(Is it in the rules?) Everything about kendo two-wielding: A complete guide from technique to history to practice

The two-sword style of kendo has attracted the attention of many kendo practitioners for its unique technique and historical background.

In this article, we will comprehensively explain everything about Nisword Kendo, starting with the basics, technical details, how to choose tools, and training methods.

Taking a different approach to Kendo’s traditional Itto-ryu, Ni-sword-ryu offers not only technical skill but also spiritual depth.

Through this guide, you will be able to deepen your understanding of the appeal of kendo dual wielding and its practice, and explore new possibilities of kendo techniques.



What is dual wielding? :Basic concept of two-sword fighting in Kendo

Kendo’s two-sword style is a tactical and technical system that uses two swords, as opposed to the common one-sword style.

This section delves into the basic concept of dual wielding, its historical background, and the unique techniques and characteristics of dual wielding.

Nisword-ryu occupies a unique position within Kendo, and has its own unique techniques and philosophy, making it an area of ​​interest to many Kendo practitioners.


Historical background of dual wielding

Dual-wielding swordsmanship was greatly developed by Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most famous military commanders during the Sengoku period.

Musashi was a master of swordsmanship known from the Book of Five Rings, and his Niten Ichiryu swordsmanship established a unique style in which he held a short sword in his left hand and a long sword in his right hand.

This style contributed to his many duel and battle successes and became the basis for dual wielding in later Kendo.


Techniques and characteristics of dual wielding

Unlike one-sword-ryu, the technique of two-sword-ryu focuses on mastering the sword with both hands. The main features of this technology are:

  • Combining offensive and defensive tactics : Dual-wielding allows you to attack and defend at the same time. This allows you to maintain a defensive position while applying sustained pressure on your opponent.
  • Fluidity and Flexibility : Using two swords increases the variety of attacks and fluidity of movement. This allows you to perform a variety of techniques to confuse your opponent.
  • Requires a high degree of skill and concentration : Mastering dual wielding requires a high degree of skill and mental concentration. It is technically more difficult than Itto-ryu and requires skill.


Two-sword kendo brings a new dimension to the practice of kendo with its unique techniques and tactics.

Learning this style is both a technical challenge for Kendo practitioners and an opportunity to develop one’s spirituality.



Technical basics of dual wielding: effective learning methods

The process of learning dual-wielding kendo relies heavily on technical fundamentals and precise movements.

This section focuses on the basic stances and movements of dual-wielding, as well as attack and defense techniques unique to dual-wielding, and explains how to effectively learn them.

Learning dual wielding is an important step for a Kendo practitioner to take their technique to the next level.


Basic posture and movements

The basic stance of two-sword fighting begins with “holding a dagger (small sword) in the left hand and a long sword (taito) in the right hand.” This stance is practiced as follows:

  1. Maintain proper posture : It’s important to keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and your feet planted firmly on the ground. This stable posture allows for effective attacks and rapid movement.
  2. Position and grip of the sword : Hold the long sword slightly upwards, and the short sword downwards, so that each sword naturally moves in harmony with your body. Pay attention to the position of your hand and the amount of force you use when gripping the sword, and try not to use unnecessary force.


Attack and defense techniques unique to dual wielding

Dual-wielding attack and defense techniques are known for their variety and complexity. The following points are particularly important:

  1. Simultaneous attack and defense : The biggest advantage of dual-wielding is that you can attack with one sword and defend with the other at the same time. Mastering this technique requires coordination of both arms and precision of timing.
  2. Selection of techniques according to the situation : Choose attack or defense techniques according to the opponent’s movements and respond flexibly. In dual-wielding, the balance between offensive posture and defense is important, and how to achieve this balance is the key to improving your technique.
  3. Practice continuous techniques : Attacking and defending with a series of fluid movements maximizes the effectiveness of dual wielding. Repetitive practice is essential for practicing continuous techniques.


Mastering dual wielding requires a particularly high degree of technique and concentration compared to other styles of kendo.

By learning these basics thoroughly and practicing these techniques in daily practice, you will be able to deepen your skills and understanding as a Kendo practitioner.



Dual wielding tools and equipment

Practicing Kendo dual wielding requires the proper tools and equipment.

In particular, it is important to choose the correct shinai and adjust the protective equipment.

This section details how to choose dual-wielding-specific tools and how to properly adjust your protective equipment.

This knowledge is essential to safely and effectively practice and combat dual wielding.


