Biken, Bujinkan Sword Techniques

Biken

九鬼神流秘剣術 KUKISHIN-RYŪ BIKENJUTSU

Hatsumi Sōke studying the sword
Hatsumi Sōke studying the sword

Hatsumi Sōke said that Bikenjutsu refers to Taijutsu Kenpō, this is what our Bujinkan sword techniques are based up on. Let me explain. I have a good friend who is a master of a traditional sword school in Japan, he told me the distinction between a sword school and a Taijutsu school. The students of a sword school also practice Taijutsu, but they practice Taijutsu in order to get better on using their swords. The students of a Taijutsu school also study sword techniques, but they study the sword to better their Taijutsu. This is the different approach between a weapons school and a Taijutsu school. Of course there will be those that have an approach somewhere in between. Bujinkan is foremost a Taijutsu school, but you have the freedom to study weapons training more if you want. You can chose what you want to really master under your short/long life time.

構 KAMAE

These Kamae is listed in Sōke’s sword book Japanese Sword Fighting. There are more Kamae described in the Kata, so there are many more Kamae than listed here. I had an old list of Kamae (forgot the source for it, I included it below for reference *).

    1. 正眼の構 SEIGAN NO KAMAE
    2. 中段の構 CHŪDAN NO KAMAE
    3. 天地八相の構 TENCHI-HASSO NO KAMAE
    4. 不動の構 FUDŌ NO KAMAE
    5. 飛龍の構 HIRYŪ NO KAMAE
    6. 澄水の構 CHŌSUI NO KAMAE
    7. 霞隠の構 KASUMIGAKURE NO KAMAE
    8. 夢想の構 MUSŌ NO KAMAE
    9. 浦波の構 URANAMI NO KAMAE
    10. 六方九字の構 ROPPO-KUJI NO KAMAE
    11. 打との構 DATO NO KAMAE

型 KATA

There is nine basic Bujinkan sword techniques. Each technique has three variations, this is called 左右逆 Sayugyaku (opposite position). Sayugyaku is not simply the opposite of left and right in a technique; the meaning is more profound and encompasses the eternal opposites of truth and falsehood, yin and yang.

    1. 附込 TSUKI-KOMI
    2. 突掛 TSUKI-GAKE
    3. 斬上 KIRI-AGE
    4. 斬下 KIRI-SAGE
    5. 鎹止 KASUGAI-DOME
    6. 小蝶返 KOCHŌ-GAESHI
    7. 四方斬 SHIHŌ-GIRI
    8. 八方斬 HAPPŌ-GIRI
    9. 月之輪 TSUKI NO WA

End Notes

* The Kamae listed below might come from the Quest video (I haven’t verified that yet).

    1. 一之構 ICHI NO KAMAE
    2. 大上段之構 DAIJODAN NO KAMAE
    3. 中段之構 CHŪDAN NO KAMAE
    4. 下段之構 GEDAN NO KAMAE
    5. 澄水之構 CHŌSUI NO KAMAE
    6. 天地之構 TENCHI NO KAMAE
    7. 八相之構 HASSŌ NO KAMAE
    8. 正眼之構 SEIGAN NO KAMAE
    9. 霞之構 KASUMI NO KAMAE

Also normally you pronounce 秘剣 as “Hiken” but in Bujinkan-go (Bujinkan dialect) it is pronounced “Biken”.

Also see the Ninja Biken page on how we use the sword in Togakure-ryū Ninpō-taijutsu school.