AMERICAN KANG DUK WON KARATE

The Naginata


To Master Lawlor,
Thank you for the challenge.
Your student always,
Debby Hintopoulos






Table of Contents



Naginata: The Curved Spear from Japan's Past to Contemporary Times.............3

Footnotes......................................................................6

Happo Buri (warmup exercises)..................................................7

Kamae (combative engagement posture, position, guard)..........................8

Tai Sabaki (footwork).........................................................10

Uchi(strike)..................................................................11

Naginata Form: P'okp'ung Nun (Storm's Eye)....................................12

P'okp'ung Nun-Form Pattern....................................................15


Naginata: The Curved Spear from Japan's Past to Contemporary Times


The naginata has been referred to by different names such as halberd, pole arm, swordspear, and curved spear. It is also said that the naginata comes from the Chinese halberd. Whatever the name and wherever it came from, it was a warriors weapon in battle.

In feudal times the use of the naginata was known as naginata-jutsu, the
"art of the naginata" and was part of Bujutsu, the classical Japanese
military arts. Today its use is called naginata-do, the "way of the
naginata", and is part of Budo.(1)

This information isn't entirely accurate. Today both naginata-do and
naginata-jutsu exists.
Both the All-Japan Naginata-Do Federation and the U.S. Naginata Federation
would be schools of
naginata-do. There are also ryus of naginata-jutsu such as the Katori
Shinto Ryu.

Naginata-do would be classed as budo, and naginata-jutsu would be classed
as bujutsu.


Budo, "military way" or "way of fighting".  Spiritually related systems.
not necessarily designed by or for warriors, for self-defense.  Budo is a
generic term encompassing all of the Japanese do (way) arts, which are
largely 20th-century offspring stemming from concepts that can first be
positively identified about the mid-18th century.

Some of the more predominant budo practices today are judo, karate-do,
aikido, kendo, kyudo, and iaido.  Budo subscribes to creating the ideal
psychological state by removing the fear of death and excessive self-
consciousness so its user can freely and completely make use of the
acquired physical techniques.

Bujutsu "military art(s)".  A collective term for all of the Japanese jutsu
(arts) extant before the mid-18th century and practiced almost exclusively
by the samurai warrior. These combatives, whose main use was to overcome a
foe in combat, were the forerunners of the modern do (way) systems. Thus,
judo evolved from jujutsu, Kendo from kenjutsu, karate-do from karate-
jutsu, kyudo from kyujutsu, and so on.(2)

The naginata has its origins with the earliest beginnings of the warrior
classes in the seventh and eighth centuries A.D.  The Japanese authorities
date the oldest regular school of naginata technique back to 1168.(3)

It began its history in feudal Japan as warlords vied for power over the
land. The naginata was heavily relied upon due to its length and combined
powers of cutting and thrusting. Opponents whether on foot or mounted on
horseback were effectively neutralized, cut down by long swooping motions
of the blade.(4)

The naginata took several forms. The most common one had a socketed or
tanged blade some 36 inches or more in length. The shaft was always stoutly
banded and longer than the blade.  A second form was the nagemaki, a heavy,
very long sword mounted on a shorter sturdy shaft.  Both weapons were very
popular with warriors, especially in the turbulent monastic armies of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries and increasingly so with the warrior class,
or bushi, from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.(5)

Gradually the character of warfare changed and military fashion favored the
straight-bladed yari, or spear, as a lighter and more effective weapon
against the sword, both on foot and on horseback. The large-scale use of
infantry during the Onin War (1467-77) finally established the yari at the
expense of the naginata and the use of the later soon became limited to
certain religious sects and to ladies of the Bushi class, as a household
weapon.(6)

In reference to religious sects, Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura mentions on his video tape that naginata-jutsu was a favorite weapon of the sohei warrior monks.


