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29 January 2010 19:30

FightingArts.com - Ittosai’s Test: Part 1

by Takwann
By Dave Lowry Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two part article entitled "Ittosai’s Test" which is an excerpt from Dave Lowry’s new book, “Clouds In The West.” It is about the eccentric but brilliant swordsman Ito Ittosai Kagehisa, the founder of the sword tradition of Itto ryu, and his efforts to find a successor. Itto ryu eventually grew to be one of the largest and most important schools of Japanese swordmanship. It was adopted by the military authority of Japan, the Tokugawa shogun, and other lords of feudal Japan, including the Aizu from which diato ryu aikjujutsu sprang through the legendary teacher Takeda Sokaku Sensei. Itto ryu also influenced the technical curriculum of kendo (the modern Japanese art of fencing that uses mock weapons made of bamboo). Today there are several separate traditions of Itto ryu practiced. Another important variant is Onoha Itto Ryu Sokaku Den, passed down through several daito ryu and aiki budo traditions.

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