Japanese Sword Arts

The Rhode Island Budo Academy is an official dojo of the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai. Our Instructors maintain membership and training within the Kai in order to maintain the quality of curriculum and instruction in both Sword and Kempo arts

At the Academy, we study Iaijutsu Which is known as “The art of drawing the sword”. These teachings, Initially Developed by Hayashizake Jinsuke Shigenobu in the mid 1500’s, have evolved from the Samurai warrior class well over 450 years ago and are still practiced around the world today. Our club seeks to maintain the preservation of the teachings of the late Masayuki Shimabukuro Sensei through our teachers in the Sei Kosho shorei Kai International to new generations of Martial Art Students in order to preserve these arts.

The Modern day basic principle involves controlled, precise movements in which practitioners develop oneself and personal fulfillment while learning about self-defense. Sword arts can train one to be mindful constantly through learning, which is an essential part of the training. It is easy to use these skills in the rest of our daily activities. When we perfect moving with purpose, precision and focus, this means that Iaijutsu is an ideal method for training the spirit, body and mind. One does not need to be in optimal shape to practice these arts and is great way for individuals to start their journey in budo.


Iaijutsu practice utilizes the solo use of unsharpened metal Katana swords called Iaito. The actual techniques (waza) are developed from orthodox teachings and have been handed down from teacher to student for centuries.

The club also offers Kenjutsu partner practice in which we use traditional wooden swords called Bokken. It is not “free fighting” and there is no competition involved. Training is done through Kata or pre-arranged movements. Both individuals benefit from this training.

Why Study The Japanese Sword?

At our dojo, the study of the Japanese sword is of vital importance. Practitioners at the Academy immediately realize the many benefit and importance of training in the Japanese sword arts. Through this study, the  practitioner will gain insights to the seriousness of a martial confrontation. Consider that 2 out of 3 possible scenarios have you meeting with death for entering into a sword duel with your opponent. The realization of this lends to a different mindset when the practitioner is training. It also teaches the philosophical lesson on the importance  of recognizing the severity and consequences of entering a battle or conflict with others.

Training in the Japanese sword arts requires the martial practitioner to cultivate an intense sense of focus and concentration. The flash of a sword coming at you happens very quickly. There is no room for daydreaming or loss of focus. The serious practitioner of sword arts cultivates the state of Zanshin, which translates to a spiritual awareness of everything taking place in their environment and the possibility of other attackers.        Keeping this state of Zanshin in mind during solo practice allows the practitioner to maintain the realism and seriousness in their training. This type of training cultivates an awareness that is needed in this ever increasingly dangerous society. It also is important to be in this state of mind when training in Kempo or any other empty hand arts.

In the physical sense, training in the sword arts can be a great way to strengthen the body and the mind. Although the practice of Iaijutsu or Kenjutsu may look easy when watching an experienced practitioner, it is usually the result of many hours of sweat and hard work to create that appearance. Working just 100 repetitions of a specific sword cut can be quite a physical workout. Much of practice in iaijutsu and kenjutsu requires the practitioner to control their sword and body so that all movement maintains a constant pressure and preparedness to cut down all enemies in the protection of oneself.

The sword and the skills to employ it effectively provide the practitioner with valuable lessons in martial strategy for the use of weaponry and the use of the empty hand arts, as well as a wonderful vehicle for physical conditioning and personal development. The study of the sword arts is also rich with philosophical concepts that can help us see things from a different perspective.