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Is Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu a form of iaido or kendo?

We often practice our techniques as iaijutsu -- solo practice, rather than paired or multiple-person forms -- but we do not practice iaido per se. Typically, iaido is focused on perfecting the drawing, cutting, and resheathing of the sword. Kendo is a rule-based competitive sport based on the traditional Japanese sword arts.

Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu is one of the koryu -- the classical weapons systems of Japan. The emphasis is on the preservation of the actual combat forms handed down through the centuries.

Related link: http://www.yamatoarts.com/ (Tampa-ko dojo)


Is it necessary to have prior martial arts experience?
Although many students come from arts as diverse as aikido, judo, kung-fu and western fencing, previous martial experience is not necessary. The main requirement is a sincere committment to learning. Knowing another martial system often provides added context when studying Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu; it's not necessary, though. It has been said that studying a martial art is a marathon, not a sprint. Everyone proceeds at his or her own pace.


Do you have children's classes?
Studying one of the koryu, such as Yagyu Shin Kage Ryu, requires a significant amount of patience and maturity. Typically, children are not quite ready or able to commit in this way. Late high school is generally the earliest point at which a student would be admitted to the ryu. Please contact Manogue sensei with questions.


What kind of equipment will I need?
First you'll need a training jacket -- typically a kendo-style jacket (usually blue). A white judo jacket is acceptible, too. You'll also need an obi (a wide, long belt or sash to hold your sword); a hakama (loose-fitting japanese pants); a wooden ken; and a sword. If you are just starting out, you shouldn't purchase a sharpened sword. Rather, buy a more inexpensive aluminum or steel iaito. Be sure to check with Manogue sensei before purchasing any of these items, especially a sword.

Related link: http://www.yamatoarts.com/ (Tampa-ko dojo)


  ningasa