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Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

A summary and analysis of this sword drawing art including its history, principles, techniques, training and etiquette.

Iaido Terminology A-Z
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

The meaning and concepts of basic Japanese iaido terminology

Creativity, Bound Flow & The Concept of Shu-Ha-Ri In Kata
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Kata has been a traditional tool for teaching martial arts in Japan for centuries and is also prevalent throughout Japanese traditional arts including, but in no way limited to, flower arranging, tea, traditional Japanese dance, and the kabuki and noh theaters.

Report on the First World Congress on Combat Sports and Martial Arts
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

The Premiere Congres Mondial de Sports de Combat et Arts Martiaux (First World Congress on Combat Sports and Martial Arts), held from March 31 to April 2, 2000 in Amiens, France, was probably was the first of its kind in terms of projected scope.

The spiritual sword of Tamiya ryu: Interview with Michael Alexanian Sensei
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

A unique glimpse into the ancient tradition of iaijutsu -- the art of drawing and cutting with a Japanese sword.

The Study Of Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

People study the art of drawing the sword for many reasons, some of them are complicated.

Bushido Taikai Report
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

A taikai, or a gathering for exhibitions and cooperative seminars amongst several different martial arts disciplines enabled participants to share knowledge about others arts and their techniques.

Omori Ryu: The Foundation of Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Examine the meaning, practice and historical roots to this classic style of drawing the Japanese sword.

Layers Of Shu-Ha-Ri In the Practice Of Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Most long-time martial arts practitioners actually know what Shu-Ha-Ri is, even without knowing the expression itself.

Book Review - Sword in Hand: A Brief Survey of the Knightly Sword
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Ewart Oakeshott brings a near-encyclopedic expertise to his subject, evidenced by a large number of previous books on medieval knights, their arms and armor.

From The Beginning: The Importance Of Reishiki In Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

In Japan if you don?t have proper manners you can disgrace yourself and your U.S. dojo.

Shohatto: The Heart Of Omori Ryu Iaido
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Shohatto, the first of kata within our style of iaido, the art of drawing the Japanese sword, teaches not only the basic elements of the style, but the principles of sword technique as well.

Hidden Secrets of Japanese Swordsmanship: Muso Shinden Ryu - Omori ryu
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

The content of Hidden Secrets is surprisingly good, the video is exactly what it claims to be and the best part is that the technique is very well done.

The Benefits Of Solo Iaido Practice
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Solo practice has many forms but whatever you have time to do will invariably to result in improvement.

Book Review - Samurai Fighting Arts: The Spirit and The Practice
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

This book is a good read when it delves into history, technique, and some of the underlying principles of kata, but it is also unfortunately flawed when the author in his discussion of Honmon Enshin ryu style of iai (sword-drawing) ties to tie his art to historical authenticity.

Hidden Secrets of Japanese Swordsmanship - Shindo Munen ryu Iaijutsu
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Wehrhahn technique is generally very good as he correctly spends some time on basics, as well as applications, and although I recommend the video, what is shown will be best appreciated by more advanced, technically knowledgeable practitioners.

A visit to the "Samurai Castle" - Himejijo
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

What makes Himejijo unique is that the castle is an authentic example of Edo period castle architecture and as such, it gives insight into Edo period military thinking, and the way of life of the warrior class of the time.

The Flower of Battle: An Interview with Bob Charron - Part 1
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

I was fascinated as Charron led workshop students through a brief outline of a 15th century fighting manual entitled?Fior di Battaglia?(The Flower of Battle) written by Fiore dei Liberi that included empty hand techniques, followed by dagger and sword techniques. I had to learn more about this.

The Flower of Battle:An Interview with Bob Charron - Part 2
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

The key to this 15th century fighting manual is to realize how the opportunities to use its techniques are constantly available. You simply have to take advantage of the attacker?s movement to lead them to a lock, break, throw, or the space and time in which to safely deliver a blow with a weapon.

The spiritual sword of Tamiya ryu:Interview with Michael Alexanian Sensei: Part 2
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

A unique glimpse into the ancient tradition of iaijutsu -- the art of drawing and cutting with a Japanese sword.

State Of The Art(s): A Brief Assessment Of Some Recent Martial Arts Scholarship
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

The boom in martial arts has created a hunger in publishers for more and more books. Unfortunately, however, editors are often not versed in the martial arts genre, or barely-qualified authors set out their magnum opus in the world. In either case, unexamined, the books go into print, where the unwary find and purchase them.

Matsumoto Castle - Pride of the City: Part 1
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

While Japan?s historic Matsumoto Castle is not as well known as several others it is unique in that it was never attacked or destroyed and thus remains in its original structure.

Matsumoto Castle - Pride of the City: Part 2
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Having to fight and defend against Japanese firearms had a dramatic effect on the design and structure of this samurai castle.

Tradition in Motion: Aesthetic Movement in Japanese Dance and Swordsmanship ? Part 1
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Americans and Japanese have different approaches to movement, especially apparent when it comes to traditional Japanese art forms.

Tradition in Motion: Aesthetic Movement in Japanese Dance and Swordsmanship ? Part 2
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Advancing the same side arm and leg is only the most obvious characteristic of traditional Japanese movement.

In the Footsteps of the Samurai: Walking the Nakasendo
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

An account of the author?s expedition along the famous foot path that in Samurai Japan connected the two great centers of Japanese power, culture and civilization.

In the Footsteps of the Samurai: Walking the Nakasendo Part 2
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Further adventures along the famous foot path that in Samurai Japan connected the two great centers of Japanese power, culture and civilization.

Toyama Ryu: Swordsmanship of Imperial Japan
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Toyama Ryu is a style of swordsmanship that was associated with the Japanese military in the early 20th century. It was created in 1925 for use by the Rikugun Toyama Gakko, a school for military officers that was located in Tokyo.

The Lighter Side of Martial Arts - The Kimono
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

An observation by a distinguished Japanese martial arts teacher on a students public display of affection.

Book Review: Famous Japanese Swordsmen of the Warring States Period
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

This book takes as its subject two important individuals: Iizasa Choisai Ienao (Iizasa Yamashiro) (1387-1488), founder of the Kashima Shinto style of swordsmanship, and Kamiizumi Ise no Kami Nobutsuna (1508-1577), founder of the Shinkage style"

Traditional winter training in Japan: The Kashima jodo gasshuku
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

When I reflected on what gasshuku really meant: there was nothing else but practice, food, practice, food, practice, food, sleep.

Goaisatsu ? Greeting as a Gesture of Respect
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

It may not be a western custom, but if your teacher is Japanese, proper etiquette suggests that you should show up to greet him or her upon arrival.

Tracing Samurai Culture in Kanazawa
By Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

Unlike some Japanese cities that have spectacular historic castles that dominate the city view, Kanazawa hides it historic sites. If you search, however, you can find old samurai-class houses from the Edo period (1603-1867) and the walled Nagamachi district where old earthen walls shielding the homes behind them.

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