How to choose the right bamboo sword

Unlike regular kendo, in Nito-ryu, one person uses two Shinai. The following points are important when choosing:

  1. Size and Balance : Shinai used as long swords are of standard length, but Shinai used as daggers are generally shorter than usual. It is important to make sure that each shinai is well balanced and has a weight and length that is easy to manipulate.
  2. Checking the quality : We pay special attention to the quality of the bamboo sword, checking its flexibility and durability. Shinai swords made from high-quality bamboo are highly durable and can be used safely for long periods of time.
  3. Match the skill and physique of the individual : Choose a shinai according to the skill level and physique of the user. Especially when it comes to daggers, it is recommended to place emphasis on ease of use and choose one that is optimized for individual usability.


Protective equipment and its adjustment

When practicing dual wielding, the use of proper protective equipment is very important to prevent injury:

  1. Adjustment of the mask : The mask is a piece of equipment that protects the face, and it is essential that it fits properly. Adjust the straps on the surface properly and securely secure the surface so that it does not move.
  2. Selection of torso (dou) and tare (tare) : The torso protects the torso, and the tare protects from the waist down. Dual wielding requires ease of movement, so it is important that the equipment fits properly and does not interfere with free movement.
  3. Other protective equipment : Gloves, trowels to protect the tops of the feet, equipment to protect the shins, etc. should be adjusted appropriately to ensure an overall balance of protection.


By appropriately selecting and adjusting these tools and equipment, you can increase the safety and effectiveness of dual-wielding kendo.

The selection and adjustment of equipment plays a major role in improving kendo techniques, providing an environment where kendo practitioners can hone their techniques with peace of mind.



Two-wielding training method: A practical training approach

A practical training approach is essential to mastering dual-wielding kendo.

This section provides a detailed explanation of effective training methods, focusing on building a daily training schedule and practicing strategies with opponents.

A specific training plan aimed at improving dual-wielding technique and enhancing practical ability is the foundation for Kendo practitioners to master this complex style.


Daily practice schedule

A well-planned daily practice schedule is important for effective dual wielding:

  1. Practicing basic techniques : Spend time practicing basic stances and movements multiple times a week. This includes repeated practice of offensive and defensive techniques specific to dual-wielding.
  2. Kata Exercises : On certain days, we will focus on Kata exercises to improve fluidity and accuracy. Through shapes, we deepen our understanding of technical styles and confirm the accuracy of movements.
  3. Strength and flexibility training : At the beginning and end of the training session, we will perform exercises to strengthen your strength and improve your flexibility to condition your body.


Practice strategy with opponents

Practicing against an opponent is a great opportunity to put your dual-wielding skills to the test:

  1. Competing with different styles : Actively practice with different one-sword style swordsmen to develop the ability to adapt to different strategies for two-sword style. This will increase your ability to respond in actual combat.
  2. Improving reaction speed and judgment : Train your situational judgment and reaction speed through competition in an environment similar to actual combat. Fast-paced matches will help you get used to the pressure of a real match.
  3. Utilizing feedback : After a match, we receive feedback from instructors and senior swordsmen to clarify areas for improvement. Self-reflection and actively seeking the opinions of others can improve the quality of your practice.


These practical training approaches are essential for effectively mastering the techniques of dual wielding kendo and maximizing performance at the competitive level.

With deliberate and consistent effort, it is possible to develop advanced dual-wielding techniques and tactics.



Is there dual wielding in Kendo? Dual Wielding as a Competition: Rules and Match Format

Two-sword fighting is recognized as a special style within Kendo, and there are specific rules and formats for handling it as a competition.

This section will delve into the rules of dual wielding as a competition, how it is handled in domestic and international tournaments, and the strategy and psychological warfare involved in the match.

Understanding how dual wielding fits into competitive kendo is important for kendo practitioners to learn and apply this style.


Handling of dual wielding in domestic and international tournaments

Although dual wielding has some recognition and popularity, especially in competitions within Japan, it is not yet common as an official national competition.

Two-wielding matches may be held at some regional tournaments or at certain martial arts festivals, and these are often treated as special events.

Internationally, competitions that incorporate dual wielding are even more limited and are typically performed as exhibitions or demonstrations.


According to modern kendo rules, two-sword fighting is permitted in kendo matches for university students and above.

However, since dual-wielding tends to be weak in close-range combat, it seems that there are few people who challenge fighting with dual-wielding.


