KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA

KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA

KYOKETSU-SHOGE AND NAGE-NAWA. This article is about the weapon (actually farm tool). At the end is a video (from Bujinkan Kaigozan Dojo previous week).

KYOKETSU-SHOGE

Kyoketsu-shoge (距跋渉毛) translates as “to run about in the fields and mountains”. It is one of the weapons used in Togakure-ryu and Kumogakure-ryu.

This weapon is believed to be the forerunner of Kusarigama. Wikipedia says it is a double edged blade with a curve edged blade attached. I don’t believe that was true. I think the double edged blade was just as dull as the Kunai. And only the inside of the curved blade was sharp.

The Kyoketsu-shoge was used by the rural peasantry class from the Iga province. If they was caught with something that looked too much like a weapon, they might have been executed on the spot.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE
Kyoketsu-shoge as it probably looked hundreds of years ago. Except the rope, it was made of hair.

I think it was a multi purpose farm tool. You dig the earth, cut the grass, tie up the grass with the rope etc. Why would a farm tool have chain. Rope made of hair was less suspicious. The farmer could stick into his belt and not cause too much attention.

NAGE-NAWA

NAGE-NAWA

Nage-nawa 投げ縄 (rope throwing) is not as easy as it looks. The trick is to throw the loop and make sure the rear end of the loop passes on the other side of the hand.

On the video below I show you two common techniques we in the Bujinkan Dojo use at demonstrations. In the first technique I hit down on his hands to unarm him. Threaten him with the blade and protect the sword (we had no room to do this on camera).

Throw the ring towards his head. He steps to the side and catch it. Yank it out of his grip and prepare for the throwing. Do the first loop around his hand. He grab the rope with his other hand. Make it look like a tug of war. Loop his other hand.

Blind his eyes with the rope (or Shuriken, powder etc), he covers his eyes with the hand. Continue and loop the rope around his hand and neck.

He kicks. You do Kerikaeshi and take him down. Tie him up more with the rope. Put the blade to his neck and cut his neck.

The second technique he is attacking you and you deflect withe the blade and strike with the ring behind you to hit him. Loop the sword and yank it out of his grip. Loop his hands and neck as previous technique.

Do these techniques with good choreography and acting and it will look good in demonstrations.

Yes I know looping around the sword and yanking, the sword would probably just cut the rope. Even looping around his hands he can cut the rope. These techniques is mostly for demonstrations and just fun training.

KYOKETSU-SHOGE and NAGE-NAWA at KAIGOZAN DOJO

Check out my video channel https://www.bitchute.com/bujinkan/

Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu and my JapanTrip#48

On my last trip Noguchi Sensei surprised us by teaching Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu. I think he just recently decided to start teaching this Ryū-ha. He said he learned the techniques from Hatsumi Sōke four years ago in a private session.

I have trained techniques that was claimed to be Gikan-ryū by western teachers before. I did not see any similarity what so ever, this was completely different.

There is 10 techniques in all, they don’t have any names. He showed us his notes and it was 3-4 pages with descriptions of the techniques. I attended two of the Gikan-ryū trainings he did in November this year. Fortunately I got to train all 10 techniques (I think?) with a lot of henka. It was a blast training with such good friends as Ari (Dai Shihan from Finland) and Philip (Dai Shihan from Denmark).

I’m not gonna give any descriptions here, but Noguchi Sensei said that the characteristics of this school is to attack the opponent from the side. Several techniques you hit his kidney. Many strikes was done with Ura-ken for example.

This inspired me to create a new page to the web site, click the button below.

Nagato Sensei on his first day as Shindenfudō-ryū Sōke

Earlier this year I heard that Ishizuka Sensei had been appointed as the new Sōke of Gyokkō-ryū. Now Nagato Sensei said that he had been appointed as the new Sōke of Shindenfudō-ryū. At the Buyukai I heard rumours about Noguchi Sensei was going to be the next Kotō-ryū Sōke (which now has been confirmed). No one has been appointed Sōke for Gikan-ryū yet, but I have my suspicions.

Sōke is now 88 years old

88 is an important number in Japanese, not only because it is a “double infinity”, but…. The eighty-eighth birthday is the occasion of beiju (米寿), “rice age”, because the Chinese character for rice, 米, looks like the characters for eight tens plus eight (八十八).

