Syllabus of Kashima-Shinryū kenjutsu

KSR
Kashima-Shinryū (鹿島神流) kenjutsu (剣術) training consists of 52 techniques. These are divided in the following 7 series.

1st series: Kihon Dachi (基本太刀) – basic sword strokes

In all 5 techniques, both partners start from seigan kamae and then step into mugamae.

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
This series corresponds to the “Hôjô-no-Kata” that were handed down within the shihanke lineage during the period when it was known as Jiki-Shinkageryû. Originally the Hôjô-no-kata consisted of a set of five exercises, but the fourth generation shihanke, OGASAWARA Shingensai, reorganized them into a set of four exercise. Later, when the twelfth-generation shihanke, KUNII Taizen, revived Kashima-Shinryû on the basis of the Tengu sho (Tengu Scroll) he returned to the original idea of a series of five exercises as the basis for training in swordsmanship.
The Kihon Tachi exercises consist of standing encounters (tachiai) that enable one to internalize the ultimate attainment (gokui) of “Sword, Mind, Body: Three as One” (ken-shin-tai sanmi ittai). They always are performed with bokutô (wooden training swords). These are the techniques that beginners learns to practice as soon as the join Kashima-Shinryû, and they are the techniques that all members, no matter how advanced, practice at the beginning of every workout. Although seemingly simple, they consist of the distilled essence of all Kashima-Shinryû techniques. For this reason, even after earnestly exploring martial art training for ten years or twenty years, one still cannot exhaust all the implications hidden within the intriguing depths of the Kihon Tachi.

  1. Kesa Giri (袈裟斬) – diagonal cut (downward)
  2. Ashi Barai Uki Bune (足払浮舟) – leg sweep (stop the opponent’s sword)
  3. Kiri Wari (斬割) – cut divider
  4. Wari Zuki (割突) – dividing thrust (at solar plexus)
  5. Kurai Tachi (位太刀) – occupying sword (stop the opponent’s attack)
2nd series: Ura Dachi (裏太刀)

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to apply techniques when moving toward one another (yukiai) and calculating the engagement distance and timing (maai) as one draws near. As one trains in the Ura Tachi exercises, one begins to understand that Kashima-Shinryû techniques are not reactive, but require one to proactively seize the initiative (sen-sen-no-sen). This approach is completely different from strategies based on countering an incoming attack.

  1. Men Tachi Zuke (面太刀付)
  2. Kesa Tachi Zuke (袈裟太刀付)
  3. Sokui Dachi (続飯太刀)
  4. Gedan Kote Dome (下段籠手止)
  5. Kyo Dachi Kote Giri (虚太刀籠手斬)
  6. Sokui Zuke (続飯付)
  7. Mikiri Kenchu Tai (見切剣中体)
  8. Naori Taichu Ken (直体中剣)
  9. Kesa Giri Sode Suri (袈裟斬袖摺)
  10. Enbi Ken (燕飛剣)
3rd series: Aishin Kumi Tachi (相心組太刀)

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to use spiraling movements to merge one’s sword with the initial flow of energy or ki and thereby master a situation in which both sides attempt to use the same moves against one another. The sword techniques practiced in these exercises are the same as those once performed by high-ranking warriors even prior to the formation of Kashima-Shinryû as an identifiable lineage. For several hundred years they were handed down and refined by successive generations of the Kunii family.

  1. Kumi Tachi Kiri Dome (組太刀斬止)
  2. Kumi Tachi Sei Gan (組太刀正眼)
  3. Kumi Wakare Warizuki (組分割突)
  4. Kumi Tachi Kaeshi Kote (組太刀返籠手)
  5. Kurai Wakare Taoshi Uchi (組分倒打)
4th series: Jissen Kumi Tachi (実戦組太刀)

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to master encounters that begin just outside of striking range (ippô ittô maai). At the instant the shitachi (active partner) initiates the encounter, the uchitachi (senior partner in the teaching role) responds by reading and following his movement in an attempt to seize the initiative (go-no-sen). The shitachi, therefore, is required to perform his techniques at the higher level of urawaza (obverse technique). During the nineteenth century when Kashima-Shinryû, under the name Shinkageryû, was taught to warrior activists in the Mito domain and elsewhere, kenjutsu training focused on this set of exercises alone.

  1. Tsuki Kaeshi (突返)
  2. Kiri Wari (斬割)
  3. Sokui Tachi (続飯太刀)
  4. Hayanuki Fudo Ken (早抜不斬剣)
  5. Sode Suri Seigan (袖摺正眼)
  6. Gedan Kote Uchi (下段籠手打)
  7. Tsubame Gaeshi (燕返)
  8. Gyaku Kesa (逆袈裟)
  9. Tsubazeri Taoshi (鍔競倒)
  10. Maki Tachi Oikomi (巻太刀追込)
5th series: Kassen Dachi (合戦太刀)

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to master techniques suitable for battlefields during the days when combatants wore traditional Japanese armor and charged one another from a distance (yukiai). These techniques exploit the armor’s weak points and employ sophisticated mechanical principles to topple the opponent.

  1. Sente Tsuki Age (先手突上)
  2. Sente Seigan Yaburi (先手正眼破)
  3. Sente Tsuki Kaeshi (先手突返)
  4. Sente Tsuki Daoshi (先手突倒)
  5. Sente Embi Daoshi (先手燕飛倒)
  6. Jodan Nuki Daoshi (上段抜倒)
  7. Gedan Nuki Daoshi (下段抜倒)
  8. Fudoken (不動剣)
  9. Kesa Tsubushi (袈裟潰)
  10. Muniken (無ニ剣)
6th series: Tsuba Zeri (鍔競り)

Includes 6 techniques.

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to master techniques suitable for battlefields during the days when combatants wore traditional Japanese armor and charged one another from a distance (yukiai). These techniques exploit the armor’s weak points and employ sophisticated mechanical principles to topple the opponent.

7th series: Taoshi Uchi (倒打)

Includes 6 techniques.

Quote from kashima-shinryu.jp:
These exercises require that one learn how to master encounters when locking sword guards with difficult-to-handle expert opponents. Without abandoning one’s sword, one employs a special kind of jûjutsu.

In addition, Kashima-Shinryū (鹿島神流) kenjutsu (剣術) training includes the following kamae (構え) (postures):

  • Mugamae (無構) or Oto Nashi no Kamae (音無之構) – non-kamae (silent posture)
  • Kurai Tachi (位太刀) – occupying sword
  • Kami Hasso (上八相) – issuing from above
  • Shimo Hasso (下八相) – issuing from below
  • Seigan (正眼) – sword posture (the tip points to the opponent’s eyes)
  • Tsuba Zeri (鍔競り) – vying hand guard to hand guard

Videos from Inaba Minoru sensei illustrating these techniques:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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