Niten Ichi Ryu - Two Sword Japanese Martial Arts Style

Black Belt Wiki is a free martial arts wiki. We will help you with Shotokan Kata, Taekwondo Forms, Kicks, Punches, Grappling, Aikido, Goju-Ryu, Krav Maga, Bo Staff, Kyokushin, Terminology, etc. This wiki will also improve your martial arts agility, balance, conditioning, flexibility, speed, strength, etc. We hope that you will help others by adding some info to this wiki. Page Date - 22 Sep 2015 11:00

Niten Ichi Ryu - Two Sword Japanese Martial Arts Style

Niten Ichi-Ryu (translated as 2 heavens as one school) is a two sword Japanese martial arts style created by the famous Japanese samurai, Miyamoto Musashi.

Students learn to use a longer katana in one hand while at the same time using the shorter wakizashi in the other hand. In contrast, Kendo and Kenjutsu students generally only practice with one sword. However, some Kendo and Kenjutsu schools also practice some Nitojutsu techniques.

In ancient Japan, samurai generally used one sword. However there were some Ryu (Japanese Bujutsu schools) that included Nitojutsu (the use of 2 swords simultaneously). Though Musashi's Niten Ichi ryu (created in the 1600's somewhere between 1604 and 1640) is the most famous example of Nitojutsu, there were other schools before him that included the 2 sword technique. The most notable was the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (who are recorded as using the 2 sword style as early as 1447) and the Tatsumi Ryu (early 1500's).

The 2 sword style generally incorporates the use of a Katana in one hand and a Wakizashi in the other. However, other sword combinations could also be used such as Tanto and Katana, Tanto and Wakizashi , 2 Katana , or even a Katana and Saya (sword scabbard). The general principle of Nitojutsu is to block/defend with one weapon and then counter with the second. There are quite a few different combinations that cover just about all areas of attack.

This two sword style (along with his outstanding swordsmanship in general) greatly contributed to Musashi's prowess. This helped him to win numerous duels & battles and become Japan's most famous samurai. Miyamoto Musashi lived during the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Two Sword Kata - Nito Seiho

  • Chudan
  • Jodan
  • Gedan
  • Hidari Waki Gamae
  • Migi Waki Gamae

Demonstration Video of Niten Ichi Ryu

Reference Sources

  1. Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, Niten Ichi Ryu,, Added - 09/21/15

Please support this free martial arts wiki
by buying your martial arts books & gear via the Amazon links below.

At no extra cost to you, Black Belt Wiki receives a small commission on any purchases made through the links in this section. This helps us to pay our website expenses & expand this free wiki.
Thank you for your support!!!

Latest Martial Arts Pages Added to Black Belt Wiki

Martial Arts Video of the Month

New Cobra Kai movie trailer added to wiki on 3/3/18.

The Karate Kid movie is being made into a sequel called "Cobra Kai". This will be a series on Youtube that stars the original Karate Kid "combatants" Ralph Macchio (Daniel) and William Zabka (Johnny).

Do you give this new Cobra Kai show a thumbs up or thumbs down?

If you want to learn more about Cobra Kai,
you should read this Rotten Tomatoes editorial.

You can also follow us on
Twitter or Facebook.

Material on this wiki may not be copied or reproduced without the written approval of Black Belt Wiki.
All rights reserved. For other terms & conditions, please read our legal disclaimer. This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.