Gyokushin Shinto Ryu
Using the Wakizashi with the left hand
Gyokushin Shinto Ryu is a Mugai Ryu rooted Iai and Kenjutsu Style using just the Wakizashi / Kodachi (short sword). The special thing about it is, that it is only using the left hand.
The style was devised by Niina Gyokudo Toyoaki Soke based on Mugai Ryu and Shinto Ryu. The impulse came because of japanese lady who really wanted to learn Iai and Kenjutsu. Because of her missing right hand it was impossible for her until now, so Niina Gosoke thought about a solution and created Gyokushin Shinto Ryu. This is not only in Japan unique and carries the spirit of Mugai Ryu, giving everybody regardless of nationality, believe, social status and everything else the oppurtunity to learn the art of the Samurai.
But the style is not only for people who cannot use their left hand interesting. It is an extremely realistic and effective art complete with 16 Iaido Kata and 16 Kumitachi / Kenjutsu Kata. Even Tameshigiri is taught.
Normally the Samurai learns only to use the Katana and Wakizashi with both hands or the right hand. The only known Style using the left hand as well, next to Gyokushin Shinto Ryu is Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, the style founded by Miyamoto Musashi. In that case it is just used in a supportive manner in the Nito-Seiho, the Kata with two swords. In Gyokushin Shinto Ryu the left hand should be used in the same manner and quality as the right one or both hands with a Katana, which opens a completely new Spectrum to every Iaido, Kenjutsu or Battodo practicioner.
Examples of use are the use of both swords, similar to Niten Ichi Ryu, but adding the Iai component. Furthermore there is the surprise of suddenly using the left hand with the Wakizashi in a fight. Mainly because of the untypical angles and axis, which cannot be used with the right hand or Katana. Or the Samurai hurts or loses his right hand. Another example could be the fight against many opponents, which cornered the Bushi. So the Katana can be used to control one group and the Kodachi to control the other one, or counter the other with a Iai Kata using the Wakizashi. Maybe the Samurai carries the Katana in the right hand and cannot draw it fastly, so he can use the left hand with the Kodachi instead.
Niina Gyokuo Toyoaki Soke
His words about Gyokushin Shinto Ryu
Beginning with iaido and including jo, tanjo, jitte, tanken, and kusari-gama, I have made the effort to provide instruction in budo by opening the door to all people regardless of race, nationality, religion, creed, belief, gender, age, or occupation. Along these same lines, I have also recommended that individuals with disabled legs perform zagi (seated kata) standing, and among my many students, there are individuals who have made steady improvements training in this way.
From ancient times however, in bujutsu that uses the katana like iaido, use of the right hand has been the major premise. Instruction for individuals with disabled right hands has been a long-standing one because this problem cannot be solved by simply switching right with left. This problem is not limited to saya-biki (pulling the sheath back) when drawing the sword. The inability to use both hands in iaido is a major handicap.
Accordingly at this time, I have brought together a system of iai, which I devised requiring only the use of the left hand and absolutely no use of the right, that is based on my mastered techniques of Shintoryu and Mugairyu. The name I have given this style into which I have poured my knowledge is “Gyokushin Shinto-ryu”. (My adopted budo name is “Gyokudo”.)
This iai uses the kodachi, and is made up of 3 basic (kihon) kata, 8 seated (zagi) kata, 8 standing (tachi-waza) kata, and 16 partner practice (kenjutsu/kumi-tachi) kata. Including etiquette (reiho) and even body movements, the strong point (of this style) is that individuals with disabled right hands can train because only the left hand is used.
Since the base of this new system is the koryu bujutsu styles Shintoryu and Mugairyu, which both have histories spanning hundreds of years, it will not be like dancing. Consequently, as a matter of course, through acquisition of the prescribed technical skills, kyu/dan certification, menkyo (license), and scrolls will be rewarded as in Mugairyu.
It would be wonderful if individuals who gave up the idea of iai training due to this sort of disability could experience the greatness and pleasure of iai and kenjutsu.
- Individuals with hearing disabilities can train along with healthy persons without major differences.
- Individuals with disabled legs can train in the same way as persons with injured knees.
- Without major differences in training, individuals with disabled left hands can also train along side those without handicaps.
Gyokushin Shinto Iai Kata
An overview of the system
- Kihon Ichi
- Kihon Ni
- Kihon San
Gyokushin Shinto Kenjutsu / Kumitachi Kata
An overview of the system