Issen Ken

English name A Sword Flash

This is from the Kata Togakure ryu Ninja Biken

This is from the Ryu Ha Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu

Issen Ken (A Sword Flash)

This technique means to knock down the Ukes sword and cut in an instant, like a flash of light. There are 2 forms.

Begin in Seigan no Kamae. The Uke begins in Seigan no Kamae. You then tsuki to the Ukes face. The Uke deflects your sword to the left or the right (remember, you can manipulate which side the Uke deflects to). If he moves to your left and deflects, then you use Yoko Aruki with the left foot forward slightly to the right and use the back of the blade by turning the wrists counter-clockwise and press the Ukes sword down to the left. Use your right hand as a pivot for this movement and the left hand to lever, and use your body weight also. If you try to do this with just your arms, the Uke will over power you - so Taijutsu is essential. This must be done in immediate response to the Ukes deflection. After this, step forwards slightly to the right with the right foot and cut to the right side of the Ukes neck with a feeling of rushing past his left hand side. If the Uke moves to your right and deflects, then the technique is the same, only, step forwards to the left with the left foot and press the Ukes sword down, and then move off and cut to the Ukes left side throat with Yoko Aruki. This is the first form.

The second form"s taijutsu is different. Begin in Seigan no Kamae. The Uke begins in Seigan no Kamae. You then tsuki to the Ukes face. The Uke deflects your sword to the left or the right, he moves to your left and deflects, then you bring your left leg forwards and slightly to the right and bring your left hand up and rotate the tsuka clockwise so that the position of the sword is following the line of your right forearm and the blade is flat with the cutting edge facing behind you. The side of the blade now acts as a shield between this movement and the next. This is important. Next, move with Yoko Aruki forwards with the right foot and turn your body slightly to the right. From this position, cut down to the back of the Ukes sword with the back or the side of your blade with the feeling of pounding the Ukes sword down (this is important). From here, step forward with the left foot and cut to the left side of the Ukes neck with a feeling of rushing past his right hand side. If the Uke moves to your right and deflects, then the technique is the same, only, step forwards to the right with Yoko aruki with the left foot, and bring the right foot around 90 degrees counter clockwise (you should be standing with the Ukes sword side on and in front of you) - let the tsuka rotate in your right hand to enable you to strike with the back/side of your blade (you must learn this movement well, it may be a bit confusing at first, but when you get it, it will be very effective) and then move off and cut to the right side of the Ukes throat with the left foot in Yoko Aruki with the feeling of rushing past him.

For both forms, it is important to remember the "rhythm" of these forms - Tsuki - Press or Pound Down - Cut. Your Taijutsu should be in 3 movements - try to understand this well.

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