1. #1
    OZZ's Avatar
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    Sojutsu - The Art Of Spear Fighting

    I was just wondering if anyone knows of, or has heard about any schools outside of Japan that train Sojutsu / Yari exclusively ?
    Although I was introduced to the spear through CMA. I have come to the conclusion that Chinese spears
    a/ suck
    b/ break easily
    Also, most Chinese spear forms I have seen
    b/ are all about show and less about efficiency
    b/suck

    Is there anyone here who has extensive experience with Japanese spear training ?
    " If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Well, I come from the same boat (learned spear in CMA first), then learned the bangkaw (Filipino spear) in FMA. But relevant to this discussion, just last night we were graced by one of my teacher's senior students, a DT instructor and Japanese weapon guy (aikido + other JMA). Anyway, last night we were working on opposing the spear with the eskrima stick (preparing for a weapons comp), and he was helping me troubleshoot some problems with entering and keeping range. Some of the Japanese style things that I liked:
    -against a downward attack, counter with a rising block that moves right into a thrust to the body, leading into very powerful followups. This is done from an oar grip, if you get my meaning. He said this was a common jojutsu tactic.

    -there's this thing where you try to knock the spear offline to rush in with a shorter weapon, where you counter their attempt by making a small circle around their attack and hitting them with a thrust or cut when their weapon passes. IMHO an excellent tactic to develop. Anyway, he showed a tactic to use as the short stick guy after you miss, involving going right for a hand shot. There was a long Japanese name for this kind of thing.

    -The thrust can lead right into a powerful downward diagonal strike with the hands closer together. This is something I never really encountered in CMA spear- thrusts tended to be out and back to a longer guard.

  3. #3

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    A quick search on Koryu.com only gave me two schools that are primarily sojutsu. I think your best chance is Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. It's a heihothat teaches multiple weapons.
    Last edited by frenchie88; 12/22/2011 11:01pm at . Reason: spelling

  4. #4

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    You might want to check out Naginata. It's not Yari but it's pretty close and you probably have a better chance at finding a school.

  5. #5

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    Atarashii Naginata isn't very yari-ish, but it is worth checking out on its own merits. Tendo-ryu koryu naginatajutsu doesn't actually have a yari curriculum any more, but its founder originally fought with a kamayari, and many of its naginata waza were adapted from kamayari techniques. If by "spear," you mean "long sharp pole weapon with which you make a lot of thrusting attacks," Tendo-ryu might fit the bill.

    Another possibility: jukendo was adapted from late-19th century bayonet drill, which in turn was a mix of French bayonet drill and a Japanese sojutsu school. They're even debating renaming themselves "sojutsu" and trading in their wooden guns for spears to rid themselves of the image of early-Showa militarism. I'm not sure where there are jukendo dojos outside of Japan, though.

  6. #6

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    Takamatsu-den schools have Sojutsu in their curriculum I think.

  7. #7
    vaquero de las nalgas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jujutsuka desu View Post
    Takamatsu-den schools have Sojutsu in their curriculum I think.
    Yes but he is asking for a school that trains exclusively in Sojutsu.

    All of the koryu and gendai budo schools I have read about train in more than one weapon than just the yari. As mentioned, there are naginatajutsu schools.

    Some of the kata I have seen with the bo are actually yari and vice versa. The bo, jo, and hanbo may all be considered extensions of a naginata or yari that has lost its business end.

  8. #8
    Aaron Fields's Avatar
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    Owari kan ryu is sojutsu. Araki ryu has a very good spear piece. There is no jukendo in the US that I know of, though Meik Skoss is yudansha if I recall.

    Aaron Fields

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