Katori Shintō-ryū is a comprehensive martial art comprised of martial training, strategic study and personal development. Training methods including the martial arts of kenjutsu(swordsmanship), iaijutsu (sword drawing), bōjutsu (staff techniques), naginatajutsu (halberd techniques), ryōtōjutsu (twin swords), kodachijutsu (short sword techniques), sōjutsu (spearsmanship), jujutsu (unarmed combat) and Shurikenjutsu (blade-throwing art), as well as strategy including gunbaihō (troop movement and positioning), chikujohō (fortifications), jin’ei (management), noroshi (smoke signaling), ninjutsu (espionage), and tenmon chimon fūsui based on yin/yang and five element theory, as well as advanced study from strategy to the way of peace have been transmitted through the generations to the present day.
Students are taught kata (pre-arranged routines) that are studied and practiced together with more senior practitioners under the supervision of their teacher. Training consists of the practice of prearranged forms that embody the art’s quintessence, and enable students to gradually embody the art’s technical, theoretical and philosophical approach. The first kata learnt are omote no tachi (swordsmanship: 4 kata), omote iaijutsu (sword drawing: 6 kata), tachiai battōjutsu (standing sword drawing: 5 kata), omote no bōjutsu (staff techniques: 6 kata), and omote no naginata (halberd techniques: 4 kata).
Students practice these kata over many months and years, and are introduced to a wide range of instruction as well as being awarded scrolls (mokuroku, menkyo, and gokui kaiden) in line with their development.
Tenshinshō-den Katori Shintō-ryū was founded by Iizasa Choisai Ienaō during the mid Muromachi era (1336-1573) in the Katori region of the domain of Shimosa (present-day Katori city, Chiba prefecture), and is the source from which many Japanese martial arts have evolved.
At approximately sixty years of age, Iizasa undertook a thousand days of prayer and austere training devoted to the deity of the Katori Shrine within the shrine’s grounds, after which he was presented with a divine scroll on the warrior arts. Since the art was received through divine transmission, Iizasa named the art “Tenshinshō-den” (direct and authentic transmission from the deities) Katori Shintō-ryū, with the art transmitted for twenty generations in direct succession since that time.
Katori Shintō-ryū was the first Japanese martial art to be designated an intangible cultural asset by the Japanese government in 1960, with four individuals: Iizasa Yasusada Sōke, Ōtake Risuke Shihan, Ōtake Nobutoshi Shihan, and Kyōsō Shigetoshi Shihan designated the guardian’s of this school in its standing as an intangible cultural asset.
Today the tradition maintains a significant syllabus of martial training (including kenjutsu (swordsmanship), iaijutsu (sword drawing), bōjutsu (staff techniques), naginatajutsu (halberd techniques), sōjutsu (spear techniques), shuriken (throwing spikes), and jujutsu (unarmed combat)), as well as strategic study (strategy and tactics including chikujo (fortifications), gunbaiho (troop movement and positioning), noroshi (smoke signaling) and ninjutsu (espionage) as well as sciences observing the interplay of yin and yang including tenmon chiri fusui (astrology and topography)) and personal development including heihō (the way of peace).
Katori Shintō-ryū today is guided by 20th generation headmaster Iizasa Yasusada Sōke, with instruction lead by Ōtake Risuke Shihan. The art is preserved and transmitted both domestically and internationally as a form of classical Japanese warrior culture unique to the Katori region.
Katori Shinto-ryu is a martial tradition. We diligently train under the supervision of shidosha Jeffrey Balmer (representative for Ireland and Sweeden).
Beginners are always welcome