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Uses of Katana

The katana was used primarily as a cutting weapon, allowing both a two-handed and a one-handed grip. The oldest schools of katana art originate in the XV-XVI centuries. The basic idea of the Japanese art of sword and the techniques based on it is that the longitudinal axis of the sword during the attack must go to the target not at a right angle, but along its plane, causing cutting strokes. Therefore, it is more appropriate to speak not about strikes in the form in which they are characteristic of Western sword technicians but about cuts. That is why the blades have a curved shape.

The Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi wrote the book “Gorin no Se” (“The Book of Five Rings”), in which he reveals his technique of two swords. Working with a katana and wakizashi is similar to the methods of eskrima. Kenjutsu, the practical art of fencing with a sword, reborn into a modern look – Gendai budo. The art of a surprise attack and counterattack is called Iaido and is a meditative type of combat that is fought with an imaginary opponent. Kendo is the art of fencing with a bamboo sword, in which it is mandatory to wear a protection kit similar to fencing European and consisting of a helmet with a grille covering the face and armor. This type of sword fencing, depending on the particular style, can be practiced as a sports discipline. In Japan, there are still numerous traditional fencing schools that managed to survive after the general prohibition of Emperor Meiji to carry swords. The most famous are Kashima Shinto Ryu, Kashima Shin Ryu, and Katori Shinto Ryu.