View Full Version : jikishin kage ryu kenjutsu

6th February 2004, 23:52
due to a several year layoff from the martial arts i have been re-establishing my video collection.i enjoy collecting videos of not only my own art (smr jo) but other koryu as well.its great seeing the different aspects of different arts.i've been concentrating on the "nihon kobudo"series.today i watched for the 1st time the tape on the jikishin kage ryu kenjutsu.i've read the background of the art in meik and diane skoss's book and a limited amount on the internet.
unfortunately the narration ,as all the series tapes, are in japanese so fine points of explanation are missed.my question for those famaliar with the art is ....there were some very unique breathing patterns,kiai, and ways of moving the feet(an actual flexing of foot and toes for lack of a better description).i'm very intrigued by these characteristics or any other feedback.
i'll be training with the skoss's this week so i'll also ask them.any other feedback on that video series (besides astonomical$$$)would be appreciated.
scott altland
itten dojo ,

Peter Ambrus
18th November 2004, 07:07

May I ask you a question... I study Jikishin Kage Ryu, and I'm doing a historical research about this style, to help my master doing our website. I found a few things on the net, but not enough.

Could you help me which book did you read, and what did you find on the net?

Thanks in advance

(Oh, and replying to your question: though you didn't tell exactly what kind of movement was it, I think it is the breathing technique of the Hojo kata. The Hojo was originally done by the warriors before battles. It consists of four katas. The Spring (the movements are quick, springy, happy), the Summer (the movements are fast and strong), the Fall (movements are slow, theres a great stress on opposites), and Winter (slow again). The strange breathing is in fact kiai, it is about gathering energy through breathing, and practising the movement of slowly adjusting the distance to the opponent in a duel through stepping back then forward. If you see a move, when the performers stand before each other with closed legs, hands wide open, the sword (bokken) pointing to the sky, and the index finger of the left hand is pointing to the ground, then it is surely the Hojo kata. That movement is about gathering energy (ki) from the Sky and the Earth simultaneously to create a circulation, and directing it to the navel area of your body.)

hope this helps...

Michael Kurth
20th November 2004, 11:05
it is very interesting that (to my very limited understanding) in mystical islam , the sufi culture of the whirling derwishes practices something similar. while turning their bodies with their arms spread out they point one hand towards the sky and one towards the ground to gather energy from heaven and earth and connect these two within themselves.

just a thought.

Peter Ambrus
22nd November 2004, 13:28
This isn't about mysticism really (though I admit, that there is a bit...).

In most eastern society, the tradition of body energy was common (wether it was chi, ki, or else). I'm reading a great book now (historical essay of ninjas), and there is a great explanation of this energy theory. Ninjas had a meditating process called Kuji-kiri (Hungarians write it totally differently, and I didn't find it in original, so I just hope that I write it correctly). I don't want to go in this deeply, 'couse it would be too long, but it was about gathering energy (ki) in their hara (navel area, the energy centre of the body). With slow breathing they created an average low oxigen level, that caused an overheating of the body. They tried to control the energy flow in their hara by pumping blood there. The more blood were at the right place, the warmer it became, which they could feel with their palm. So, when your hara was warm you did it right!

As you can see it, these practises were more about body and self control than mysticism. In Jikishin Kage Ryu, it was quite similar, thoug they didn't pump the ki, but circulated it. The goal was the same. (yin and yang, earth and sky, positive and negative energy... )