Katori Shinto Ryu
is the oldest extant martial arts in Japan, a
koryu. The Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu was
founded in 1447 by Izasa
Ienao. It is considered to be the most distinguished
of all Japanese martial
traditions, and as such was designated an intangible
cultural treasure by
the Japanese government in April 1960.
Shinto Ryu came to influence many of the major
styles which were
developed later. Originally, Katori Shinto
Ryu was created from the
standpoint of fighting on the battlefield.
The weapons used, techniques and
philosophy of the style reflect this orientation.
It is a battlefield art,
created at a time when the country was embroiled
in civil war. Weapons
studied include: sword, spear, staff, halberd,
and shuriken among others.
There is an unarmed aspect to the art as well
as a ninjutsu (espionage)
section and there are also even more purely
military studies such as
encampment and field fortification strategies.
The overall philosophy seems
to revolve around the concept of producing
well rounded and balanced
soldiers, proficient in a variety of battlefield
weapons. In this sense,
Katori Shinto Ryu is a military art.
Interested parties can learn more about Katori
Shinto Ryu by contacting
Joe Yelton at: 913-709-9399.