About

The Classical martial Arts Research Academy (CMARA) is dedicated to the research and practice of classical Japanese martial arts.

The classical warrior did not simply focus all his efforts on a narrow specialty, swordsmanship, spearmanship, archery, and so on. Instead in the culture of the samurai, a certain pedagogical method was implemented where from unity comes multiplicity (economy of method). The method for attacking becomes the same whether it is with the sword, spear, or empty fist. This system is called Sōgō Bujutsu (総合武術), or composite combat techniques uses the art of Jūjutsu as a central axis for the utilization of different weapons.

In systems such as this, it is not uncommon for the curriculum to include 10 or more different weapons, subjects, and even systems of medicine, spirituality, and political theory based on the accumulation of many masters over hundreds of years of development and transmission. Some such disciplines included:

Jujutsu

The word jūjutsu means the use of suppleness and subtlety and not “grappling’ for which it is commonly recognized for. Therefore in order to use suppleness one must have a supple and flexible body and to know how to use such a body because the utilization of the body is the key to all forms of jujutsu. From this nucleus, the methods of all the other weapons come to be understood. Systems include Kosshijutsu, Koppojutsu, Jutaijutsu and Dakentaijutsu, etc.

Kenjutsu

This is the art of the katana. The word kenjutsu (剣術) is fairly new in the Japanese history of martial arts. Before that, the term “tōjutsu”. Most of the classical masters used to be known as masters of sōtōjutsu, which means spear and sword. The sword was always the last weapon to be learnt, not the most important weapon, but it became a symbol of the warrior class when there was no more war, when it became a peaceful era.

Hojojutsu

This is the science of arresting an assailant with a length of rope. This could be for capturing prisoners on the battlefield, apprehending criminals for persecution, or binding people of importance for execution. There are also many styles and methods of this science such as Torinawa, Hayanawa, Nawa Gake, and so on.

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