The fully researched history of the Hokushin Ittô-ryû Hyôhô from the beginnings in the Bakumatsu era through the Meiji, Taishô, Shôwa and Heisei periods up to the present day can be found in the following PDF document:
Hokushin Ittô-ryû Hôhô is a classical japanese martial art (kôryu) based on swordsmanship founded in the 1820s by the samurai Chiba Shûsaku Narimasa. He built the school on the principles of the famouns Ittô-ryû and his family style, Hokushin Mûso-ryû.
The school consists of the three teaching levels Shoden, Chûden and Okuden.
Within those levels following curriculum is taught:
- Kenjutsu (fighting techniques with katana and wakizashi)
- Battôjutsu (sword drawing techniques with katana and wakizashi)
- Naginatajutsu (fighting techniques with the glaive)
- Jûjutsu (unarmed fighting techniques)
- Gekiken (traditional sparring with bōgu and shinai)
The teaching system is kata-based. These are fixed movement patterns which preserve and transmit proven combat techniques. There are paired and solo kata. In addition, basics training (Kihon) is done as well which includes correct bodywork and basic cutting and thrusting techniques.
The Hokushin Ittô-ryû, together with some other schools, was a major influence on the development of modern Kendô in the late 19th century.
Today the school is carried on by Ôtsuka Ryûnosuke Masatomo as 7th Sôke. He is leading the Chiba-Dôjô in Munich as the Honbu-Dôjô of the school. The Basel training group (Keikojô) is affiliated directly with the Honbu-Dôjô.
Like other Koryû (martial traditions founded before 1868) the Hokushin Ittô-ryû kept their old grading system which consists of five degrees (scrolls).
There are no gradings like e.g. Shodan („black belt“) etc. as in modern martial arts such as Kendô, Iaidô, Judô and so on.
To attend training there is no experience in martial arts required but it might be beneficial in the learning progress to learn about the cultural and historical aspects of classical japanese martial arts (Koryû). For this, you can find a recommended reading list here.
If you are interested to find out more about training in Hokushin Ittô-ryû Hyôhô please use the contact form here.
For more in-depth information in english on the history, technical curriculum and characteristics of Hokushin Ittô-ryû Hyôhô please visit: http://uk.hokushinittoryu.com/