Nakamura Ryu Battodo seminar and exam in Belgrade

As some of you know, I was having a Nakamura Ryu Battodo seminar 3 weeks ago. It was three days weekend seminar with trainings twice a day under conduction and supervision of Yoshitaka Nomura sensei from Japan. Most of the things we practiced were not focused on kata only, but some other basics in using a sword in Japanese martial arts.
On a sunday morning training we had cutting practice – Shizan.
It is not always easy as it looks like. It is important to estimate a distance to target and to "make up your mind" toward cutting. Once you decide, it has to be done by using all knowledge and practice.
During the evening training, exam for master degrees was held. According to International Battodo Federation regulations and rules, I was supposed to do 6 katas (2 from each of three series in Nakamura Ryu Battodo – Toyama Ryu, Seitei Toho and Nakamura Ryu), 3 katas from Kumitachi (katas with opponent) and 4 cuts in Shizan.

I have not been in Japan for 3 years now but it would be nice to go there again. Luckily, Nomura sensei agrees to come and visit us every 2 years or so, in order to check our knowledge and advance in practice. And we are grateful for that :happy:

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74 Responses to Nakamura Ryu Battodo seminar and exam in Belgrade

  1. gdare says:

    Rose, I have 4th DAN in Nakamura Ryu Battodo now :DMit, thank you. This is a bit different than in Kendo, for instance. When I was having exam for 1st DAN in Kendo, there were two opponents I was sparring with, then another one for Kendo kata πŸ˜€

  2. thaodp says:

    Thanks for explaining πŸ™‚

  3. rose-marie says:

    Even though I'm not sure what that means – it sounds so good so.. congratulations! :hat: πŸ˜€

  4. thaodp says:

    Very interesting, Darko. Thanks for sharing :)I thought you would have a real competition in your exam :whistle:

  5. rose-marie says:

    Cool videos! :up:How did the exam go?

  6. thaodp says:

    Originally posted by rose-marie:

    it sounds so good so.. congratulations!


  7. gdare says:

    Rose, it is a part of kyu/dan system characteristical for Japanese martial arts. Here, read this: :)Mit, you are welcome. And thanks :DAnd I hope to read some more legends from your part of the world πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

  8. rose-marie says:

    Thanks for the link, Darko. Are you planning on going all the way to 10? And how long would that normally take?

  9. thaodp says:

    hehe, sure! There are many legends for me to working work on :p

  10. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by rose-marie:

    Are you planning on going all the way to 10? And how long would that normally take?

    It would take 10 Chuck Norris lifetimes to get to that level. :p

  11. gdare says:


  12. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Why there is the "kyai" (the yell) in the katas and you don't do it while cutting the target?

  13. There2ia says:

    congratulations and thank you for sharing the pictures and videos. πŸ™‚

  14. gdare says:

    Rose, I don`t think it will be possible for me to get that high. San, πŸ˜† :PLorenzo, I have heard some people in Japan do kiai during Shizan. It is not usual now. But there is an old recording of founder of Ryu, late Nakamura Tazaburo sensei and he was performing kiai during cutting back then. I think the style was changing in time.Teresia, thanks πŸ˜€

  15. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    :eyes: Impressive. But we already had some clues at your skill from how you handled that melon. πŸ˜‰

  16. sanshan says:

    Dare-san , you'll always be a perfect 10th dan in my heart. πŸ˜‰

  17. sanshan says:

    Yes, he'll come in handy at Thanksgiving, carving up the turkey. :knight:

  18. CarloFon says:

    I enjoyed the videos. I can see myself doing drawings of many of the moves you are demonstrating. Very visually appealing.:cool:

  19. Suntana says:

    It does appear to be more difficult than it looks, Darko.But, don't worry about having missed all your attempts.I saw what you were doing wrong and can help you out.You kept going horizontally and diagonally.Just keep that sword perfectly straight up and down. Then just swing that sucker straight down. I mean, you WERE trying to cut that target perfectly vertically down the middle, right? :p But, seriously, COULD that Japanese Sensei do that?I take it on the 2nd video you misjudged the distance to the target and thus, the sword didn't get to cut all the target?Why did you get 5 attempts on the 1st video and 4 on the 2nd?Or at least that's what I thought I counted.

