Masaki Ryu Nakajima-ha

Masaki-ryu Nakajima-ha Kusari Juttejutsu draws its lineage back to Masaki Tarodayu Toshimitsu, martial arts instructor to the Mino province Ogaki clan during the Edo period. Our school preserves and trains in martial arts including manrikigusari (short chain), kusarigama (chain and sickle), and jitte torinawa (arresting truncheon and cord).

Masaki family documents and Edo period works such as “Toyuki”, “Gekken Shodan”, and “Geijutsu Bukoron” indicate that Masaki-sensei first mastered several schools of martial arts before engaging as a martial arts instructor in the Ogaki clan. Documents and correspondence between him and three generations of Todas, the rulers of the Ogaki clan attest to his abilities and place of great trust in the eyes of his clan.

When the Ogaki clan received the order to guard Edo castle’s Otemon gate, Masaki-sensei received a vision of the deity Marishiten or Akiba Gongen, and then went on to develop the short chain in order to protect the gate without the need for bloodshed by the sword

Due to this, Yoshimitsu looked for a more peaceful way of punishing intruders at the castle. Yoshimitsu would produce a chain with two weights (one at either end) and came up with several techniques for disarming and subduing an armed opponent. Yoshimitsu’s unique weapon soon became known as the Manrikigusari (manriki meant ’10,000 power’, and gusari meant ‘chain’). This was because Yoshimitsu believed that the weapon contained the power and the ingenuity of 10,000 people. This weapon’s fighting style soon took on his family name and became known as Masaki Ryu Kusarijutsu.

The school remained with the Masaki family for four generations. The 8th soke Watabe Kenji was a practitioner of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and added a more Jujutsu aspect to the style. The 9th Soke Nawa Honen also studied and recieved Edo Machikata Juttejutsu from Okada Umezo Shigenaga. This was all passed on to his grand son Nawa Yumio.

Nawa Yumio would later become known as a historical consultant regarding martial arts and Japanese warrior culture for TV programs and movies, as well as an authority on unconventional weapons and tactics, ninjutsu, classical gunnery, and more, and wrote a large number of books relating to the arts of Masaki-ryu and Edo Machikata Juttejutsu, as well as concealed weapons, Japanese weapons, warrior culture, and ninjutsu.

Masaki Ryu lineage

  1. Masaki Tarodayu Toshimitsu 正木太郎太夫利充
    2. Masaki Kizaemon Toshimasa 正木喜左衛門利政
    3. Masaki Kizaemon Toshichika 正木喜左衛門利周
    4. Masaki Kizaemon Toshizane 正木喜左衛門利賢
    5. Miura Koushiro Kazutsuma 三浦孝四郎和鍍
    6. Kagoya Sawata Takatane 寵谷左和太高胤
    7. Handa Sakujiro Katsumune 半田作次郎
    8. Watabe Kenji 渡辺賢
    9. Nawa Hounen 名和豊年
    10. Nawa Yumio 名和弓雄 (1912 – 2006)
  • Nakajima Michio 中島通 雄

During each class the training centers around the classical martial arts using the Manrikigusari (weighted chain) and the Jutte (pronged truncheon) in applications against unarmed and armed (commonly knives, and swords), and necessarily also includes the study of the handling of knives and swords. The other weapons of the school are also studied during each class.

 Our syllabus is comprised of training in the following:

  • 300 Masaki Ryu Manrikigusari kata (forms)
  • 10 Masaki Ryu Kusarigama forms
  • 30 Edo Machikata Juttejutsu forms and associated Hojojutsu (arresting rope ties)
  • 100 Juttejutsu and Fusa-Garami forms,
  • 30 Maruhoshi kata
  • 50 Tenouchi kata from Osaka’s Machikata Juttejutsu and other historical Juttejutsu.

One of the arts studied and trained within Masaki-ryu Nakajima-ha Kusari is Edo Machikata Juttejutsu. This art has been transmitted from the Edo period and was taught to the Feudal Edo police force. Arresting tactics for opponents who are unarmed or armed with bladed weapons, long weapons, and even chains form the bulk of this art.

Broadly speaking, the art can be divided into “Ikkaku no Kata” (forms focusing on the application of a single jutte (hooked iron truncheon) to evade and restrain an opponent who is unarmed or armed with a sword and then bind him with a hojo (arresting cord)), and “Sokaku no Kata” (forms focusing on the application of a jutte (hooked iron truncheon) and naeshi (iron truncheon) to evade and restrain an opponent who is armed with a sword, long weapon or chain, and then bind him with a hojo (arresting cord)).

Interestingly, Edo Machikata Juttejutsu is one of the only arts that still teaches how to restrain an opponent with the jutte, and then bind him with the hojo as a single form. We also train in the effective use of hayanawa (quick ties used to immediately arrest an opponent), kaginawa (a hooked cord also used in arresting), and hon-nawa (more formal ties used to present crimal suspects to court magistrates).

If you are interested in trainings of this unique martial art do not hesitate to contact Filip Bartoš – filip@bujin.cz or +420 736 534 469, who is regularly studying Masaki Ryu Nakajima-ha in Japan under the direction of Soke Nakajima. Unfortunately he cannot teach You this martial art outside of Japan so only one possibility how to study this school is travel with him directly to Japan.