Samurai swordfighting masterclass in Tokyo

Many visitors to Japan begin their love of Japanese culture long before they reach the country itself, through books, history, music, manga, games, anime and cinema. If you’ve marvelled over tales of feuding shogun dynasties or experienced the soulful exhilaration of a samurai epic, this traditional swordfighting lesson - taught by Tetsuro Shimaguchi, head fight choreographer of Kill Bill Vol I - will plunge you right into the action and discipline you’ve admired from afar.

What to expect during the swordfighting masterclass...

This 90 minute samurai masterclass will take place in the Tokyo dojo of Tetsuro Shimaguchi, the martial artist, actor and choreographer responsible for swordplay in both Kill Bills and fights in many other Hollywood and Japanese productions.

You’ll be welcomed into the dojo by a member of Mr Shimaguchi’s Kamui fighting group, and your class will be lead by either Mr Shimaguchi himself, or (if he is away filming) by one of his trusted lieutenants. Under your swordmaster’s expert tutelage, you will learn to correctly hold a traditional samurai sword, treat it with the necessary respect, and (of course) how to wield your weapon with the fluid grace and disciplined deadliness required of an honourable samurai.

Pivoting with bare feet on the sturdy floor of the dojo, refine your moves and then try them out on Mr Shimaguchi’s scholars. Tetsuro Shimaguchi - apart from excelling at Yagyū Shinkage-ryū (one of Japan’s oldest schools of sworsdmanship), karate, traditional Japanese dance, becoming one of Japan’s leading professional sword fight choreographers, and establishing a dojo - is a founding member of Kamui, a sword performance troupe whose unique ‘contact’ fighting style is dramatic and nerve-racking to watch, making them very much in demand for all manner of national and global performances.

Having learnt to slay your enemies in the most elegant way possible - and then promised to never actually do it in real life - it’s time to sit back and admire your teachers in action, with a demonstration fight from some of Japan’s most respected swordsmen and women.

Location: Tokyo dojo

Duration: 1.5 hours

Accommodation: your choice of Tokyo hotel

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Important to note...

This is a physical experience, so wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a change of clothes for afterwards. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you will be training in bare feet. Also - don’t worry - you will be learning with a practise sword, and not a deadly one!

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