The oldest swordsmanship school “Nen Ryu” 02


600 years of tradition.

More than 600 years have passed since “Nenami Jion" created the swordsmanship school “Nen ryu". He was truly a pioneer of Japanes swordsmanship “KenJutsu".

There were several masters who were called the originators of “KenJutsu". “Nenami Jion",“Iizasa Ienao",“Aisu Hisatada" and “Chujyo Nagahide". They were so ancient that it is difficult to distinguish between their legends and accurate sources. However, looking at several materials together, it seems that “Nenami Jion" was the first among them to create a new school of swordsmanship.

Japanese swordsmanship existed even before “Nenami Jion" created his own school. From his training history, it is believed that the swordsmanship he mainly learned was the “Kyo Hachi ryu" school handed down at Kurama Temple. Later, he also studied swordsmanship in Kamakura, in the eastern part of Japan. I think this school was “Togoku Shichi ryu".

“Nenami Jion" organizes and systematizes old swordsmanship from before the Middle Ages, and recreates it as a form of " KenJutsu" that continues to the present day.
Legend has it that his ideas about swordsmanship were passed on to two masters, “Aisu Hisatada" and “`Chujyo Nagahide". They further improved the swordsmanship of “Nenami Jion" and created important schools.

A book written by Master Higuchi in 1936. You can read it at the National Diet Library.

Legendary techniques that still exist today

“Nenami Jion” swordsmanship remains in Gunma Prefecture, and many people practice it. The name of the school is ”Maniwa Nen ryu". “Nen ryu" was introduced to Joshu Maniwa (now Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture) 400 years ago has been protected by the influential people of this area, the Higuchi family.

The skills of “Nen ryu" that has been passed down in Maniwa are very interesting. There are many points of different from the form of modern Kendo. These discrepancies are probably due to the fact that “Nenami Jion" created techniques to fight armored opponents with swords.

The basic stance of “Maniwa Nen ryu" is to keep your hips low and open your front legs wide. These basics have the advantage of not being overwhelmed by the opponent, rather than moving around quickly.
According to " Nenryu" teachings, You should be conscious of tree roots growing from your feet to the ground, strengthen the trunk, and consciously consider the sword as the branch growing from the center of your body.This way is called “Taichuken”.

Skills of “Maniwa Nen ryu"

Omote GohonUra SanbonNaginataTachi Iai Batto

These are skills to learn. Create a swordsman’s body with “Omote Gohon". And learn to take the axis of the opponent’s body. By controlling the opponent’s axis, You can fight safely. And by learning the “Ura Sanbon", you will have more practical training.You learn these tricks little by little, and when you have mastered all the tricks, your master allows you to learn more tricks. These secret techniques are called “Kumi Jyuppon" and are said to be very practical.

Here is a link to dojos that currently teach “Maniwa Nen ryu" .

The head of “Maniwa Nen ryu"

This is a valuable video that Master Higuchi-sensei introduced the “Maniwa Nen ryu", which is open to the public on YouTube.