Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kenjutsu Techniques (Drawings by Antonio LaMotta)

Announcement (10/9/2013):
We are now offering one week seminars on Kenjutsu at the Yorktown, Virginia's Shorin Ryu Shorinkan.
The cost (1200 USD) will include training and lodgings.  Call for more details (757) 284-9828

Shinobi Kai Kenjutsu is developed by Antonio LaMotta.  It conducted studies of the physics of medieval weaponry in transcripts, videos and illustrations.  Antonio LaMotta also conducted an interpretation of "The Book of Five Rings", which is written by Miyamoto Musashi.  Both have different training and teaching procedures, although both share similar techniques and applications.  The Book of Five Rings interpretation provides knowledge and skill to the advanced students, while Shinobi Kai Kenjutsu sets the beginners in the foundation of Philosophy, Physics and Techniques of the art.

Shinobi Kai Striking Techniques

  • Special weapons and armors were designed and implemented for the purpose of safety and authenticity of the situations being conducted; and not a part of any form or rituals.

  • Every encounter was open for all techniques such as grappling, disarming, take-downs, throws, thrusts, leg-strikes, neck-strikes, kicks and punches. Kendo head gear were used but presented a major peripheral vision limitation against multiple attackers.

  • Extra efforts were sustained to provide sufficient protections for the metacarpals (for beginners). The thrusting pole-arms were tipped with tennis balls (pressurized). 

  • Be advised that a direct strike to the ears can damage nerves in that area and may cause paralysis on that side of the face (bells palsy).  Severe exhaustion, stress and trauma may collectively contribute towards this ailment.  Practice with appropriate supervision.  (Questions:
  • References: Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Erie, PA and Dr. Ronald Freund, Virginia Beach, VA. for details on hand fractures, severed tendons, stresses and surgical methodology.

Written by Miyamoto Musashi, Interpretation by Antonio LaMotta

TADASHI YAMASHITA, teaching supported downward push or binding/trapping attack.
TADASHI YAMASHITA, demonstrating multiple directional strikes
Shinobi Kai Basic Sword Maneuvers
There is no particular choreography or arrangements in the following combinations as shown.  They are all fluent applications of variable techniques.
0:07 fake#3, thrust low, strike to the head
0:11 feign#3, cut R wrist, fake low-slash, strike to the head
0:23 attempted retreat to thrust with left
0:25 fake#3, cut R wrist
0:29 fake low #2, strike head oblique
0:31 fake#4, cut L wrist
0:38 oblique thrust (matsukaze)
0:42 fake#3, cut R wrist
0:44 fake#3, attempted low thrust
0;53,0:56,1:05, fake#3, cut R wrist
1:08 fake#3, cut R collar-bone
1:12 fake#3, cut L collar-bone
1:14 fake#3, strike R forearm
1:20 fake#5, thrust (murasame)
1:22,1:24,1:27 strike R arm/wrist
1:31 left thrust to the eye
1:34 rising cut
1:37 right thrust to the eye
1:45 quick strike across the eyes
1:49 fake#3, strike R wrist
1:52 quick strike R wrist
1:55 fake#4, strike L arm
2:00 oblique parry with thrust (murasame)
2:01 parry#4, w/ counter-strike L arm
2:03 fake#2, strike head
2:10 mult.parry-disrupting the gate, thrust to the face
2:16 bind to the L, thrust to the heart
2:22 fake#4, strike under guard
2:28 bind to the R, cut neck off 
2:33 parry#5, strike L arm
2:39 bind the arm, kick to off-balance, bind neck, thrust to the side,cut the arteries along spine
2:47 push#3, strike R wrist
3:00 bind to the left, strike R wrist
3:05 right-side disarm
3:54 bind to the right, thrust to the face
4:32 bind to the left, thrust to the heart
4:48 bind to the R, cut head off
5:08 parry,capture,and cut
5:16 mult.parry/disrupt the gate, thrust to the groin
5:42 Oblique thrust across front of throat, cut neck off
Leg-cuts and quick strikes are not shown here, only the sword-play at the center gate.  These movements must come natural - if you have to think of what to do in a duel, you're dead.
Although one of these techniques will be sufficient to end an attack, keep in  mind that against multiple opponents - one second is too long against an attack.

NOTE: The Oblique Thrust is done in a way that it overshoots the angle to the target. It's like laying your sword horizontaly behind your opponent's (vertical blade) chudan position, with a pushing (lunging) motion.  The opponent (in his reaction to parry) is going to end-up pushing your thrust across his own neck or eyes. The way it's done: in the chudan position (both of you), as your blades touch, in a lunging manner lay your blade across his blade with the edge of your blade directed towards cutting his neck area. Do this as you slide your blade firmly against his blade (on his side = inside his guard) His natural reaction to this is he will strongly parry this by binding your blade aside - the only thing is, you have put enough length (by thrusting with one hand, by holding your sword at the pommel area) that your blade will reach him and snip his neck or eyes in the process. It's hard to see this whole process in the video (it all happens in a flinch). This is also a Miyamoto Musashi technique from the Book of Five Rings.  Practice this diligently, this whole move takes a split-second.  Prepare to cut horizontally across his forearms, this will be your back-up strike - in case that he predicted your move.  His forearms will position in that area before his blade pivots down to strike you.  You have always to think in this way.  When you observe him telegraph his move or strike, immediately deploy your strike to where his forearm would will hit him right on time.  Deflect his strike in this way.

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