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5hqW4wJ-it/
Hatsumi Sōke imitating Frank Sinatra, he looked so cool.

Hatsumi Sōke was in a good mood this trip. His knees are weak so he have trouble getting up and down on the floor so we do standing bow ins and outs in the training now.

Senō Sensei said a few years ago, he felt energised during Hatsumi Sōke’s birthday because there was so many familiar places coming and giving him good energy. I think Hatsumi Sōke feels the same way.

I have added several more pictures on the Kaigozan Dōjō Instagram page.

New Books and DVD
New Ninjatō DVD and Book. Also a relatively new Mutōdori Book now in the collection.

三光稲荷 Sankō Inari

On the second training this year Sōke improved an old painting with a fox. He painted white hair on the Fox and added the kanji. Then he put it up on the left side of Shomen wall in Honbu Dōjō.

三光稲荷 SANKŌ INARI
(Three light rice load)

G00g1e translate isn’t much help. But I found interesting story on Wikipedia about Inari Ōkami is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.

By the 16th century Inari had become the patron of blacksmiths and the protector of warriors, and worship of Inari spread across Japan in the [[Edo period]. Inari is a popular figure in both Shinto and Buddhist beliefs in Japan. More than one-third (32,000) of the Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to Inari. Modern corporations, such as cosmetic company Shiseido, continue to revere Inari as a patron kami, with shrines atop their corporate headquarters.


Inari and their fox spirits help the blacksmith Munechika forge the blade kogitsune-maru (Little Fox) in the late 10th century. This legend is the subject of the noh drama Sanjo Kokaji.

The fox and the wish-fulfilling jewel are prominent symbols of Inari. Other common elements in depictions of Inari, and sometimes of their kitsune, include a sickle, a sheaf or sack of rice, and a sword. Another belonging was their whip—although they were hardly known to use it, it was a powerful weapon that was used to burn people’s crops of rice.

Inari is a popular deity with shrines and Buddhist temples located throughout most of Japan. According to a 2007 report from Kokugakuin University, 2970 shrines are dedicated to Inari.

If you find one or usually many red Tori gates it is most likely a shrine dedicated to Inary deity.

So what does this mean for Bujinkan? I don’t know, it is an interesting part of Japanese culture. Maybe he just want us to look it up.

横砂の器 Empty the cup


Sorry for not posting anything for a while. The trainings here in Japan is great, at least for those who have been training for a while. For beginners it might be hard and difficult. It is not said right out but I guess it’s expected that you know the basics well before you come to training in japan. There is plenty of good teachers everywhere, somewhere around 150 “true” master instructors in Bujinkan Dojo. You don’t need to go to Japan for good basic training if you are under 4’th dan!

Soke says that it is time for us to throw away the basics. He said we should throw away Sanshin no kata, Kihonhappo and everything else we know at the moment. This reminds me of a famous story about a zen master, I will quote the story from memory (so please don’t take it literally)…

Once an experienced samurai visited a zen master and said that he knew everything about the martial arts, but he have not yet reached enlightenment. So he is coming here for advice about how to reach it. The zen master offered him to sit down and have a cup of tea and talk about this. He put a cup on the table and started to pour into the cup. The cup was filled but the master kept pouring. The samurai said, can’t you see that the cup is already full?
The master said yes, and it is the same about you! You have to empty the cup (mind) before you can fill more into the cup. The samurai understood and later on finally reached enlightenment.

This is the meaning of 器 UTSUWA. It can mean a bowl, vessel or container. But it can also mean ability, capacity or caliber. When you have learnt all the basics and all the techniques there is the cup will be full. In order to pass beyond this stage you need to empty the 器. See other posts about the theme of this year and 才能魂器 (sainou kon ki / sainou tamashi utsuwa).

Everytime you go to training you should throw away everything you know, “empty the cup”. Then eagerly try to take everything in like a sponge with a playful and artistic kind of mind. This is the 極意 GOKUI essential point passed on through many generations in Gyokko-ryu that we study in Bujinkan Dojo. Keep the mind of a three year old kid that want to learn everything. Even if you think you know everything (see my previous essay) throw it away. The one who gives away everything has it all.

Keep this in mind when training. Also keep in mind that there is 20 years of 面 omote-training and then 20 years of 裏 ura-training. I might come to this in a later post.