years, it mainly concerns itself with the sword (katana, wakizashi or simultaneous wielding of the two), with some bojutsu and wrestling techniques included.

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A school that owes its fame to its founder: the most famous Japanese swordsman, MiyamotoMusashi.UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi. Officially formulated during Musashi's later years, it mainly concerns itself with the sword (katana, wakizashi or simultaneous wielding of the two), with some bojutsu and wrestling techniques included.


* ''Chudan'': Centre stance, philosophically associated with the element of Water due to its adaptiveness. The sword is pointing towards the opponent, at the height of his sternum or throat or eyes, depending on school. The pommel is usually one or two fists away from the user's body, though of course this varies with the school and, indeed, the individual. Perfect for thrusting, this stance also allows for cutting movements if the user can safely arm. A close analogue in German longsword would be ''pflug.''
* ''Jodan'': High stance, philosophically associated with the element of Fire due to its aggressiveness. The sword is held above the head, ready to strike down in a powerful vertical or diagonal cut. Most basic cuts can be executed instantly from here, without the need to arm the sword first. Jodan is usually taken with the left foot forward (left-jodan), to allow the torso's rotation (as the right foot is brought forward) to add to the sword's speed.
* ''Gedan'': Low stance, philosophically associated with the element of Earth due to its immovability. Here, the sword is pointed down at the enemy's knee. It's meant to be defensive and/or lure the opponent in for an attack, analogous to ''alber'' in German tradition. From gedan, one can thrust at the lower body or bring the sword up in a rising cut to counter against the enemy's attack.
* ''Hasso'': A side stance, philosophically associated with the element of Wood due to its uprightness. Superficially similar to left-jodan, hasso places the left foot forward, with the hand-guard held beside the face. Hasso portrays a less aggressive intent than jodan. It was devised mainly for waiting to see what an opponent would do, or as a jodan-substitute when the one's helmet was too ornate to use jodan. The closest European analogue is ''Vom Tag.''
* ''Waki'': Rear stance, philosophically associated with the element of Metal, because the other elements called "not it" and metal wasn't there. The left foot is positioned forward, and the sword is brought to the back and points backwards. As it could hide the sword behind the user's body, it was commonly called the "hidden guard" in many ryu. This may also help to conceal the length of the sword or a broken blade to surprise the opponent. Ostensibly an awkward stance, can actually perform various attacks rather smoothly.

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* ''Chudan'': Centre stance, philosophically associated with the element of Water due to its adaptiveness.adaptiveness, and Person or Being, as the sword stems from the user much like the soul of the samurai. The sword is pointing towards the opponent, at the height of his sternum or throat or eyes, depending on school. The pommel is usually one or two fists away from the user's body, though of course this varies with the school and, indeed, the individual. Perfect for thrusting, this stance also allows for cutting movements if the user can safely arm. A close analogue in German longsword would be ''pflug.''
* ''Jodan'': High stance, philosophically associated with the element of Fire due to its aggressiveness.aggressiveness, and Heaven as the sword stands valorously high. The sword is held above the head, ready to strike down in a powerful vertical or diagonal cut. Most basic cuts can be executed instantly from here, without the need to arm the sword first. Jodan is usually taken with the left foot forward (left-jodan), to allow the torso's rotation (as the right foot is brought forward) to add to the sword's speed.
* ''Gedan'': Low stance, philosophically associated with the element of Earth due to its immovability.immovability and frankness. Here, the sword is pointed down at the enemy's knee. It's meant to be defensive and/or lure the opponent in for an attack, analogous to ''alber'' in German tradition. From gedan, one can thrust at the lower body or bring the sword up in a rising cut to counter against the enemy's attack.
* ''Hasso'': A side stance, philosophically associated with the element of Wood due to its uprightness.uprightness, and Yin as the sword held above casts a shadow. Superficially similar to left-jodan, hasso places the left foot forward, with the hand-guard held beside the face. Hasso portrays a less aggressive intent than jodan. It was devised mainly for waiting to see what an opponent would do, or as a jodan-substitute when the one's helmet was too ornate to use jodan. The closest European analogue is ''Vom Tag.''
* ''Waki'': Rear stance, philosophically associated with the element of Metal, because Metal due to its latency, and Yang as it is if the other elements called "not it" and metal wasn't there. The left foot user is positioned forward, and the sword is brought to the back and points backwards.like a source of light. As it could hide the sword behind the user's body, it was commonly called the "hidden guard" in many ryu. This may also help to conceal the length of the sword or a broken blade to surprise the opponent. Ostensibly an awkward stance, can actually perform various attacks rather smoothly.


* ''Naginata'': BladeOnAStick. This was the Japanese anti-cavalry weapon developed after the first Mongol invasion in 1274. The naginata is traditionally considered to be the weapon of a samurai woman, and often presented as part of her dowry; however, this is a more recent view than people usually think. A few arts have curricula devoted to fighting with it.
* ''Yari'': Spear. Usually about six feet long or so, used for thrusting and cutting similar to a Chinese spear.
* ''Bo'': SimpleStaff. Commonly about six feet long.

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* ''Naginata'': BladeOnAStick. This was It is similar to the Japanese anti-cavalry weapon developed after Chinese ''Guan Dao'' and has been in use since the first Mongol invasion 12th century or earlier. Originally very popular with samurai men in 1274. The the 12th-14th centuries (especially in the Gempei war of 1180-1185), the naginata is traditionally slowly came to be considered to be the weapon of a samurai woman, and was often presented as part of her dowry; however, this is a more recent view than people usually think. dowry. A few arts have curricula devoted to fighting with it.
it (''naginatajutsu'').
* ''Yari'': Spear. Usually about six 6-8 feet long, though there are some shorter variants. There are also longer variants, including 15-20 foot long or so, pikes used in the 16th century. It is mostly used for thrusting and cutting similar thrusting, but the user can also cut with the edge or strike with the shaft. In addition to a Chinese spear.
the simple straight bladed spear head, there are many variations with blades or other protrusions on the sides of the spear head. Using the spear is called ''sōjutsu''.
* ''Bo'': ''Bō'': SimpleStaff. Commonly about six feet long. Some schools also teach use of the ''jō'', which is about 4 feet long.


* ''Nōdachi[=/=]Ōdachi'': The Japanese equivalent of a BFS, with blades reaching 45 feet in length. They fell out of favor after 1615 due to being impractical for use in confined indoors combat and the Shogunate prohibiting the use of swords above a set length.

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* ''Nōdachi[=/=]Ōdachi'': The Japanese equivalent of a BFS, with blades reaching 45 4 to 5 feet in length. They fell out of favor after 1615 due to being impractical for use in confined indoors combat and the Shogunate prohibiting the use of swords above a set length.


* ''Katana'': The most associated with the samurai class and Japanese sword arts. It was three feet or so long, with approximately a quarter of that as the hilt.

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* ''Katana'': The weapon most associated with the samurai class and Japanese sword arts. It was three feet or so long, with approximately a quarter of that as the hilt.

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