  20. gdare says:

    Mick, thank you :DSan, and you will be Olympic gold medalist in swimming, in mine :heart:Carlos, in Nakamura Ryu Battodo, all techniques are based on 8 cuts – Happogiri. There is tsuki (thrust), shinchoku giri (vertical cut), hidari and migi kessa giri (left and right diagonal cuts, from upper position downwards), hidari and migi gyaku kessa giri (left and right diagonal cuts, from lower position upwards) and yoko giri (horizontal cut, from left or right position). Using diagonal cutting is the most easier way to cut through target. Horisontal cut seems to be the hardest. When I missed to cut off that target, I actually needed one inch – a tip of the sword went through it but cut only a bit over half of it`s diameter. So, in second attempt I was a little bit closer. Also, I was performing 1st kata from Seitei Toho series so this is why I had only 3 cuts for that target :DCarlo, thanks. Sometimes, people who practice martial arts are trying to perform it in a way to look more interesting and beautiful to people who watch by side; but when a technique is performed the proper way, it looks beautiful by itself :up:

  21. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    Yes, he'll come in handy at Thanksgiving, carving up the turkey.

    πŸ˜€ well done, Darko! very interesting to watch. I will have to read some more about it all. I would be very nervous to be that man whereby you wielded the sword near his neck :faint: does that make you nervous when you are in that position?

  22. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    Yes, he'll come in handy at Thanksgiving, carving up the turkey.

    Or just making a sandwich.

  23. gdare says:

    Jill, in Kumitachi, katas with opponent, we are not using sharp swords. Of course, wounds are possible but we are all practicing for a long time and we are focused on what we are doing. There was no danger to anyone at all. Thanks :DMick πŸ™„

  24. Spaggyj says:

    It takes a helluva lot of control, doesn't it? It's far more impressive than something that just requires brute strength, although obviously there needs to be strength there too, but it's all about self-control, no?I also noticed that early on in video 3 (around the 30 second mark) to a tired eye it looks like one Darkie is moonwalking :p

  25. edwardpiercy says:

    P.S. So at what Dan level do we here have to start calling you "Master"?:)

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    That's just way too cool, Darko. You know I think what fascinated me the most were the little moves involved in replacing the sword to its scabbard. So elegant!Congrats, a great achievement! :up: :wizard:

  27. edwardpiercy says:

    Fascinating. I think I like the second one better, with that little flick of the wrist into a fist move.:up: πŸ˜€

  28. gdare says:

    This is a famous Risuke Otake master from Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu.

  29. gdare says:

    Kimmie, it is all about control. You know, the most important therefore the hardest part is to perform kata as it has to be. One must adapt to every little movement and position and not let a single one slip out of what it should be. Forcing oneself to do that takes years of practice. When I was watching some senior members of IBF in Japan, I realised how much I need to learn. They were perfect.Originally posted by Spaggyj:

    I also noticed that early on in video 3 (around the 30 second mark) to a tired eye it looks like one Darkie is moonwalking

    :lol:Ed, you know, every Ryu Ha – old traditional fencing school in Japan has a certain way to put a sword back in scabbard. I was trying to find one video I made couple of years ago performing Tsukekomi kata, from Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido. Instead, I`ve found this video on You Tube, bad quality but you will see what I mean πŸ˜€ is even more interesting in Teshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu posted by edwardpiercy:

    P.S. So at what Dan level do we here have to start calling you "Master"?

