Nakamura-ryu

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Nakamura-ryu Happogiri Battodo (???????????) is a modern battojutsu style created by Nakamura Taizaburo (1912–2003).

Nakamura Taizaburo was born in 1912 in Yamagata prefecture. He resided in Tsurumi, Yokohama, where he presided over the International Iai-Battodo Federation and taught battodo for the Kakuseikai until his death in 2003.

Nakamura was awarded 10th dan hanshi battodo by the International Martial Arts Federation, 7th dan kyoshi by the All Japan Kendo Federation, 8th dan hanshi, Jukendo and 8th dan hanshi, Tankendo. In 1992, by Imperial Decree he was awarded Japan’s highest cultural award, Living National Treasure.

Nakamura developed battodo while teaching kenjutsu in northern China. He was inspired by the idea that the eiji happo (the eight principles of writing kanji) could be applied to swordsmanship. He began to organize his understandings into a system of practical swordsmanship in which non-martial techniques were discarded (much like the practical Toyama-ryu of the early 20th century).

The system is based on Nakamura’s studies whilst teaching Toyama-ryu: bringing the sword blade to a halt after a cut, parrying, progressing to the next combative posture using the sword’s kinetic energy. It also makes use of what, through his researches, Nakamura found absent from many other schools of iaido, kendo, and battojutsu: the kesagiri, a cut he thought extremely useful.[2]

The cutting techniques of the Nakamura-ryu are effective in their simplicity: the thrust (either single- or double-handed), the downward vertical cut, left downward diagonal cut, right upward diagonal cut, right downward diagonal cut, left upward diagonal cut, left horizontal cut, and right horizontal cut. The eight cutting techniques are derived from the eiji happo.

Eight chiburi were then incorporated into the system. The basic chiburi used in both Toyama-ryu iaido and Nakamura-ryu battodo is actually an en garde position: the sword is snapped down, its point slightly elevated at knee level; from this position, one can maintain zanshin as well as convert easily to a thrust, should the need arise. Nakamura added seven more chiburi, notably from Omori-ryu and Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-ryu kenjutsu.

The five kamae of kendo/iaido were also incorporated into the style, to which were added the left-side versions of waki kamae and hasso kamae, and right jodan kamae, making eight kamae altogether.