23 August | 12:15–13:00

The Silent Sword – Reflection of Void

Turku Aikikai:
Petteri Silenius, Erkki Mäkimattila, Kaj Westersund, Marko Silanterä, Jani Tarvainen, Reima Välimäki

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is the world’s oldest living martial arts school. Its founder was Iisaza Chōisai Ieano (1387–1488), a famous swordsman in the service of the Chiba clan in Japan. Having experienced the destruction and futility of feudal wars, Iisaza retreated to the Katori shrine, where he founded the school after a vision and a rigorous ascetic training regime. Although Katori Shinto Ryu has been known by many names over the centuries and numerous other schools have branched from it, the school as practised today is based on an unbroken tradition of masters and students that reaches back to the mid-fifteenth century. Katori Shinto Ryu is most famous for its sword technique, and in all of its practice forms (kata), at least one party uses the Japanese sword. The demonstration gives a representative sample of the school’s techniques, from drawing and cutting with a blade (iai-jutsu) to pair training with the wooden sword (bokken) against different weapons, such as the short sword, naginata and spear.

Photo of Erkki Mäkimattila, Kaj Westersund, Petteri Silenius, Marko Silanterä and Jani Tarvainen
Erkki Mäkimattila (left), Kaj Westersund, Petteri Silenius, Marko Silanterä, Jani Tarvainen

The Katori Shinto Ryu group in Turku is one of the most experienced groups outside Japan. Petteri Silenius started to practise Katori in 1992, and regular training began in Turku the following year. Today, six members of the group have received the teacher licence (kyoshi menkyo) from Tetsutaka Sugawara sensei: Petteri Silenius, Erkki Mäkimattila, Kaj Westersund, Marko Silanterä, Jani Tarvainen and Reima Välimäki. They will present the school’s tradition in the demonstration.

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