Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-Ryu - Germany


Tenshinshō-den Katori Shintō-ryū was founded by Iizasa Choisai Ienaō during the mid Muromachi era (1336-1573) in the Katori region of Shimōsa province (present-day Katori city, Chiba prefecture), and is considered to be oldest martial art currently practiced in Japan.

The legend says that at approximately sixty years of age, Iizasa undertook a thousand days of prayer and austere training (shugyo) devoted to the deity of the Katori Shrine, within its grounds. The deity then presented him with a divine scroll on the warrior arts, called the mokuroku shinsho no heiho. Since he received the art through divine transmission, Iizasa named it “Tenshinshō-den” (direct and authentic transmission from the deities) Katori Shintō-ryū. The tradition has been handed down through the generations to the present day.

portrait of Choisai Ieano
Choisai Ieano, Founder of Katori Shinto Ryu

The Shinbukan Dōjō's practice of Katori Shintō-ryū follows the teachings passed down from Hayashi Yazaemon Shihan, who was then succeeded by Ōtake Risuke Shihan (Shinbukan Dōjō founder). Practice is currently led by his son Ōtake Nobutoshi Shihan, with instruction and supervision from his father.

The german branch regards itself as the representative dojo of the Shinbukan and therefore under direct supervision of both Ōtake Nobutoshi Shihan and Ōtake Risuke Shihan. It is located in the western area of Munich (Bavaria).


Due to the political and social structures during its founding times, the Katori Shintō-ryū holds a vast syllabus of teachings up to this day. Apart from martial strategies, philosophy and character development, the core of the school teaches a large number of fighting techniques consisting of:

  • Kenjutsu  (swordsmanship)
  • Iaijutsu  (sword drawing)
  • Bōjutsu  (staff techniques)
  • Naginatajutsu  (halberd techniques)
  • Ryōtōjutsu  (twin swords; dual wielding)
  • Kodachijutsu  (short sword techniques)
  • Sōjutsu  (spearmanship)
  • Jūjutsu  (unarmed combat)
  • Shurikenjutsu  (throwing spikes)

Students learn these secret techniques by the form of paired kata (fixed forms) which should obscure the true meaning ot the techniques. Contrary to modern many martial arts who have lost many of their martial roots, the techniques of the Katori Shintō-ryū should prepare a warrior for battlefield combat and serve one purpose only: to kill.

The syllabus also contains the study of gunbaihō (troop movement and positioning), chikujohō (fortifications), jin’ei (troop formation), noroshi (smoke signaling), ninjutsu (espionage), and tenmon chimon fūsui based on yin/yang and five element theory. These advanced studies of strategy and the way of peace have been transmitted unchanched from teacher to student through the generations to the present day.

Even today, those interested in joining the tradition must sign an oath to the deities of the Katori Shrine. This blood oath is a tradition that has been transmitted for generations. It ensures that aspiring students understand the correct attitude with which they are expected to approach entry to and study within the tradition. Applicants pledge to uphold the following rules:

On becoming a member of the Tenshinshō-den Katori Shintō-ryū, which has been transmitted by the Great Deity of the Katori Shrine, I herewith affirm my pledge that:

  1. I will not have the impertinence to discuss or demonstrate details of the ryu to either non-members or members, even if they are relatives;
  2. I will not engage in altercations or misuse the art against others;
  3. I will not engage in any kind of gambling or frequent disreputable places;
  4. I will not cross swords with any followers of other martial traditions without authorization

I hereby pledge to firmly adhere to each of the above articles. Should I break any of these articles I will submit to the punishment of the Great Deity of Katori and the Great Deity Marishiten. Herewith I solemnly swear and affix my blood seal to this oath to these Great Deities.

Goddes Marishiten

Once completed, the applicant is recognized as a member of the tradition, with the pledge serving to teach them the correct approach toward the tradition and the learning process.


The german branch regards itself as the representative dojo of the Shinbukan and therefore under direct supervision of Ōtake Risuke Shihan. It is located in the western area of Munich (Bavaria).

Shinbukan Dojo, Japan

Ōtake Risuke, Gokui Kaiden/Shihan
Ōtake Nobutoshi, Gokui Kaiden/Shihan
two men with bokken in a dojo

Dojo Germany – Munich

Stefan Saicic
a dojo with mirrors and scrolls
All interested in joining our practice please directly contact:

Legal Disclosure

Information in accordance with Section 5 TMG

Luca Spataro
Nikolausbergstraße 7
82256 Fürstenfeldbruck

Vertreten durch:
Luca Spataro

E-Mail: support@katori-shintoryu.de


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