KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

KYOKETSU-SHOGE AND NAGE-NAWA. This article is about the weapon (actually farm tool). At the end is a video (from Bujinkan Kaigozan Dojo previous week).

KYOKETSU-SHOGE

Kyoketsu-shoge (距跋渉毛) translates as “to run about in the fields and mountains”. It is one of the weapons used in Togakure-ryu and Kumogakure-ryu.

This weapon is believed to be the forerunner of Kusarigama. Wikipedia says it is a double edged blade with a curve edged blade attached. I don’t believe that was true. I think the double edged blade was just as dull as the Kunai. And only the inside of the curved blade was sharp.

The Kyoketsu-shoge was used by the rural peasantry class from the Iga province. If they was caught with something that looked too much like a weapon, they might have been executed on the spot.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE
Kyoketsu-shoge as it probably looked hundreds of years ago. Except the rope, it was made of hair.

I think it was a multi purpose farm tool. You dig the earth, cut the grass, tie up the grass with the rope etc. Why would a farm tool have chain. Rope made of hair was less suspicious. The farmer could stick into his belt and not cause too much attention.

NAGE-NAWA

NAGE-NAWA

Nage-nawa 投げ縄 (rope throwing) is not as easy as it looks. The trick is to throw the loop and make sure the rear end of the loop passes on the other side of the hand.

On the video below I show you two common techniques we in the Bujinkan Dojo use at demonstrations. In the first technique I hit down on his hands to unarm him. Threaten him with the blade and protect the sword (we had no room to do this on camera).

Throw the ring towards his head. He steps to the side and catch it. Yank it out of his grip and prepare for the throwing. Do the first loop around his hand. He grab the rope with his other hand. Make it look like a tug of war. Loop his other hand.

Blind his eyes with the rope (or Shuriken, powder etc), he covers his eyes with the hand. Continue and loop the rope around his hand and neck.

He kicks. You do Kerikaeshi and take him down. Tie him up more with the rope. Put the blade to his neck and cut his neck.

The second technique he is attacking you and you deflect withe the blade and strike with the ring behind you to hit him. Loop the sword and yank it out of his grip. Loop his hands and neck as previous technique.

Do these techniques with good choreography and acting and it will look good in demonstrations.

Yes I know looping around the sword and yanking, the sword would probably just cut the rope. Even looping around his hands he can cut the rope. These techniques is mostly for demonstrations and just fun training.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA at KAIGOZAN DOJO

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BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

Last Tuesday I practiced BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO. I made up my own Bō-shuriken Kata. I will explain below. Enjoy!

I’m not going into detail how to start practicing because it is too difficult explaining. But basically you always start close to the Makiwara. I tell my students to start close. When the Shuriken is hitting the target good, they should take one short step back. If the next Shuriken does not hit good, do not step back until the next Shuriken hit good. If they manage to hit with all five Shuriken, they can start further away and repeat. As long as all five hit good they can start working on longer distances. When learning a new throw or with the non dominant hand you always start close.

Scroll down to see the video.

手の内  TE NO UCHI
手の内  TE NO UCHI

This is the order I throw the Shuriken. I’m throwing the 4’th Shuriken with my left hand. So I prepared by flipping it with the point outward.

BŌ-SHURIKEN KAMAE
TENCHI NO KAMAE

Prepare by taking this Kamae. Aim with the left hand against the target and hold the right hand over the right shoulder and head. Zanshin.

HON UCHI
MIGI HON UCHI

1. Migi Hon-uchi. Shift the weight forward to the left foot and throw the first Shuriken with the right hand. Bring the left hand to the left hip.

YOKO UCHI
MIGI YOKO-UCHI

2. Migi Yoko-uchi. Step forward with the right foot and throw directly from the left hip as you would do an Ura-shutō with the right hand.

GYAKU-UCHI
MIGI GYAKU-UCHI

3. Migi Gyaku-uchi. Step forward with the left foot behind as in Yoko-aruki. Throw the third Shuriken from under with the right hand. Use the momententum from the left step to increase the power.

YOKO-UCHI
HIDARI YOKO-UCHI

4. Hidari Yoko-uchi. Spin around anti-clockwise and throw the fourth Shuriken with the left hand directly.

HON-UCHI
MIGI HON-UCHI

5. Migi Hon-uchi. Finish by throwing the fifth and last Shuriken with the right hand.

Analyse your Shuriken hits.

As you can see only one Shuriken hit good. Most Shuriken are “dead” and only one is “live”. The rear end of the Shuriken should be lower than where it hit, if it is higher the weight is not going into the target so much. It is rather going upward. These hits are called “dead”. When the Shuriken is completely level or the rear end is lower than the tip it is called “live”.

