Michael Glenn’s Bujinkan video exploring the 六尺棒術 Rokushakubō Jutsu kata 裏 My plan is to share some of the feeling of the bojutsu I had recently studied. Michael Glenn’s Bujinkan video exploring the 六尺棒術 Rokushakubō Jutsu kata 裏五法 Ura Goho. My plan is to share some of the feeling of the bojutsu I had. The Rokushaku Bojutsu is one weapon that we train in the Bujinkan Dojo, this video is intended to be helpful in your training, of course to fully.

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The author in the standard roku shaku bo ready position. Although many buujinkan of modern jujutsu associate the Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu exclusively with weaponless joint locks and throwing maneuvers, an important part of the repertoire of the art, as is commonn among many actual kobudo buiinkan, classical budoinvolves the mastery of various traditional weapons.

During three regular training sessions a week at the Hombu dojo in Imazu, Nishinomiya, Japan, one is devoted exclusively to training in bojutsu.

According to traditional lore of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu, the bojutsu style it incorporates was originally characteristic of the Kukishin ryu bojutsu. These masters taught each other their respective arts; Ohkuni then subsequently became the fourth soke of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

Bojutsu: Umění boje s tyčí a holí Hontai Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu – Bujinkan Dojo Prague

This probably occurred around the end of the 17th century, or in the early years of the 18th century. Despite this overlap in soke and exchange of techniques, both Hontai Yoshin Ryu and Kukishin Ryu have continued to develop exclusive of each other. The modern hanbo techniques of the Kukishin Ryu are covered in the book Bjjinkan Fighting: The co-author and current soke of Kukishin Ryu, Hatsumi Masaaki, who is featured actually applying the techniques, is better known as a ninjutsu instructor.

What is impressive in East Bujlnkan martial arts is the variety of styles that have developed for the effective use of the simple six foot staff. Although similarities certainly exist, specific stylistic differences in traditional schools are quite diagnostic. This point bohutsu emphasized to me on several occasions by sensei of Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Kukishin Ryu bojutsu, especially in comparison with their perception of Okinawan cho bo style.

The latter, they claimed, tends to emphasize a hands positioning near the center of the staff, whereas Kukishin Ryu cho bo emphasizes a more ample te sabaki, or active handwork along the entire length of the staff. In contrast, they would slide their fingers up and down the length of the hashi for the Kukishin bo, creating more of an end-over-end action, that also varied much more dramatically the effective length of the staff.

The first three formal bujijkan, uchi komi, harai, nojutsu tsukue, all emphasize this action in movements that are respectively strikes directed from up-down, side-to-side, and from down-up.

Rokushaku bōjutsu

Kihon are generally practiced in a walking format. The student assumes the ready stance, left foot forward and both legs bent with the body slightly crouched, staff held near its front end about waist-high with both buinkan palm-down see photo 1. As bujinkqn right or rear leg slides forward, one of the first three kihon strikes is made, bringing the longer part of the back end of the cho bo forward again, this can be downwards onto the head, bojjtsu to buuinkan temple, or upwards under the chin.

In order to return to the now reversed ready stance, one needs to slide the cho bo backwards through the hands in an easy, smooth motion. This same stance is used for thrusting, although hands may either be both palm-down, or the front hand can be palm-up. Nakai left and Suhara rightdemonstrate the tsukeiri technique of bo awase. An alternative ready stance is used for the last two formal kihon, a strike to the knee hiza uchi and an upward diagonal slice simply called nagi.


These basics are applied from fudo-no-kamae, a stance which takes its form from the powerful image of the Buddhist deity figure Fudo Myoo, who is the fierce protector of law and chastiser of wickedness. Bujinkaan this stance, feet are angled at about 90 degrees to each other front foot pointing forwardsthe legs are bent, and the cho bo is held vertically at the rear shoulder.

Kukishinden Ryu

The longer upper end of the staff is swept diagonally downwards towards an exposed knee in hiza uchi, or swept upwards in nagi in a motion that with the naginata would slice open a body from below the rib cage up through the opposite collar bone. Both strikes are performed while stepping all kihon strikes can be practiced while moving forward or backward. Kihon training also includes varieties of flourishing the cho bo, called furi-bo. These include circular motions made to either side, to the front, and overhead, and besides being visually impressive-in competent hands the staff becomes a blur-such flourishes are intended to forestall and confuse an enemy.

In bo awase exercises, students are paired, with one designated as having an offensive role, the other as defensive see Photo 2. All of the kihon mentioned above are trained in this manner against appropriate defensive motions.

In addition there are several more complicated exchanges between the cho bo that train improved control of the weapon, accuracy, and timing. One of these, called funabari, results in non-stop repartee between partners where defensive and offensive roles shift quickly and smoothly, interspersing head strikes and body thrusts with deft blocking actions. Done at full speed-once proficiency allows-this is not only great training, it is great fun! Roku shaku bo vs.

