Jigen-ryū is a traditional school (koryū) of Japanese martial arts founded in the late 16th century by Togo Chui (1561-1643) in Satsuma Province, now Kagoshima prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. It focuses mainly on the art of swordsmanship.
Jigen-ryū is known for its emphasis on the first strike: Jigen-ryū teachings state that a second strike is not even to be considered.
The basic technique is to hold the sword in a high version of hasso-no-kamae called tonbo-no-kamae (Dragonfly Stance), with the sword held vertically above the right shoulder. The attack is then done by running forward at your opponent and then cutting diagonally down on their neck. The kiai is a loud "Ei!".
Traditionally this is practised using a long wooden stick, and cutting against a vertical pole, or even a real tree. During a hard practice, the wood is said to give off the smell of smoke. During the Edo period, at the height of its popularity, adepts of Jigen-ryū were said to practice striking the pole 3,000 times in the morning, and another 8,000 times in the afternoon.
The style is still taught at the Jigen-ryū practice hall in the city of Kagoshima.
This DVD includes demonstrations of Jigen-ryu Kenjutsu technique.
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