Shindo Muso-ryu Ken Jutsu

The history of Shindo Muso-ryu Ken Jutsu

Kasumi Shintō-ryū kenjutsu (Shintō-ryū kenjutsu)

A collection of eight long-sword and four short-sword kata, including one two-sword kata are found in Shintō Musō-ryū. Neither the twelve kata nor the art itself had any known name in the Shintō Musō-ryū until the mid-19th century when “Shintō-ryū kenjutsu” started to be used and specific names were given for each of the twelve kata. In the 20th century, “Kasumi Shintō-ryū” or more recently “Shintō Kasumi-ryū” has surfaced as the original name for the twelve kata as taught in the Shintō Musō-ryū, though it is not yet an official name.

Uchida-ryū tanjōjutsu – (Sutekki-jutsu)

Uchida-ryu is the art of using the tanjō, (a 90 cm staff). It was originally created by SMR menkyo Uchida Ryogoro in the late 19th century. It contains twelve kata, which at the time of their inception were loosely organised into a system called “sutteki-jutsu”, were derived mainly from Shintō Musō-ryū and Ikkaku-ryū techniques. “Sutteki” was the Japanese pronouncement of the English word “stick”. Sutteki-jutsu was further developed by his son Uchida Ryohei, who systematized his father’s work and brought about the modern Uchida-ryū tanjōjutsu system. The art was first known as Sutekki-Jutsu and later named Uchida-ryū in honor of its creator. The art was adopted into SMR to be taught alongside the other arts.

Jutte(jitte) and tessen

The Jutte is featured in several Japanese martial arts. For more information see the Jutte article. The jutte (or jitte) was a widespread Edo period police weapon used to control, disarm and subdue a criminal who would most likely be armed with a sword, without killing him (except in extreme situations). There exists at least 200 known variations of the jutte. The jutte used in Shintō Musō-ryū is approx 45 cm in length. In the integrated art of Ikkaku-ryū juttejutsu, the tessen, or war fan, approximately 30 cm in length, is used in tandem with the jutte in some of the kata.


The Kusarigama is featured in several Japanese martial arts. For more information see the Kusarigama article.

The Kusarigama is a chain-and-sickle weapon. The weapon is used in several ryu and the design varies from school to school. The kusarigama used in Isshin-ryū has a straight, double-edged 30 cm blade with a wooden handle approx 36 cm long with an iron guard to protect the hand. The chain (kusari) has a heavy iron weight and is attached to the bottom of the handle. The chain is 12 shaku long (3.6 meters) and the attached weight can be thrown against an opponent’s weapon, hands or body, either disarming him or otherwise preventing him from properly defending himself against the kama. In some kata, the iron weight is thrown directly at the attackers body causing injury or stunning the opponent. The kusarigama also has non-lethal kata designed to trap and apprehend a swordsman, partially by using the long chain as a restraint. A famous user of the kusarigama outside of Shintō Musō-ryū was Shishido Baiken, who was killed in a duel with the legendary Miyamoto Musashi. During kata practice a safer, all-wooden version, (except the metal handguard), is used with softer materials replacing the chain and weight. For demonstrations (embu) a kusarigama with a metal blade is sometimes used.

Dento Kobudo Kai train in the traditional forms of Shindo Muso-ryu Ken Jutsu, including the ancillary weapons the Jutte and the Kusarigama, and the Manriki-Gusari (Weighted Chain). Our Shindo Muso-ryu Ken Jutsu is under the guidance of Sensei Sam Winder 5th Dan assisted by Sensei Dave Hart