About Kaishin Ryu

The Japanese sword art taught at the Kaishin Dojo is called Kaishin Ryu. Kaishin is a Japanese word that means “open spirit” and it is a term that sets the tone for the study of the sword arts in functional terms. The Japanese sword arts are often so cloaked in cultural ornament that the serious would be student of these arts are confronted with training choices that offer only rote and recitation of empty form. Cultivation of this type of martial arts have no tactical relevancy or technical basis of training beyond use within a specific style. Kaishin ryu kenjutusu is different. Kaishin is a derivative of Shinkage Ryu founded by Kamizumi Nobutsuna around 1560 A.D. And is very much a living art that strives to give the student real martial ability with the sword. It is the over arching philosophy of our dojo that sound, effective martial arts training from a results oriented perspective provides the student with the mental and spiritual forging that original martial arts provided so long ago.

Our school is unique in that it has a specialized methodology that allows the student to practice the art in several important fronts.

The study of Kaishin focuses the student in three major areas of study
No other dojo in the Minnesota can offer you these:

  1. Kata, which can be described as pre arranged movements with the sword, is performed both seated and standing. The study of this is a solo endeavor and is responsible for gaining some critical aspects of awareness of the self and of the sword.
  2. Technical and tactical drill with both steel swords and with bokken (wooden swords). These drills include both cutting and blocking methods and techniques as well as tactical study of entry and dispatch. These drills not only teach the student the technical aspects of sword fighting, but they also reinforce awareness of timing and distance with regards to an opponent.
  3. Shobu, which is essentially a free form fight with bokken or sometimes a specialized tool called fukuroshinai (split bamboo sword that has been covered with leather) used by advanced students. This is perhaps the most stark difference between the art of Kaishin ryu kenjutsu and the world’s most common sword art of musoshinden ryu iaido. This is also where the art of Kaishin ryu kenjutsu finds its nexus. All other areas of training reinforce this functional expression of the art. At higher levels of training, these matches are very much like chess, in that the mental positions of the combatants are required to be as sharp as any physical technique. Strategies and tactics built upon the other areas of study begin to emerge and a very elegant expression of shobu is a result.

Kaishin is an art that has at its heart, a methodology that sharply focuses the student, allowing one to actively gain a functional, combatively capable understanding of the techniques, tactics and strategies of the Japanese sword. No other dojo in Minnesota can offer the student these abilities.