Why choose Iaijutsu?
Many martial arts that have self defense applications in the current world often focus on developing those skills and techniques whilst overlooking the mental and spiritual training associated with the style.
Our style does not have an obvious 'street' application, however the skills and techniques do have practical use. The formal structure and moderate pace of our style create the perfect environment to develop mental discipline and spiritual awareness helping you improve your everyday life.
A brief history of our art
Born in the mid 15th Century Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu was born near modern day Murayama City, in the Yamagata prefecture to a Samurai family under the ruling Minamoto clan. After the death of his father in a duel, Hayashizaki being only young knew he would need a significant advantage if he was to defeat his fathers killer.
He entered the local Shinto shrine and spent 100 days in prayer and practice developing a technique of drawing and cutting in a single motion which he used to prevail in the duel. This style of swordsmanship became known as Shinmei Muso-Ryu (Divine Vision Style).
Less than forty years later at about the time firearms were introduced to Japan by the Portuguese the most significant development of the samurai sword (the tachi) occurred, making it shorter and straighter to be worn with the cutting edge upwards. These newer designs called katana or daito are what are generally considered as the 'samurai sword' today.
Hasegawa Chikara-no-Suke Hidenobu (known today as Hasegawa Eishin) a 7th generation disciple of Shinmei Muso-Ryu adapted the techniques used by Hayashizaki for the katana.
In about 1590 Hasegawa was asked to demonstrate his techniques for the recently unified supreme military commander of Japan Toyotomi Hideyoshi who bestowed on him the title Muso Ken (Sword without Equal).
Upon the death of the Manno Danemono-Jo in 1610, Hasegawa succeeded him as head teacher of the Shinmei Muso-Ryu. However other disciples of Hayashizaki Jinsuke had maintained their style using the older tachi design sword meaning there were two styles coexisting.
Eventually Shinmei Muso-Ryu became known as Hayashizaki Shin Muso-Ryu (Hayashizaki New Vision Style) and Hasegawa's system was renamed Hasegawa-Ryu or Eishin-Ryu to distinguish them.