Understanding Jissen Kobudo (Classical Martial Arts for Real Combat)

Adam Mitchell discusses the collective style of martial arts he practices, known as Jissen Kobudo.

Jissen as a more realistic fight

Nick: Let's dive into budo a bit deeper. And you have a collective style of martial art called Jissen Kobudo. So what is Jissen Kobudo?

Adam: Jissen meaning realistic fight, more realistic. Kobudo, as we already talked about, is more like a classical martial arts or the traditional martial arts. And it gets really interesting. Sometimes when I traveled to Japan, I have to carry certain tools depending on what the topic is going to be, what we're going to be studying.

I'll go there two times a year. And every time I go through customs, I have a fukuro shinai, like the padded sword. So unlike the kendo shinai, which I'm sure many of your listeners are familiar with, where it's like the split bamboo, and it's used for hitting and striking, and not breaking bones or doing a lot of damage.

However, shinai will really hurt if it hits you. However, it's not meant to break bones underneath protective armor. Fukuro shinai however, has a bit like a leather sleeve to the split bamboo. And we don't wear protective armor. And carrying this through customs, when they look at my bags, they say what is this?

And I say it's a shinai. And they say like, kendo? No. I said, here we go. I say Kobudo, and they're like what kind of Kobudo? And I say jissen kobudo. And I can only imagine US Customs having a group of Japanese people coming over to study civil or like revolutionary war trench fighting.

It's kind of like, I can't imagine the mindset that they must think when we study this, but that's really what it is. It is very much the study of true applications of battle where it's not so much the sport or like Morihei Ueshiba, or sensei of Aikido, created very much while retaining much of the origins of the data he had learned from his teachers.

And having at the time a quite combative art that he had developed. He implemented deep spiritual dimensions to it where Jigaro Kano really wanted to move Japan forward into Western athletics and knew these old schools of these koryu of jujustsu, would be very beneficial if modified into a sport.

And would also be great for the physical fitness program of Japanese youth. So there's these new dimensions that were brought into the old arts and much of the actual combat of like the biomechanics of lacerations, and when you cut the shoulder here versus here, what are the difference?

Well, these are the things that are written and recorded in many of the densho, or the old the scrolls or the old writings of these old schools. So a lot of that has been removed. And Kendo, Aikido, Judo, were made in, you know, as we came into the modern era, where what I study, that information is still retained. And it's a very important part of what we do.