It was during the Edo Period, a time of relative peace that the naginata
declined in popularity as a weapon of war, and was taken up by the women to
train as a means of self defense.  It was a way to fend off marauders that
occasionally attacked viIlages while their men were in the field or away in
combat.(7)


There is a story that women of Kagoshima, of the island of Kyushu, mounted
the last great naginata defense in the Satsuma Rebellion.  This was a
battle against the government's overwhelming cavalry.  l've not yet been
able to find what the outcomes of this confrontation was, but it does
indicate that with skilled use the naginata is a formidable weapon.


Naginata developed many different schools in its long history - 425 to be
precise.  Many of these were interrelated with other martial arts
disciplines, especially kenjutsu, yari-jutsu and bojutsu.  The oldest was
Ko-Ryu but perhaps the most famous were the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-
Ryu (the Heaven-revealed Divine Style), the Jiki-Shinkage-Ryu and the Tendo
Ryu.

The techniques of these schools were often materially different and
probably much more drastic than the modern style, which is mainly practiced
by women.  There are only a few men, often of advanced kendo rank, within
the art.  Like other tradition-conscious martial arts several of the older
systems are still preserved in private dojo or halls that are extremely
difficult to locate, let alone enter.(8)

In 1978 Risuke Otake Wrote `The Deity and the Sword' consisting of three volumes. Volume Three includes naginata technique. At that time he was Master-teacher and Shihan of the Katori Shinto Ryu. Also, instructional videos have become available with men of the classical schools such as Master Yoshio Sugino, and Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura. Up until recently they have kept their techniques private.

As was mentioned earlier the technique is executed with differences.  The
women keep a larger ma-ai (distance between opponents) than the men
stylists.  Also women use flowing circular movements, whereas men stylists
use short arcs with a hit and cut action.  It is logical that these
differences exist because men have more upper body strength than women. A
longer ma-ai and larger circular movements adds advantage.  Keep in mind
that poorly executed technique will negate any advantage.
Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura says, that you must practice one thousand times
over one thousand days to grasp the beginning level of mastership and to
understand the correct movement.


In early centuries the naginata or nagemake was wielded in strong arcs,
often with the intention to maim the enemy's horse before dealing with the
fallen rider. Naginata-jutsu required great stamina in order to swing the
heavy weapon along accurate interchanging curves making the fullest use of
the blade, the shaft, and the vicious iron ferrule at the butt. The
technique of rapidly whirling the weapon was known as Ha-kaeshi.  Some of
the terms still used in naginata are evocative of these Ha-kaeshi
techniques.  We have, for example the Mizu-guruma-gaishi (Waterwheel cut),
the Kazu-guruma-gaeshi (Windmill cut), and the Cho-gaeshi (Butterfly cut).

Ha-kaeshi, coupled with a greatly increased distance from an opposing
swordsman, gave the spearman  a real advantage.  Since the naginata is
essentially a slashing spear using open lines of attack (those outside the
body width) counter-attacks can only be effectively made as the swirl
commences. The swordsman must close the distance by rushing into the
attack. The root of the problem in fighting against the naginata is not the
techniques that are employed by the spearman, though these are important.
It is more the extreme ma-ai, or interval, that forces the swordsman to
fight at a distance approaching twice the normal.  If the naginata is
wielded at a speed equal to normal sword technique, the swordsman must move
at almost twice this speed  to close the distance and cut effectively.
Thus practice against an expert naginata-ka can be very exhausting.  The
swordsman has to time the exact moment to attack; he must always be on the
alert and ready to rush in with his cut.  Conversely, the spear can be used
to create a chance for a devastating counter-move against an over-eager
opponent.

Modern naginata under the aegis of the All-Japan Naginata-Do Federation is
usually Atarashi-Naginata,  literally a New Style of naginata.  Practice is
nearly always spear against spear, using the comparatively light Keiko-
naginata with a curved bamboo blade constructed on similar lines to the
kendo shinai.  The practice spear is usually about 6'8" in length, but
longer shafts are recommended for taller students.  The protective armor is
exactly the same as that used for kendo but with the addition of the
suneate, or shin guards, as a defense against strong sweeping cuts below
the knee.  Sometimes the kote, or gauntlets, have a separately padded index
finger to give extra sensitivity to the spear posture.

