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Published on Jun 27, 2007
Hiroi Tsunenji (right) and Yoneno Kotaro (left with sword) of Shinto Muso-ryu demonstrating the sub-art Isshin-ryu Kusarigamajutsu. Furikomi (go) kata of the Ura-series.
Shinto Muso-ryu was founded roughly 400 years ago by Muso Gonnosuke. History states that Gonnosuke was defeated in a duel with Miyamoto Musashi. After his defeat he had an insight and created techniques for use with the quarterstaff (128 cm. staff called Jo). Legend states he returned and defeated Musashi in a rematch.
Besides the main Jodo-techniques there are also five "sub-arts" within the Shinto Muso-ryu system. Ikkaku-ryu, Ittatsu-ryu, Shinto-ryu, Isshin-ryu (kusarigama) and Uchida-ryu.
The weapon used is a "Kusarigama", a double-edged chain-and-sickle weapon with an attached metal handguard. The metal chain has a iron-weight at the end of it. For training purposes the metal parts (except the handguard) is replaced by softer materials.
Before any karateka objects, this is the Isshin-ryu tradition founded in the 1400's by Nen Ami Jion. It has no relation whatsoever (besides the name) to the modern karate-system created in 1956.
This clip is from the "Nihon Kobudo" series, "Isshin Ryu Kusarigamajutsu & Jutte" episode. It is available for purchase from various online retailers. (google it)