US Federation of Battodo Kata
The foundation skills of rei (respectful acknowledgement of the target as a substitute for the opponent), sword drawing, advancing to a target, cutting with proper angles and spririt then performing noto (returning the sword to the saya) are taught using the shoden kata of the US Federation of Battodo. The USFBD Chuden set follows and is the introduction to kata with a moving imaginary opponent. These kata teach situational techniques that can be utilized by muscle memory and instinct.
The Toyama Ryu Style
Toyama Ryu Battodo was created from koyryu iaido styles at the Toyama Military Academy in Japan in 1925. It is a tachi waza based art. This means that all techniques are executed from standing or walking posture. Battodo as taught in Toyama Ryu was formed to teach soldiers with no swordsmanship experience the effective battlefield use of the military issue sword, or Gunto. As such the system at its core is the essence of direct, combat-effective sword drawing and cutting technique with the katana.
The line of Toyama Ryu we sudy is Nakamura-ha (or Nakamura line). This lineage has been passed to us by Sensei Hataya Mitsuo who is the current Kaicho of the Zen Nihon Toyama Ryu Iaido Renmei (or ZNTIR for short) and to my instructor, Sensei Douglas Firestone of White Plains, NY.
The School and Instructor
Battodo of Monmouth County practices at Aikido of Red Bank in Red Bank, NJ. It is led by Russ Gordon with the blessing and guidance of Sensei Douglas Firestone of Genbukan Dojo at Aikido of Westchester.
Russ holds 4th Dan ZNTIR and 2nd Dan US Federation of Battodo.