Obata Toshishiro - Naked blade


Author : Obata Toshishiro
Title : Naked blade A manual of samurai swordsmanship
Year : 1985

Link download : Obata_Toshishiro_-_Naked_blade.zip

Unlike kendo, the modern sportive form of Japanese fencing, or the companion art of sword drawing known as iai-do, Batto Jutsu is the orig inal art of unsheathing the incomparably sharp Japanese sabre, and in one continuous movement, cutting down an aggressor. To the feudal Samurai, mastery of the martial arts including Batto Jutsu, was an absolute necessity, as it was the means by which he performed his primary function of service to his master. As such, the Samurai caste and their knowledge of the martial ways, constituted the rule of law for over one thousand turbulent years of Japanese history. The beauty of Toyama Ryu Batto Jutsu, lies in its spartan simplicity and deadly effectiveness; devoid of artificial or theatrical postures, it is simply an efficient, practical and blindingly fast way of mortally wounding an opponent in a single decisive act of self defence. Its destructive power is devastating, as can be seen from the skilled swordsman's ability to cut cleanly through all manner of tough materials even iron and steel. The precise combination of technique, power and correct angle of blade engagement (hasuji) that makes these prodigious feats possible however, can only be learnt in a traditional school where the old methods, based on actual combat experience are still followed, and the true method of cutting therefore, fu lly understood. Technique however, is but half of the equation for without a suitable sword, obviously the art of swordsmanship is as nothing. Many of us have been raised in the belief that the Japanese sword is an 'objet d'art' a precious relic to be preserved and revered. What we have not been told is that there are two types of swords, those made for collectors, or 'art swords' and those for use. To the swordsman only the latter is an acceptable weapon. Suddenly, even the most educated of us become aware of a gap in our knowledge we were not previously aware of. How do these swords vary from those housed by museums, few of which ever saw the sun rise over a battle field . Do they differ in weight, length, curvature from those we have always believed to be the examples of the very pinnacle of the swordsmith's art? This and other questions that are frequently asked about the Japanese sword, are answered in the contribution to this volume by a friend and colleague of the author, Yasuhiro Kobayashi the noted modern smith. To-sho Kobayashi, after long and arduous research, has succeeded in forging swords in the original manner of the Koto period (old sword period approximately 950-1530) that are at once beautiful, and exceedingly strong and sharp. He contends that, just as a fine violin is not valued for its appearance alone, no sword can fairly be judged without its cutting ability being evaluated. To prove his point he subjects his own blades to brutal tests of their strength and cutting power on steel hawsers, large nails and iron helmets. To the collector of Japanese swords, schooled in the belief that no blade should Introduction be handled, let alone used to cut, this may seem almost sacrilegious. However the practical martial artist will undoubtedly welcome such a pragmatic approach to swords and swordsmanship, from one so eminently well qualified to write on the subject. Toyama Ryu Batto Jutsu, as presented by author Toshishiro Obata, a master swordsman of the highest calibre, is the living art of his samurai ancestors preserved for the twentieth century, through a combination of the efforts of a few dedicated individuals and the capriciousness of history. As such, it is a fascinating record for the modern martial artist giving as it does an insight not only into the techniques of the feudal Samurai, but also into his attitude to martial training, and indeed, life itself. It is with considerable pleasure, that we present this first work in English on Toyama Ryu Batto Jutsu, the sword art of the Imperial Army. Publisher February 1986. ...

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