Nito Ryu Strikes

by Jeong

How exactly can we strike with nito ryu?

I mean, When doing men strikes or kote strikes, arm strength seems to be a problem.

So, I'm wondering if there is something that can substitute arm strength.

Is there? Thank you for reading my question.

Answer: Thank you for your question. Certainly, you should be able to train your arm strength.  Musashi Miyamoto (the founder of Niten-ichi-ryū) also says that nitō is to train us to use a sword with one hand.

Having said that, you should learn how to strike with one hand more effectively. I have one 4-dan sensei training with us and she takes nitō.

She is not a huge lady but her strikes are pretty powerful. So there should be more than strength, right? Well, her arms are trained well. 

  1. You should learn how to use your elbow

  2. You have to learn the right course of the striking (for better control)

  3. You have to learn slight turns of the wrist including tenouchi.

  4. You should know when to strike (so you do not get tired as quickly)

  5. You should learn how to use kodachi (shorter sword) so your daitō strikes will be more effective.

It is pretty hard to explain exactly how you should use elbow and so on in writing but these are something you should know if you want to learn one handed techniques.

Hope it helps.

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Nito ryu tactics

by Anonymous

I recently started to practice nito ryu kendo. I have been wondering what kind of tactics nito ryu kendoka use in matches.

I sparred with it in matches. But, I may be lacking in tactics. So, I'm wondering if you could explain to me what type of tactics nito ryu kendoka use. Thank you.

Answer: First of all, do you have a teacher who can teach you nito-ryū (two swords style)?

If not, it is very hard to study nito-ryū and you will develop bad habits.

Having said that, you must learn how to use shotō (short sword).  With shotō, you make openings.  You can press down (osae technique) your opponent’s shinai with shotō.  You can hit your opponent’s shinai away (harai technique) with your shotō and so forth.

You can block your opponent’s strike with your shotō and strike an opening with your daitō (longer sword).  

You have to learn side movements thoroughly.  That’s becomes it is very hard to beat the speed of people with one sword so it is useful to execute strikes with the side movements.

You should try different angles and positions of the arm with your daitō.  Move it forwards, backwards, up, down, right or left. 

You should keep moving your shotō. There are various ways but if you want to experiment, you should keep changing the angles and positions of your swords.

You must train to use both swords however you want to. That is probably most important.

Hope this help.

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