This will be an explanation on 流突 (nagashidzuki) which is important for learning the fundamental stabbing with and handling of 長物 (nagamono) in Tenshinryuu.

Now, let’s have a look at the actual wielding of the spear.
First, the normal stab. There is no specific name for it, but it’s the standard method of attacking frequently used when wielding a spear.

First of all, assume 一文字 (ichimonji) or 抱き手 (dakite). The hips are in the usual 四股立ち (shikodachi) and the balance at the very centre for this stance.
Make sure to leave one wakizashi’s length at the rear end of the spear, then as your left foot slides to the front, your right hand slides to the back end called 石突 (ishidzuki) and then stab not too deeply.
Similar to a jab in boxing, it’s a jab basically to keep the opponent in check.

Repeated stabbing practice

So, this is how you practise through repeated stabbing.

As you pull back, stab.

As to how to stab there is this method of twisting the spear as you stab, for now we’ll keep to the standard of stabbing straight.
Please pay special attention to the left hand’s form.

It should look like this.

Example of repeated stabbing

About the importance of the pull

Even more important than the stabbing itself is rapidly pulling the spear back.
“Stab 30%, pull 70%”, is what we tend to say to illustrate the importance of the quick pull.
After stabbing is when you leave the biggest opening, so your opponent will close in on the maai and you run into the risk of being left completely defenceless due to this.
Therefore, always pull back the spear swiftly, then swing the 石突 (ishidzuki) at them or make sure you are able to parry their attack with it to protect yourself.
This kind of stabbing is extremely simple, but since it’s frequently used when handling the spear, please make sure to practise it thoroughly.

流突 (nagashidzuki), 流柄 (nagashidzuka)

I am now going to explain 流突 (nagashidzuki), a way of handling and swinging the spear.
The first part of the name stems from 流す (nagasu – “to drain/spill/float/etc.”) and refers to the motion of letting the spear’s handle slide within one’s grasp.
This motion is said to also hint at the way the so called 海女 (ama – lit. “sea women”, traditional female divers who collect shells, pearls, fish etc.) hurl their harpoons when hunting for fish in the sea.
First, let me show you.

It depends on the length of the spear, but for a nagamono about this long grab it like this at around its centre to perform 流突 (nagashidzuki). In case of doing it without moving your feet, do it on the spot from 馬上立 (bajoudachi).
In case of performing it with footwork, bring the foot on the spear’s side to the front.
It is crucial to let the spear slide as far as possible with the mental attitude of almost throwing it.
Overdoing it will result in a loss of control, you will therefore be unable to immediately retrieve the spear and end up creating a big opening for your opponent. Because of this, and this also depends on the spear’s length, it should be fine if the 石突 (ishidzuki) goes up to beneath your armpit and no further.

This 流突 (nagashidzuki) teaches you the very essential handling technique of letting your nagamono’s handle slide between your hands and is hence extremely important.
It’s not about letting go of the spear, but moderately loosening your hand and being able to slide the spear freely back and forth.

Training with other objects or a partner

There is a method of learning and acquiring control using 流突 (nagashidzuki).
In a normal situation you would simply stab and cut, but when targeting a wall or some other object, or a training partner as you can see here, thrust, but stop right in front of them so as to not hit them.
With this you won’t just be able to see where your attack would hit, but also the maai to that spot and you can practise and learn how to instantly stop the assault to switch over to a second attack or a defence.
Whichever you use, stop with precision so as to not hit them.
You can also do it with your eyes closed.

Your own body’s sense and understanding of the nagamono’s length you are currently holding so you can move it around freely is of great importance.
I do, however, think it’s probably better if you don’t close eyes when doing it… for sake of your partner, you know…
This has been the explanation for 流突 (nagashidzuki).