Genko Nito-ryu is a style recompiled from Yamaguchi-ryu, which was established in the 6th year of Genna (1620).
The main principles are cutting with closest and quickest movements, and cutting without any wasteful movements.
Yamaguchi-ryu is a style founded by Yamaguchi Umanosuke Ietoshi (His “go” was Bokushinsai) who was born (1582) ２years earlier than Miyamoto Musashi (1584). At the time of its founding, Yamaguchi-ryu only had three nito-ryu kata and two tachi kata. At a later date, a pupil (of Yamaguchi’s) by the name of Shintomita added seven tachi kata and seven kodachi (wakizashi) kata. The tachi kata were referred to as the “omote” kata, while the kodachi kata were called the “ura”. The style was transmitted down through the Toyama-han, which was a branch of the Maeda-han.
The founder of Mugairyu, Tsuji Gettan, opened a dojo in Edo as a recipient of menkyo-kaiden in Yamaguchi-ryu, but as a swordsman from the countryside he did not have many students. After an extensive period of zazen for 20 years, Gettan revised his Yamaguchi-ryu teachings into Mugairyu (in 1693 at 45years old).
After training thoroughly in Mugairyu, we research the roots of Mugairyu (Yamaguchi-ryu), and we can rediscover the nito-ryu from the time of Yamaguchi-ryu’s founding.
Nito-ryu is more advantageous than itto-ryu. Even Miyamoto Musashi said, “If you can use your left and right arms equally, nito-ryu is more advantageous than itto-ryu.” This is extremely natural and can be easily understood through nito-ryu training.
In modern kendo, hits to the neck are not recognized (as a lost point for the person who was hit) because kendo is a sport, and only certain decided spots are counted.
However, kenjutsu employs technqiues that are killing (life taking) techniques that affect both opponents in a duel. If the neck is cut, that person dies. Modern kendo is a sport, and therefore “death” is not a part of its underlying philosophy.
We understand that death is certain when cut or stabbed by a sword, and this fundamental understanding is central to our training.