On Nov. 2 the Rising Sun Dojo held their annual Mukushin-ryu Bujutsu Seminar at the Shindai Dojo in Orlando. This year the seminar was kacchu kumitachi – sword combat while in full armor.

Teaching the seminar was Ohashi Kenshin, sensei – 15th generation souke (headmaster) of Mukushin-ryu Bujutsu, and the head of Wasaka Ichiryo Gashuka no Kai-a group dedicated to the restoration and preservation of authentic samurai armor (yoroi). Ohashi sensei, along with fellow armor club member Shoichi Nakamura brought 3 full sets of yoroi (samurai armor) from Japan for the seminar and for a demonstration the following day at the Orlando Japan Festival. The seminar and demonstration was all part of a training and cultural exchange, sponsored in part by Rising Sun Dojo and the Obama City, Japan city council.

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Students from several different schools of Japanese swordsmanship attended the event as it was a rare chance to not just learn the techniques used when fighting in full armor, but to have the opportunity to actually use those techniques while in full armor…against an opponent who was also in full armor. Seminar attendee and student at Rising Sun Dojo Marty Fries explained- “ I think the Yoroi Seminar opened a lot of eyes about how different it is to train/fight in armor. The weight, restricted movement, and different targeting change our techniques. Being able to share that with the sword community was a pleasure.”

For students of Mukushin-ryu, this is a very important aspect of our training. Much of the foundation and techniques within the style is based on fighting in and against an opponent wearing armor. Having the opportunity to actually wear and train in the armor allows the student a very unique perspective that without that experience, would never truly understand some of the nuances of a particular technique.

For more info on Mukushin-ryuBujutsu, please visit www.mukushin.com

Photos: Vu Nguyen