Strategy and psychological warfare in matches

In a dual-wielding match, strategy and psychological warfare are key:

  1. Distance management : Since dual-wielding attacks have more diverse attack ranges than normal, it is important to effectively manage distance. By positioning yourself one step ahead of your opponent, you will secure an advantage in attack.
  2. Variety of attacks : Compared to Itto-ryu, there are many different attack methods, so it is possible to launch unpredictable attacks. It is strategically effective to take advantage of this diversity and toy with the opponent’s defense.
  3. Use of psychological pressure : It is also important to take advantage of the uniqueness of dual wielding and apply psychological pressure to your opponent. Use surprise attacks and continuous attacks to disrupt your opponent’s concentration and turn the flow of the match in your favor.


These strategies and psychological warfare are essential for a kendo practitioner who practices dual wielding to be successful in a match.

Dual wielding has a unique place within Kendo due to its complexity and technical demands, and understanding and applying these tactical approaches will lead to victory in matches.



    Psychological and spiritual aspects of dual wielding

    Kendo’s dual wielding goes beyond mere technical training and promotes deep psychological and spiritual growth.

    This section delves into spiritual growth through dual wielding and improving focus and spirituality.

    More than just learning tactics, dual wielding is a means for kendo practitioners to face their inner self and grow.


    Spiritual growth through dual wielding

    Dual sword training plays an important role in the spiritual growth of a Kendo practitioner. The following factors are particularly influential:

    1. Patience and self-control : Dual wielding requires great skill and delicate balance, so in the process of mastering it, kendo practitioners develop great patience and self-control. These mental qualities come naturally because they require calmness in the face of challenges and continuous effort.
    2. Courage to overcome fear : Dual sword fighting is often riskier than other styles, so Kendo practitioners are constantly tested on their courage to overcome fear. This will develop the ability to face challenges not only in the game, but also in everyday life.


    Improved concentration and spirituality

    The practice of dual wielding promotes enhanced concentration and mental harmony:

    1. Instant Concentration : Dual-wielding combat requires extreme concentration, as a split second can make all the difference. By training in this stressful environment, you develop the ability to concentrate instantly.
    2. Improved spirituality : Dual wielding is a style that involves a lot of dialogue with the self, and along with deepening self-understanding and self-acceptance, spirituality increases. Additionally, the continuous flow of techniques and precise movements have a meditative element, promoting peace of mind.


    Learning dual wielding is as much a process of psychological and spiritual development as it is a technical challenge for the Kendo practitioner.

    This allows Kendo practitioners to deeply explore their inner selves and grow as people.

    This deep learning is useful not only in the field of competition, but also in actions and decisions in all aspects of life.



    The role and prospects of dual wielding in modern kendo

    Nito-ryu is an interesting supplement to the traditional Itto-ryu style of kendo and adds a new dimension to modern kendo.

    This section explores in detail the role of Nito-ryu in modern Kendo, its prevalence and educational value, and its potential in the future of Kendo.

    The new perspectives and techniques brought about by dual wielding have the potential to inject new vitality into the entire Kendo world.


    The spread of dual wielding and its educational value

    The unique techniques and tactics of dual wielding play a valuable role in Kendo education. The following points support its popularity and educational value:

    1. Provides Variety : Nishouyu brings variety to Kendo techniques and tactics, providing new challenges and excitement to traditional Kendo training. This increases learners’ motivation and encourages further technical improvement.
    2. Deepening technical education : Through dual wielding, students gain a deeper understanding of Kendo techniques such as body control, tactical thinking, and even battlefield readiness.
    3. Preservation and transmission of cultural heritage : As part of Japan’s martial arts culture, Nisword Fighting is an important means of transmitting its historical and cultural values ​​to future generations.


    The future of kendo and the possibility of dual wielding

    Dual sword fighting could have an important place in the future of kendo:

    1. Exhibition on an international stage : Dual sword fighting’s unique visual appeal and technical complexity are elements that attract attention at international martial arts events and exhibitions. This could lead to the further spread of Kendo worldwide.
    2. Innovative Evolution of Kendo : As a technical innovation, Nisword Fighting is expected to revolutionize the way Kendo is taught and competed. With the introduction of new training methods and competition rules, it is predicted that Kendo will become even more diverse and accessible.
    3. Attracting new challengers to the kendo world : Encouraging new kendo practitioners who want to learn dual-wielding techniques and contributing to the revitalization of the kendo world as a whole.


    In this way, Nito-ryu plays an innovative and educational role in modern Kendo, and is an important element that expands the possibilities of Kendo into the future.

    Its charm and technical challenges will continue to provide new inspiration to new generations of Kendo practitioners.



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