Toyama-ryu Swordsmanship

Originally a small sub-system of sword drawing techniques created for officers of the Japanese Imperial Army, Toyama ryu is now represented in various forms throughout the world as an independent martial art.


These kata were created and standardized (seitei) in 1925 in response to concern that officers would not be able to effectively draw and employ their sword (gunto) should the need arise while operating in hostile environments. After WWII, the Japanese Imperial Army was disbanded, and three major lines of Toyama ryu gunto soho were adapted and taught independently - Morinaga style, Yamaguchi style, and Nakamura style. Nakamura Taizaburo sensei was one of Obata kaiso's main sword instructors, and as such the art of Toyama ryu was charged to him upon his relocation to America as the Chief Instructor (honbu-cho) of Toyama ryu in the United States.


Since that time, Toyama ryu has been completely subsumed into the shinkendo curriculum and embellished as follows (click images to enlarge):


Toyama ryu kihon kata (the eight basic kata as transmitted through the Nakamura line) 


Toyama ryu jokyu kata (advanced variations on the eight basic kata)


Toyama ryu henka (advanced applied variations)


Toyama ryu hensen (the study of the original methods and their technical evolution to the present time; Gunto soho, Battojutsu and Battodo/Iaido periods.)


Toyama ryu is categorized in shinkendo as "gaiden waza" ("foreign" outside techniques), and as such are taught as part of the overall curriculum. This line of Toyama ryu emphasizes accurate, rapid deployment of the sword and strong expression of kiai.


Cross training in aikibujutsu and shinkendo/ Toyama ryu will greatly improve the understanding of the other arts, and will give one not only a strong body, but also a calm, clear and focused spirit.


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