Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu


Niten Ichi Ryu

Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu was created by Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), one of the most famous samurai of all times. The techniques are sophisticated, objective and strong, seeking efficiency above all. There are no exaggerated, flashy or unnecessary movements. The real beauty lies on the fact that Musashi Sensei used these very same techniques to win his more than 60 duels. The Niten Ichi Ryu was not conceived by theoretic development, but as result of the direct experience of a man whose life was dedicated to achieve the perfection.

Famous by the use of both swords simultaneously, the Niten Ichi Ryu contains also techniques with Tachi (single long sword), Kodachi (short sword) and the Bo (long wooden staff). The cultural value of the Niten Ichi Ryu is the conservation of the teachings of its founder. As his artworks and writings, the sword techniques of Musashi Sensei are an important part of his legacy and must be deeply studied to really understand the great master's writings.

The Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu is still been practiced in Japan, in a direct and continuous lineage, currently at the 12th generation, under the leadership of Yoshimoti Kiyoshi Sensei, son and successor of Shihan Gosho Motoharu Sensei, 9th generation Shihan (Master), the main responsible for the transmission of the original techniques nowadays. The ryu is based in Usa city, in the Oita prefecture.

Shihan Gosho Motoharu was one of the closest disciples of Aoki Kikuo Sensei, the 8th Niten Ichi Ryu's Soke (headmaster). Master Aoki Kikuo was also Soke of the Sekiguchi style of Iaijutsu. Shihan Gosho Motoharu received Menkyo Kaiden in both styles in 1955.

In 1961, Aoki Sensei named Gosho Sensei as Shihan (master and representative) and Soke daiken (adjunct-successor). Years later, with Aoki Soke's passing in 1967, Kiyonaga Tadanao, also a close disciple, became the 9th Soke of the Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu. In the following years, the masters continued to represent the ryu nationally.

From 2005 to 2007, the Oita branch of the Niten Ichi Ryu continued under Gosho Ha Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu (Gosho family line). In 2007, Gosho Sensei and the Kiyonaga family were requested by the Oita Prefecture Kendo Department to reestablish the Seito (main line) in Oita, where the ryu was based since the 8th generation. The Kiyonaga family granted Yoshimoti Kiyoshi Sensei, son of Shihan Gosho Motoharu and successor in Gosho Ha Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, as Junidai (12th successor) of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Seito under Kiyonaga Fumiya (son of the 9th Soke and 11st succesor) line.

The two lines were again unified under Yoshimoti Kiyoshi sensei, 12th successor of Miyamoto Musashi Sensei, from a unbroken line in both Menkyo Kaiden transmission and recognized succession.

Tachi Seihô - 12 katas with long sword
Kodachi Seihô - 7 katas with short sword
Nitô Seihô - 5 katas with both swords
Bôjutsu - 20 techniques with long staff (7 VS longstaff and 13 agains sword)

There is also the Aikuchi roppo, an advanced form of trainning using fukuro shinai.
The fukuro shinai used is made with six strips of bamboo and horse leather.
Aikuchi roppo is not constituted by formalized kata, but by free forms, in wich shidachi, using two swords, counter the attacks made by uchidachi

Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu
1 - Shoden: Tachi
2 - Chuden: Tachi and Kodachi
3 - Okuden: Tachi, Kodachi and Nito

4 - Menkyo: Tachi, Kodachi, Nito and Bojutsu

5 - Menkyo Kaiden: To reach Menkyo Kaiden one must have learned the whole curriculum of th Niten Ichi Ryu and have a deep knowledge of the founder teachings

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Sensei Gosho Motoharu (back), Aoki Soke (right) and Soke's wife (left).