The set of kata begin with kumi dachi, the formal meeting and bow. The swordsman holds the bokuto at his right side as if it were a scabbarded katana [actual Japanese sword]cutting edge down, and the bo wielder, with his right hand midway on the cho bo, holds the staff at his waist, front end angled down. From about two meters distance the two execute a formal standing bow, then both kneel on their right knee, sliding their weapons straight between them until their ends overlap by about 20 centimeters.

The right hand is placed fingertips to the ground, and another bow is executed from this position.

Bojutsu: Umění boje s tyčí a holí Hontai Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu

Then the weapons are retrieved and both stand. The ten formal bo kata depict brief, rapid encounters between the cho bo and sword see photo 3and each is ended with the participants in the state of heightened awareness called zanshin, with the swordsman in the classic chudan no kamae sword is held in a mid-level position, right leg forwardand the bo bojustu in the basic ready position from which most kihon are performed.

Most of the kata assume the swordsman as aggressor, striking from a jodan no kamae sword held over the head in bojutsuu forward and downward cut shomen giri. In the last kata known as tsukeiri, this elbow lock is followed by a near-simultaneous disarming and throwing of the swordsman kuguri nage is used, which is the first throw in the Hontai Yoshin Ryu nage no kata series.

Both of these defensive techniques are also applied by an unarmed defender against sword attacks in Hontai Yoshin Ryu tachi dori, or jujutsu forms bojutsh the tachi or katana. Like all formal kata, the ten bo kata require considerable skill to work smoothly, and emphasize a variety of abilities including control of ma-ai distance-timing and specific techniques.

When performed well, the forms are characterized by non-stop flow, where space vacated by one weapon is seemingly magically filled by the other. The impression is strongly reminiscent of the same ju or suppleness that characterizes Hontai Yoshin Ryu weaponless kata. Once bojutwu ten bo kata are completed, the participants bow by reversing the kumi dachi procedures described for the opening of the kata. Although one can practice specific hanbo techniques as basics, the hanbo is most frequently trained directly in kata against a sword.


There are ten more commonly practiced kata, although this does not exhaust the full set of hanbo techniques.

This seems corroborated by the work mentioned earlier see Stick Fighting in the Kukishin Ryu itself, and the fact that at least one Hontai Yoshin Ryu sensei-Inoue Kyoichi-actively experiments with hanbo applications.

Hanbo kata are also begun with formal kumi dachi, although here the swordsman and hanbo wielder, after facing off about two meters from each other, draw their weapons and, holding them at a chudan or middle position, squat on the balls of the feet, knees splayed outwards, and bow from this posture, afterwards assuming a formal chudan no kamae. At this stage the hanbo is held exactly as if it were a katana. For the first five kata, this soon changes: Not meeting the sword attack directly is quite characteristic of Hontai Yoshin Ryu response to attack, and perhaps further influence of this jujutsu style is seen in especially kata five and six.

The first five hanbo kata are extremely similar to Hontai Yoshin Ryu kodachi short sword kata in both structure stance and positioning and actual movements. This is important to recognize in understanding Kukishin Ryu bojutsu as actively incorporated in the Hontai Yoshin Ryu. Nearly identical techniques can be traced from the weaponless jujutsu forms-the core of the system, at least as it is practiced today-to weaponless defenses against both long and short swords tachi and kodachiand to bo and hanbo kata.

For nearly three hundred years the master instructors of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu have integrated techniques from both jujutsu and bojutsu styles in a harmonious system of coordinated effort, expressive of an underlying philosophy, theory, and aesthetic of appropriate action.

Although Hontai Yoshin Ryu training is most characterized by formal practice of kata, both the weaponless and armed systems are occasionally applied in randori or matches. For both staff and stick this involves the use of kendo-like safety equipment and special padded weapons for example, bamboo poles with thickly-wrapped ends.

Such sessions are great refiners of applicable techniques, and excellent training for coordination, speed, timing, and cardio-vascular fitness. Soke Inoue, the current head of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu, is incredibly strong and effective in these bouts despite being in his sixties, reminiscent of his competitive form in twice winning gold medals in all-Japan jukendo the bayonet art trained with a rubber-tipped wooden gun tournaments. There are also nuances based on individual practitioner, and even continuing evolution in the ways both weapons are used.

What matters most in the use of both weapons is the development of a smooth naturalness, the spontaneity and accuracy of action that denotes mastery.

Although some specific techniques bokutsu be easily acquired, the path to true mastery of staff and stick lies in years of dedicated and applied training, during the course of which the student should also be learning mastery over the self.

Training With the Roku Shaku Bo What is impressive in East Asian martial arts is the variety of styles that have developed for the effective use of the simple six foot staff. Hanbo Training Although one can practice specific hanbo techniques as basics, the hanbo is most bujimkan trained directly in kata against a sword.