In 2012, May 2012

Enbukan Battojutsu Seminar May 12th

What is it?

Enbukan Battojutsu is an umbrella for several koryu (old) schools of Japanese martial traditions, including Enshin Itto Ryu school of Battojutsu, the sword art of the Machida family. The Enbukan is the formal organization which contains many of the koryu / kobujutsu offered to general students.

The arts of the Enbukan are kept as individual koryu taught alongside each other in their original formats. The system has a strong focus on classical Japanese swordsmanship which includes:

  • Enshin Itto Ryu Battojutsu
  • Jigen Ryu Battojutsu
  • Muso Shinden Fudo Ikken Ryu Battojutsu
  • Nen Ryu Battojutsu
  • Mugai Ryu Battojutsu

Enbukan training is not widely available outside Japan. There is a relatively small number of Enbukan Dojo and many of these Dojo are run by jikideshi (direct disciples) of Machida Kenshinsai, Soke. Unlike martial arts organizations which are made up of multiple ryuha (schools), many of these Enbukan Dojo do not teach every ryuha of the Enbukan. Students of the Enbukan are separately licensed to teach individual schools.

Most of the Enbukan schools outside of Japan, teach the sword schools of the Enbukan. These sword schools, characterized by an emphasis on the application of drawing (nukiuchi), cutting (giri), and returning the sword to its saya or sheath (noto), are called Battojutsu. Sword training in the Enbukan emphasizes application and correct understanding of the historical principles of the school, as well as the esoteric or spiritual elements that come with long-term training.

Who are they?

The Machida clan served under the Tokugawa Shogunate and are a respected Samurai family. On the maternal side, the Tagyu Clan has served under the Aizu Clan. After being defeated in the Saccho Aizu Boshin War, the predecessors of the Machida Clan fled to Hitachinaka (modern Ibaraki prefecture) Sukegawa and developed Bugei Ryu Sogo Budo, his system of classical Japanese martial arts, now known as the Enbukan.

Machida Kenshinsai, Sensei, together with his son Machida Takeshi, Soshihan (master and successor), run The Enbukan World Organization in Nodashi, Japan. Kancho, as he likes to be called, is Soke of many of these schools and holds the rank of menkyo kaiden in those that he is not. The Enbukan schools are hereditary and were passed to Machida Kancho by his father.

Machida Takeshi, Soshihan, trains, teaches, and functions as the senior instructor of the Enbukan and is dedicated to teaching and training in the traditional koryu methods of budo (martial way). The emphasis is to accurately pass on the realistic and practical traditions of budo.

Machida Kancho, is also a Shingon Priest and Machida Takeshi, Soshihan, is in training.

Enbukan Philosophy

Although sword fighting is no longer practiced today, the principles of swordfighting apply in our everyday life, in addition to enhancing and providing an underpinning for any other martial art we may study.

The focus in battojutsu is to address directly what is needed, to use utmost precision and speed; the practice of cutting straight and cutting fast. Awareness is heightened, skills are honed through kata, partner practice and tameshigiri (target cutting). The necessity of balance, posture and positioning become obvious. Emphasis is placed on extremely quick draw (nukiuchi), cutting (giri), and sheathing (noto). Sword training in the Enbukan emphasizes application and correct understanding of the historical principles of the school, as well as the esoteric or spiritual elements that come with long-term training.

The philosophy is one of experiencing the sword as one with the self, an extension of the body – mind. The development of spirit is critical in the uniting of body and mind to achieve accuracy of intention, projection of energy, unification with the center and the deep will to survive.

What am I teaching?

I am sharing the skills and kata from Enshin Itto Ryu Battojutsu art within the Enbukan. These are considered the basic skills and forms in order to understand the more complex and varied moves of the other styles. Enshin Itto Ryu is the ryu of Kancho’s father, who developed this system after studying and training in many other styles in the later 1800’s. He passed this system on to his son, Kenshinsai, Kancho.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Michi Schweizer. The seminar will be held in Ulm-Goegglingen, Germany.