A Brief Overview

There are five modules in NihontoDo. While these modules are distinct in terms of content, they must be progressed through in sequence. As a martial art that uses the kyū/dan system for ranking, practitioners will be graded periodically to asses their progress and proficiency in the art. Upon attaining a higher grade or rank, they will be allowed to attend more advanced modules over time.

Sports Kenjutsu

The first module is Sports Kenjutsu. In this module, practitioners will be introduced to the basic tenets of modern Japanese swordsmanship. This includes the basics of sword handling, etiquette, and cutting techniques. Sparring is also introduced to expose the practitioner to the fundamentals of engagement.


The next module is Iai-bokuto. Here, you will learn the fundamentals of drawing and sheathing through the use of the wooden sword (with scabbard). There is also an emphasis on randori exercises, in which the practitioners will be made to defend against multiple attackers in quick succession during sparring.

Combative Kenjutsu

The next module is Combative Kenjutsu. Combative Kenjutsu is an advanced module in the art of NihontoDo. Here, the full-contact nature of armoured samurai combat is simulated. You and your opponent will be wearing bogu (traditional armour) and will be using either shinai (a bamboo sword) or a special fibreglass/polymer sparring tool. On top of your already-polished sword cutting techniques, you will also be learning close quarter engagement techniques including locks, sweeps, and takedowns, for use within the katana’s minimum range.
Only open to Shodan practitioners and above.


The next module is Battodo (Way of Drawing the Sword). Where in Combative Kenjutsu you focus to conquer your opponent, here you will focus to conquer yourself. You will learn the art of drawing, cutting, and sheathing a steel sword properly and safely to perform a kata (form) simulating an encounter with a virtual enemy swordsman.
Only open to Shodan practitioners and above.


The final module is Tameshigiri (Test Cutting). In this module, you will be required to execute a variety of cuts using a live blade on a pre-determined target or series of targets made from rice straw or bamboo, which mimic the consistency of flesh and bone. This is the ultimate test of a swordsman’s (or -woman’s) proficiency with the blade.
Only open to Yondan practitioners and above.

Contact us to find out more, or register for a free trial.