Discovering Shinkendo: Sword Strategies Of The Samurai
You will find a number of traditional fighting techniques and among the favorite ones are those that involve the use of classical weapons. The Japanese martial art of Shinkendo is one such art and it serves the noble objective of preserving the seemingly lost legacy of ancient sword fighting.
The traditional sword tactics of the samurai is the main focus of Shinkendo. Even though it’s been centuries since the samurai warriors lived in Japan, their art of fighting has been preserved. Though sword techniques are not meant to be used for self-defense, training in the art of Shinkendo has a lot of benefits to its practitioners. For one, practitioners of Shinkendo develop concentration skills, in addition to personal discipline while they become proficient in this classic martial art style.
The founder of this martial art is Toshishiro Obata and he learned ancient Japanese swordsmanship from many different styles. What is interesting is that Obata was mainly an Aikido practitioner. As many Aikido moves can trace their origin to sword methods, it would seem Obata expanded his knowledge of Aikido through learning the art of the sword. In time, he widened his study into several sword arts, resulting into him becoming an expert in the art of sword fighting.
Since Obata has become very skilled in sword fighting strategies, this led him to develop his own fighting system. The system he invented is Shinkendo, whose translation is "Way of the Real Sword". The symbolic meaning of this is open to interpretation. It may be defined as the "real" way of the way the art is to be practiced or it may also refer to the "honest effort" of mastering swordsmanship and all the benefits that come forth with it.
How this art is trained follows numerous ancient learning techniques. Some of these methods include one- and two-step sparring, forms training, and sword exercises (including movement, drawing, and cutting physical objects). Students make use of a real sword for the cutting exercises For the other routines, they make use of a wooden sword. This is done to enhance the safety of training and prevent any serious injuries from happening.
Coordination and precision are required to expertly handle a sword. In general, it is best for newbies to start slow and try to get the moves down right rather than leaping into the more advanced moves which require fine motor skills. While training the basic swinging and drawing movements of Shinkendo may be monotonous in the beginning, you will discover that they provide the basic foundation for the movements which call for more coordination later in your training. When you’re fully committed and you practice frequently, you’ll master the basic moves and you’re going to be able to do them by reflex.
You cannot expect to be an experienced swordsman immediately. Shinkendo requires determination, dedication, and steady practice. Applying yourself to the art will pay off in several ways. Not the least of which would be your ability to take great pride in your accomplishments of mastering a unique martial art form of historical and cultural roots.
Japanese sword instruction is a thing of a lifelong journey. Even the masters consider themselves to become humble students, continually striving for perfection and constantly feeling that they could execute a cut cleaner, more quickly and with more precision.
As such, even the basics are subject to continual refinement, and it is most undoubtedly a journey finest started with proper instruction beneath the watchful eye of a qualified teacher.
However for all those who’re curious as to what to expect within a JSA (Japanese Sword Art) dojo, or other folks with a purely academic interest, this write-up is at the extremely least, a tentative introduction towards the mindsets and training methodologies of the arts as a entire.
Partially this can be carried out for safety factors (right after all, its stands to purpose that a dojo filled with sword wielding students might be a unsafe spot to become!) and partially it truly is done to cultivate the best spirit of respect and reverence for the art and also the sword itself.
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