Founded by Monk Iizasa Ienao in 1960, Katori Shinto-ryu was the first martial art officially recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Japan.
Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū (天 真正 伝 香 取 神道 流) is one of the three original sects of Japanese martial arts. Katori is one of Japan’s oldest remaining martial arts and is a model of Japanese traditional martial arts.
Katori Shinto-ryu is a comprehensive martial art that has existed and has been handed down since ancient times. Up to now, the tradition of transmission has been kept secret through strict regulations recorded in the blood (keppan) that members who want to join must perform. Over 600 years of existence, this ritual has contributed to preserving the quality of the traditional practice in both spirit and form as it was when founded by Iizasa Ienao.
Complete martial arts
Unlike the modern budo that focuses only on a certain technical school, the tradition of Katori Shinto-ryu is a comprehensive field study of martial arts. The content of this way of learning can be exactly called bugei juhappan (“martial arts practice” – perfecting martial arts study). Although today’s subjects such as suiren (swimming), hojutsu (shooting), kyujutsu (archery) no longer exist in the sect system, the textbook of Katori Shinto-ryu can still be called comprehensive, even even knowledge of ninjutsu (espionage) and noroshi (fire signal) is still taught.
On the battlefield the day before, the warriors dressed in armor and fought with giants and spearmen. If the spear breaks, they will continue to use the handle like a stick. If this weapon is lost, the warriors will fight with tachi (sword). Unless their sword is broken, they will now return to kumiuchi (wrestling) and rely on skills in jujutsu.
Obviously, these warriors live in an era that relying on only one martial arts skill will not be enough for them to survive the battle. Therefore, the diverse knowledge of Katori Shinto-ryu is undoubtedly a result of artistic creation in an era where this type of fighting is still popular.