This is our very first video. We are looking forward to training with all of you.
First of all, we would like to quickly mention what kind of forms the art of Tenshinryuu takes.
Tenshinryuu is a martial art that includes and combines battoujutsu, kenjutsu, long weapons such as the yari (spear) or the naginata, as well as the kusarigama and juujutsu and many, many more.

In Tenshinryuu we start with training that is mainly centred around battoujutsu.
The reason for this is, no matter how much you may excel in kenjutsu, if in the peaceful era of Edo an enemy were to suddenly attack you and you weren’t able to draw your blade in that exact moment, you would simply be killed.
Moreover, in the opposite situation, if you were to execute a criminal on the command of your feudal lord or assassinate someone, you wouldn’t able to just walk around with your sword drawn.
As such, there would be situations where you are walking around with your sword sheathed and then switch to suddenly drawing it to attack like this.
Therefore battoujutsu is extremely important, and because of that we would like to have you train the fundaments of it.

I will now explain how to hold your katana.
As for the usual samurai back then, they placed their hand beneath the kurikata with the edge of the blade facing upwards and held it like this. [This is called 提刀 (sagetou).]
The reason for this is that controlling your tsuba with your right hand, would signify combat readiness to your opponent and is connected to a move that is called ‘koiguchi wo kiru’ (cut the koiguchi), which I will explain in detail later. As such walking around like this with your right hand controlling the tsuba would usually signify to your opponent that you are ready to fight them now. Therefore, instead of holding onto the tsuba with your right hand, we will hold the sword by placing our hand beneath the kurikata.
Also, as holding the kurikata itself would likely end up dirtying the sageo (sword strap), we are holding the sword right below it.
And this is how the usual samurai would hold their sword.

So, now I will repeat taitou (wearing/putting on the sword) and dattou (taking off the sword). First, from the front.
With the palm of my left hand I find the obi on around my hip, with the right hand I keep control over the tsuba, I stretch my elbow and insert the kojiri (end of the sword/scabbard) and from there I let the rest of the sword slowly slide in. When you’re doing this please make sure that the tsuba is right in the centre in front of your body. Next up is dattou. I place my left hand onto my hip, take control over the tsuba, then take out the sword by stretching my right elbow.
Now from the side. I place my left hand onto my hip, while controlling the tsuba I strech my right elbow and first insert the kojiri of the sword and from there while making sure that the tsuba will be in the centre in front of my body, let the rest of the sword slide down slowly.
When removing the sword, I place my left hand onto my hip, take control over the tsuba and by stretching my right elbow I take out the sword.
As putting in and taking out the sword, taitou and dattou are very fundamental things and as such very important moves, please train them properly.

Next, I will explain how to cut the koiguchi (‘koiguchi wo kiru’). In case you’re wondering, this part of the saya (scabbard) is what is refered to as ‘koiguchi’. That stems from the fact that it kind of resembles the mouth (口 – ‘kuchi’) of a koi fish. Alternatively, it can also be called ‘sayaguchi’.
You cut the koiguchi by firmly pushing the tsuba and exposing the habaki. This is what we call “koiguchi wo kiru” (cutting the koiguchi).
Cutting the koiguchi is necessary because the koiguchi a normal samurai was using is tight and as such their sword was tightly closed in the saya. Therefore, even if you try you draw the sword with full intent, you likely won’t get it out of a tight koiguchi. And that is why, in order to draw your sword, you absolutely have to cut the koiguchi.
However, some training swords’ koiguchi usual samurai were using or we are using now may be loose, so sometimes you might end up drawing your sword without cutting the koiguchi. Still, cutting the koiguchi is very essential. For example, if you were to use a real sword with a tight koiguchi, you might not be able to draw it properly. Therefore, even when using a sword with a loosened koiguchi, we want you to always cut the koiguchi.

Well then, let me explain cutting the koiguchi in practice. There are 3 ways to cut the koiguchi. The first one is called “arawagiri”.
When we perform arawagiri, just like with sagetou, we place our thumb on the right side of the tsuba. If you put your thumb above the blade, you will cut it should your sword slip out by accident. And because of that, we will always put our thumb on the right side of the tsuba. While firmly keeping the index finger close to the tsuba, we firmly push it with the thumb.
Let’s to it one more time. For arawagiri we place our thumb on the right side of the tsuba. We firmly keep our index finger close to the tsuba and push it with our thumb. This is “arawagiri”.

Next is “kakushigiri”. There are two kinds of kakushigiri. Different from arawagiri, for kakushigiri we place our thumb on the backside of the tsuba. And from there we firmly push the tsuba. By doing so, the opponent won’t see our thumb and we can cut the koiguchi in the hidden (TL note: 隠し (kakushi) means ‘hiding’).
For the other kind of kakushigiri, we tightly press our hand against the tsuba and get a firm grip.
With this, we can cut the koiguchi. Both types of kakushigiri have the characteristic of cutting the koiguchi without the opponent seeing our thumb.

Lastly, we have “hikaegiri”. In hikaegiri, it doesn’t matter whether you place your thumb like in arawagiri or kakushigiri, but we control the tsuba with our index finger and from there cut the koiguchi. With this hikaegiri, for example when cutting the koiguchi, we prepare for a situation with an opponent where we still have a choice. If we can settle things without combat, we can silently ‘close’ our sword again (i. e. mentally).
Or, if a fight actually breaks out and you haven’t assumed hikaegiri, your sword might slip out just like this. Therefore, if you assume hikaegiri, even if it came to such a situation, your sword wouldn’t suddenly fall out unintentionally.

And with this we conclude our explanation of the 3 ways to cut the koiguchi.
To kick off TENSHINRYU ONLINE we want you to properly learn “arawagiri” in your training. It’s a very casual move, but it’s very essential for drawing the sword and for training in general, so please practice it through and through.









まずTENSHINRYU ONLINEのこの「あらわ切り」を稽古の中でしっかりと身に着けて頂きたいと思います。何気ない動作ですが、抜刀する上で、稽古の上で非常に重要ですので皆さんどうぞよろしくお願い致します。