Mizoguchiha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu DVD (Nihon Kobudo Series) #1732 (Special Order)
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Author: matthew rogers
Part of the excellent Nihon-no-kobudo series, which was designed by the Japanese Ministry of Education to document the martial traditions of Japan, the Mizoguchi-ha represents a fascinating look at a rarely seen branch of the historically important Itto-ryu school. This video features the current headmaster and senior practitioners of this art performing the kata of the school.
The curriculum consists of five long-sword and three short-sword techniques with omote (outside/surface) and ura (inner/more sophisticated) versions. Being a traditional school of the Aizu clan, which was based in Fukushima, it is currently maintained by the Fukushima prefectural and local kendo federations.
Interestingly, although Takeda Sokaku, the founder of Daito-ryu, claimed by some to have trained in the, according to his son, Tokimune, the core of his approach to the sword, although modified, was based upon the Ona-ha Ittō-ryū rather than Mizoguchi-ha.
This video is professionally made and utilizes slow motion to illustrate some of the finer points of the kata. It begins with a short history of the art and then moves on the kata themselves.
It is a rather short video in relation to its cost and is entirely in Japanese and these factors lead me to give it a "very good" rating rather than an "excellent". Still I have never regretted the purchase and will buy one with English language subtitled should it ever be released with them. The video like the ryu is short, stark and beautiful.
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