Thursday - 8:00pm-9:30pm
Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu:
The main focus of our study at Joshima Budo is Iaijutsu. Iaijutsu is a system of swordsmanship that focuses on the katana(samurai sword) beginning and ending in the saya (scabbard). Our techniques are based on those passed down to us through an unbroken lineage of instructors, going back 450 years. We are members of the Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai, headed by Carl Long, Hanshi. Our practice includes several distinct modes of training.
- Solo Practice: Our solo practice is done with un-edged blades, called iaito. These blades are built with the same fittings and weight of a live blade, but do not have the cutting edge. Waza, or kata, are set patterns of movement that we learn and refine with exacting detail.
This form of practice is essential for learning the specifics of our art. How we sheath and unsheath the sword, how we cut, how we move, and even how we bow in and out, are all aspects that we must completely internalize in order to make progress. Through our solo practice, we can absorb the finer details of blade angles and footwork, without the added complications of a training partner swinging something at our head!
- Paired Practice: Our practice with partners revolves around the use of bokken (wooden swords). Each technique is performed with set roles for both attacker and defender. Partners take turns switching roles so everyone has an opportunity to train all aspects of the waza. No one's role is ever to simply get cut down. Even though there is a winner and loser in each exchange, we are meant to be actively engaged the whole time.There is no free-sparring in iaijutsu.
Training with another person is just as essential as our solo practice. While we use solo practice to learn exactness and fine detail, our paired practice adds a layer of intensity and physical contact that we can only visualize without another person. Here, we must learn to apply that level of detail we learned in our solo practice, and at the same time, exhibit enough spirit and physicality to carry us through to victory.
- Cutting Practice: Our cutting practice is done with live blades on rolled tatami mats. We use actual swords with real edges to test our cutting technique against a physical object. When we cut a mat, we get instant feedback on the efficacy of our technique. If you didn't cut through the target, you didn't do it right. Simple as that!
Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu
Jojutsu, or the study of the short staff, is one of the arts that we study as an additional line of training. While it is not the main focus of the organization we are a part of, it is indeed a complete system in and of itself, and available to us as members of the KNBK. Our study of the Jo increases our understanding of timing and distance, as well as illuminating the weaknesses and strengths of the sword. This art includes solo Kihon practice, pared practice of the jo and sword, waza with both combatants armed with a sword, and even walking sticks.