Recently, Soke has been speaking about the various types of the sword and the importance of understanding this not from a technical perspective, but as an anthropological lesson in the evolution of war.

These are:

Ken-Straight sword


Flintlock (gun)


It is interesting that Soke has included the gun in this list, but the thinking is not that this is a sword, but the main weapon of that period.  (Yamaoka Tesshu, the Sword of no Sword.)  Soke has mentioned previously on several occasions that the gun played a very large part in the changes of warfare in Japan.  The key point that I’m ascertaining from this particular perceived simple lesson is that as a Budoka, you must think in a winning and strategic way.  Never take a knife to a gun fight.

Knowing a bit of Japanese history from my various personal studies, I thought that I might inquire to Soke further regarding this to test my own understanding.  Therefore being slightly mischievous, I pressed forward the question, “Soke, didn’t Yari play a very big part of this and actually come first in the battlefield, even before the tachi was drawn”?  Soke then quickly responded, “Dagu, Ken wa Saki da yo”  The Ken came first, hence the straight blade of the yari is represented by Ken.  He further explained that Nagamaki is tachi. 

I laughed out loud at the truth of this simple yet powerful answer and even more so at the quickness that Soke was able to make this connection. 

Laughing, I commenced training-RokKonShoJyo

Bufu Ikkan