Ninjutsu Technique: Yari-Yose (Spear Catcher) | Historical Koryu Ninja Martial Arts Training (Ninpo)
In this video, I teach a technique from the Tomo-ryu called: “Yari-Yose” (Spear Catcher). This is a technique that is passed down in the Tomo-ryu school of Shinobijutsu (戸猛流忍術) to teach how to utilize the sageo (下げ緒) on the scabbard, as a means to disarm a spearman, finish him, then evade.
The Bansenshukai (萬川集海) written in 1676, also has a technique called “yari-yose”. Even though this technique has the same name, same objective and purpose; there are slight differences between the technique “yari-yose” in the Bansenshukai, and the “yari-yose” that is taught in the Tom-ryu.
In the Bansenshukai it says:
“The yariyose or the ‘spear catcher’ – tie the end of the sageo cord onto your short sword. Draw the sword out fully and hold it in your right hand and the scabbard in your left hand, with the rope hanging between. When a spear is stabbed at you, catch it and wrap the sageo cord around the spear and take the enemy’s weapon.”
– Fujubayashi Yasutake – Bansenshukai (1676)
- (1) The Bansenshukai says to tie the rope to your sword while the other end is tied to the saya (scabbard). In the Tomo-ryu, it says to hold one end of the saego in your hand, with the other end tied to the scabbard.
- (2) The Bansenshukai says that the sword should be drawn, with the sageo hanging between the sword and the saya. In the Tomo-ryu the sword is not drawn, it stays in the scabbard, till after you disarm the spear from the enemy.
- (3) The Bansenshukai does not mention using the saya (scabbard) as a means to deflect or block the oncoming spear. In the Tomo-ryu this part of the transmission is a crucial aspect towards the technique.
- (4) The Bansenshukai has no mention at all with how to stab or position the sword when going in to finish the enemy. This aspect is covered in depth as to why the sword needs to be drawn the way that it is, and used the way that it is, when learning the technique.
In the end, different ninja ryuha do similar techniques differently. As the 21st Soke of the Tomo-ryu it is my responsibility to teach these ancient ways and preserve those techniques that have been passed down to me. However, because we teach various ryuha within the Budo Ryu Kai and because I encourage my students to research and learn as much as they can – it is also my responsibility to explain how a technique from one ryuha is different from another ryuha. It is also my responsibility to explain and teach techniques from public historical sources such as the Bansenshukai, Ninpiden and Shoninki, explain the similarities and differences from them towards the 7 warrior traditions that we have within the Budo Ryu Kai. This gives the students a much deeper understanding and greater perception of the ancient ninja and samurai martial arts, what they truly did, and how the truly did it.
This lesson is directly for the practitioners of the ancient Japanese koryu martial arts of the ninja and samurai, such as ninjutsu (ninpo) and bujutsu (budo).
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