Header photo: Hioki Yoshitatsu of Toyama Ryu
Battojutsu is one of the two arts integrated into Iai-battojutsu. It translates as "the art of drawing the sword". First termed in the 15th century, it focuses on drawing, striking, and sheathing the sword. Unlike Iaido, which isolates these motions for solo practice and spiritual development, Battojutsu's true focus is effective cutting with the katana. Martial artists spend much of their time performing 'Tameshigiri' (target test cutting) to perfect their cutting techniques. These techniques include:
More advanced techniques include drawing and striking in a single quick motion, as well as performing multiple cuts in quick succession. Competitions do exist, however, they almost exclusively focus on tameshigiri. Sparring is something de-emphasized and left to practitioners of Kenjutsu.
It should be clear that Battojutsu is not Kendo, which is similar to a sport where the participants wear specialized padded armor and try to score points on their opponent. For this reason, Kendo is most similar to Olympic fencing. Battojutsu does not practice in any form of armor and does not emphasize sparring. For more information on Tameshigiri, Kenjutsu or Kendo, click on images above and below.