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From The Martial Arts Encyclopedia


Shinkendo is a style of Japanese swordsmanship based on realistic, effective strategies and gradually, but solidly built technique. Founded by Toshishiro Obata, a life-long martial practitioner whose skill is the result of many years of training and teaching experience, the study of Shinkendo is divided into 5 main areas: 
   Drawing and cutting techniques, or "Batto-ho" (bah-toe-hoe).
   Drills & exercises with a partner, or "Tachi-uchi" (tah-chee-oo-chee). 
   Formalized sequences of pre-arranged fighting movements, or "Kata" (kah-tah) .
   Solo, skill-building focus drills, or "Suburi" (sue-boo-ree) .
   Test-cutting using a live (sharp) blade, or "Tameshigiri" (tah-mesh-ee-gear-ee) . 
     Other areas of study include sword safety & etiquette, the history of the samurai and the Japanese sword, and other related topics. At first, a bokken ("bow-ken" or wooden sword) is used in training. Once the student is able to effectively control this weapon, an iaito ("ee-eye-tow", or sword without a sharp edge) is utilized. After that, a student can move on to using a shinken (a real sword). 
    Shinkendo teaches the student to use a sword safely and effectively. Because the use of a real sword is the ultimate goal of training, Shinkendo must be studied and practiced carefully and seriously. Test-cutting enables a student to learn the proper grip, correct cutting angles, proper stances, effective combative distances, and strategies. Normally, straw matting-type material and bamboo are used as cutting targets.  
    No Shinkendo practitioner has ever been seriously injured while using a live blade. This is because Shinkendo is taught in a progressive, step-by-step method, always stressing safety, control, and abundant practice in the handling of all weapons, whether wood or steel. 
    Through the study of the Japanese sword, Shinkendo attempts to preserve bushido, "the way of the warrior," in its techniques and emphasis on realistic strategy, self-control, and personal development. 
    For further information on training in Arizona, contact one of the schools listed below. For locations outside of Arizona, check the Shinkendo Honbu (Home Dojo) Page