Just like the katana, the naginata conjures up many images of feudal Japan: the dedicated footsoldier, the heroic onna-bushi and also the devout warrior-monk to name, but a few. Whilst grounded in truth, these perceptions have warped our image of the naginata and its use perhaps more so than any other traditional Japanese weapon. To many the naginata and its accompanying ryu-ha are “feminine” or the sole domain of the warrior-monks. This is far from the case!
Kendo of course requires physical strength but also mental strength. There are many ways to train up your mentality, but the most basic level is mannerisms. This relates to other martial arts too, but it all “begins and ends with manners”. If you are aiming to be a strong kenshi, Read More
In Japanese Budo such as kendo, judo, kyudo, there are levels named “kyu” and “dan”. Each has its own characteristic, but many people wonder what the difference is between the two. Kyu is a word that describes the quality or the condition of objects as in “ikkyuhin”, “nikyuhin” and “sankyuhin” Read More
The way of the samurai values mannerisms (rei) above all else as reflected in the saying “It begins and ends with rei (mannerism/bowing)”. Rei refers to the actions and behaviors expected at various events, and signifies the moral standards for developing human relationships and maintaining social order. Rei is now Read More
Even in Japan, Naginata is still a developing art, with practitioners number far removed from those of Judo or Kendo. Oversea, while spreading across countries for more than 30 years now, numbers are still small. Frequently labelled as a feminine art, only the recent years are seeing a surge in Read More
Written by Jeangerard Hughes(Tozando, Naginata 5-dan) It feels tautological to say that the naginata (the wooden weapon) is at the core of your Naginata (the martial art). In few other arts you are supposed to make one with your weapon to the point that you are most of the time Read More