In March 1955, my teacher, Mitsuzuka Takeshi Sensei began his studies in Iaido. At that time, Nakayama Hakudo Sensei was 85 years old and although he only lived another 3 years he had a tremendous influence on Mitsuzuka Sensei. Nakayama Sensei was a highly skilled swordsman who had trained in Iai-Jutsu, Ken-Jutsu, Iaido and Kendo. He was the 16th headmaster or successor in the Jinsuke-Eishin line of the Shimomura-ha lineage. It was widely known that one of the styles of Iai-Jutsu that Nakayama Sensei studied was the Shindo Munen Ryu. This style was founded by Fukui Heiemon Yoshihira, Sensei and was based on the teachings of the Shinkage Ryu, Shinkage Ichien Ryu and the Ichien Ryu. After years of research and practice Mitsuzuka Sensei introduced the style to the US in the mid-80’s through the organization he had founded, the North American San Shin Kai, and added it as a supplement to the Muso Shinden Ryu curriculum. The video “Hidden Secrets of Japanese Swordsmanship/Shindo Munen Ryu Iai Jutsu” will contain the 12 standing kata originally taught by Sensei along with several application drills. The kata and techniques are filmed from the front and side at slow speed and regular speed. There are also overhead views to clarify angles and to further define the movements. The Shindo Munen Ryu would be a beneficial addition to anyone's study of Iai no matter what style they are currently practicing!
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