Samurai Arts

One who fishes with yari (spear) gets fish & defends his meal at same time”
– Soke Hausel

SAMURAI ARTS. Samurai arts are taught with traditional karate, kobudo and self-defense. Samurai (pechin) arts include samurai sword (katana) used in iaido and kenjutsu. Other weapons include hanbo (3-foot staff), jujutsu (throwing arts), naginata (pole arm), sojutsu (Japanese spear), kusari (aka manriki gusari (weighted chain), hojojutsu (rope restraining), tanto (knife), tsue (cane), bo (6-foot staff), kubotan (short stick), bokken (wooden sword) and modern weapons such as kioga (expandable baton), car keys,and rolled-up magazines.

Some of these have kata (forms) and others are jutsu arts (traditional combat arts with no kata). For more information about Samurai Arts, check our blogs on these ancient Koryu arts: Arizona Samurai & Jujutsu.


IAIDO (Iaijutsu). Fast draw samurai sword. Iaido is the art of katana (samurai sword).

KENJUTSU. Similar to Iaido, Kenjutsu is the pragmatic samurai sword training. This art employs bokken (wooden sword), so we can all go home with our heads attached.

SOJUTSU (yari, spear). The samurai art of sojutsu is all about the yari (Japanese spear). Members at the Hombu have an opportunity to learn this art including basics, kata, applications and sparring.

JUJUTSU. Samurai used jujutsu arts to take down, restrain and disarm other samurai. Karate also includes many such techniques. Traditional jujutsu including the taking of swords, knives, etc, is part of the samurai arts.

HANBOJUTSU (hanbo, half-bo, san shaku bo). Hanbo is a 3-foot long stick used in traditional jujutsu schools. We include training with this along with expandable baton. This simple stick is excellent for stopping attackers, taking away knives, and also for throwing attackers.

NAGINATA-JUTSU. Naginata, a pole arm, is different than a yari (see Sojutsu above). The style of blade for yari requires thrusting techniques, while naginata has a long handle with curved blade similar to katana blade (samurai sword). As a result, techniques for this weapon used thrusts along with slices.

TANTO-JUTSU, (TESSEN-JUTSU). Both tanto and tessen were carried by samurai as part of their arsenal with katana and odachi swords. Tanto is a knife carried by samurai. Female samurai often slept with tanto under a pillow. Tessen, which seems like an innocuous tool (it’s a fan), often had sharpen spikes.

HOJO-JUTSU, MANRIKI-GUSARI. Many samurai were experts in restraining prisoners and employed ropes to make it impossible for escape. Today, only a few jujutsu and samurai arts teach this ancient art. It is a pragmatic art, We teach this to our students to round out their martial arts education. Manriki is basically a chain with weights attached to either end, and designed to swing similar to the Okinawan surichin – a rope with rocks tied to either end.