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Dragon Fencing Academy is pleased to offer students the chance to study Japan's greatest sword style, Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Kenjutsu. Instruction will be 2 person partnered kata forms.  Classes are held on Tuesday and Sundays.

Learn techniques and tactics with exposure to the ancient art of Kenjutsu and the use of the Japanese sword. Understand sword techniques from an idealized combat system used in ancient medieval Japan.

 “To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself.”

 - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings




All Kenjutsu classes are suspended until further notice

YAGYU SHINKAGE RYU Kenjutsu (Ohtsubo branch)

  • Offered on Sunday

  • Learn The official style of the Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu

  •  We are the only official Canadian group for Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (Ohtsubo branch)

  • "The Life Giving sword"

  • 1.5 hour lesson

  • Martial arts Gi and Fukuro Shinai are a REQUIRED purchases

  • To register call 905-764-8388 or email

Katori Shinto Ryu

  • Offer on Tuesdays

  • The Sword Style of Katori, the War God - Early Muromachi Period (ca. 1447)

  • 5 weapon study: Sword, Staff, Spear, Naginata, Short Sword

  • 2 person partnered kata

  • 1.5 hour lesson

  • Martial Arts GI and Shinai are REQUIRED purchases

  • To register call 905-764-8388 or email

Kenjutsu FAQ


What Is Kenjutsu?

Kenjutsu (literally “sword techniques”) is a term which refers to the classical styles of Japanese swordsmanship which blossomed in Japan during the Warring States Period (c.1300-1600). Since battlefield fighting was a regular occurrence at that time, Warlords needed a way to train their warriors in the use of the sword. Schools of swordsmanship (kenjutsu) were created to meet this need. At the height of the Warring States Period, schools of kenjutsu numbered in the hundreds. Study in kenjutsu was the way of the samurai. They studied not for advancement and certificates but for survival. The samurai lived and died by the sword. Kenjutsu was for this elite class of men, a way of life.



What is  Yagyu Shinkage Ryu?

Shinkage Ryu was created in the mid-sixteenth century  (c. 1568) by a samurai named Kamiizumi Nobutsuna. Shinkage Ryu means "new shadow school". This style was created out of a fusion of his studies in 2 styles: Kage Ryu and Katori Shinto Ryu. He later taught a young, talented swordsman named Yagyu Muneyoshi, who then went on to found his own school, the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.


The Legend of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu

Tokugawa Ieyasu, then a general under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a warlord, arranged to have a meeting with Yagyu Muneyoshi to see for himself this great sword style. Muneyoshi impressed him so much that Ieyasu asked Muneyoshi to be his personal sword instructor. Muneyoshi had to decline due to his age but recommended his fifth son, Munenori. Ieyasu agreed and Munenori went with him. Later, when Tokugawa became Shogun, Munenori became the official instructor of swordsmanship of the Tokugawa Shogunate, instructing Ieyasu's son, Hidetada. He also became the trusted adviser of the third Shogun, Iemitsu.
Munenori composed a book in 1632 called the Heiho Kaden Sho, in which he fused many ideas in Zen with those of swordsmanship. This book, which not only discussed the practical issues in swordfighting but also looked at its spiritual and philosophical aspects, became one of the Bibles of Japanese swordsmanship.

About Us

We are an authorized group of practitioners that train in Yagyu Shinkage Ryu kenjutsu. We follow the direction of Kajitsuka Yasushi Sensei, soke of the Ohtsubo branch of the Owari Line of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.


The Tradition of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu in Canada

We are proud to be the first official study group for Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (Ohtsubo branch) in Canada. Yasushi Kajitsuka Soke visits our academy on an annual basis. Members of this study group have the unique opportunity to apply for official membership with Kajitsuka Sensei’s organization once they demonstrate commitment to the art.

What Is the difference between Kenjutsu and Kendo?


an art concerned with accurate and realistic sword technique applications is a sport with rules and conventions guiding acceptable targets, techniques, and scoring procedures
Entire body is the target 5 targets only: wrists, head, throat, belly and sides of the waist
uses wooden swords, metal swords, and/or bamboo swords, weapon is a bamboo sword (shinai)
curriculum consists mainly of training in kata and cutting practice curriculum consists of mostly fencing bouts and practice exercises
stances, techniques, and tactics used depend on the particular style stance is upright, facing forward with whole body, rear foot (left) raised slightly off the floor
movements can be linear or circular or any combination of the two, depending on the style movement is predominantly linear (forward and backward)
some contend that kenjutsu is the art of winning real fights with real swords some contend that kendo is an art more geared towards improving oneself through spiritual development


Do you teach kendo?

No, but we teach the foundation Kenjutsu style of Ono-Ha Itto Ryu workshop on occasion.


How long will it take me to become skilled (e.g., to become a black belt)?


There can be no timetable on proficiency. Study in old budo disciplines like kenjutsu are a way of life. In Japan and around the world, there are still today swordsmen who devote their lifetime to studying their art and passing on the tradition. For these people, swordsmanship is like a religion. Miyamoto Musashi termed it "heiho no michi" (the Way of Strategy) and for others, it is the epitome of "Bushido" (following the Way of the Warrior). Joining a sword dojo is joining a tradition that is centuries old, and following in the footsteps of generations of warriors. Sword study, like Bushido, is not an accomplishment that ends with the last kata. It is a way of life.


The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - Lao Tzu


Kenjutsu Resources 


  • Seven Samurai
  • Yojimbo
  • Sanjuro
  • Throne of Blood
  • Ran
  • Kagemusha
  • Chushingura
  • Rashomon
  • Samurai Part1: Miyamoto Musashi
  • Samurai Part 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple
  • Samurai Part 3: Duel at Ganryu Island
  • The Twilight Samurai
  • The Hidden Blade
  • The Samurai I Loved
  • Love and Honour
  • 13 assassins


  • Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings) - Miyamoto Musashi
  • Hagakure (The Book of the Samurai) - Yamamoto Tsunetomo
  • Bushido (The Soul of Japan) - Inazo Nitobe
  • Chushingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (47 Ronin) - Takeda Izumo

Dragon Fencing Academy

175 West Beaver Creek Rd - Unit 18,  Richmond Hill, Ontario. Canada L4B 3M1  

Tel: 905.764.8388     Email:

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