Ancient Martial Way - yet alive
Since the sword and spear and hand are a way that can injure others its essential that these ways are connected to the ethical way of Zen.
Practicing martial techniques for the sole purpose of injuring others is not Martial Art. In the 21st century there is no need to use swords for warfare, that is dead, instead we should practice Bu-do 'Martial Way', which is to study hand and sword and mind as Zen, that is alive.
Katori Shinto Ryu
The school traces it’s founding to 1447 by Isaza Chosai, and has remained authentic, maintaining it’s functionality while stressing the Martial Art as the Way of Peace.
Typical Training comprises a period of meditation, solo repetition exercise with the steel swords Iaijutsu, and partnered exercises with wooden swords and other weapons Kenjutsu, Bojutsu, Sojutsu, Jujutsu. There are also etiquette and strategies to learn.
Kobudo is non-contact, non-sporting. Safety is maintained at all times therefore by attention and personal awareness. This is the way it's always been taught.
The teacher is Mujyo zenji, head monk of Jizoan Zen Temple.
Mujyo zenji has 35 years of experience in Katori Shinto ryu and also in Karate, Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, and Jujutsu.
Mujyo zenji trained both in Australia and Japan, and continues close links overseas. He is a Zen Buddhist Priest and regular contributor to conferences around the world on Buddhism and culture.
HOW DO WE TRAIN?
To begin a normal training session consists of some warm up exercises and then moves to drilling basic draws and footwork with what are called Iaito or steel Japanese training swords.
Followed by intensive instruction and practice. This is never done with a partner for safety reasons. Following that we may change to wooden weapons and begin partnered training as well. There is no contact with weapons on people, though there is some contact between wooden weapons during strict partnered forms.
The group trains in Iaijutsu (fast drawing the sword), Kenjutsu (fencing the Sword), other weapons traditional Jujutsu and strategy from the Tradition is called KATORI SHINTO RYU Mochizuki-ha Kobudo. Katori Shinto ryu is an 800 year old school of swordsmanship dating from early Samurai times.
But more than a system, because systems are limited, Ryuha is a vehicle to becoming a swordsman and polishing skills and self, to pass on something better for future generations.