I did a Gyaku-uchi where the rotation was the opposite way. I don’t know which Shuriken that was, maybe it was “live”. Also the two Yoko-uchi might also be “live” as it was rotating sideways.

BŌ-SHURIKEN at KAIGOZAN DOJO, The VIDEO

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Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu and my JapanTrip#48

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On my last trip Noguchi Sensei surprised us by teaching Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu. I think he just recently decided to start teaching this Ryū-ha. He said he learned the techniques from Hatsumi Sōke four years ago in a private session.

I have trained techniques that was claimed to be Gikan-ryū by western teachers before. I did not see any similarity what so ever, this was completely different.

There is 10 techniques in all, they don’t have any names. He showed us his notes and it was 3-4 pages with descriptions of the techniques. I attended two of the Gikan-ryū trainings he did in November this year. Fortunately I got to train all 10 techniques (I think?) with a lot of henka. It was a blast training with such good friends as Ari (Dai Shihan from Finland) and Philip (Dai Shihan from Denmark).

I’m not gonna give any descriptions here, but Noguchi Sensei said that the characteristics of this school is to attack the opponent from the side. Several techniques you hit his kidney. Many strikes was done with Ura-ken for example.

This inspired me to create a new page to the web site, click the button below.

Nagato Sensei on his first day as Shindenfudō-ryū Sōke

Earlier this year I heard that Ishizuka Sensei had been appointed as the new Sōke of Gyokkō-ryū. Now Nagato Sensei said that he had been appointed as the new Sōke of Shindenfudō-ryū. At the Buyukai I heard rumours about Noguchi Sensei was going to be the next Kotō-ryū Sōke (which now has been confirmed). No one has been appointed Sōke for Gikan-ryū yet, but I have my suspicions.

Sōke is now 88 years old

88 is an important number in Japanese, not only because it is a “double infinity”, but…. The eighty-eighth birthday is the occasion of beiju (米寿), “rice age”, because the Chinese character for rice, 米, looks like the characters for eight tens plus eight (八十八).

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5hqW4wJ-it/
Hatsumi Sōke imitating Frank Sinatra, he looked so cool.

Hatsumi Sōke was in a good mood this trip. His knees are weak so he have trouble getting up and down on the floor so we do standing bow ins and outs in the training now.

Senō Sensei said a few years ago, he felt energised during Hatsumi Sōke’s birthday because there was so many familiar places coming and giving him good energy. I think Hatsumi Sōke feels the same way.

I have added several more pictures on the Kaigozan Dōjō Instagram page.

New Books and DVD
New Ninjatō DVD and Book. Also a relatively new Mutōdori Book now in the collection.

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Takamatsu Sensei taught Hatsumi Sōke with 42 hands

From 8þ Kabutoshimen by admin

At the training yesterday Sōke said that he had been taught by the 42 hands of Takamatsu Sensei. He was referring to 千手千眼観自在菩薩 Senju-sengen Kanjizai Bosatsu that had 1000 hands and 1000 eyes. The deity emphasizes the compassion that sees suffering (with 1000 eyes) and acts to relieve it (with 1000 hands).

千手観音Senju Kannon appears in the 虚空蔵院 Kokūzōin of the 胎蔵界曼荼羅 Taizōkai Mandara, with 27 faces and 42 main arms, while innumerable small arms fan out behind. Since it is difficult to portray one thousand arms, images usually show Senju with two principle arms in 合掌印 Gasshō-in (Sk: anjali mudra) in front of his chest and 40 arms, holding attributes and forming mudra, on the sides (altogether 42 arms, or shijūnihi 四十二臂). This number can be justified because each hand saves the beings of 25 worlds, and 40 times the 25 equals 1000.

Takamatsu Sensei died when Hatsumi Sōke was 42 years old. 42 years later we had a big Taikai in Japan to celebrate Takamatsu Sensei and starting a new cycle. In Japanese culture, the number 42 is considered unlucky because the numerals when pronounced separately—shi ni (four two)—sound like the word “death”.

Many cultures around the world recognise the number 42 in interesting ways.

There are 42 questions asked of persons making their journey through Death in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabbalistic tradition.

42 is also the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything according Douglas Adams in his science fiction book Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy.

Funny fact; in 1996 Cambridge astronomers said that Adams was right. Dr Richard Saunders, who led the research, sounded a trifle abashed by the result. “We have taken two measurements for the constant, and the average of them is, well, it’s 42.”

Sōke showed us antique small miniature weapons. He said it is important to appreciate the quality and details, and we should study them.

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