    πŸ˜† You don`t have to call me master πŸ˜›

  30. gdare says:

    You can try, it is all natural πŸ˜€

  31. edwardpiercy says:

    Alive and well and living in Chiba, huh? :up:Hey maybe I could translate that move for my violin bow. πŸ˜€

  32. gdare says:


  33. edwardpiercy says:

    I'll work on it. If all goes well I will be doing that video in mid-October. I guess that gives me about 3 months to practice the move.On violin I am 1/8 DAN. πŸ˜†

  34. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Hey Darko, I was only messing. When San mentioned turkey carving it reminded of that old SNL sketch. You are very skilled with the sword and dedicated to have reached such a high level.

  35. gdare says:

    Mick, I know, it is all ok :cheers:Jill πŸ˜€ It could be done with real swords, too but this is safier.

  36. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    katas with opponent

    didn't realize that you switched swords. phew! πŸ˜€

  37. studio41 says:

    :up: πŸ˜€

  38. Aqualion says:

    I see you do that trick with drawing the blade and cutting in the same movement. I don't remember what it is called. I remember from when I was practitioning Aikido fifteen years ago. Our teacher was obsessed by this movement. I think it was called Iaijutsu or something.Good thing you have focus. That blade is sharper than a razor. Is it your own sword?

  39. gdare says:

    Martin, you are right, it is called iaijutsu. Actually, in all Iaido schools, drawing sword ends with a cut (nukitsuke). Then usually comes final cut (kiritsuke) when the opponent is finished. This is most obvious in Ippon Me Mae kata in many traditional schools.

  40. Aqualion says:

    Iai-do versus Iai-jutsu. There is a difference, right? Are you do or jutsu?

  41. raniakasim says:

    right left Darko is the best :hat: :hat: :hat:

  42. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by studio41:

    katas with opponentdidn't realize that you switched swords.

    Sounds like he was "switching sides." :p :p But we all know better. :up:

  43. dolphin21 says:

    No words, really cool, Darko! I wish you success in further :up:

  44. dolphin21 says:

    πŸ™‚ :up:

  45. gdare says:

    Rania :DEd, actually we were switching sides in Kumitachi, I was supposed to show that I know both roles in those katas :DDizzy, thank you very much :up:

  46. gdare says:

    Martin, most of my life I was in do systems. I was practicing Kendo, Iaido, Aikido and Battodo. There is only one jutsu system that I still practice when I have time and it is Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu. It is actually the same school as Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido but since Ōe Masamichi (1852–1927), a 17th headmaster, school got another paralel lineage and style has changed from do to jutsu. Current headmaster of that lineage is Sekiguchi Takaaki (Komei) (21st generation).A difference between do and jutsu is in fact that jutsu is considered more as a functional, combat system while do (from Chinese "Tao", The Way) has more meditative connotation.Actually, this is simplified explanation and a matter of discussion among Martial Arts practitioners. In past, all schools were combat and their purpose was efficiency. But with Tokugawa shogunate, a time of wars in Japan ended and many of those schools would disappear unless they were changed into something that will have a purpose in peaceful times. But even then, a words like "Iaido" didn`t exist in that form but as Ryu (school). Until 1930. Iaido was called Battojutsu, for instance. Also, some "jutsu" systems still have old menkyo system of grading (opposite to Kyu/Dan system in most of other "do" styles) If you are interested you can read one article I`ve found on the Internet:

  47. claudeb says:

    Darko, you're badass! :ninja: Congratulations.

  48. gdare says:

    Thank you, Felix :cheers:

  49. Aqualion says:

    Thanks for educational info. It's coming back. I learned about it back when I was still active. It's something about jutsu being more like a craftmanship or handywork, where the do is more spiritual, artisan. You get this definition in other areas than martial arts, also in for example music. I remember now.I practiced Aikido for first year in dojo, but because I had no ambition of graduating (it was to help me become a better drummer) my teacher agreed on giving me private lessons in stead. I actually got to know him and we became friends. He also liked to drink one or two beers, and I was at that time bartending in the local bar, so we often met outside the teaching circle. Unfortunately I have forgotten most of what I learned from him, except the most important part, also for a drummer: Remember to breath.;)

  50. SittingFox says:

    Cool! Thanks very much for sharing. Very impressive :up:

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