The valid targets in naginata are just the same as for kendo but with the
addition of the sune, or shins.  The same conditions for cutting apply;
That is to say the cut must be delivered with intention to strike that
particular area, it must be given with proper form, it must be made with
the correct part of the bamboo blade, it must be accompanied by a kiai or
shout and there must be movement of one or both feet simultaneous to the
strike.  However, in naginata the cut is usually comparatively light
compared to that given in kendo.  If  the spear were a real weapon, its
weight would ensure the cut was
effective.(9)

The techniques for this seminar are taken from the U.S. Naginata Federation, the Katori Shinto Ryu, and Kokusai Jujutsu Renmei. This will give you techniques of naginata and naginata-jutsu. The naginata form in this seminar almost exclusively consists of techniques of naginata-jutsu.

The techniques presented are challenging to anyone interested in the
naginata. it is always up to the individual as to what suits them.

The unique aspect about the naginata is that it can be used as a Bo, a
Sword, and a Spear. This gives you a hitting, cutting, and thrusting
capability.

Enjoy the challenge of the Naginata, the weapon of the Samurai warrior.


FOOTNOTES

  1. Winderbaum, Larry, The Martial Arts Encyclopedia, p. 120.

  2. Farkas, Emil and John Corcoran, The Overlook Martial Arts Dictionary, p. 29, 30.

  3. Williams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p. 46.

  4. U.S. Naginata Federation, Naginata: Ancient Form-Modern Motion, Video Tape.

  5. Williams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p. 46.

  6. Ibid., p. 46.

  7. U.S. Naginata Federation, Naginata: Ancient Form-Modern Motion, Video Tape.

  8. Williams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p. 46.

  9. Ibid., p. 50, 51.


Happo Buri (warmup exercises)


Happo buri utilizes all the basic cuts which gives the practitioner the
opportunity to unify mind and body through an even and steady pace.

1. Jodan Buri:              Center naginata over your head: Switch
   (overhead)               your grip overhead when changing sides.



2. Naname Buri:             Blade up and behind;  When the follow
   (oblique)                through is complete, the shoulder is forward.



3. Yodo Buri:               The naginata is parallel with the surface ; Is hip
    (side)                  level and your arms should be extended.



4. Naname Buri Shitake:     Your arms are extended with the naginata below
    (upward)                hip level.  The blade arcs around for return. The
                            blade is behind you.



5. Rikaeshi:                The blade stays down during the grip change while
    (downward)              the shaft is over your head.









Tai Sabaki (footwork)


Footwork is involved when moving the body and when striking. One should
try to walk with the hips as the center of the body. Movement should cause
no sway in the upper body.


1. Okuri ashi (sliding step):     For use when striking and is the basis
                                  for moving in all directions.  Lead foot
                                  moves forward, the back foot slides
                                  up.


2. Iumi ashi (walking step):      Allows you to move backwards and
                                  forwards.


3. Hara kioshi (side step):       This is used when avoiding a strike or
                                  responding.


4. Fumi kioshi:                   Used for changing the direction the
                                  body is facing, on the spot, when
                                  striking or responding.


5. Tsugi ashi:                    Used when striking from a distance or
                                  when you want to take proper
                                  distance quickly.  (Shift the weight to
                                  the back foot and skip or vice versa.)




Uchi (Strikes)

Furiage (overhead windup) - Start position, chudan-no-kamae.

1. Furiage men uchi:               Strike to center of forehead.

2. Furiage sune uchi:              Strike to the shin.

3. Furiage kale uchi:              Strike to the wrist.


Mochikae (overhead and to one side) - Start position, hasso-no-kamae.

1. Mochikae soku men uchi:         Impacts the head just slightly to
                                   the right or left of center.

