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Thread: Musashi & Tachi & Kodachi

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    Default Musashi & Tachi & Kodachi

    In Musashi' style there are only a few kata that use both tachi and kodachi. I think that much I already learned here, BUT my question is:
    Is there any "proof" of other prior kenjutsu style that uses both swords in their curriculum?
    Thank you


    Joaquim Coelho

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    Even if you don't believe that the ryoto kata of Katori Shinto-ryu predate Musashi, the Empi scroll of Shinkage-ryu, given to Yagyu Munetoshi in 1566 roughly 18 years before Musashi was even born, contains illustrations of ryoto/nito technique. There are also illustrations showing ryoto/nito technique in the mokuroku Munetoshi gave Konparu Shichiro in 1601, when Musashi was but a teenager. Munetoshi also wrote Kamiizumi Hidetsuna's name before his own on the mokuroku, indicating that the kata illustrated therein came from Kamiizumi, not Munetoshi's own innovations. Kamiizumi died before Musashi was born.
    Last edited by Josh Reyer; 27th June 2009 at 16:44.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, ţonne he ćt guđe gengan ţenceđ longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearađ. - The Beowulf Poet

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    I had no idea. There are all sorts of myths going around about Musashi and how he was the first to use both swords, etc. Well, as they say in some South Park episodes: I learned something today.
    Thanks a lot.

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    My impression is that Musashi was a bit like Bruce Lee, an innovator in approach and philosophy, but not really doing things that were new, just doing things differently. However, there are those on the board with a much better take on this.
    Jim Boone

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    Joaquim Coelho

    I suggest you get a copy of The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi by William Scott Wilson (ISBN 4-7700-2942-X) for a reference in English. On page 28 William says that Munisai (Musashi's father also refereed to as Muni) was a master of several martial arts including the Two-sword style.

    See also the research work of Budo scholar Dr. Uozumi Takashi (International Budo University in Chiba Prefecture who has written extensively on Musashi. Most of his work is in Japanese but you might find some translated essays into English by Steven Harwood) Uozumi writes that Muni Miyamoto (Musashi’s adoptive father) developed a method of swordsmanship that utilized two swords and this was cataloged in the mokuroku of his Ryu, the Tori-Ryu (no longer extant, but Tori-Ryu mokuroku still are). Muni existed in a remote area of Hideyoshi’s domain and Tori-Ryu never did flourish. But Muni did have an influential role to play in other Ryu-ha such as the Take no Uchi Ryu.

    It’s interesting to note that Mushashi’s first Ryu-Ha that he created was not Niten Ichi-Ryu but Enmei-Ryu (円明流) on which he wrote a treaties (while in his mid twenties around 1604) called Heidokyo which addresses fundamental issues such as psychological and physiological aspects of combat, it details the nine kata of the school, and the use of the shuriken. I am not sure if the kata described are based on one or two swords. Perhaps other's might know.

    Or see the Bugei Ryu Ha Dai Jiten (a Japanese language only source) and you might find references to other schools that used two swords, or had it in their curriculum.

    Collin Hyakutake, a moderator on E-Budo and well known exponent of Niten Ichi-Ryu might be able to offer more exacting details of Mushashi’s background as far as his father’s influence on his martial thinking as well as to other schools or historical figures that used two swords.

    Peace

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    Gentlemen (Josh and Bill):
    I didn't expect this much really. You gave me considerable information (AND also reading sugestions). Thanks a lot.
    Apart from Yoshikawa's novel, which I know it's pretty much fiction, and the gorin no sho, I only read parts of Tokitsu sensei's book on Musashi, but it's one of those books that I felt like it was not "more of the same".
    The Lone Samurai by William Scott Wilson just entered my wish list.
    Again, thank you.

    P.S.: Forgot to say this in my first post: english is not (as you might already have noticed) my first language so please forgive some eventual mizzppelings .

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    I think Kenji Tokitsu does a good job of exploring some of the various myths and surrounding influences over Musashi, and has been the most useful resource I have found so far (certainly as a non-japanese reader) along with discussions with my teacher.
    John Ranford
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai

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    That's certainly an important statement and what's more coming from a Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu practicioner.
    I remember he says that Musashi was (most probably) left-handed and that he used the kodachi as a throwing weapon. That was the first (and I guess the only) time I ever read such thing about him.
    Funny thing is I don't see great entusiasm around that book. Tokitsu sensei as been writing about martial arts for what?... more then 20 years, I'm sure... maybe even 30.
    Have you ever read his writings about the life of Takano Sasaburo and Naito Takaharu?

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    I think I like Tokitsu's non-commital way of presenting facts, whether mainstream or not. "This source conflicts with that, but this source blah blah so I leave it to the reader to choose". You know the drill...

    To the OP - I think Josh has answered your question? Musashi certainly is the most famous nito-waza-chappie, but he certainly wasn't the first...
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

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    Musashi wasn't even the first in his family to use two-sword applications. Apparently his grandfather also used two swords (or possibly a katana and jutte combination).
    Andrew Smallacombe

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    Add to that: no-one is really sure if Munisai (Tori-ryu) was MM's father or grandfather!
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottUK View Post
    Add to that: no-one is really sure if Munisai (Tori-ryu) was MM's father or grandfather!
    Sh!t, I read somewhere Munisai was his... uncle?
    But wasn't the grandfather called Hirata Shôkan and the founder of Tôri-ryű????
    Oh man, what a mess .

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    The grandfather of Miyamoto musashi was: Miyamoto musashi no kami yoshimoto,
    His son is Miyamoto Munisai the father of the famous Miyamoto Musashi

    Miyamoto Munisai studied the Enmei Ryu and from this he created another martial art school the Tori Ryu,
    With his own style of nito-ken and also the jitte

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    The grandfather of Miyamoto musashi was: Miyamoto musashi no kami yoshimoto, His son is Miyamoto Munisai the father of the famous Miyamoto Musashi. Miyamoto Munisai studied the Enmei Ryu and from this he created another martial art school the Tori Ryu, With his own style of nito-ken and also the jitte
    I think this was suggested in the "Classical Weaponry of Japan" book by Serge Mol. But the thing I get from the different readings is that the records about Musashi's family are very sketchy at best (at least the translations) and even contridictory, so its hard to make any definitive statements.
    John Ranford
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai

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    Default Musashi,tachi and kodachi

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew S View Post
    Musashi wasn't even the first in his family to use two-sword applications. Apparently his grandfather also used two swords (or possibly a katana and jutte combination).
    Good point, and as a point of common sense, probably every good swordsman had at least a basic working knowledge of using this combination (tachi,kodachi) though not as refined as in a ryu.
    I know I would.

    Phil Scudieri

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