Techniques of fight on horseback

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The Military YOSEIKAN BAJUTSU art - Techniques of fight on horseback

What is it to say exactly ? A military art on horseback, but still ?

Based on the most ancient warriors techniques of the Japanese feudal time, it is in fact the practice of the fighting methods used by famous Samourais. If the purpose of this discipline is not anymore today to do war, it remains nevertheless a military art, as well as a separate equestrian discipline. 

This discipline groups together a set of varied techniques such as : archery on horseback, sabre fighting, spear launching, manipulation of the lance, the dagger and the stick, falling techniques, horsemanship techniques, training, equestrian vaulting, work with foot soldiers, show jumping, work with bare-hands (foot soldiers and riders), study of katas (canevas comparable in a way to dressage)…etc.


This art of equitation associated to the archery still continues in the practice of Yabusame (bow shooting practice practised nowadays in Japan during the traditional Shinto ceremonies). Formerly in Japan, one rose on horseback by the right-hand side, by carrying the weight of the body towards the back, contrary to the current custom. Samourai on horseback fixed the reins on a ring of its armor to have the hands free to fight or fire , and steered then its horse only by legs and weight of its body. The saddle was wood covered with tissue or with leather, and had a dosseret. Stirrups were wide and deep, allowing a stability at all speeds. The Ba (horse) Jutsu (technique) included complete courses of equitation with and without armors, going from the training of horses to the mastery of the aids, and included show jumping, crossings of rivers, as well as the learning of the customs of the different weapons on could handle on horseback : big sabres, bow, yari, naginata, …etc. Every family warrior had her own techniques of Bajutsu. One of Bajustu's most ancient traditional school was called "Otsubo-ryü", created in the XV century ; this school used the big bow (Yumi) and very long bent sabre (O-dachi)

This archery, considered in Europe as "feudal lord" and non-noble, was in Japan, the privilege of the aristocrats and of some cavalry special body. For the fights, horses were protected by a leather armor with patches of metal on the chamfer. Bajutsu remained in Japan until 1600 when it disappeared definitively further to the use of firearms in the fight.


Today, things have changed a little, and so at the end of the 80s, the Japanese Boss Hiroo Mochizuki (coming himself from a lineage of Samourais), founder of the School YOSEIKAN retied with the tradition and put back in the style of the day, the practice of Bajutsu. Due to his previous history and strong experience of Budos (8th DAN Jui-Jitsu, 8the Dan Aikido, 7th Dan karate, 5th dan Iaido, 3rd Dan Judo,…,etc), Hiroo MOCHIZUKI, rider since his youngest age, encountered no difficulty conceiving modern Bajutsu within the reach of all.

Named since two years World Engineering Manager, it is to me that returns today the heavy task to conceive the technical program for this discipline. Helped by my faithful assistants among whom Olivier MATTON and Patrice JAMINET (who both present now their 2nd Dan), as well as by Valerie (specific training of the horses), I notice with enjoyment that after 7 years of existence in our country, Belgium has been followed in worldwide. Indeed, one speaks and practices (sometimes still confidentially) Bajutsu in France of course, but also in Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Canada and in the United States.


The functional aspect of Bajutsu for any type of rider still stands out because of the fact that for three years, the Equestrian Section of the Police of Mons follows Bajutsu Special Police courses. The bow is naturally not used directly anymore but rather in an educational purpose, but techniques for arresting and defence on horseback were developed to allow the policemen face many situations. The techniques of training used also allow a good education of the police's horse. So it is not surprising to see on one of the parking lots of the "Ecuries du Grand Royal", vehicules and horse trailers of the Police ; Valerie and I welcome every month these horses and police riders in training.


[Trad. Sandra Lambert Site :]


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