2. Mochikae sune uchi:             Impacts the wrist.

3. Cho uchi:                       Start position, waki gamae; Horizontal
                                   strike to the center of the body.


Furikaeshi -Start position, chudan-no-kamae; One must keep the blade facing
down, change the grip above the head, and bring the naginata down
to strike.

1. Furikaeshi men uchi:            Strike to the head.

2. Furikaeshi kote uchi:           Strike to the wrist.

3. Furikaeshi sune uchi:           Strike to the shin.


Tsuki: Start position, chudan-no-kamae. Thrust to the throat.




NAGINATA FORM


P'OKP'UNG NUN (Storm's Eye)

Bow. Naginata in left hand, blade curved down. Ready stance.
  1. Move left foot back into Chudan-no-kamae. Roll blade tip up at the same time.

  2. Move right foot back into ten-no-kamae. As you side step to left with right foot and pivot on left deflect sword with staff end of naginata. Leap forward and down onto left knee while striking diagonally downward through attackers left side.

  3. As you stand and move right foot back, deflect the attacker's head strike with the staff. Position in in-no-kamae (fight hand is the higher position and the blade tip points behind you).

  4. Step forward with right foot and make a downward diagonal blade strike to attacker's left side. Immediately step forward using okuri ashi (sliding step), keeping right foot lead and strike to attacker's head. Immediately step forward again using okuri ashi, strike to the attacker's midsection, gedan-no- kamae.

  5. Receive cut to your right side on staff of naginata (draw right foot back along with naginata); Perform whirling turn, counterclockwise 360 degrees; And counter with blade strike to attacker's trunk, right foot lead.

  6. Suppress attacker's sword with top edge of blade. Downward diagonal blade strike through right side of attacker's neck.

  7. Pull right foot back, simultaneously deflect sword strike to head. immediately leap, putting your right foot forward and left foot back, blade striking attacker's neck following through, come down on your left knee, and run the blade through the downed attacker.*

  8. Draw right foot back into jodan-no-kamae, blocking sword as you stand.

  9. Execute upward blade strike to midsection, right foot forward. Gedan posture.

  10. Deflect sword strike to your right side and perform whirling turn as in no. 5, followed by blade strike to attacker's right trunk. Right foot forward.

  11. Step forward with left foot and simultaneously do a downward blade strike to head; Leap as you step with right foot and execute a downward blade strike following through attacker's left side, come down on your left knee.*

  12. Stand up into chudan-no-kamae. Move right foot back, look left, pivot to the left 45 degrees executing kowaki-no-kamae (deflect sword strike as you move into this posture).

  13. This technique is FUJIN. Step forward with right foot, move left foot off to right, at the same time execute an upward blade strike to sword wrist. Simultaneously step forward with left foot, change grip, execute downward blade strike through neck or back.

  14. Look to left, turn to the left 45 degrees with right foot lead in chudan- no-kamae. This next technique is called JUJI, which is a Chinese character written with two lines, one horizontal line and one vertical line. Horizontal the naginata; Step forward with the left foot into cross stance simultaneously striking the attacker with the staff; Step down with right foot step back with left foot, simultaneously execute a downward blade strike through the neck. Chudan- no-kamae.

  15. Turn to the left 45 degrees into jodan-no-kamae; Step forward with left foot and execute Furikaeshi kote uchi, immediately followed by Furikaeshi sune uchi (step forward with right foot).

  16. Turn to the left 45 degrees by pivoting on left foot and stepping back with right into ten-no-kamae. As in no. 2., side step to left with right foot and pivot on left deflect sword with staff end of naginata. Leap forward and down onto left knee while striking diagonally downward through attackers left side.

  17. As in no. 3, As you stand and move right foot back, deflect the attacker's head strike with the staff. Position in in-no-kamae (right hand is the higher position and the blade tip points behind you).

