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Shinkendo (???, ???, Shinkendo?) is a martial art that teaches the way of samurai swordsmanship. The meaning of the name Shinkendo can be interpreted a couple of ways. Literally, “Shin” can be translated as ‘real’, “ken” as ‘sword’, and “do” as ‘way’, thus one English translation of the art’s name is “Way of the Real Sword”. Another way of interpreting the name is by the parts “Shinken” and “Do”. “Shinken” by itself can literally mean ‘real sword,’ but a more colloquial Japanese meaning is ‘seriousness’ or ‘earnestness’, thus the other interpretation of the sword art’s name is “Way of Earnesty”.
Toshishiro Obata (?? ???) is both founder and head instructor of the International Shinkendo Federation (???????, Kokusai Shinkendo Renmei?). Shinkendo is non-competitive and is learned through the Goho Gorin Gogyo (fivefold way):
Shinkendo also incorporates Toyama Ryu.
After many years of study and mastery of many different schools in his native Japan, Obata Kaiso came to America to distill all of the different aspects of Japanese Swordsmanship into one complete and comprehensive art. Obata Kaiso has dedicated over thirty years to teaching and researching the almost lost art of true Japanese Swordsmanship as it was practiced by the Samurai of Japan’s feudal era.
While Shinkendo requires rigorous physical training, depth of coordination, and intense focus, one of the most important aspects of Shinkendo is the emphasis on spiritual forging, which inspires “Bushi Damashii” (the samurai/ warrior spirit), a quality that Shinkendo practitioners feel is as relevant now as it was hundreds of years ago. Proper practice of Shinkendo should provide one with not only a strong body and mind, but also a calm, clear and focused spirit.