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Naginata

Is a Japanese martial art form for men, women, and children. The Naginata originated over 1,000 years ago. The Naginata is a weapon with a rich history, utilized and refined from the Nara Period (710-784 A.D.) to today.

naginataEmployed initially by the Bushi, it later found itself the specific weapon of the Sohei or Buddhist monks. It is the school of the spear and, as such, is a shafted weapon. The length of its oval shaft varied, from 5’ to 8’, depending on battle conditions and personal requests. The most striking feature, however, was the blade; it could be anywhere from 10 inches to more than 2 feet, and was sharpened on a single side, fashioned in the manner of either Sakizori or Uchizori.

As with most shafted weapons, it was most devastating when utilizing sweeping, circular motions. However, thrusts with the blade and also the heavy ishizuki on the butt end were acceptable tactical alternatives. It was a powerful weapon against horsemen and foot sol-diers alike. The Naginata’s length and weight made it an efficient weapon against the sword, and its circular execution made it one of the most graceful and fluid of classical Japanese combat systems. Naginata today is an art form that teaches etiquette, respect, patience, self-confidence, and self-control.

The practice of Naginata nurtures stamina, beauty and grace of movement, and the building of character through discipline and concentration. Moreover, it prepares individuals to deal with the rigors of life, and in establishing a moral code based on chivalry and honor.

 

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