  18. As in no. 4, Step forward with right foot and make a downward diagonal blade strike to attacker's left side. Immediately step forward using okuri ashi (sliding step), keeping right foot lead and strike to attacker's head. Immediately step forward again using okuri ashi, strike to the attacker's midsection, gedan-no-kamae.

  19. As in no. 5, Receive cut to your right side on staff of naginata (draw right foot back along with naginata); Perform whirling turn, counterclockwise 360 degrees; And counter with blade strike to attacker's trunk, right foot lead.

  20. As in no. 6. Suppress attacker's sword with top edge of blade. Downward diagonal blade strike through right side of attacker's neck.

  21. Immediately leap, pulting your right foot forward and left foot back, blade striking attacker's neck following through, come down on your left knee, and run the blade through the downed attacker.*

  22. As in no. 8, Draw right foot back into jodan-no-kamae, blocking sword as you stand.

  23. As in no. 9, Execute upward blade strike to midsection, right foot forward. Gedan posture.

  24. As in no.10, deflect sword strike to your right side and perform whirling turn as in no.5, followed by blade strike to attacker's right trunk. Right foot forward.

  25. As in no. 11, Step forward with left foot and sirnultaneously do a downward blade strike to head; Leap as you step with right foot and execute a downward blade strike following through attackers left side, come down on your left knee.*

  26. Stand up into chudan-no-kamae. Shift the left foot to the left 45 degrees into waki gamae. Step forward with right foot and execute do uchi. immediately step forward with left foot and execute another do uchi.

  27. This next technique is called Sui Getsu which means solar plexus. Shift the left foot 45 degrees to the left into in-no-kamae. Step forward with left foot using okuri ashi, at the same time drive the butt of the staff into the attacker's solar plexus. Step forward with right foot and execute an upward blade strike through the groin. Step back in cross stance, still looking in attacker's direction.

  28. Right foot forward, left foot back as you turn left 45 degrees into gedan-no-kamae (blade end down, shaft end up, tip pointing up). Side step to the right with the right foot lifting the left leg (to avoid injury and escaping completely to the side). Do not change the hand position and strike from the attacker's right side diagonally to the left, cutting the legs. Strike down through the neck at the same time put left foot down. This technique is KOCHO: Move like a butterfly, peacefully but clear. Move back into chudan-no-kamae.

  29. Turn to the left 45 degrees by moving the right foot back and pivoting on the left to the left to position for Sukui Age (blade behind you, angled lower than shaft end, blade tip up). Execute SUKUl AGE meaning windmill technique. Sweep up from right to left, switch grip in center of staff, sweep up left to right after four sequences, wind up over right shoulder leaping up, simultaneously do a downward blade strike through neck or back.* Surprise is what you want. The hands and wrists are the targets.

  30. Right foot moves back to Ready position. Naginata blade is arching down, in your left grip, and your right open hand placed in front of right leg. Right palm resting on right leg. Bow.



P'OKP'UNG NUN
FORM PATTERN


The form is executed by moving counter-clockwise in 45 degree increments. The naginata-ka is the calm, the Eye of the Storm. The storm, the carnage surrounding the naginata-ka, does not disturb the calm unless he allows it to.
Some of you have probably heard Master Shean say, that when you are free sparring, it should be done as if you were another person outside of yourself watching both you and your opponent. When that happens, you are the calm; You are impartial with no emotion.

NOTE: Kihaps in form denoted by (*).


FOOTNOTES

  1. Winderbaum, Larry, The Martial Arts Encyclopedia, p.120.

  2. Farkas, Emil and John Corcoran,The Overlook Martial Arts Dictionary, p.29,30.

  3. Willliams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p.46.

  4. U.S. Naginata Federation, Naginata: Ancient Form-Modern Motion, Video Tape.

  5. Williams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p46.

  6. Ibid., p.46

  7. U.S. Naginata Federation, Naginata: Ancient Form-Modern Motion, Video Tape.

  8. Williams, Byrn, General Editor, Martial Arts of the Orient, p.46

  9. Ibid., p.50, 51.


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