View Full Version : Miyamoto Musashi question

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10-06-2002, 08:47 PM
Does anyone anywhere teach Musashi's two sword kata, or katas'? Have they even survived?

Kevin Wilbanks
10-06-2002, 08:59 PM
I'm not sure about the Musashi connection, but the oldest extant weapons school from Japan is Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (400-500 yrs. old). They have extensive paired weapons kata. There are sword vs. sword kata for fighting with and without armor, and sword vs. _____ (with armor) kata, including two sword, short sword, bo, naginata, and yari. I wouldn't be surprised if the two-sword moves in those kata have some connection to Musashi moves.

The only official US instructor is Mark Jones in the San Francisco area. There are also dedicated clubs in Madison, WI and St. Louis, MI. Sugawara Sensei (also an Aikido instructor) visits the US once per year, in the fall, going to California and Wisconsin.


If you are interested enough to travel to one of those locations, I can help you get more info.

10-06-2002, 09:41 PM
Dave, you could give these sites a try:




10-06-2002, 10:03 PM
Saotome Sensei (http://www.asu.org/Saotome.html) of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) teaches two sword technique.

In fact his new video Two Swords of Aikido (http://www.aiki.com/cat5/pg5.html) "demonstrates his system for using two swords at once and illustrates the direct connection of two-sword movement to Aikido's empty-handed throwing technique."

10-06-2002, 11:38 PM
Not much help I`m afraid, but I saw a documentary on cable a few years back following two Japanese Kendoka atempting to get Hachidan. One was a police officer and former All Japan Kendo champion, the other was an elderly gentlemen about 80 who had tried every year for the past 8 or 9 years but failed every time. It was a fantastic documentary that highlighted (to me) that whilst in general the kendoka needed a competitive mind, to get to 7th dan they needed to drop this completely, they needed more of an Aiki mind to take the next step. Enough of that, why am I posting? Well the elderly gentleman whose name incidentally was Miyamoto (if I remember correctly), had to fight a number of bouts for his 8th dan exam. In one of the bouts, he had to fight someone who used two swords and apparently trained in Musashi`s art. Sadly, he failed again.

One of the amazing things for me, aside from Miyamoto`s attitude, was the speed with which these guys attacked and defended. More often than not, I couldn`t see the strikes until the replay was played in slo mo, how the judges spotted them is beyond me.

Dan Hover
10-07-2002, 12:01 AM
The name of Musashi's style is called Hyoho Niten ichi ryu Kenjutsu, or two heavens one style swordsmanship. Present headmaster is 10th soke Imai Masayuki and is predominately known in Oita prefecture in Japan. Saotome Shihans two sword is admittingly "Made Up", as is much aiki ken based upon each Sensei's own experiences with ken over the years.

10-07-2002, 01:43 AM
Saotome Shihans two sword is admittingly "Made Up", as is much aiki ken based upon each Sensei's own experiences with ken over the years.

Saotome SenSei admits he created his method of two swords based on his understanding of sword work and one brief conversation with O-SenSei about Musashi.

These made my respect for him to grow (most guys would say it was "O-SenSei's Traditional NiTo Waza!")

I had the chance of train Saotome SenSei's nito and my opinion is:

He made a great job!

It is coherent, pratical and holds some similarities to HyoHo NiTen Ichi Ryu ( in apearence at least, as i am not praticcioner of any KoRyu).

If any of you have the opportunitie, give it a try.

The tape is also well worth buying (i bought it myself!).

I think the big advantage of Saotome/Musashi nito (over TSKSR for instance) is that both use the swords in a coordinated way.

In Katori, you use one sword and then the other.

I Saotome/Musashi, the movements of one sword are connected to the movements of the other.

Yeah, it was a lame attempt to explain (in pratice it is easier to demonstrate) :)

aubrey bannah
10-07-2002, 03:56 AM
Hey, try this web site.


aubrey bannah
10-07-2002, 04:00 AM
Hey, for the bunbun site I spelt it wrong.

It is www.bunbun.ne.jp/~sword/nyoho1.html


10-07-2002, 05:05 AM
Kim Taylor, at the University of Guelph in Ontario, teaches the Niten Ichi Ryu kata.

Look here:




For more info.

And if you can get to Colin Hyakutake's site (the bunbun one), he's got some wonderful info about the system.