It takes skill to immobilize your opponent with your bare hands, but there are also very impressive armed maneuvers to counter an attacker. A couple days ago we blogged about some of the more popular unarmed methods of Japanese martial arts. Today we’ll run through some of the more well known armed fighting styles.
- Kendo – a Japanese fencing style of fighting that uses strikes and thrusts with a wooden sword called a Bokken (more info)
- Iaido – this art form uses a katana to counter your opponent and is focused on teaching how to remove the sword from its Saya , strike the opponent and then return the katana to it’s Saya all in a smooth, calculated motion. The technique is very disciplined.
- Bajutsu – much like the jousting performed here in old England, this sport requires the participants to be on horseback while yielding a spear like weapon. It can also be performed using a bow called a Kisha.
- Kyudo – uses a very recurve large bow called a Yumi. The sport is not for targeting an opponent but instead a target set up. Much like modern day archery competitions.
- Shurikenjutsu – an art of throwing small dart like weapons called Shruken. This is also the art that uses the well known ‘throwing stars’.
We have only listed five of many Japanese armed art forms but there are many more and different variants to each. We hope this will provide you some context into the other opportunities out there to get involved in for mastering your samurai skillsets. Until next time our Kendokas…